SCEN Update

06 May 2014


So much is happening in the vibrant field of Scotland's educational links with China! Our five Confucius Institutes are working together: the next Directors' Meeting takes place at the University of Strathclyde this week. Do explore the websites of each of them: there are many interesting lectures and events. The Early Learning of Chinese project, led by Simon Macaulay with the magnificent support of David Scott from East Lothian Council, Meher Kalenderian from the Edinburgh University Students' Association, and Professor Antonella Sorace fromBilingualism Matters, will be evaluated by Fiona Pate HMIe this term and will hold its Presentation Event for parents, pupils and staff involved at the Brunton Theatre in Musselburgh in June.

Lets-Make-ItWe are looking at sustainability in the 1 + 2 contact and the Languages Think Tank meets again on 15 May. Meanwhile Scotland's Confucius Hubs are doing great things (and Queen Anne High School has been short-listed for a Scottish Education Award for International Education!) and so are the many schools outside the Hub Network with strong China connections. The Cross Party Group on China has an excellent forward plan (just email me if you want to be involved) and the China Scotland Business Forum has been launched.

SCEN Network Meeting at Lasswade High School, 7 March 2014

Our marvellous SCEN Correspondent, Hilary Wardle, has written an evocative and helpful account. Please click on the link below to read her article:


Doon-BlogAlso see the wonderful blog from Julia Preston, who travelled a long distance from Doon Academy with very articulate students for this event, stopping at KFC on the return journey:

You may also download a PDF of the full report on the meeting of the 7 March 2014 by clicking here.

Important Dates

Sitting-Panda.jpgSCEN Global Classroom at Edinburgh Zoo, 20 May 2014

There was an immediate response to this and we are fully booked with a long waiting list!

China Day at the University of Aberdeen, 20 June 2014

SCEN, the Confucius Institute of the University of Aberdeen, the North East Confucius Hub and the Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools are working in partnership to create a very active day for pupils aged 3-18 at the University of Aberdeen:Building Bridges and Bulding Capacity in Chinese.We had a very lively planning meeting at the Confucius Institute in Aberdeen a week ago, chaired in an open, collaborative and inclusive style by the magnificent George Roberts, Headteacher of Danestone Academy. Should I lobby Aberdeen City Council to persuade them to give him more money and more time? There are many buildings in Scotland where I would like to parade with a placard.

SCEN Ambassadors' Conference at the Playfair Library, University of Edinburgh, 29 Sept 2014

I have not advertised this event officially yet. Ambassadors will play their part in persuading parents to support the learning of Chinese and about China in our schools. It will be a grand event and do consider it.

The Third SCEN China Youth Summit at Gleneagles, 10 November 2014

Scot-China-Mixed-Flag-1I remember once hearing an event described astotes amazeballs- not by a senior colleague, I think. But really this must be among the descriptive phrases to be used for SCEN's Third Summit. The theme will be China and Scotland at Home and I have applied for its inclusion in the Homecoming programme. Among our guests will be alumni from China who have studied, or are studying, at Scotlands's schools, colleges and universities, and colleagues from China working in Scotland's businesses.

Do start thinking about this: I shall be advertising for early booking soon. Groups will be restricted to a minibus, as it will, as ever, be heavily over-booked very quickly!

SCEN Competition

SCEN is working with Kenneth Roy, Editor ofThe Scottish Reviewand Founder of the Institute of Contemporary Scotland, on a competition for students at all levels. Entrants will be asked to write a short piece with the titleWhy we should all have the chance to learn Chinese.The overall winner will have his or her article published inThe Scottish Review!Details soon.

Teachers of Chinese in Scotland's Schools

Hiring-8354976_300wWe all recognise the huge importance of trained and qualified, GTCS-registered teachers of Chinese as an essential part of the route to embed Mandarin in the suite of languages offered to Scotland's pupils. This year, Hanban is offering local authorities 50% of the cost of a teacher of Chinese, registered with GTCS. The teachers will be part of a modern language department and under the same conditions as other language teachers within the authority. It is expected that after five years, each local authority will take on responsibility for the full funding of the teacher.

This is a unique agreement for Scotland and is intended to give a great impetus to the teaching and learning of Chinese language and culture in our schools. What we want is for these five years to be enough to embed Chinese into the normal curriculum of the school.

More good news will come when the new Classroom Hubs are announced. Come on, Fhiona! More opportunities to take the PGDE in Chinese will follow, adding to that already available in the pioneering Moray House School of Education at the University of Edinburgh. The University of Aberdeen will be offering a PGDE course in the coming session, and soon the University of Strathclyde will follow. Some of the placards I shall be carrying will clearly be very positive! All of this is excellent news.

For existing Teachers of Chinese:

Macmillan Language Teacher Development Day, Saturday 24 May 2014

This will take place at Abden House, home of the Confucius Institute at the University of Edinburgh. There will be active sessions, led by very experienced trainers, on Managing Expectations and Meeting Learner Needs, a Focus on Methodology, and Lesson Planning. Our Teachers in Chinese have achieved so much and this is a great opportunity for them. Participants must be fluent Mandarin Chinese speakers.

China Independent Film Festival UK Celebration, Newcastle, 12-15 May 2014

Film-FestivalThe four-day event in Newcastle features retrospective screenings of CIFF award-winning films, an archival exhibition on the history of the CIFF, a workshop ' Film Festival in Focus' which brings together the directors of CIFF and the Edinburgh International Film Festival, as well as a group of important scholars in the field. Audiences will have the opportunity to meet with directors and there will be a number of talks on Chinese indie films from reputed scholars, filmmakers and curators.

The audience will enjoy a celebratory festival atmosphere and have the chance to see the most exciting collection of contemporary Chinese independent documentaries, fictions and animations. All screenings, exhibition, workshop and talks are open to the public with free admission. Advanced booking is required.

For further details please see the official website:  ;

and the Facebook page

Enquiries should be made to the curators Sabrina Yu ( and Lydia Wu (

China Bridge Competition for University Students

This year's competition was held in the British Library in London on March 22. There were 37 contestants from 17 UK universities. All the three University of Edinburgh contestants, James Mabbutt, Ieva Nagyte and Marta Hennig, went into the final. In the end, ahead of students from Oxford University, SOAS and other universities, James won the Grand Prize, which is the top prize, and Ieva won the First Prize. Both of them have won the opportunity to compete in the global final in China in July. Marta took the Best Knowledge Prize and Zhu Zhu was awarded the Best Tutor Prize.

Many congratulations to James, Ieva, Marta and Zhu Zhu! Please note that Zhu Zhu will be one of the trainers on the 24 May Development Day for Teachers of Chinese. Don't miss her!

Scotland-China Association Primary Schools Competition 2014

Another great opportunity for primary schools! See:


More Opportunities!

Catch up with Tinderbox:

Check out the learning options on ChinaClubHQ:

STAR-1Looking for a Desk in Central Edinburgh?

The UN Association is looking for fellow Deskholders at 4 Hunter Square, Edinburgh: around £120 a month (superb for central Edinburgh). Use the Contact Form below at the bottom of the page with your details to be put in contact.

Scen-hiringLooking for an Intern?

If you have any voluntary work available related to Chinese, please be in touch with me.

More news soon!

Do keep in touch with the SCEN Website regularly too.  You can subscribe to this SCEN Update as an e-mail letter from the form at the bottom of any SCEN web page.