Chinese culture centre opens at Wellington CollegeBy Hugh Fort
June 13, 2012
A taste of the Orient has come to Crowthorne after the opening of the biggest centre dedicated to Chinese culture in the country.
The £500,000 centre has been opened at Wellington College in Dukes Ride and will be a powerful Chinese presence at the famous school.
The centre was opened by the Chinese Ambassador, his excellency Liu Xiaoming, and pupils at the school watched a performance by four-year-old piano prodigy Mimi Zou who flew in especially for the event.
The new centre has been built in a Pagoda style and features two Mandarin teaching classrooms with advanced learning technology and an external courtyard in Chinese-style featuring a water garden.
The centre will also be used for the teaching of other languages, calligraphy lessons and meditation and wellbeing sessions.
Headmaster Dr Anthony Seldon said: “Life will increasingly become China-centric as the country moves centre stage in international affairs and business, and our students have to be prepared for that.
“It is not only a question of linguistics, but also cultural knowledge and understanding.
“Having this superb centre will further enhance our already strong ties to China by providing an opportunity for increased interaction and exchanges with Wellington College International Tianjin, our first school outside the UK.”
The school opened its first school in the Asian superpower in 2010 and recently announced a junior and a combined junior and senior school will soon opened in Shanghai
Katherine Carruthers, director of the schools network (SSAT) Confucius institute, said: “The opening of the Mandarin centre sends out a strong message about the teaching and learning of Mandarin nationally and its strategic importance.
“The cultural environment of the Mandarin centre helps contextualise language learning; a cultural context to language learning is important for all schools wherever the lessons are being taught.”