Lasswade High and its associated primaries were granted Confucius Hub status at a recently held ceremony at the school.
The achievement, which was marked by an opening ceremony, is as a result of many years of engagement with the school’s partner school Tianlin No 3 Middle School in Shanghai.
The work has been pioneered by former deputy head Rosemary Mitchell and her husband, current deputy head Colin Mitchell.
It has resulted in several reciprocal visits to Shanghai and the learning of Mandarin via Mrs Lucy Zhang in the Lasswade High curriculum.
The Confucius Hub will enable a further expansion of the ambitious language and cultural learning programme across the Lasswade catchment primary schools and opportunities for Senior Phase learning for all of the Midlothian high schools. Lasswade High School will have a teacher from their new partner school Tianjin No 25 High School. Tianjin is the fourth largest city in China, 170km south east of Beijing.
The school were honoured to have the Deputy Consul General Mr Zhang Huazhong from the Chinese Government at the opening ceremony. Honoured guests included Scottish Government Minister Dr Alistair Allan MSP and Kenneth Lawrie, Chief Executive of Midlothian Council. In addition Mrs Du Hongmei from Tianlin No 3 Middle School and the Headteacher of Tianjin No 25 High School, Mr Li Zhongyi were in attendance. The Shanghai partnership school visited Lasswade and the Chinese students sang at the opening ceremony.
Headteacher Alan Williamson introduced the guests of honour after an introduction in Mandarin and several references to Chinese proverbs relating to education. He celebrated the success of schools’ links with Shanghai, Edinburgh and Heriot Watt universities and the most recent links to Jaguar LandRover and Edinburgh Zoo. The headteacher highlighted the importance of Mandarin learning to raising ambition and aspiration business and economic development and increasing students’ ‘skills set’ in an ever changing world and predicted that they will witness a Lasswade student graduating from a prestigious university in Mandarin in the not too distant future.