Students at Co-op Academy Leeds and Co-op Academy Oakwood celebrated Chinese New Year with a China Day run by the Business Confucius Institute at the University of Leeds.
The Business Confucius Institute has been working with Co-op Academy Leeds for two years. Students in the Inspire group study Mandarin, work towards the YCT (Youth Chinese Test) and make an annual visit to the University of Leeds to see what it’s like on campus.
This year’s Chinese New Year celebrations saw 200 Year 7 students immersing themselves in Chinese language and culture for the day, with workshops covering Mandarin, Chinese music, papercutting and Chinese painting. The day before this a group of 60 year 5 students from Co-op Academy Oakwood were invited to take part in their own China Day experience at the school.
Students learnt how to count to ten and sing ‘If you’re happy and you know it’ in Mandarin Chinese. They were introduced to new instruments including the pipa, erhu and guzheng, created paintings of pandas and cut out 3D paper versions of the Chinese character 春 (spring). The primary school groups also had the opportunity to try martial arts.
Each day finished on a high with an assembly and performances from BCI staff and volunteers including dancing, Chinese opera and a rendition of the 2008 Olympic Games theme by the whole team.