Pupils at an Aberdeen secondary school are being promised a taste of the Orient with the opening of a new zone for learning Mandarin.
China is an expanding superpower and Mandarin is the most widely spoken first language in the world.
Now, Oldmachar Academy, in the Bridge of Don area of the city, has set up its own “Confucius classroom” to teach the language to north-east youngsters.
The project will support pupils to boost their Mandarin language skills, in line with Scotland’s languages policy, which aims to allow every child the opportunity to learn two languages in addition to their mother tongue by 2020.
The launch ceremony included performances from pupils at Danestone Primary, Glashieburn Primary and Oldmachar Academy and music from visiting teachers at the Aberdeen University Confucius Institute.
The classroom will also serve as a city campus, giving pupils from all across the community the opportunity to join the project.
Every S1 and S2 pupil at Oldmachar Academy has the chance to learn Mandarin and French every week.
Helen Shanks, head of education, said: “Only last October, we had a delegation from Wuhan University in China visit the school, as well as Danestone School, and leaving very impressed with the way Aberdeen is embracing the language.
“The language is spoken by 16% of the world’s population and being able to communicate in the language will open up new possibilities for the children”.
Previously, Hazlehead Academy hosted the Confucius Classroom for north-east Scotland, but now each of the local authorities will have their own Confucius Hub.