Online Annual Conference interview with Simone Haughey

The final workshop of this year’s Online Annual Conference will be delivered by Simone Haughey, Confucius Classroom Manager at Robin Hood Primary School. The workshop is called “The creative classroom – Sharing the curricular lessons and activities (primary focus)” and will be taking place on Thursday 25th June from 13:00 – 14:00. Simone kindly spoke to us about her workshop for our Conference blogpost series.

Hi Simone, you have presented at our Conference in the past few years and worked closely with the IOE CI, always sharing new and fun ideas for primary teaching. What new ideas are you going to bring to us this year?

I love to share practical and cross-curricular approaches to teaching Mandarin in a primary school. I will have more ideas to share with this approach as well as the online approaches to teaching, learning and assessment, I have adapted this year and especially in lockdown with the use of different websites such as Google classroom and Showbie.

I have personally been having online Zoom Mandarin lessons live from Shanghai during this lockdown as well as my regular zoom Mandarin lessons from the Brasshouse Language Centre in Birmingham. This experience has helped me plan online lessons for my students as well as offer local children where I live online Mandarin lessons to support home learning. I will share this also. I have also started filming a series of YouTube beginners’ Mandarin videos to share with my students but if they help others then that’s amazing!

I would also like to share briefly our journey with YCT and its increasing success in our school.

How did you become interested in this topic?

I am lucky to work in an extremely supportive school that encourages my creative ideas and any new innovative methods. That trust gives me the ability to approach any topic from any angle.

I enjoy ICT and love how the students become engaged and excited at the same time. I love to bring many ‘props’ or resources for the children to use and explore, to bring a practical and sensory nature to the lessons.

I encourage the students’ enthusiasm aiming to develop a love for learning languages that could be transposed when they leave our primary school to go onto do languages at Secondary School.

The Conference is in its 17th year. Looking forward and given the current unprecedented times, can you envisage what the Conference may look like in 10 years?

The Chinese Conferences have always been an inspiring experience which refreshes my ideas and enthusiasm. I find this fundamental for teaching a subject like Mandarin that you can’t necessarily consult or ask for support with subject knowledge etc. from the other teachers in my school.

I can imagine in the future that the networking might take place in advance and online, where like-minded people could work together with ideas and pedagogy for an interactive hands on conference.

You are an active and enthusiastic blogger of Mandarin teaching. Is blogging a tool and how do you combine it with teaching?

My Mandarin blog is part of the whole school approach to blogging. I use it to share students work in class or homework they were inspired to do at home. I also share ideas used in class for other teachers. I also use it to share links with the students for use in the classroom and for self-study. Please visit our Mandarin blog and share your comments. My student would love to know there is a bigger audience out there.

We look forward to welcoming ticket-holders to Simone’s session on Thursday 25th June. See the full programme for this year’s Online Annual Conference.