Written by: Cindy Zhang & Joan Chen, Chinese Studies Curriculum Leaders
Culture is an inseparable part of people’s lives, which influences our values, views, visions, lifestyle and the ways we communicate. At YCIS, we offer Chinese Studies along with Chinese Language as a bridge for students to learn about China, the host country, which has the longest history in the world. Our students learn to understand people’s cultures and language, promote engagement with others and shape their perspectives to support their future through a broader cultural and interpersonal mindset as global citizens.
In Primary Chinese Studies classes, students will learn about more than 10 different topics and will experience key aspect of Chinese culture every year. For example, the celebration of Chinese festivals is the highlight in Year 1. While students in Year 2 will learn more aspects of the Chinese culture such as festival customs, ethnic culture, Chinese geography, traditional games, drama perception etc. Students in Year 3 will start digging into the lifestyle of local Shanghainese and will have a field trip to the local dim sum shop and explore Qibao Old town. Building on the knowledge gained in Year 3, Year 4 students will learn about local traditional architecture—Shikumen, and will have the chance to visit the real Shikumen buildings and experience the lifestyle of old time Shanghai in the Songjiang Movie Park. Students in Year 5 will learn Chinese history in class, and will visit Jinshan village where they will be able to experience directly the villagers’ painting process. Students in Year 6 will learn about the “Silk Road Trade” and will go to the Shanghai Museum to discover the history of pottery.
In the Secondary school, this will continue with the EOTC trips (Education Outside The Classroom) that Secondary students take part in every year in Semester 1.
Finally, to complement our curriculum, we also organise two big annual events; namely our recent Chinese Culture Day last Friday and the Chinese New Year celebration. These events are great opportunities for cultural-related activities for students and teachers to experience the joy and excitement of their host country’s culture. This year, both our ECE and Primary students joined in the celebration. This day featured folk artists performance (lion dance, acrobatics, Chinese dance and Kungfu), making handmade craft, tasting local food, listening to traditional stories, watching traditional Chinese story animation, playing traditional games, and participating in various class activities. All the students and teachers were dressed in Chinese traditional costume and the students’ faces full of bright smiles showed that they had a wonderful day together.
Through these special events, our aim is to offer the opportunity for our students to know more about China and its Culture, whilst accumulate a wealth of their life experience.