A message from our Hanban teacher, Liu Huiling at Christmas 12/12/2018

Time flies! As Santa is around the corner, so my first Autumn term in Queen’s is drawing to a close. Although I am still struggling to remember every colleague’s name, I have already received kindness from everyone, especially my colleagues in the languages department. Their good wishes and presents on my birthday made my birthday very special in the UK.

Although I have only been here three months, I am fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to meet with pupils in different year groups, both in Senior and Lower schools. In the Lower school, I have taught girls in Reception with Ms Ketchell, hearing them singing songs in Mandarin. In the Little Linguists Club for Years 1 and 2, we have been learning about the story of Chang’e (The Moon Goddess) with Ms Ketchell. Also, I teach girls in Year 3 once a week, and they have learned numbers, birthday and family members.

In the Senior school, with Ms Whittam I have met girls in Year 7 and Year 9. For girls in Year 10 to Year 13, who have Mandarin as a GCSE subject, I spend extra time with them practising speaking. I consider Mandarin to be quite a different and challenging language for an English native speaker. When they rise to the challenge and find the key of Mandarin door, I believe the language learning will be a special experience in their school life.

On 7th December, 6 girls from Years 8 and 9 went to London for the HSBC/British Council Mandarin Speaking Competition. As one of the accompanying teachers, I was so proud to see they all did very well in the Regional Heat and I expect they will enter the Final.

Christmas is coming. Seeing Christmas lights everywhere, I look forward to having a real Christmas. In fact, Christmas has long been popular in China; people decorate a Christmas tree, give Christmas cards and gifts, and say "圣诞快乐"(Merry Christmas).

Reception try the tricky art of using chopsticks! 10/12/2018

Well, that was exhausting but fun! We think that we use a knife and fork with much more ease, but are getting good at picking up things with our chopsticks!

Chester welcomes Liu Huiling 10/11/2018

"Having arrived in the UK and settled in The Queen’s School for one month, I am now over my jet lag and any feelings of unfamiliarity. It has been lovely to become familiar with my surroundings, my school colleagues and the students. Chester is an ancient and lively city and The Queen’s School is an elegant and creative independent school right in the heart of the city. The Queen’s School has the only primary and secondary school Confucius Classroom in the north of England. Mandarin is one of the modern foreign languages in the school that students can choose and has been up and running for twelve years, taught by not only Chinese Mandarin teachers but also British Mandarin teachers. Pupils learn to speak Chinese Mandarin, as well as taking part in national Chinese cultural activities and competitions. Students can take part in a summer China trip, allowing some of the Mandarin learners to use their spoken Mandarin and experience the real authentic Chinese culture. This year, I am here as a Hanban volunteer Chinese teacher, working as a language assistant to support the Mandarin teaching, to provide more opportunities for students to practise Mandarin and to know more about China. I am looking forward to supporting the Mandarin learners in The Queen’s School and other local primary schools and helping to enrich our Chinese cultural activities and communication."

Liu Huiling, Hanban Teacher at The Queen's School.

Meeting Happy Lion 24/9/2018

Today in Reception, we met Happy Lion! He told the story of how he travelled from China to The Queen's School and how he made lots of friends on his journey. He taught the elephant, the zebra, the camel, the tiger and the sheep (and our girls!) how to dance and we learnt some new skills from the animals. We can now say hello and goodbye really well in Mandarin.

We brought in our favourite cuddly toy 17/9/2018

Our favourite cuddly toys came to school today to say hello to Bob the puppet. We learnt how to say how well we are feeling - the best word is 'mămahŭhu' - ask someone in Reception what it means!!

Learning numbers 1/3/2016

Today in Reception we learnt the numbers from 1 - 7 through drama, singing and a team competition. They also learnt how to count with their hands in Chinese! We had great fun!


Making Dumplings 1/3/2016

Year 8 and 9 have been making Chinese dumplings or 饺子(jiăozi) during the New Year period. Originally called so as they are horn-shaped, these delicious dumplings are eaten at New Year. Our girls really enjoying making them, a simple filling wrapped into a thinly rolled piece of dough sealed by pressing the edges together or by crimping.


New Year Assembly at the Senior School 10/2/2016

Our Year 11 enlightened the rest of the school with their experiences of China during their trip, including the delight of pea ice cream (it's great!) and places that they visited. They also taught everyone a piece of modern Chinese dance, which was less familiar to some that the more traditional forms of dance that we sometimes see at New Year.

New Year Assembly at the Lower School 9/2/2016

New Year was celebrated at the Lower School with a whole school assembly. Girls from Year 9 visited and performed a puppet show to tell the story of the Chase, with Mrs Cookson playing the part of the Emperor. Wenyun Rao stunned the audience with her traditional Chinese New Year clothing and told us about food and family time at New Year. Year 3 performed Gōng Xǐ Gōng Xǐ 新年歌 恭喜恭喜 and sang beautifully and Reception sang their happy song of xīn nián hăo 新年 with great gusto! Well done!

After School club dance with the dragon 8/2/2016

Pupils at our after school club celebrated New Year today by learning to dance with our 20 metre long dragon. They had a great time moving the body up and down!


