Ten Confucius Classroom leaders from Wales meet the Chinese Ambassador and First Minister to celebrate Chinese New Year

School teachers and head teachers from ten schools in Wales gathered at the Senedd in Cardiff to receive a commendation from the First Minister as part of the celebrations for Chinese New year. All ten schools have successfully been awarded Confucius Classroom status in an initiative established by Cardiff and Lampeter Confucius Institutes as part of the Wales China Schools initiative.

All ten recipients were greeted by the Chinese Ambassador and First Minister and were awarded specially engraved commemorative gifts as part of the celebration which saw over 200 people gathering at the Senedd. The event, which was co-ordinated by Cardiff Confucius Institute included presentations of a traditional Lion Dance, the playing of traditional Chinese instruments and a performance of a Bamboo Dance by children from the Confucius Classroom at Lansdowne Primary School.

The Ambassador, His Excellency Liu Xiaoming stated: “Co-operation between China and Wales has advanced in many positive ways in recent years. China is an important export market for Wales. In culture and education there are many examples of increasing exchange. I had the honour of opening the Confucius Classroom in Llandovery College with the Prince of Wales. There are now three Confucius Institutes which have set up 11 Confucius Classrooms in Welsh Secondary and Primary Schools.”

The First Minister stated: “It is incredible just how strong the links are between Wales and China. I hope that the Year of the Snake will bring prosperity and harmony between our two nations. The Confucius Institutes are just one example of these strong links.”

Confucius Classroom representatives meet the First Minister and Chinese Ambassador




Pupils from the Confucius Classroom at Lansdowne Primary School, Cardiff perform the Bamboo Dance.

Teachers from Across Wales Complete a Chinese Language Immersion Week during February Half Term in Cardiff

Cardiff Confucius Institute arranged a Chinese Language Immersion Week for teachers from across Wales as part of the Wales China Schools initiative. In total, twelve teachers from across Wales joined a host of Chinese tutors and trainers at the Holiday Inn in Cardiff for an intensive Half Term week of Chinese language and culture sessions. Teachers participated in events every morning, afternoon and evening with contributions from British Council Wales and Cilt Cymru.

The event, which was funded by the Welsh Government, further promotes the Confucius Institutes for Wales’ commitment to developing a sustainable approach to Chinese language learning across Wales. Most of the participants have subsequently agreed to undertake further Chinese language sessions on a weekly basis in Cardiff. The group are now looking to participate in a second immersion session in China later in the year

Amy Hoddinott from Evenlode School explained: “Being residential meant that we could concentrate on learning and practicing Mandarin.” Another participant, Michael Parsons of Roath Park Primary school stated: “The language progression was steady and built upon consistently with plenty of revision opportunities. Group dynamics were friendly and supportive, led by a friendly and knowledgeable tutor.”

Scott Andrews, the organiser of the event stated: “The Wales China Schools initiative is committed to providing a variety of language learning opportunities for teachers to sustain language delivery in schools across Wales. We have some teachers learning intensively and others taking evening classes. We were delighted to take four teachers from Cardiff and their school children to Xiamen and Chongqing last year and one of our Confucius Classrooms also took a class group to China last summer. We are hoping to increase the number of opportunities to take teachers from Wales for Language Immersion courses in China this year.”

Participants at the February Half term Chinese Language Immersion Week

Six new Confucius Classrooms for Wales and the 5th Wales China School Forum

The 5th Wales China School Forum took place at Cardiff University on 2-3rd December 2012. Over 50 participants were involved in the two day event which started with a Chinese-only day – drawing together Chinese tutors, teachers and trainers from across Wales to explore some of the cultural challenges of working in schools in Wales. These sessions were led by an established Flintshire based Chinese Teacher, Penny Lynch and by Kristina Hedges from Cilt Cymru.

The second day enabled participant to examine and evaluate the range of different Chinese training and teaching resources that are available for classroom use. Presentations were delivered by representatives from British Council Wales, Cilt Cymru and Cardiff & Lampeter Confucius Institutes which explored opportunities for future funding, accreditation and language progression, educational visits to China and linking with schools in China.

