UK primary schools celebrate Chinese New Year with free education pack

Children across the UK have been marking Chinese New Year with the help of a free learning resource sent to every primary school in the country during January and February.

Produced by the British Council and supported by HSBC, the ‘Year of the Sheep’ education pack introduces pupils to the differences and similarities between the lives of people in China and the UK while aiming to help children learn more about Chinese language and culture.

As we enter the Year of the Sheep today (19 February), the new resource contains classroom activities from creating shadow puppets – one of the most popular and widespread folk arts in China – to counting and playground games, as well as teaching resources, assembly and lesson plans.

Commenting on the pack, Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive of the British Council, said: “It is designed to support young people’s education about the world and to help them gain an understanding of other countries and cultures in preparation for life as global citizens. Familiarity with China and Chinese will become increasingly important for the prosperity of the UK.  These materials, produced with input from the Institute of Education Confucius Institute for Schools, will help introduce primary aged children to some of the differences and similarities between the lives, languages and cultures of the people of China and the UK.

“We are grateful to HSBC for supporting the pack this year.  HSBC has worked extensively with the British Council and others for over 10 years to support the teaching of Chinese language and culture in UK schools, for example helping to fund Chinese Language Assistants and the annual Mandarin Speaking Competition.”

Lorraine Thomas, Senior Manager Global Education and UK Community Investment at HSBC said: “The pack provides a creative and engaging way of sharing information about China and Chinese culture, which we hope will spark the interest and imagination of young people.”

The pack has been prepared with input from the IOE Confucius Institute for Schools and is supported by HSBC. A hard copy of the pack has been sent to all primary schools for the attention of the Headteacher. It is also available online here: www.britishcouncil.org/schoolsonline

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