The inaugural meeting of UCL IOE PGCE Languages (Mandarin Pathway) Alumni Network took place on Zoom on Thursday 9th September. This event marked the 10th anniversary celebration of PGCE Mandarin at the Institute of Education, UCL.
Hosted by Katharine Carruthers, Director of IOE Confucius Institute for Schools, we were delighted to welcome the IOE’s PGCE Languages Subject leaders, who have actively supported the training of PGCE Mandarin teachers over the last decade. Shirley Lawes, Colin Christie and Caroline Conlon all spoke at the beginning of the online event. Fotini Diamantidaki also spoke to the gathering.
Alumni went to breakout rooms to meet their graduate year cohorts. Shirley, Colin, Caroline, Fotini and Mandarin tutors, Katharine, Xiaoming Zhu and Kay McLeod joined in the discussion in the breakout rooms to catch up with some familiar faces. This event saw over 40 alumni from different parts of UK and one alumnus took part in the celebration from faraway New Zealand in the very early morning of local time. Alumni were very happy to connect with old friends and colleagues, sharing recent news about each other’s career and personal development. A lot of alumni continue to lead Chinese teaching in schools in England and some are venturing further afield in international schools in China, Canada, New Zealand and Singapore.
The network event was full of lively discussion, exploring new ideas for future events including setting up a subgroup via the popular Chinese social media platform ‘WeChat’. This inaugural event marked the beginning of an alumni network for all graduates to keep in touch. Going forward, we hope to organise two alumni events annually, meeting either in person or through a video conferencing platform.
Up to now, IOE is proud of having trained over 130 PGCE Mandarin pathway teachers in the last decade. The enthusiasm and the dedication of the teachers have continued to help expand the teaching and learning of Chinese among British school children. Thank you to the PGCE Languages staff and alumni for making it happen!