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On Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 March 2016, 198 Italian teachers travelled to the Liceo Righi in Cesena for the third conference of ‘La Rete’ – the Italian network of Cambridge International Schools.
The conference theme “The IGCSE Syllabus: an enrichment of the Italian school curriculum" prompted presentations and discussions around the advantages of international qualifications, the language skills required by Italian universities and the recognition of Cambridge qualifications. Teachers were also able to share their experiences of teaching Cambridge IGCSEs which proved valuable both to those familiar with Cambridge IGCSEs and to those new to the syllabuses.
Conference speakers and contributors included representatives from some of our oldest Cambridge schools and 3 University representatives from Statale di Milan, Bocconi in Milan and Bologna University, as well as Cambridge’s Recognitions Manager Rhona Armour. The conference was supported by Cambridge's publishing partners.
Large numbers of schools have applied to join Cambridge Assessment International Education in the last two years. The purpose of La Rete network is to form a community of school leaders and teachers which will support schools in sharing teaching best-practice, recommending resources, navigating Cambridge’s administrative processes, and sharing access to teacher training.
Over 50 of the schools (represented by 79 teachers) at the conference are yet to become Cambridge schools. La Rete network has boosted the confidence of those applying to join Cambridge, as many feel that membership of the network will support their transition to Cambridge qualifications.
The popularity of Cambridge qualifications is driven in part by government requirements that students must be taught in a language other than Italian in at least one subject by the age of 16. As schools move to working in a more bilingual way, parents and students are keen to understand what this means for their education. As such there was strong media interest at the conference, including the presence of local television station Tele Romagna. You can watch the coverage here. The conference party were also greeted by the Mayor of Cesena during a visit to the world’s oldest library (and Unesco World Heritage site), the Biblioteca Malatestiana.
Alessandra Varriale, Manager for Italy, France & South Eastern Europe said: “It was wonderful to see so many schools represented at La Rete’s meeting in Cesena. The atmosphere was amazing! Our new schools are excited to be joining Cambridge and our existing schools are very glad that Cambridge is growing in Italy, which will increase the understanding and recognition of Cambridge qualifications. I would like to thank the Head of Liceo Righil, Dea Campana, and Exams officer Maria D'Angelo for all their hard work in making this conference a huge success.”