UCL IOE Confucius Classrooms celebrate the Chinese New Year!


This month saw the end of the Year of the Rat and the start of the Chinese New Year of the Ox. While festivities looked a little different this year, UCL IOE Confucius Classroom schools across the country celebrated the beginning of the Year of the Ox (牛) with an array of activities.

Colleagues at Hove Park Upper School organised a Chinese cooking competition, and students from different year groups stepped up to the plate. Students’ families sat around red-covered tables and enjoyed traditional Chinese tea, handwritten fortunes, spring rolls, and homemade jiǎozi 饺子 (Chinese Dumplings).

Meanwhile, students Lucas Kad in year 10 and Arthur Adutt in year 9 at Simon Langton Boys’ Grammar School learned to sing and play popular Chinese New Year song xīnnián hǎo 新年好, or Happy New Year in English. The song’s melody is also used in the American folk song Oh my Darling, Clementine. Maybe it will sound familiar to you!

Students at Beths Grammar School demonstrated their artistic skill and resourcefulness by creating the Ox in many forms, using everything from common household objects to items of food.

Chinese New Year celebrations continued at Christ’s College Finchley, as Mandarin pupils enjoyed a range of cultural activities. With something for everyone, in dedicated workshops, pupils had the opportunity to try out paper-cutting, traditional sword dancing, and martial arts such as Kung-Fu.

Paper cuttings created by a Christ’s College Finchley student. On the left is the Chinese character for spring, upside down, which symbolises spring’s imminent arrival. On the right, the Ox

Head of Mandarin Xin Lu and colleague Sha Nie from Bay House School created an interactive calendar that covers the fifteen days of Chinese New Year celebrations. The calendar contains one activity or video per day, each of which discusses the history of the Chinese New Year and the Zodiac, the reasons behind several cultural practices, and how to make a variety of seasonal Chinese meals and decorations.

In the spirit of the last year’s remote learning & working, some Mandarin Excellence Programme students made a collaborative, Chinese-language video talking about their hobbies, interests, and feelings on learning Mandarin, and Chinese New Year greetings.

We hope that this new year brings great happiness and prosperity to you!