Hatching Dragons

Hatching Dragons Twickenham is the second setting of the UK’s first bilingual Mandarin-English nursery group, which opened its doors in September 2017 at a lovely new, purpose built nursery setting on the edge of Twickenham Green.

Hatchling DragonsThe nursery aims to foster fluency in two of the world’s most important languages and encourage greater intercultural understanding in young children. And it hasn’t done badly either, achieving a Good with some Outstanding features at its first setting in Central London – where, according to the local authority Early Years Advisors, “the bilingual model is evidently working. Children are making age appropriate progress or better… the bilingual children especially are performing better than their peers”.

Hatchling DragonsThe concept of a bilingual nursery came to CEO and founder Cennydd John quite some time before, when he was looking for childcare for his own son. Having studied Mandarin throughout his twenties, he believed that developing fluency in one of the world’s most important languages would show parents that nurseries can deliver more than just good quality care – they can deliver lasting impact through the provision of something that the child would never experience at home or elsewhere. Moreover, he believed that the mythology, values systems and legends of both ‘the West’ and China would show children that there is more that brings us together than drives us apart, and would do so in a way that excites, inspires and educates all at the same time.

And does it work? The reports suggest so, as do some YouTube videos, and the fact that such programmes are so widely available in the States, Canada, Singapore and Australia suggests that there might be more appetite for the provision than we might think. However, if you need more convincing, Cenn has some rather extensive insight into the research programmes that now point to proof that an immersive bilingual upbringing can dramatically enhance a child’s cognitive development and skill sets. All food for thought.

Hatchling DragonsSo if you want childcare with a difference in a nursery that has tried and tested its model, then get in touch. They also host regular cultural fetes, Mandarin classes for parents who are interested in learning something new, provide extensive learning resources for parents to use at home, and regular weekly shadow puppetry and Mandarin music playgroups – all for free and for the benefit of the wider community in Twickenham. Details of upcoming events can be found on Eventbrite.

Hatchling DragonsHatching Dragons takes children from the age of 2 to 5 years old, and the nursery can be found at Heathgate House, 2-4 The Green, Twickenham TW2 5AA. You can get in touch with them by calling 020 3287 7020 or emailing enquiries@hatching-dragons.com.


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