New Primary Chinese Initiative Launched in the UK

About Mandarin Chinese for Primary Schools

Thousands of primary school children in England will benefit from the opportunity to learn Mandarin Chinese and study Chinese culture as part of the new five-year initiative, Mandarin Chinese for Primary Schools, from the Institute of Education (IOE) funded by HSBC Global Education Programme.
The work of the IOE Confucius Institute for Schools (IOE CI) has focussed predominantly on the development of Mandarin Chinese in secondary schools. Mandarin Chinese for Primary Schools will extend this work to more primary schools in England and develop the most effective ways to teach Chinese language and culture at the primary level.
There are currently over 5,600 pupils studying Chinese via 'Confucius Classrooms', across 37 schools around England and more than 1,500. In the first year of the initiative, 30 primary schools will join the programme working with a network of secondary schools who already teach Mandarin Chinese under the provision of the IOE CI. Overall, the project will aim to reach 3500 children. Over the next five years the programme will extend to at least 120 primary schools across the country. Schools benefitting from the project will be able to share resources and develop curricula with other teachers teaching Chinese in the primary sector

The Launch

The initiative was launched on Tuesday 3 December, with the event opened with keynote speeches from Katharine Carruthers, Director of the IOE Confucius Institute (CI), and from Lorraine Thomas, HSBC Education and Community Investment Senior Manager, who has been a long-standing champion of Mandarin teaching in the UK.
Some of the UK’s leading teachers of primary Mandarin Chinese then shared their hugely valuable experience and ideas: Jo Hall and Carol Austin from Greasby Infant School (CC) in the Wirral, Simone Haughey from Robin Hood Primary Academy (CC) in Birmingham, and Wang Qianyun, from the equally inspirational Mission Grove Primary School in Walthamstow.
Case Studies of these Primary schools that have Mandarin at the core of the curriculum can be read here:
After an excellent Chinese lunch, the group engaged in a lively discussion and exchange of ideas. James Trapp, Consultant Co-ordinator for the project, gave a lively presentation to finish the meeting, looking at the importance of and ways to include Chinese history and culture into Mandarin language teaching.
James’ presentation can be viewed here: