Andrew Bacon and Valeria Miglioli were invited to give a speech at the 2018 forum, organised by the local government of Heyuan City, China.
A new policy designed to revolutionise the way that children are taught in schools has been introduced in the region, including identifying strategies from European countries such as learning through play. The line-up of speakers at this year’s forum included Haba and Wiemann Lehrmittel from Germany, Nathan from France, Barbo from Denmark, and representing the UK, Fiesta Crafts.
Over 600 delegates, including government officials, Chinese and German education experts and school teachers, were in attendance.
Andrew Bacon, director of sales, who spoke on the Importance of Creativity and Imagination in Early Years, commented: “This forum has proved to be a fantastic learning experience for everyone and has improved global understanding of early years’ play. We were very proud and excited to represent the UK”.
Following the event, there were tours of local infant schools to see first-hand how Chinese schools use toys, as Valeria Miglioli, product development manager, explained: “During the visit to the school we had the amazing treat of sitting in with a nursery class who were giggling along to a Big Bad Wolf puppet show – all in Chinese – given by a teacher using our very own Hand and Finger Puppet Sets.”
The event organisers feel that this is now likely to become an annual event, as the government will be implementing major policy changes in how toys can aid learning in schools. It is hoped that there will be many more schemes for collaboration with schools in China, helping children benefit from the learning opportunities that children in the UK already enjoy.