On September 4th, the new Chinese School established by the Confucius Institute for Chinese Heritage Studies at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David opened its doors for the first intake of students. 70 pupils aged between 4-14 are currently registered for the courses and are going to study Chinese language and culture on Sundays between 10am-12pm and 1-3pm. The Chinese School, which is based on the University’s Swansea Townhill Campus, currently offers three different classes ranging from absolute beginners to students who are fluent in spoken Chinese. The demand is such that another class will be opened soon.
The school provides children from the Swansea Chinese community with Mandarin language lessons and Chinese cultural activities. However, among the pupils are also children from non-Chinese backgrounds who are interested to learn Mandarin Chinese and explore Chinese culture in greater depth. In addition to language classes, the Swansea Chinese School aims to offer a wider curriculum including calligraphy, Taijiquan or learning a Chinese instrument. The school will also have Chinese text books and a small library of Chinese books and films donated by the Confucius Institute.
The initiative by the Confucius Institute at the UWTSD has the full support of the Chinese Community Co-op Centre, the
charitable body that looks after the interests of Swansea’s Chinese ethnic communities. Swansea has a thriving Chinese community with a growing number of Chinese school age children. The new school aims to enable these youngsters to keep in touch with their Chinese roots and heritage, and to provide them with the excellent Chinese language skills they will need in the increasingly globalised world of work.
The Confucius Institute has nearly ten years’ experience of providing Chinese language and culture courses and workshops in Welsh schools, universities and the community. It will offer a range of courses at the new school from Mandarin GCSE and A for older pupils, to courses that build expertise in Chinese reading, writing speaking and listening for primary school age children.
Confucius Institute UK Director, Dr Thomas Jansen said: ‘The Confucius Institute is pleased to support the Chinese community in Swansea with this vital educational service. The collaboration will open up new educational opportunities for the local Chinese community, both in Wales and in China. As the Confucius Institute for Chinese Heritage Studies we are looking forward to working together on a range of initiatives relating to the history of the Chinese community in Wales and the long-standing contacts between the two nations.”
Parents commented on the opening of the school by saying: “Thank you for bring Chinese school to Swansea. Wishing you prosperity for many years to come!”
Mrs. Wai Fong Lee MBE, Chairperson of the Swansea Chinese Community Co-op Centre commented: “Our organisation has been supporting the local Chinese community for over 20 years. We are very delighted to be collaborating with the Confucius Institute to open a new Chinese School that promises to deliver a high standard of education.”
For more information, please contact Krystyna Krajewska, Executive Director: firstname.lastname@example.org