On the 30th January, Year 7 was included in the Mandarin Excellence Programme Chinese New Year celebrations.

We were able to partake in a range of activities including shuttlecock kicking, fan dancing, paper cutting and calligraphy. We were joined by Beauchamp School in Leicester and Sacred Heart in Leicester who were involved in the proceedings of the event. We enjoyed the cultural experience of traditional Chinese New Year activities as well as testing some common Chinese food, for example, spring rolls, prawn crackers and dumplings – they were all vegetarian foods so we could include everyone in this experience.

Whilst writing using calligraphy pens, we were able to test our characters in Chinese as well as in the paper cutting where we wrote the character for spring: 春. We were taught a sophisticated Chinese fan dance and also were taught the art of shuttlecock kicking.

We thoroughly enjoyed the experience with the De Monfort University Confucius Institute teachers, who helped us with the activities as well as teaching the arts to us.

At the beginning of the experience, we greeted everyone with an explanation about ourselves. Then, we recited a famous Chinese Mid – Autumn Festival poem: Jìng Yè SÄ« by Lǐ Bái.

Our experience with the Mandarin Excellence Programme has been a brilliant opportunity and we are glad we took up learning this excellent language. We hope the schools that joined us for our celebrations had a brilliant time as much as we did.

Laura and Hugh

More photos can be found in the photo diary.