The Third SCEN China Youth Summit at Gleneagles

12 November 2014

JudithOur Third SCEN Summit at Gleneagles, China and Scotland At Home, was, I am hearing, the best yet! We were delighted to take part in Homecoming Scotland 2014, as it enabled us to highlight and celebrate the relationship of friendship, collaboration and mutual understanding between Scotland's Schools, Colleges, Universities, Professions and Businesses, and their students and colleagues from China. Our 300 and more delegates enjoyed the palatial surroundings of Gleneagles and appreciated the words of our President, Lord Wilson of Tillyorn, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Mr Michael Russell MSP, and the Consul General for the PR of China in Edinburgh, Mr Pan Xinchun. We were proud to receive a letter of congratulations from Mme Xu Lin, Director General of Hanban, and, with the Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools, to welcome our teachers from Tianjin and to enjoy the launch of the new ebook, The Happy Emperor.  
The legacy of this Summit will be great. The Minister Counsellor for Cultural Affairs at the Chinese Embassy in London, Xiang Xiaowei, is keen for SCEN to be involved in the Year of Culture 2015; Nigel Fong and Patrick O'Kane are looking to expand the brilliant Raleigh Wilson Trail Team, we welcomed pupils from Yanchai Hospital School No 2 in Hong Kong, who have been visiting Morrison's Academy, the Scottish Churches China Group spoke of their partnership, with historic roots, with the Amity Foundation, and the superb Zoo and SCEN Ambassadors from Lasswade High School spoke of their amazing trip to Chengdu.
There is much more to report from the inspiring programme! We were thrilled by the performance of the SCEN Piper, Aaron Hossein from Oban High School, by the music of SCEN Composer Louise Rossiter, and by the triumphant conclusion to the Summit from the Preston Lodge and SCEN Pipe Band! But meanwhile, find yourself in the collection of excellent photographs from Simon Jones.

Please find below a gallery of reduced size images (for quick viewing) taken at the 3rd SCEN China Youth Summit - full sized versions can be downloaded from the SCEN galleries page.  You will also find feedback from students who attended the summit.

Dorothy Graham "It was a very well organised, informative day, where Chinese/Scotland links were celebrated in a variety of ways. It is clear that the Scottish Government is committed to maintaining and strengthening Chinese education in Scotland with the considerable help of the Chinese Government, as well as continuing to promote cultural, sporting, musical and linguistic links.  There were a number of excellent presentations talking about how links have been established. It was great to hear first-hand from many young people about how they developed life skills such as communication (when they told the Chinese about life in about Scotland), independent living (when they coped with daily life in China) team building (when they worked together to raise funds for charity to fund the trips etc). They mentioned how meeting with and talking to young Chinese people made them feel like Global Citizens.
Particularly impressive were the young people from Saint Ninian's whose presentation involved music, an excellent PowerPoint and showcased some of the youngsters speaking at length in Mandarin as well as interpreting from Mandarin to English.

There was a wonderful, positive atmosphere of friendship and co-operation and a genuine willingness to maintain existing, strong links and to build towards further links by seeking out opportunities for sharing ideas and involving more Scottish and Chinese young people.
There was a unique opportunity to meet with many Chinese and Scottish people from many walks of life - Politics, Industry, the Church, Youth Ambassadors as well as teachers and students. The young Scottish students clearly enjoyed exchanging ideas and thoughts with one another also. Some caught up again with people they had met on previous trips to China.
The setting for the event was impressive and Gleneagles were attentive hosts.
All in all it was a highly successful day and memories of which will remain with us for a time to come."
Ronan Doherty S5: "I thought that the SCEN conference was a great success, both in terms of the school's performance and the general running of events. I felt that the presentation given by our pupils and Mrs. Zhou was very well received by honourable guests and pupils alike. I do not only speak for myself when I say that the conference was a thoroughly interesting and enjoyable experience. I also managed to catch up with some friends I met in my recent trip to Tianjin and Beijing, which was fantastic. I would like to thank the school for giving me this further insight into the rapid and exciting development of Chinese language learning in Scotland. "
Daniel Kavanagh S5 "The SCEN Confernece was a fantastic opportunity to develop into the brilliant work carried out by the corporation on a daily basis. It was great to connect with children from Hong Kong, and discuss the experiences of my fellow mandarin students. When I had to give a talk in my adopted tongue, I felt confident and nobody seemed to notice my slip-up. The lunch was great, well, anything is compared to sandwiches.
Maeve MacLeod S5: 'The SCEN Conference was a great experience. I really enjoyed the time we spent in Gleneagles. We were given the opportunity to listen to many interesting presentations; not only from students from around Scotland but also from business owners, university lecturers and MSP's, who gave us advice about the uses of Mandarin in our professional lifes which will come into use in the future. We also had the chance to present our own achievements. The day, was also a good opportunity to get to know peopple our own age from different schools and also those in different years from our school.'
Howie Liu S4: " I thoroughly enjoyed the SCEN conference and I learned a lot from this experience. It has expanded my knowledge of the links between Scotland and China and made me more interested to learn more about it. I participated in a speech in the conference which made me very proud to stand up in front of a big audience and deliver a speech which I have never done before. I was also able to meet new people on the trip and socialise with them. Overall I found this trip very enjoyable and fun."
Jenny Cuffe S6: "I really enjoyed the whole experience of the SCEN conference and it was very intriguing to hear people speak in Mandarin. There were several different powerpoints and there was also various music performances which I loved listening to and some were very interesting and inspiring. I also thought that the food we received was delicious and I had a great time in Gleneagles, meeting and socialising with other people my age from different schools."
Declan Gallagher S4: "I found the SCEN conference extremly interesting and useful for further expanding my knowledge of the connections between Scotland and China through all of the great presentations. Through the varied performances it has also further devolped my knowledge of the country as well as showing a lot a exciting ways to get involved in events such as the Wilson Trail. Most importantly it emphasised how important it is for both countries to work together in things like the Hong Kong connection to further maintain and strengthen the bonds of the two countries that is already proving beneficial."
Alban Joseph S4: "I learned a lot from the SCEN conference, it made me aware of many great opportunities, such as the Wilson Trail. It was interesting to listen to people speak about their time in China and I now have a greater understanding of the connection between China and Scotland. The hospitality and food was fantastic, and I hope we are able to partake in events like this again. It was inspiring to listen to children my age talk about their fantastic experiences and this was the main connection I felt, it was truly engaging."
Lucia Doyle S1: "The SCEN conference was an amazing experience and it was fantastic to hear that there are many opportunities to study Mandarin. It was interesting to hear how people learn Mandarin. It was good to socialise with the children from the other high schools and academies. I enjoyed thoroughly this event and it makes me want to learn and improve my Mandarin more and more. "
Louisa Preston S4: "The SCEN conference was very useful in showing us the wide range of opportunities available due to the studying of mandarin and the importance of learning another language. It was very interesting to hear about other peoples experiences while studying mandarin and I am now much more aware of the great link between China and Scotland. It was great to hear so many stories from people my own age, and to see how many people are becoming involved in SCEN. The presentations were fantastic, as was the hospitality we were given during the course of the trip. It was a fantastic event which made me even more determined to take the learning of mandarin further."