Chinese Ways of Thinking & Living


This scheme of work is the result of a collaboration between the UCL IOE Confucius Institute and Rosendale Primary School in West Dulwich. It is designed as an introduction to some of the different attitudes and understandings that underpin Chinese culture and society, and is presented in a form that we hope is both relevant to KS2 students between Years 4-6, and user-friendly for secondary teachers as supplementary material to support and enrich language learning for students of Mandarin at KS3, and also to schools that wish to engage with China and Chinese, but are not in a position to teach the language. No specialist knowledge of the subject is required.

The material is divided into 9 structured lessons, which we suggest be delivered in the order as numbered. Each lesson is provided in a Microsoft PowerPoint format, with some supplementary materials included as PDF/MS Word documents. The notes provided within the PowerPoints are authored to assist the teacher in delivering the lessons.

Lesson 1. Ways of Thinking and Living in China (PPT)

Lesson 2. Ancestor Worship (PPT)

Lesson 3. Daoism and Balance (PPT)

Lesson 4. Confucianism (PPT)

Lesson 5. Buddhism (PPT)

Lesson 6. Peaceful Co-existence of Beliefs (PPT)

Lesson 7A The Journey to the West (PPT)

Lesson 7B Sun Wukong – the Monkey King (PPT)

Lessons 7A and 7B are supplemented by the British Council Year of Monkey Primary Teaching Pack PDF (Click here)

Lesson 8. Approaches to Health and Well-Being (PPT)

Lesson 8 is supplemented by the life planner (MS Word) Click here

Lesson 9. Martial Arts (PPT)

In addition to the lessons we have also authored some detailed guidance for teachers that highlight the Chinese characters included within the lessons that could be used as starting points for further linguistic investigation which supplement the cultural content for teachers and students who are also engaged with Mandarin Chinese (see the link below).

Supplementary Material for Teachers: Language to Support Lessons – Ways of Thinking and Living in China

We believe that this is the first time anything like this has been attempted for UK schools. It has been successfully trialled in Rosendale Primary School at Year 6 but we are conscious that there will be aspects that could be improved or changed as it is tested more widely. We would welcome any comments and suggestions submitted using the e-form linked here. Please send any feedback to using the subject heading ‘Ways of Thinking & Living’.