Monday 15th July 2013 saw the official opening of the first Confucius classroom in Cardiff at Cathays High School.
The Confucius Classroom was launched by Mr Feng Zhi, the second secretary of the Education section of the Chinese Embassy, with representatives from the Welsh Government, the British Council and Cardiff Confucius Institute also in attendance.
The launch evening included musical performances from pupils at Cathays High School and a traditional Chinese tea Ceremony, as well as a tour of the dedicated Confucius Classroom, which was brightly decorated with Chinese crafts and examples of pupils work.
With their dedicated teachers from China, Confucius Classrooms are able to offer pupils Mandarin as part of their curriculum, as well as adapting subject areas such as History and Geography to include fascinating insights into China. Chinese teachers at the Confucius Classrooms also extend their teaching activities to other schools in their catchment areas, making extra-curricular and more regular teaching of Chinese available to many schools that might not otherwise have the resources or funding to deliver such enrichment.
Eluned Davies- Scott, Head of Community Education and the teacher responsible for the Confucius Classroom at Cathays High said, “It is a really exciting time for Cathays High School’s partnership with China. We are delighted to be one of about 400 Confucius Classrooms that have been established in over 100 countries, demonstrating once again the truly international status of Cathays High School. We are a school that believes in opportunities for all and with China at the centre of the global economy the next generation will need to understand its culture and be able to work in its language”
Cathays High is one of 11 Confucius Classrooms across Wales which form part of the Wales China Schools initiative managed by Cardiff University’s Confucius Institute. The school intends to develop Mandarin GCSE at the school, as well as using its Confucius classroom status to build partnerships with other primary and secondary schools to develop opportunities for Mandarin Language acquisition.
Cathays High Students with Hanban tutor, Bo Liu