Posted: Thu 25th Feb 2016

Mandarin and Chinese culture joins the curriculum at Cwm /
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Feb 25th, 2016

Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni has become only the second school in Caerphilly county borough to earn the pre ‘Confucius Classroom’ status. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Confucius Classrooms are schools that have Chinese firmly embedded in their own curriculum and can give advice, support and taster classes to other local schools. The school began its journey to becoming a Confucius Classroom school five years ago, after learning about the advantages of teaching Mandarin to pupils during a presentation by the Confucius Institute and British Council at a Global Learning course. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Since then, the school has managed to secure funding every year for a Chinese Language Assistant to teach Mandarin and Chinese culture to students, and for a brand new Confucius classroom. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The new classroom is used to teach fun, exciting and interactive subjects that aims to increase productivity and give students interesting new skills. Lessons include teaching pupils how to speak Mandarin, draw Chinese calligraphy, Tai Chi, Chinese Kung Fu and Chinese cultural activities. The Chinese Language Assistant also team-teaches with other teachers in the school in order to give a Chinese perspective on subjects such as Cooking, Geography, Maths and more. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Pupils at Cwm Rhymni are also given the chance to partake in extra curriculum activities such as lunch time classes, Mandarin speaking competitions in London and the chance to complete qualifications in Mandarin. The school hopes to become a hub for other local schools to be able to take part in these lessons and have also started teaching Mandarin lessons to local feeder primary schools. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Rachel Williams, Wales China Schools Project Manager said: “It’s been a long journey for Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni to get to this point, becoming a Confucius classroom is a long process but it has become possible down to the dedication, hard work and determination of the staff and their continued commitment to their pupils learning Mandarin and Chinese culture”. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Rhianon Passmore, Cabinet Member for Education & Lifelong Learning said: “This is an incredible opportunity for pupils to become much more culturally aware through fun and engaging lessons whilst also learning new skills that will hopefully lead to additional qualifications.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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