The forum coincided with news that Hanban in Beijing have approved a further six Confucius Classrooms for Wales, which will be launched in 2013. Scott Andrews, the event organiser, based at Cardiff Confucius Institute commented: “’Wales China Schools’ has been growing as an initiative for five years and it is encouraging to see so many different resources being utilized to expand opportunities for Chinese language learning among school children in Wales. The expansion of our network of Confucius Classrooms across Wales will further develop future opportunities for language learning”

The six new Confucius Classrooms will be based at Lansdowne Primary School, Cardiff; Ysgol Eirias, Colwyn Bay; St Cennydd School, Caerphilly; Ysgol Penglais, Aberystwyth; Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bryn Tawe, Swansea and Ysgol Dyffryn Taf, Carmarthenshire.

The participants at the 5th Forum meeting in Cardiff

Pupils from Cathays High welcome forum participants with a short Chinese introduction


You are invited to join the fifth meeting of the Wales China Schools Forum on 2nd and 3rd December 2012 at Cathays Park, Cardiff

Calling all schools and organisations in Wales currently engaged in activities with China…..

You are invited to join the fifth meeting of the Wales China Schools Forum on 2nd and 3rd December 2012 at Cathays Park, Cardiff. Language experts, modern foreign language adivisors, Chinese tutors, validating authorities and language practitioners will be on hand to facilitate discussion groups.

Sunday 2nd Dec
Starting at 2pm

Exclusively for teachers, tutors, and language assistants from China

‘Language Learning and Teaching skills’
‘Understanding the British Education System’
‘Tackling cultural challenges of working in a British Classroom’

Finishing with an Evening meal at 6pm

Monday 3rd Dec -
9.30-3.30 Two Themes:

Examination of Chinese Teaching materials:

  • Chinese Paradise
  • Learn Chinese With Me
  • Jin Bu
  • ULearn

Building Sustainable Programmes for Learning Chinese:

  • Towards YCT, QCF & GCSE in secondary schools
  • YCT and Language Learning Pathways for Primary Schools
  • Funding Opportunities for language learning
  • Teacher training opportunities – short and long term
  • Benefits of Immersion trips to China
  • Building partnerships with schools in China

Places are FREE but limited, all reasonable costs covered.
Go to ‘Contact Us’ to reserve your place or email

Welsh Primary Pupils Share classroom in China

Cardiff primary school pupils have been sitting alongside new classmates at a Chongqing School for classes of Chinese language and culture.

The trip to China was arranged for the Cardiff pupils as part of the Wales China School Project, run by Cardiff University’s Confucius Institute. In total 15 participants including children from Lansdowne Primary School and from the nearby Welsh Medium School Ysgol Pencae travelled to China.

The Confucius Institute’s project has been developing Chinese language and culture programmes in schools across Wales for the past five years. Lansdowne Primary School has been a pioneer having established additional classes every week. The school was the first in Wales to submit children for the YCT Official Chinese Language Proficiency test in 2011. Some of the successful pupils were among those travelling on the 12 Day Immersion trip to China.

The trip involved seven days in Xiamen (twinned with Cardiff) where the children participated in an intensive language immersion course held at Xiamen University’s Overseas College. This was then followed by a five day excursion to Chongqing where the children took part in classes at Zhong Silo Elementary School.

Lansdowne headteacher Richard Edwards, who was on the visit, said: “This has been a superb opportunity for all the children. Learning Chinese at Lansdowne has been an amazing experience for everyone involved and the immersion trip to China has enabled the children to gain a valuable insight into many different aspects of China. It has also proved to enhance our longstanding link with Zhong Silo Elementary School.”

Pupils from Ysgol Pencae had already completed a Chinese Cultural Awareness course at Cardiff University in 2011 and they regularly run China weeks at the school. Headteacher Richard Thomas said: “This trip was an important opportunity for both our children and for our school and we were able to establish new links with local schools in China that we hope to build on in years to come. This has proved to be an important opportunity for exploring how Chinese language and culture can be learnt alongside a Welsh medium context.”

