Award for drive to introduce pupils to Chinese language

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Education chiefs have landed a major award in recognition of groundbreaking work to introduce young people to Chinese language and culture.

East Dunbartonshire Council was the recipient of the recent Scottish Confucius Classroom of the Year Award at the 9th Annual Conference of the Confucius Institute in China.

Director of education Gordon Currie and St Ninian’s head teacher Paul McLaughlin traveled to the Chinese city of Xiamen to receive the accolade from the Hanban - the government office responsible for promoting the Chinese language.

The Confucius Hub for the teaching of Mandarin in East Dunbartonshire has been developed over a number of years and has now been extended from St Ninian’s High School to include Douglas Academy and all associated primaries.

At St Ninian’s High School, Mandarin is part of the S1 and S2 curriculum. Senior pupils from schools across the authority also have the opportunity to study at Access 3/National 3 in Mandarin.

Two Tainjin teachers from the St Ninian’s hub work in 20 primary schools across the authority over the course of the year, teaching Chinese language and culture. Pupils can participate in learning experiences such as tai chi, calligraphy, mask and kite making, Chinese knot tying, music and history.