The 18th Annual Chinese Teaching Conference took place on Saturday 11th September 2021 at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London. The IOE Confucius Institute Annual Chinese Conference is the largest CPD opportunity of its kind in the UK for teaching professionals in the subject area of Mandarin Chinese. This year, in line with current UK government guidance, we were pleased to be able to host the event in person, welcoming over 200 delegates from the UK back to the IOE.
This year’s Annual Chinese Teaching Conference was a one-day event on Saturday, with a bonus plenary session given by our distinguished guest speaker, Andrew Scrimgeour from the University of South Australia, who streamed a live online session to our teachers of Chinese on Friday, the day before the face to face conference (as well as hosting a workshop on the Saturday). His thoughts and insight into approaches to character teaching were perfect to move into the reflective and inspirational thinking of the conference.
This year’s conference theme was “Teaching Resilience”, reflecting the unique and challenging time that both teachers and students have been living through, and thinking about the positive aspects the Chinese teaching community can take forward into the new academic year. ‘Teaching Resilience’ was reflected in the conference plenaries in the opening speeches given by Professor Li Wei, Director and Dean of the UCL Institute of Education and Katharine Carruthers, Director of the Confucius Institute at the UCL IOE. The Rt. Hon. Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for School Standards DfE, and Ms Zhang Jin, Minister Counsellor for Education, Chinese Embassy in the UK, both sent video speeches which also reflected this theme, and acknowledged the impressive effort of all teachers over the last 18 months.
The subsequent plenaries, focusing on “Assessment at KS5: Preparation and Pathways” (which greatly benefitted from input from Yadi Luo, Hannah Galbraith and Nick Brown) and “Never “just” a teacher: your power as a researcher and community leader” both offered delegates plenty to think about, both in terms of ways in which to lead students through KS5, and how to lead their own professional development and pedagogical knowledge through engaging with the many opportunities UCL IOE CI has to offer.
During the plenaries, delegates gave loud applause to the fluent and confident speeches in Mandarin given by Alex Morgan from Anglo European School, and Matas Justa from Kingsford Community School, as well as the group performance from Brune Park Community School.
Conference workshop presenters delivered engaging and interactive sessions, using best practice and research, games, films, coaching skills and techniques. The workshop delegates were buzzing with innovative ideas and enthused to try out new ideas in their classrooms. thank you to all our presenters!
This year’s Excellence Awards winners were Jane Woo from Christ College Finchley, Yanwen Tang from Homewood School, Tao Fu from Bohunt Worthing School, and Katie Wang from Lambert Academy. The teaching community have been greatly enriched by these teachers’ enthusiasm, initiative and hard work ethos in developing Chinese teaching in their own schools and beyond.
After one full day’s attendance to the rich variety of workshops inside the IOE building, delegates were treated to refreshments and a final opportunity to catch up with colleagues and the IOE team, on the concourse of IOE. Delegates mingled and chatted, sharing and reflecting on the teaching ideas presented throughout the day. Both the teachers and our team felt energised by the event, giving us all a welcome boost to start the new year in schools.
We look forward to seeing you at further teacher training events throughout the year, and at our conference next year!