Cardiff Confucius Institute’s Manager Scott Andrews led the expedition and hopes to see this as the start of many future schools-based trips to China. He said: “This trip has been the culmination of nearly five years of commitment to Chinese language learning across Wales and has been made possible with the support of British Council Wales and Cilt Cymru. It has demonstrated the significance that immersion learning can play as part of the overall commitment to language learning for children in Wales and I look forward to seeing future immersion trips developing through the Wales China Schools Project in due course.”

There are over 350 Chinese language courses delivered in schools across Wales each year supported by two Confucius Institutes and five Confucius Classrooms.

Miss Bethan Davies from Ysgol Pencae joins learners for a Chinese art class.

Welsh Schoolchild Nate Davies receives advice from his Chinese co-learner: Xiao Hong Chang

The head-teacher and staff of Zhong Silo Elementary School welcomes guests from Wales.

The Official welcome awaiting guests at Chongqing


WJEC assessor training event for Mandarin Assessors

On 31 May 2012 Cardiff Confucius Institute hosted a Mandarin assessor training course for WJEC as part of their accredited QCF language qualifications programme. The programme, led by WJEC assessor Sylvie Gartau, enables school children to take accredited short courses in one of six languages – French, Mandarin, German, Italian, Spanish and Japanese – which could qualify towards the language component of the Welsh Baccalaureate. Cardiff and Lampeter Confucius Institutes have been delivering Mandarin Welsh Baccalaureate programmes to school children for four years and have been invited by WJEC to act as a partner for the Mandarin component of this programme.

One of the trainee assessors is Xiamen University’s language teacher Li Xiaofen who is currently based at Cardiff Confucius Institute. She attended the first assessors training programme: “The Mandarin assessor training is the first step toward the promotion of Mandarin provision across Wales and prepares the future assessors with standardised assessment decisions. Take Mandarin as an example. Learners may begin from Entry level, or those with some basic Chinese skills may start with Level 1 or Level 2. Each unit is equivalent to either one credit (10 learning hours) or two credits (20 learning hours). Each spoken unit comprises 10 learning hours and is equivalent to one credit and each written unit comprises 20 learning hours and is equivalent to 2 credits. One or two credits are required for each Award.”

WJEC encourages tutors to make language learning a fun and enjoyable process and aspects of delivery were discussed at the training day. It is crucial for tutors to come up with interesting classroom activities to help learners learn faster and better and be able to use what they have learned in actual situations. All WJEC Qualifications in Languages units are internally assessed and externally moderated. By assessing learning in small, bite-sized steps—the units and awarding credit for qualifications, WJEC hopes that more and more people in Wales will be enthused, engaged and motivated to learn foreign languages

The Confucius Institutes for Wales have been working closely with WJEC and Cilt Cymru to partner in the development of Mandarin language programmes for schools in Wales.




Sylvie Gartau (WJEC) leads the Mandarin Assessors training day.


Bursary Opportunities to attend the Annual Chinese Conference for Teachers/Tutors in London: 18-19 May 2012

SSAT (Schools Network) are once again hosting the Chinese Teachers’ Conference in London this summer. I have pleasure in informing you about the bursary fund for the conference that is taking place in London on 18-19 May 2012. There will be representatives from the Confucius Institutes for Wales at the conference and I am pleased to inform you that we have four bursaries available to fund two part time teachers/tutors and two full-time teachers/tutors. The bursaries should cover all the conference fees and most travel and accommodations costs. For details of the conference click here.

If you would like to be considered for a bursary then please contact with a brief explanation of your current role and why you think this conference will be of value to you in your future professional practice. All registrations of interest should be received no later than Wed 09 May.

The latest Wales China School Forum took place at Llandovery College on 6th March 2012.

