On Thursday 23rd January 2020, Znaniye, The Russian Embassy and Rossotrudnichestvo hosted the First Russian Education Symposium.
The day began at the Official Russian Embassy in London, and was opened by the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United Kingdom, Mr Andrey Vladimirovich Kelin.
Over 30 Russian Schools and Russian Departments from British schools were in attendance, to discuss a wide range of issues related to the preservation and dissemination of the Russian language in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The key theme of the meeting was finding a solution to common problems in the industry by the joint efforts of schools and teachers, which Znaniye followed with the announcement and launch of the Russian Education Consortium (REC). The REC will work to be the national champion for excellence, innovation and partnership in Russian Education outside of Russia, along with accrediting both schools and teachers in order to meet the global need for the delivery of high-quality Russian education.
A highlight of the day was the first 'Teacher of the Year' Awards, whereby each school was asked to nominate one of their own teachers that they felt was the most worthy and hardworking, with diplomas awarded by Mr Ilya M. Erofeev the First Secretary of Information, Press and Culture at the Russian Embassy, and Mr Anton Chesnokov, Director of Rossotrudnichestvo, Russian Culture House of London.
Following this, guests reconvened at Rossotrudnichestvo, for the second part of the day where participants of the Symposium received information about planned local school and national cultural projects, as well as an invitation to participate in them. Projects dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory held with the organisational support from Rossotrudnichestvo were particularly noted. Contests of penmanship, children's drawing, and video messages to veterans are designed not only to identify talented schoolchildren, but also to convey to young Britons the truth about the role of the Soviet Union in the victory over Nazism and thereby strengthen the link between generations and preserve the historical memory of the great Patriotic war.
The Symposium also included presentations by the leading expert from the Russian Academy of Sciences, Valentina Shatalina, on a systematic approach to teaching and testing bilingual children, reports on the development of bilinguals in the UK in the modern information environment from Elena Geddis, Director of Belfast Russian School, as well as a master class on preparation for the updated British GCSE and A-Level final exams in Russian as a foreign language run by Znaniye's head of GCSE, Elena Kotchetova.
The day ended with a round table attended by the Directors and founders of the Russian schools. They discussed the possibility and relevance of introducing a unified curriculum and educational literature for schools in the UK, but the leaders did not come to a consensus; However, the proposal to conduct general social, educational and cultural projects involving Russian-speaking organisations and local authorities was unanimously adopted.
The day was an incredible success, and was the first opportunity for all schools to join together to discuss solutions, personal and general problems and more. Schools were each kindly given a large collection of books to take with them as well, donated by Rossotrudnichestvo and Znaniye.
For more information on the REC - Russian Education Consortium - Please visit https://www.russianeducationconsortium.com/