An initiative to widen the horizons of north-east pupils and offer a taste of the Orient will be widened to include the Mintlaw area.
Aberdeenshire Council’s Confucius classroom scheme gives youngsters the chance to learn Mandarin – the most widely-spoken first language in the world.
The north-east already has a centre at the newly-built Ellon Academy and, last week, Oldmachar Academy in Bridge of Don unveiled its own Confucius classroom to educate pupils in the language.
The initiative has captured the imagination of youngsters in the region.
And the project is part of a larger bid to give every child in Scotland the chance to learn two additional languages by 2020. Mandarin is spoken by 16% of the world’s population and is regarded as an asset by many people seeking jobs in global industries.
In a new report to Aberdeenshire’s education committee, school chief Maria Walker stated: “The Aberdeenshire secondary Confucius classroom hub continues to contribute to diversity of language provision.
“A further bid has been made to establish a primary Confucius hub at New Pitsligo and St John’s School in the Mintlaw area.”
The classroom project also promotes a range of cultural activities as well as language skills.
And the initiative has been supported by Ellon councillor Gillian Owen, the new chairwoman of the authority’s education committee.
A launch ceremony for the classroom at Oldmachar Academy was held last week. The facility serves the whole city and every S1 and S2 pupil at the school now has the opportunity to learn Mandarin and French every week.
The long-term aim is for every pupil in Scotland to have access to a Confucius classroom.