Quarter of parents want children to learn Chinese in Doncaster schools
More than a quarter of parents in Doncaster think children should be taught Chinese in the town's schools - ahead of French, German and Spanish.
A survey found that locally, 27.7% of parents would prefer their children to learn Chinese over traditional European languages.
The study by Modular Classrooms discovered a changing attitude to education from today's parents and the things they would like to see in classrooms today.
A spokesman said: "As the world expands, and with it international career opportunities, it’s clear that learning a second, or third language is increasingly important for our future generations.
"Interestingly and, perhaps thanks to the growing economic power of the East, the survey found that nearly a third of Brits (30%) would prefer their children to learn to speak Chinese over other languages. 36% would prefer their children spoke Spanish, followed by French (18%), German (10%), and even Russian (6%)."
To discover which languages parents around the country would most like to be taught in schools, check out the interactive map of the UK HEREWhile the survey discovered which languages Brits wanted in the syllabus, Modular Classrooms also questioned parents on which subject they believed should no longer have a place on the curriculum.
The majority of Brits (39%) said Latin should be removed from the syllabus.
In second place, and perhaps a reflection on the drop in attendance at churches by young people, is religious studies (24%), followed by media studies (17%), ICT (9%) – though information and communications technology continue to play a huge part in modern life – drama (8%) and music (3%).
A substantial 62.8% of parents would prefer if their children were taught more practical skills at school, which could prepare them better for the modern world that we live in, such as coding and personal finance management.
The survey also found that just over half of parents (50.6%) believe that children’s learning environments are out of date in schools - nearly a quarter (22.8%) believe the system needs a whole overhaul, and not just an update.
Speaking of updates, 62.2% of parents think the hard uncomfortable chairs should be removed from classrooms; 12.7% would like to see an end to individual desks (perhaps preferring communal ones); 11.2% were in favour of swapping textbooks for iPads or tablets; 9% said we should wave goodbye to whiteboards and blackboards; and 4.9% wanted to lose notebooks (again, so kids can use iPads or tablets to write on).
A whopping 80.5% of parents also believed that children should have more access to nature at school.
Widely discussed amongst parents is the topic of summer holidays – always tricky for parents, as they have to juggle expensive childcare with their own jobs, which sadly don’t give them as much time off. They believe these should be reduced by about a week, to around 5.3 weeks long at most.
And are exams still the best way to assess a student’s performance? Only according to 21.1% of parents. The majority of Brits believe that educational assessment should be based on a fairer combination of coursework and exams (62.7%), as that way you can see how a pupil progresses steadily throughout a school year, rather than basing everything on a couple of stressful hours.
‘It seems things have changed in schools since our day,’ says Mark Brown from Modular Classrooms, ‘and now we can look back and see what worked, and what didn’t. We are passionate about making the school environment a great space to engage and stimulate the development of new skills in children, and think it should be comfortable and welcoming. That way, they’ll be able to concentrate on their Chinese and coding lessons even better – a good thing, as I don’t know if many parents will be able to help with that homework!’