School Policy Statement
The Cambridge Korean School (CKS) is a voluntary supplementary community educational organisation.
It was founded as an unincorporated association in January 1996 amongst the research fellows in conjunction with the Korean Embassy in London, Cambridge University Korean Students’ Society and Cambridge Korean Churches.
It was incorporated on 24 August 2010 as a limited company by guarantee in order to protect each individual member of school and became a charity on 16 Jan 2012.
Currently CKS has joined the following organisations in order to interact with other voluntary organisations and learn best practice from them to improve its service to the community.
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations
Cambridge Community Voluntary Service Organisation
National Resource Centre for Supplementary Education
CKS runs locally, hiring St Augustine Church in Cambridge as premises on Saturday mornings during term time.
The main aim of CKS is to provide the teaching of Korean language, art, culture and heritage to the pupils with a Korean ethnic background from nursery to secondary school level. It is open to all community members so as to contribute to the promotion of cultural diversity with programs designed to meet the needs common to most ethnic minority groups in Cambridge and the East of England.
CKS focuses on providing those who have a poor command of Korean because they were born in this country or moved to this country at an early age, with an opportunity to improve their Korean thus facilitating their acceptance within the Korean community.
CKS also focuses on providing children of Korean origin with a supportive and encouraging environment where they can learn and play in their native language. Those who move to this country at a relatively late age and therefore are having difficulty at school due to their limited ability to communicate in English, are given additional educational and emotional support so that they can rebuild their self-confidence and quickly recover their social and academic aptitude thus ensuring their successful integration into the British system.
CKS tackles some delicate and difficult problems, which children from most ethnic minority groups have to confront: how to ensure successful integration to the host community without being rejected by their own ethnic community.
CKS provides a unique and otherwise unavailable educational support for young children of an ethnic minority group so that they can become mature, confident and responsible citizens of a culturally diverse society.
Pupils in the Cambridge Korean School can be categorised into three types
Children with a poor command of Korean because they were born in the host country by way of mainly inter-marriage and have less opportunity to use their second language at home
Children with a relatively good command of Korean but poor command of English because they came to Cambridge due to their parents’ research work at Cambridge University
English Adults who aspire to learn Korean and its cultural heritage
CKS encourages and supports bilingualism of children from minority communities. It recognises that language is an important aspect of culture by which ethnic identity is often expressed, transmitted and understood. For this reason, CKS believes that it is crucially important to promote and encourage bilingualism in ethnic communities if cultural diversity is not to be stifled, and if the vibrant and thoroughly enjoyable cosmopolitan living environment of Cambridge is not to be lost.
Bilingualism, we believe, is not something that can be obtained effortlessly. It requires a considerable amount of effort and sustained training during the formative period of a child’s life. For children who were born here or who moved to this country at a very early age, the limited exposure to a second language at home is often not sufficient. In order to develop a confident command of two languages, a systematic training in an encouraging environment is indispensable.
This, CKS endeavours to provide through its weekly classes. We believe that the service is vitally important in helping children from a minority group to become confident members of an ethnically diverse society who are capable of comprehending and expressing more than one culture and thereby contributing to the enrichment of the quality of life of the place where they live.
Secondly, we provide support for children who experience difficulty in following their courses at school or in adjusting to the educational system in England because of the language and cultural barriers. This service is of particular importance to those children who come to this country at a relatively late age with a limited ability to communicate in English. Unable to speak the language and unfamiliar with the culture and institutional arrangements of this country, these children are often under a great deal of strain. Inevitably, their self-image, their academic performance and social aptitude are seriously compromised.
We are aware of this and particular efforts are made to combat the feelings of isolation and low self-esteem of these young children through provision of counselling in their native language. We believe that it is absolutely necessary to provide a warm, supportive and encouraging environment where these children can express themselves in their native language, work and play with their peers who share the same cultural background.
Our weekly classes provide the very necessary moments of respite for these children while they go through the stormy period of re-defining their identity and their role in a new country. And our teachers pay particular attention to help them rebuild their confidence by explaining in Korean, where necessary, the points which the children had failed to grasp at school due to the language barrier. Combined with the support scheme offered in English and Korean at CKS weekly meetings will ensure these children’s rapid and successful integration into life in this country.
Thirdly, the school provides a variety of programs to promote cultural diversity in the host community by organising lectures on Korean history, culture and art as well as a regular gathering i.e. the Korean School Parents’ Choir and fund-raising events such as the Korean food festival, Korean night, Jumble sale etc. The School also arranges in conjunction with the Korean Embassy in London a scholarship program for adult students with the opportunity to study at Korean Universities so as to promote international exchange in education and mutual friendship between countries.
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