This session has seen the establishment of the Swire Chinese Language Centre Edinburgh, our partnership with Boroughmuir High School and James Gillespie’s High School, which offers opportunities for pupils across South Edinburgh to study Mandarin Chinese.
Established with the support of the Swire Chinese Language Foundation, it aims to increase teaching provision as well as organise enrichment activities for pupils to learn about Chinese language and culture.
Many partners and pupils attended a launch event yesterday – George Watson’s 362nd birthday – in our Dining Hall to celebrate Chinese culture with lion dancing, facts about giant pandas and a live performance of pop music in Mandarin.
The Centre has built on the established Mandarin Chinese programme at Watson’s, and has now started delivering Mandarin teaching at Boroughmuir and Gillespie’s. It also supports learning and teaching activity in its associate schools, including an after-school club at Tynecastle High School and carousel lessons for Primary 3 and 4 at Bruntsfield Primary.
Chinese is one of the world’s most widely spoken languages, and studying it can open doors to pupils who want to pursue a career in areas such as diplomacy, business and research. There is much work already underway across Scotland to promote Chinese language and culture, and the Centre will build on the excellent provision already delivered by key partners such as the Confucius Institute for Scotland and the Scotland China Education Network.
It is intended that the Centre’s work will contribute to the wider ambitions of the Scottish Government’s policy on Modern Languages 1+2, which aims to allow every child the opportunity to learn two languages in addition to their mother tongue by 2020.
In the coming years, the Centre’s vision is that by building a partnership between the independent and state sector, the chance to learn Mandarin Chinese will no longer be an option for a few, but an opportunity open to all pupils in South Edinburgh.