Confucius Classroom Hub opens at Oldmachar Academy

Oldmachar Academy today (Wednesday 7 June) officially launched a new hub for Aberdeen pupils learning Mandarin.

Confucius Classrooms are hubs based in schools and serving the local community. The Aberdeen City Council Confucius Classroom will support pupils to boost their Mandarin language skills, in line with Scotland’s 1+2 languages policy, which aims to allow every child the opportunity to learn two languages in addition to their mother tongue by 2020.

The hub concept promotes joint planning of cultural activities, sharing ideas and resources to stimulate the learning and teaching of Chinese language and culture. The launch ceremony included performances from pupils at Danestone Primary, Glashieburn Primary and Oldmachar Academy as well as music from visiting teachers from the Aberdeen University Confucius Institute.

Helen Shanks, Head of Education and Inclusion, said: “This is great news for Oldmachar Academy. Only last October we had a delegation from Wuhan University in China visit the school, as well as Danestone School, and leaving very impressed with the way Aberdeen is embracing the language.

“It’s wonderful to see Aberdeen University’s Confucius Institute working so closely with the schools in teaching pupils Mandarin. The language is spoken by 16% of the world’s population and being able to communicate in the language will open up new possibilities for the children”.

Previously, Hazlehead Academy hosted the Confucius Classroom for North East Scotland (joint with Aberdeenshire, Moray and Angus Councils) but now each of the local authorities will have their own Confucius Hub.

Before the official launch of the hub, Oldmachar pupils have enjoyed success in learning Mandarin which has included reaching the finals of the British Council Mandarin Speaking Competition at the British Museum in London.

The Confucius Classroom will also serve as a city campus hub giving pupils from across the city the chance to learn Mandarin.

Every S1 and S2 pupil at Oldmachar Academy has the chance to learn Mandarin and French every week. Pupils at Danestone, Glashieburn, Greenbrae, Middleton Park and Forehill Primary schools start learning Mandarin supported by visiting teachers from the Confucius Institute. These teachers are also available to support other schools keen to offer Chinese language and/or cultural activities either on a regular basis or for special events throughout the year.