1) What do you think was the most important message put across in the SCEN event? “That Scotland's young people understand the huge importance of learning Chinese.” ~ Susie McCosh, University of Edinburgh “Three main messages came through for me: 1. Mandarin Studies is happening in many Scottish schools. 2. More and more schools are offering Mandarin and are enthusiastic about its development. 3. ‘Graduates’ of the future will benefit hugely from having Mandarin studies as part of their school experience.” ~ Donald J Macdonald, Head teacher at James Gillespie’s High School “I think the most important message is that people from all walks of life have benefited from Chinese language and culture and the diversity of experiences it creates is exciting, interesting and vibrant.” ~Judith McKerrecher, Curriculum Leader Languages, Liberton HS “It is important for young people and teachers to see that what they are involved in within their own school is similar to work going on elsewhere and that they can showcase their own work.” ~Colin Mitchell, Depute Head Teacher at Lasswade High School Centre “I think the most important message put across was that there is an appetite in Scotland to learn about China – language, culture, history and the people – and that this is reciprocated by the Chinese.” ~Pam Semple, Policy Officer, Scottish Government “There are all kinds of exciting ways in which Scotland is engaging with China in the spheres of education and culture.” ~ Billy Prior, Mandarin Teacher, Dollar Academy “There is a wide cross section of interest in developing links with China. It is always encouraging to hear from those who are not in schools but are very keen to promote a variety of links and benefits of association with "all things Chinese". This gives focus to those in schools who are continuing to push for more resources and promote the benefits of links with China at the school level.” ~Peter Billington Depute Rector, Queen Anne High School “That developing interest/knowledge/skills in Chinese language & culture (any second language/international study) will enhance all your learning. “~George Roberts, Aberdeen City Council “I thought that it made Chinese studies and language more accessible, and that there is support out there for those who want to pursue it.” ~Catherine Thwaites, International Education Manager, NUS Scotland “It is a learning platform where everyone can develop through working and sharing together their passion and unique experiences to realise cross fertilization in harmony.” ~Peter Kwok 2) What did you enjoy most about the event? “Perhaps because I have a 15-year-old son looking ahead to further/higher education, I was particularly interested in the presentations from the British Council and the National Union of Students about programmes for young people and the benefits of exposure to international education.” ~Elizabeth Buie, Journalist “I really liked the S1's snake that moved when someone turned the handle. It combined all sorts of different skills and showed and interesting aspect of Chinese culture and the pupils who showed it to me were obviously really excited by whole project they had undertaken.” ~ Susie McCosh, University of Edinburgh “I enjoyed meeting with colleagues and pupils from across Scotland who have a shared interest and passion for Learning about Chinese culture and language. I thought that Lord Wilson’s and Professor Gentz’s contributions were inspirational!” ~ Donald J Macdonald, Head teacher at James Gillespie’s High School “It was most enjoyable seeing so many positive, supportive and engaged people contributing and attending. It made for a superb atmosphere!” ~Judith McKerrecher, Curriculum Leader Languages, Liberton HS “I enjoyed hearing from the Head teachers who had been in China, very similar to our visits to Shanghai.” ~Colin Mitchell, Depute Head Teacher at Lasswade High School Centre “I enjoyed hearing about the Head teachers’ experiences whilst in China; Lord Tillyorn’s reflections on how he learned Chinese; and the young Chinese professionals’ comments on what they found to be their biggest challenges studying in Scotland.” ~Pam Semple, Policy Officer, Scottish Government “I found the soundscape of Beijing particularly moving.” ~ Billy Prior, Mandarin Teacher, Dollar Academy “The way in which these events promote young people and give them an opportunity to develop as young people by instilling confidence and indeed reflecting the four key capacities of CfE.” ~Peter Billington Depute Rector, Queen Anne High School “Hearing from pupils/seeing their work.” ~George Roberts, Aberdeen City Council “The input from teachers was of most value to me. I also found it inspiring.” ~Catherine Thwaites, International Education Manager, NUS Scotland “The variety of speakers who share the same passion for learning Chinese and education development of an important foreign language.” ~Peter Kwok 3) Why do you think it is important to attend these events? “I think such events are important for the dissemination of such information, but also to provide evidence of the impact of funding and partnership work.” ~Elizabeth Buie, Journalist “It was great to see the huge diversity of ideas and activities that people are involved in, as well as all the enthusiasm. Sometimes when you study a subject, you can get a bit isolated from the real world, as you are stuck in a library with your head in a book: seeing what everyone else is doing can give you new ideas.” ~ Susie McCosh, University of Edinburgh “We need to continue to share resources, learn from each other and celebrate the growing success of the excellent work that is being done in Scotland’s schools. I always feel invigorated after a SCEN event.” ~ Donald J Macdonald, Head teacher at James Gillespie’s High School “SCEN meetings are important because it brings people together with a common interest and aim. It enhances experiences for young people and encourages them to see beyond their own horizons. It provides an excellent support network for exchanging ideas, meeting others and being part of an energetic, friendly organisation.” ~Judith McKerrecher, Curriculum Leader Languages, Liberton HS “It is important for us to keep in touch with what each other are doing.” ~Colin Mitchell, Depute Head Teacher at Lasswade High School Centre “I think it is very important to hear first-hand from people who have committed to studying China/Chinese and also the most valuable opportunity to network and make connections.” ~Pam Semple, Policy Officer, Scottish Government “There is so much great work being done by individuals and organisations in this field, and this is one of the only platforms on which it is validated and recognised. It gives pupils a chance to see that what they do in class is part of a much broader movement to engage with China.” Billy Prior, Mandarin Teacher, Dollar Academy “Apart from the obvious answer of keeping abreast of developments and networking; the events are often inspiring particularly in showcasing the abilities of young people and providing mechanisms for them to interact with a wide cross section of people from different backgrounds and even cultures.” ~Peter Billington Depute Rector, Queen Anne High School “This area of the curriculum is only just emerging in many local authorities and schools. It sometimes feels like you are working alone, but having the opportunity to come together nationally to share experiences, ideas, stories helps to keep motivated and working hard back at school to make this work for our staff & pupils.” ~George Roberts, Aberdeen City Council “I think that the SCEN conference was incredibly important in giving young and old the opportunity to express how they are learning or have learned about Chinese language and culture, how fascinating it is and how important it is for the future of the world that we learn to understand each other, and therefore learn to work effectively with each other.” ~Helen Mackie, Board of SCEN and with lifelong experience in international education. “They are useful from a networking point to view, always fascinating, and you never fail to learn something new.” ~Catherine Thwaites, International Education Manager, NUS Scotland “It gives a good time to reflect on our appreciation for others, learning and indeed China. Each event is organised in different themes so there are bound to be new things to learn every time! How exciting!” ~Peter Kwok Red highlighted text means these quotes have been used in poster images.
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