MEP schools celebrate the Chinese New Year


The Chinese New Year began at the end of January, and this year is the Year of the Rat (鼠). Celebrations took place across the country, and many schools on our Mandarin Excellence Programme chose to see in the New Year in style with a variety of events and activities focusing on Chinese language, food and culture.

Over 500 Mandarin learners were invited to participate a series of cultural activities at Bay House School & Sixth Form and Brune Park Community School. These included workshops on Tai Chi, kung fu, tea ceremony, blow painting and Chinese dance.

Students enjoying cultural activities at Bay House School & Sixth Form

Gumley House School gave cultural lessons about typical Chinese New Year traditions and there was also a lantern making competition between their Year 7 form groups. This was all followed by a delicious Chinese New Year lunch in the school canteen, with traditional decoration to reflect the occasion!


Chinese New Year celebrations at Gumley School

Colyton Grammar School, The Woodroffe School and Clevedon School ran joint workshops on Chinese calligraphy, the story of the Chinese Zodiac, Gong Fu, Chinese craft and Chinese culture, while Pate’s Grammar School, Didcot Girl’s School, St Birinus School and St Gregory’s Catholic College put on a cultural learning showcase with a selection of short dances, plays, songs.


Students at a craft workshop at Colyton Grammar School

Shevington High School visited Manchester’s China Town and even learnt a song to mark the occasion – in Chinese, of course! Headteacher of Shevington High, Julian Grant said:

“We are delighted to be part of the Mandarin Excellence programme, which is equipping our pupils with essential language skills for the future. Our Chinese New Year celebrations helped bring Chinese culture to life and will get pupils excited about using Mandarin in a real-life situation.”


Year seven students at Bohunt School Worthing with the Chinese dragon

Bohunt School Worthing performed a traditional Dragon and Lion Dance at assembly, and Bohunt Trust schools jointly took part in a variety of activities and workshops, including kung fu, dumpling making and a traditional tea ceremony. Headteacher of Bohunt School Worthing, Adam Whitehead, said:

“These fantastic events are a wonderful opportunity for students to immerse themselves in another culture and develop a deeper understanding of it.”

You can see more about how our MEP schools celebrated on our Twitter

Whatever you did to mark the Chinese New Year, we wish you great happiness and prosperity for the year ahead!