This year is the Chinese Year of the Dragon - a symbol of
good fortune and intense power. So how has 2012 unfolded
for the Chinese Department?
At the first School Assembly I wished the Ruyton
community a happy Chinese New Year and announced
two exciting events for 2012 – the China Tour and the
establishment of the Chinese Ensemble. This was followed
by an enjoyable lunch in the Courtyard Café. During the
year, a range of activities has taken place to strengthen and
expand students’ competences in the following areas:
Teaching and Learning the Chinese language
With China’s emerging roles in the international arena,
we believe that it is to our young people’s advantage to
have Mandarin as a communication tool. Thus we have
focused on the following:
A full range of accelerated, extended and mainstream
programmes are now available to students at different
year levels, from Year 5 to Year 12, to accommodate
students’ needs.
A trial project on cross-age mentoring was initiated for
Year 5 and Year 9 students. These groups of students
worked together in reading, talking about their families
and their favourite Olympians. Year 5 students performed
their play and sang their songs to the Year 9 students at
the end of Term 3.
Parents’ involvement in our Year 5 programme. Year 5
students started learning Chinese at the beginning of
the year and I am grateful to have had parents’ support
in this reading project. Mrs Godwin and Mrs Raynal
were regular visitors to the classrooms and their visits
have improved the students’ confidence in learning the
Research on Ruyton students’ learning styles was
conducted by Dr Ren in 2011 and the research provided
us with some insightful knowledge on what can affect
students’ learning of Chinese in terms of listening,
speaking, reading and writing.
iPads were trialled to boost students’ confidence in
speaking Chinese in Year 5 and Year 9.
A task-based learning approach equips students with
communication skills so they are able to apply this
knowledge to activities such as shopping and making an
appointment to see a doctor.
Improving the understanding of Chinese culture
It is my belief that, to communicate well in a language,
it is necessary also to understand its culture. In 2012, a
variety of activities has been offered to this end. Students
participated in funky martial arts, cooking, visiting
Chinese shops, Chinese calligraphy and painting, Chinese
knotting and Chinese movies. The establishment of the
Chinese Ensemble has been particularly exciting. In Term
under the guidance of Mr ZhengtingWang, a group of
students embarked on their journey to learn traditional
Chinese instruments. This is a cross-age and cross-
departmental project. The Ensemble’s first performance
in the Annual Concert was praised extensively by the
Ruyton community. Through learning Chinese music,
students gain an understanding of the Chinese way of
living, its values and its art.
The China Tour occurred in Term 3 school holidays. Together
with Ms Kun Feng, five students and I visited Yu Xin School,
our sister-school and four major cities in China: Beijing,
Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou.We stayed with host
families, took lessons at the Yu Xin School and saw some of
the most well-known tourist spots in China: the Great Wall,
the Forbidden City, the Yu Garden and the Yellow Mountain.
The students were able to use their Chinese language skills
in situations such as shopping, asking for directions and
ordering food.We were all thrilled when Ms Douglas joined
us to climb the Great Wall.
ChineseWeek took place in the first week of Term 4. The
girls from the China Tour presented at Senior School
Assembly; the Chinese Ensemble played traditional Chinese
music; and students saw a Chinese play,
Chang E Ben
a folk story on the Chinese Moon Festival. The week
concluded with a grand lunch provided by FlyingWok.
The Dragon has brought us a lot of learning and
teaching activities and so much fun too.We would like to
congratulate all students who won prizes in the Chinese
Reading Competitions for Non-Chinese Background
Students, and thank all our enthusiastic staff and students
for a great year of Chinese.
Mrs Danyang McAuliffe,
Dean of Chinese
Annual Report 2012