Danestone School launches Mandarin language hub

Danestone School today (Friday 4 May) launched its Confucius Classroom; a central hub for Aberdeen Primary schools teaching Mandarin to pupils.

The fun-packed special launch event included children singing in Mandarin, Chinese and Scottish music and dance. It included a Chinese piano recital and pupils giving a talk about their trip to China last year.

The Aberdeen City Council Confucius Classroom supports 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.

Pupils within the Oldmachar Academy associated schools group , supported by visiting Chinese teachers, learn Mandarin from Primary 1. Oldmachar Academy offers all pupils the opportunity to learn Mandarin and French.

Both the Confucius Classroom and the 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.

Among the guests were representatives of the Chinese International School, Strathclyde University, Aberdeen University and language teachers from China.

Councillor John Wheeler, Education Operational Delivery Convener, said: “It’s wonderful to see our schools embracing a language spoken by 16% of the world’s population. The prospects this programme opens up for our young people are potentially huge.”

Elaine Page, Acting Head Teacher at Danestone School, said: “This was a wonderful way to launch our Confucius Hub. This event showed that our children are not only enjoying learning Mandarin but are also immersing themselves in the Chinese culture.

“I’m sure our guests will have been impressed with today’s recitals and the pupils enthusiasm for learning a new language.”


Photograph shows: left to right Jonathan Pan, Danestone Primary school Headteacher Elaine Page,, Jessica Constable, ouncillor John Wheeler, Education Operational Delivery Convener, Nathan Begg, Phiona MacKay, Director of Confucius Institute for Scotland’s schools, Nathan Pan.