O’Dowd welcomes Chinese delegation to Derry primary school
Education Minister, John O’Dowd, has joined in with celebrations at Good Shepherd Primary School in Derry as they welcomed representatives from their ‘sister’ school in China.
The school are involved in the International School Partnership Programme and have been partnered with Wei Gang Primary and Nursery School in China. The programme is targeted at head teachers of primary and post-primary schools who wish to introduce the study of Chinese language and culture to the school curriculum and extra-curricular activities.
At today’s event guests were welcomed in Mandarin Chinese by the Student Council and traditional Chinese music was performed by the school choir and string group. The Minister and other guests also had the opportunity to observe one of the Mandarin lessons.
Minister O’Dowd said: “I would like to thank Paul Irvine, the Principal of Good Shepherd Primary School for his kind invitation to participate in the celebrations today. I also want to personally welcome Xiaoqin Chen, the Principal of Wei Gang Primary School and the other guests to the school today.
“I welcome any initiative that encourages pupils to learn about new languages and cultures. Good Shepherd has been teaching Mandarin and Chinese culture to all Key Stage 2 pupils since September 2009 and the pupils in those age groups are currently receiving 30 minutes of Mandarin tuition each week. Evidence has shown that children can benefit greatly from learning another language as it can improve their confidence, self-esteem and motivation to learn. Learning languages can also help young people think on a more global scale and help them to feel part of the global community.”
The Minister continued: “As well as the educational benefits to this programme the pupils have also had the opportunity to make new friends. I know that the Good Shepherd pupils have been writing letters and emails to their counterparts in Wei Gang Primary School and I hope those friendships continue to develop over the coming months and years.
“I would like to commend all those who have been involved in this valuable programme and I hope the pupils continue to enjoy their learning experience. I also hope the visitors from China enjoy their visit to the north of Ireland and I wish them a safe journey home.”
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Weather for Derry
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 8 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: South east