The latest Wales China School Forum took place at Llandovery College on 6th March 2012. Over 40 participants were involved in the one day event which was preceded by a gathering of the Confucius Classrooms for Wales. Llandovery College was the first Confucius Classroom to launch in Wales. For more details about the CC’s please click here. Shaz Lawrence, the US-based Chinese teacher trainer and author of was our special guest for the day, leading sessions on the basics of applied Chinese teaching and how to add creativity and innovation into the learning environment for young learners.

During the day school teachers, Chinese tutors and language practitioners were able to take part in a range of different taster sessions led by local Chinese tutors from Lampeter and Cardiff Confucius Institute.

In the final part of the day, representatives from WJEC launched the Mandarin accredited Welsh Bacc programme inviting schools to take part on the QCF accredited modules and to sign up as accredited centres. For more details on this please contact us


Shaz Lawrence


Pan-Wales Conference on Building Chinese into School’s Curriculum

Schools across Wales have met with language experts to discuss the development of Chinese studies at all levels of Welsh education.

The third Wales-China Schools Forum was organised by Cardiff Confucius Institute, in partnership with Lampeter Confucius Institute. Welsh schools and organisations were invited to Conwy in North Wales for a two-day round table discussion with language experts, modern foreign language advisors, Chinese tutors, validating authorities and language practitioners to explore the future of Chinese Studies in schools in Wales.

The discussions built on issues raised in earlier forum meetings in Cardiff and Carmarthen which involved representatives of Cardiff Council, the Welsh Government, British Council Wales and Cilt Cymru. The Wales China Schools Forum seeks to work alongside all schools in Wales currently engaging in activities with China and to raise aspirations for other schools that would like to see Chinese studies integrated into their programmes in the future.

The forums are part of the Confucius Institutes for Wales China Schools Project. The two Confucius Institutes aim to promote understanding of Chinese language and culture across Wales. Last year the project was able to support the provision of over 100 Chinese courses to schools from across Wales

Scott Andrews, General Manager of Cardiff Confucius Institute based at Cardiff University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning, said: “China is set to be the largest economy in the world within the next 10-15 years and mandarin is the most widely spoken language in the world. A better grasp of the language and of Chinese culture will enable future generations in Wales to be more equipped to forge links and to partner with China.

“This North Wales meeting of the Wales China Schools forum has attracted even more schools than previous meetings. The forum has demonstrated the increasing interest in the development of Chinese language opportunities as a genuine alternative to other modern foreign languages in both primary and secondary schools across Wales.

Cathays High School has recently been awarded Confucius Classroom status as a pioneer school for Chinese language provision. Mrs Eluned Davies-Scott, the Head of Community Languages for Cathays said: “I have always found the forum very valuable and am pleased to see the developments in Wales since the start of the forum.”

Tai Chi

San Diego Confucius Classrooms Provide a Useful Contrast for the Wales China Schools Project

A recent visit to the Confucius Institute (CI) at San Diego State University (SDSU) provided an opportunity for Scott Andrews (General Manager of the Schools Project) and Prof Siyi Fu (Academic Director of Cardiff Confucius Institute) to visit several Confucius Classrooms (CC).

The CCs in San Diego state have a number of similar educational challenges to those in Wales – the population is very similar and given its close proximity to the Mexican border the Spanish language is widely spoken alongside English, just as Welsh is widely spoken alongside English across Wales. This is reflected in school classes and the language media through which children are learning. The inclusion of Chinese in the syllabus provides a third language for pupils as young as 6 years old to contend with. The CI at SDSU reaches out to 22 schools in San Diego state with its CC programme and Mandarin is developed through a number of different approaches at all stages of the child’s education from kindergarten through to high school.

Guests from Wales were invited to observe children in ‘immersion projects’ which means that up to 70% of all their classes (Maths, Science, History, etc) are taught through the medium of Chinese. As such, children were graduating from elementary school to middle school with a high level of competency in Chinese conversation.

Both CIs at SDSU and at Cardiff partner with Xiamen University, so the three universities are now exploring opportunities for wider collaboration with their Confucius Classroom programmes.

San Diego group

San Diego group