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Confucius Institute classes prepare teachers for new curriculum

10 June 2019

A group of South Wales teachers are broadening their horizons by signing up for Mandarin lessons with the Cardiff Confucius Institute.

The free, six-week beginner Mandarin Course is open to all primary and secondary school teachers in Wales and is running across three different schools, Millbrook Primary in Newport, Ysgol Cwm Rhymni in Caerphilly, and Whitmore High school in Barry.

The course, which is part of the Wales China Schools Project, aims to support Welsh Government’s Global Futures strategy by providing the professional development of the education workforce through up-skilling and CPD opportunity for teachers.

Sam Rowland, a teacher from Pontnewydd Primary in Cwmbran who is attending the course at Millbrook Primary School said, “The course is good fun and it’s great to try a new language which may help when the new curriculum is introduced.”

The new curriculum, expected to be introduced in 2022 aims to make sure that all pupils in Wales leave school ‘ready to be citizens of Wales and the World’, with ‘International Languages’ included as part of the Language Literacy and Communication Area of Learning and Experience.

Professional Learning Advisor from the Education Achievement Service (EAS) for South East Wales, Sioned Harold said, “In the EAS, we are committed to not only promoting international languages and lifelong learning, but also to practising it.  When the opportunity arose for free after school Mandarin at two of our EAS Confucius classrooms, I didn’t hesitate to sign up. With our patient and helpful ‘Lăoshi’ (teacher) the enjoyable and educational hour flies by far too quickly!  I’m hoping for more classes after this! Xie xie Confucius Insititute and Cardiff University!”

Rachel Andrews, Manager of the Wales China Schools Project said, “We are really pleased that so many teachers have taken the opportunity to participate in Mandarin lessons and we hope that their new skills and confidence in learning another language will translate into their classrooms - particularly given the flexibility of the new curriculum.”

Following the pilot, Cardiff Confucius Institute plans to offer a rolling-programme of the 6-week courses to enable as many teachers as possible to take part.

If you are a teacher who would like more information about upcoming courses, please contact Rachel Andrews, Manager of the Wales China Schools Project

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