Term 1
Welcome back to school! Huan ying (welcome!)
Chinese New Year is on Thursday 19 Feb and this year is the Year of Goat.
Let's learn how to say Happy New Year in Mandarin, 'Xin nian hao!' 'Gong xi gong xi!'
You may also hear people saying it in Cantonese, which is 'Gong hay fa choi!'
At school we are going to celebrate the New Year with a range of activities. Children will work on a group project to find out more about the culture, as well as to compare with new year celebrations in different countries.
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Our 2014 Mandarin Assistant, Yan laoshi, has arrived in China safely. She's currently in her hometown Xi'an to spend the Chinese New Year with her family. After that she'll return to Shanghai to carry on with her Master's study. She said she misses all the Meadowbank children!

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We will welcome our new Mandarin Assistant, (Lisa) Zhang laoshi from Shanghai Fudan University. Zhang laoshi will join us in week 3. Zhang laoshi is very good at doing Tai chi and she is looking forward to teaching our children to do Tai chi on the field!
external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ96zskaTluECAK8kOajRjJQtKWeYMOuPjAZoNcqxZvfP66cnUpTaichi is a set of soft martial art techniques which is beneficial for health and body strength.


Chinese New Year Crafts

We started our Mandarin lessons with a range of fun activities to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Children made paper cutting, calligraphy and calendars. We are going to cover the following topics in Term 1:

Year 2: Greetings and numbers

Year 3: Colours

Year 4: Body parts

Year 5 and 6: Food

Please click on 'Useful Links' (menu on the right hand side) for a range of Mandarin games and songs. If you want to find out more about the words in Chinese, you may want to explore the online dictionary. The programmes on CCTV China is interesting to watch and you can learn about the Chinese culture and famous architectures. You can find all these links in 'Useful Links'. Have fun!

Nihao from Zhou laoshi

Our Mandarin assistant Zhou laoshi has safely arrived in China and she is currently in her hometown Hangzhou to spend the Chinese New Year with her family. This is a message from her:

Happy the year of horse. I'm still in winter holiday and enjoy the time with my family.

The weather must be lovely in NZ ,but it is snowing in my hometown-Hangzhou. I love snow except the freezing cold weather.

How is the new term going?I miss NZ !

Our new assistant Yan laoshi will start working on Monday, week 3 (17th Feb). She is currently in the second year of study towards a master's degree with a major in teaching Chinese as a second language at Fudan University, Shanghai. We look forward to having her in our Mandarin classes!


Visitors from China

In week four, our school hosted 32 students from Zhenming School, Ningho, China, along with 7 teachers and the school principal. The students stayed with the year five and six classes for four days. There they experienced learning in a New Zealand classroom, including activities such as swimming and the Garden to Table programme. Our school performed a kapa haka, and the Chinese students performed music on Chinese instruments. The kiwi and Chinese students also did activities such as Chinese calligraphy and Tai chi together. It was a great opportunity for cultural exchange – the Chinese students learned some English and a lot about the kiwi culture, and our students had many opportunities to practise speaking Mandarin with native speakers. The Chinese students stayed with homestay families from our school before they headed off to Australia.

Mandarin Language Assistant

We would like to welcome Miss Sophia Zhou, our Mandarin Language Assistant to Meadowbank School. Miss Zhou is from Shanghai, China, and is currently in the second year of study towards a master's degree with a major in teaching Chinese as a second language. As part of the NZ–China Trading Agreement, each year the Confucius Institute selects 30 Mandarin Language Assistants to come to New Zealand to support Mandarin teaching in New Zealand schools. Miss Zhou will stay with us until December this year, providing support during our Mandarin lessons. If you have any questions in class time, don't hesitate to put your hand up and ask Miss Zhou!


Chinese New Year Celebration

The Year of the Snake arrived in February, and we did lots of fun celebratory activities in our Mandarin lessons. The year twos made red packets (Chinese parents put money in special red packets and give them to children to symbolise luck and joy for the new year). The year threes made some beautiful paper cuttings. Paper cutting is a traditional Chinese folk art. The children were taught different ways to fold the paper to make symmetrical patterns. They were very excited to design their own patterns. The year four and five students wrote lucky messages with Chinese calligraphy brushes, and their work is beautifully displayed in our new Mandarin classroom, Room 17.



The students in years 3 and 4 learned about the writing of Chinese characters. They learned how Chinese is a pictorial language and how the characters represent things and ideas. They investigated some examples of calligraphy and the ‘four treasures of Chinese calligraphy’, which are the brush, ink, paper and inkstone. The teacher demonstrated how to hold a brush, and the students then completed a piece of calligraphy work using brushes and ink, which was a new experience to all of them. In preparation for this work, they practised writing the characters with pencil, following the rules of basic strokes.


The students in year 2 learned about Chinaware. The different meanings of the word ‘China’ were discussed, with children mentioning that the word can mean plates and bowls with beautiful pictures painted on them. The students were exposed to some real examples of Chinaware, such as sets of cutlery from Jingdezhen and chopsticks. Some history was discussed, and the students learned about how China exported these items to the west in the olden days, resulting in the the country becoming known as ‘China’. The students designed a main picture and a pattern for a border, and then painted their own plates carefully using Chinese painting brushes. They thoroughly enjoyed this activity.


Chinese Dance

Some students in years 5 and 6 participated in the Chinese dance group. They performed the traditional umbrella dance Walking on the Field as part of the school’s Performing Arts Evening. The girls were dressed in traditional qi pao costumes, which are made of silk, and they danced gracefully with umbrellas of different colours.