We wish you all a Happy New Year! The Year of the Monkey comes round every 12 years and, if you were born in the Year of the Monkey, you might be witty, intelligent, and have a magnetic personality! Our Year 3 girls are either born in the Year of the Dog or the Year of the Pig, so they will have to wait until their year. They had fun celebrating though!


Dancing Chinese style 2/2/2016

We had a guest specialist dance teacher in school today to teach a varied programme to all girls from Reception to year 6 from fan dancing, dragon dancing and parasol dancing. Some of the moves were quite demanding and everyone had a great time!


Making lanterns! 26/1/2016

Reception finished their pretty New Year lanterns today. They chose the colour of the lantern and its handle and they will hang outside the hall for the New Year assembly next week.

Year 3 have been making lanterns and learning about dumplings, New Year food and paper cuttings 26/1/2016

We have been looking at 饺子, jiǎo zi, the dumplings with meat filling that are eaten in China at New Year. The Chinese hang red paper cutting at their windows and eat dishes such as 红烧肉 hóng shāo ròu (red cooked pork) and 年糕 nián gāo, which is a sticky rice cake which is usually made in the shape of fish.

However, the lanterns were a hit and our Hanban teacher, Wenyun Rao, explained about how fish brought good fortune and helped us write the Chinese for Happy New Year and congratulations!


The story of the Chase 12/1/2016

We have been learning about how the animals for the Chinese year of the Zodiac were decided. We reenacted the story with animals - the animals got very excited to perform and win the race!


Making caterpillars 9/12/2015

We have been reinforcing our learning of colours by making colourful caterpillars! They look great!

Christmas craft 8/12/2015

Year 8 have been making Christmas cards in Mandarin with a creative element! Our Hanban teacher, Wenyun Rao, is an expert in paper craft.

Slow Boat trip 4/12/2015

Girls from our Year 8 and Year 11 Mandarin classes have yet again enjoyed a delicious Chinese meal at the local Slow Boat restaurant in Chester. Girls practised saying some of the food and drinks in Chinese as well as using chopsticks to pick up a variety of delicious food, including some slippery mushrooms. They are all chopstick experts now!


We know our colours! 2/12/2015

Today in Reception we showed our understanding of the Mandarin words for colours. We sang a song and then made Lego models according to the order of the Chinese colours.

Year 6 are 'big' in Chinese characters! 2/12/2015

We have been learning a lot about Chinese characters and how they are pictorial. Here we are showing the word for 'big' -

Queen's hosts teaching conference  20-21/11/2015

Language teachers from across the North West interested in Mandarin in primary schools visited the Senior School for a specialist workshop. The sessions were led by James Trapp, Primary Network Coordinator at the UCL Institute for Education. The workshop was packed with tips on how to use modern art, realia and the Better Chinese iPad apps in teaching. 

Finger painting - our favourite colours! 17/11/2015

Today we have been getting bait messy in Reception finger painting our favourite colours in Chinese characters. Our favourite colour as a class is pink 粉, followed by yellow 黄, blue 蓝and purple 紫.      

Here are some of the finished paintings.

Pictograph competition 13/10/2015

We have been learning about the formation of Chinese characters in Year 6. Our favourite characters were horse 马, fire 火, bird 鸟 and mouth 口. Here are just a couple of the competition entries!


Here are the winners with their Chinese gifts as prizes!

Animals in Mandarin 6/10/2015

Reception have been learning the Mandarin words for tiger, elephant, zebra, panda, sheep and camel through the story of Happy Lion and a large map! Our understanding of the world has widened too and we are happy to welcome Happy Lion to Queen's after his many adventures.

Queen's celebrates Confucius day! 26/9/2015

Year 6 have been reading Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan to celebrate Confucius day, part of a national initiative. 


Happy Lion Meets the Bears   22/9/2015

Our girls in Reception learnt how to say 你好! (nǐ hǎo - hello!) and  再见 (zài jiàn - good bye) today. Their cuddly bears met and greeted Happy Lion (开心 獅子). Miss Ketchell was impressed by the girls' pronunciation.

Mandarin lessons arrive at the Lower School!  

This week, Year 3 had an introduction to Chinese culture, coming up close with lots of objects. We learnt about lion dancing, chopsticks, the ancient art of stamping and Chinese New year cards.


Miss Rao returns to Queen's! 01/09/15

We are really happy to have Miss Wenyun Rao back at Queen's for a second year. She is pleased to be working with our girls in the Senior School, going to our local primary schools and teaching in the Mandarin after school club as part of our outreach. Welcome back!

For those of you who have not met Miss Rao yet, she says, "Hi everyone! My name is Rao Wenyun. I am the Hanban teacher from China. My hobbies are t'ai chi, t'ai chi fan dancing, Chinese knot-making and origami. This is my second year at the Queen’s School. I have really enjoyed my time teaching Mandarin here. It’s always good to see young people willing to learn Mandarin and Chinese culture. I’m really thrilled to see so many new faces in the Mandarin after school club this term. I’m sure together we will have a both productive and joyful year!