To celebrate Chinese New Year – the Year of the Rabbit, South West College Confucius Hub hosted a full day of celebrations on Thursday 26 January 2023 in Erne Campus, Enniskillen.

During the day, 150 pupils, from five different primary schools participated in a range of Chinese cultural activities including: Chinese Calligraphy Brush Writing, designing a Peking Opera Mask, making Chinese Knots/Bracelets, spinning Handkerchiefs and playing Jianzi, using Chopsticks, having a go at Tai Chi and trying on traditional Chinese Dress/Costumes. Pupils and their teachers who attended the event from Jones Memorial Primary School, Enniskillen, Moat Primary School, Lisnaskea, St Mary’s Primary School, Newtownbutler, Kesh Primary School and St Mary’s Primary School in Maguiresbridge thoroughly enjoyed the activities and expressed their gratitude and thanks for the opportunity to participate in the celebrations.

In the evening, South West College Confucius Hub Gala Dinner gave guests, stakeholders and prize winners the further opportunity to celebrate and highlighted a number of programme successes, which is celebrating its tenth year. Guests were presented with a delicious traditional Chinese feast, which was all prepared, cooked and served by South West College catering and hospitality students. In addition, guests were treated to Scottish Dancing by Sollus School of Highland Dance and two wonderful Chinese performances: Peking Opera and the Yangqin (a traditional Chinese instrument) and to conclude the event South West College Confucius Hub’s Mandarin Chinese tutors sang traditional Chinese New Year songs.

South West College Confucius Hub have saw considerable growth of the Mandarin Chinese Language & Culture classes they deliver in schools across counties Tyrone, Fermanagh, Armagh & Down with enrolments this year, 2022/2023 in excess of 3600. Principals from the schools speak very highly of the programme stating that lessons in the schools are interactive and engaging and a variety of materials and resources are used effectively and that the lessons have exceeded their expectations. Another school thanked South West College for providing their pupils with this invaluable learning opportunity, declaring that it is an excellent programme, and a privilege to be part of.

At a time when school finances are continually pressurised, it is important to emphasise that this enrichment incurs no tuition costs. In a recent report entitled ‘Languages for the Future’ published by the British Council, ranked Mandarin as a vital language to the UK over the next twenty years and highlighted that we need to prepare our young people for life in a globalised, multicultural society and that knowledge of the Chinese language and culture among people in the UK will create a deeper mutual understanding between our communities and give young people the opportunity to open up their horizons for the future.

South West College Confucius Hub can provide your school with free tuition, a dedicated tutor, resources and external support and management – with input from the school when necessary.

In addition to the school provision, Mandarin Chinese Evening Classes are delivered in each campus – Omagh, Enniskillen and Dungannon on a part-time basis.

For further information, please contact Linda Beatty, Confucius Hub Project Officer on 028 8225 5220 or