The annual ‘China Day’ for year 7 students at Harrogate Grammar School marks the end of another successful year of Mandarin education at our Confucius Classroom.
The Harrogate Grammar School (HGS) Big Picture Day has become a highly anticipated event in the school calendar for Year 7 students, who enjoy a day of China-themed activities before leaving school for the summer. The event this year took place on Monday 16 July.
The programme for the day aims to open their eyes to a completely different culture and show them what they can learn if they choose to take Mandarin classes when they come back in Year 8.
240 students took part in activities including:
- Chinese language lessons
- Traditional Chinese painting
- China fact-finding and quiz
- Chinese dance
- Kung Fu (taught by Northern Wing Chun Kung Fu Association)
- Mask Painting
All the activities included an element of language learning, and students made amazing progress throughout the day.
This year’s event saw the return of former BCI and HGS Chinese teacher Cynthia Wang, who performed in the opening assembly and led the dance workshops.
Current Mandarin teacher Richard Barnard lived and studied in China for six years before coming to teach at our Confucius Classroom. Delivering taster classes for the Big Picture Day was his first opportunity to teach the Year 7 students, passing on his enthusiasm for the language and culture and hoping to see them back in his Chinese classroom for Mandarin classes starting in September.
What is a Confucius Classroom?
As a Confucius Classroom linked with our Business Confucius Institute, HGS is our local hub for the learning of Mandarin language and culture for both students and adults.
The 2017-2018 academic year was our best yet for Chinese at HGS
Adrian Stipetic, Faculty Leader for Modern Foreign Languages
In addition to the Year 7 ‘China Day’ there is an annual Chinese New Year celebration, which took place this year on 22nd February. Throughout the year, Mandarin lessons are available to students from HGS and other local schools, as well as adults from the surrounding area. Students have the opportunity to sit the Youth Chinese Tests (YCT) and HSK exams, and this September a group of sixth form students will become the first class to start the Mandarin Chinese GCSE course.
In addition to these activities supported by the Business Confucius Institute, HGS also has a China Exchange Programme that was established in 2014. Sixth form students have the opportunity to go to Hangzhou and experience China for themselves.
The view from HGS
Adrian Stipetic, Faculty Leader for Modern Foreign Languages at HGS, said: “We’re delighted with the increased interest in Chinese from our students and the progress that they have made in their Chinese lessons over the 2017-18 academic year. We’re lucky to have a talented and enthusiastic teacher in Richard Barnard and it’s great news that he will continue into next year and ensure the ongoing progress of our students.
Alongside the importance of the classroom learning, the cultural events really raise the profile of Chinese and of the MFL faculty in general and it is so exciting that we offer these extra opportunities. The 200 guests who attended the Chinese New Year event were treated to a truly incredible evening of outstanding entertainment. The “China Day” for Year 7 has also turned into a hugely popular and exciting annual event.
We’re extremely grateful to the ongoing support of the Business Confucius Institute who help us make it all possible and look forward to our exciting Chinese ventures for 2018-19.”