Confucius Classroom Hub School Agreement Signing

Tuesday 1st October witnessed a historic moment in the life of Grosvenor when it became one of eight Confucius Classroom Hub schools that have been appointed throughout Northern Ireland.

On Tuesday morning within the Senate Chamber at Parliament Buildings, Principal Mr McLoughlin signed an agreement with the Confucius Institute at the University of Ulster in the presence of Mr Peter Robinson (First Minister), Mr Jonathan Bell (Junior Minister in OFMDFM) and Mr Li Ruiyou (Consul General of the Peoples’ Republic of China for Scotland and Northern Ireland).

Mr McLoughlin stated; "Grosvenor Grammar School is delighted to be appointed a Confucius Hub School. We look forward to working with the Confucius Institute as we develop Mandarin teaching in the school as well as pupil and staff cultural exchange programmes with China.

Personally September 2013 was an extremely exciting time as I had the opportunity to participate in a study visit to China.  A group of 80 Principals and Senior School Leaders from across Britain travelled to Beijing and Zhejiang Province to explore the culture, language, education system and, of course, cuisine within China.  Everyone on the visit was extremely impressed with the hospitability and the warmth of the welcome; we really did feel we were amongst friends.  We had the opportunity to tour the Hanban and Confucius Headquarters and learn more about the Chinese education system.  The trip also provided me with the ideal opportunity to ensure that we effectively establish our Confucius Classroom Hub in Grosvenor Grammar School. 

I must admit I was delighted to have the opportunity to walk on the Great Wall of China, visit Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City as well as experience a completely different culture.  I was the leader of the 40 Principals/Senior Teachers who visited Zhejiang Province and the beautiful city of Hangzhou, known locally as the Paradise of China.  During our time in Hangzhou I had the opportunity to establish a link with a 1700 pupil school for 16-19 year olds.  It was fascinating to observe a range of lessons and talk to teachers and the leadership team of The High School Affiliated to Zhejiang University.  There are many differences in the education systems between the two countries, most notably the lack of resources and the large class sizes (50+ per class) in China, however, there are also many similarities.  All of the school leaders I met have an inherent desire and commitment to provide the best possible education for the pupils in their care.  I believe over the coming years as we develop our Confucius Classroom Hub in Grosvenor and build effective partnerships with China we will learn a lot from each other. 

It is an incredibly exciting time for the school as we will receive our Mandarin teacher from January 2014 and all of Form One will start one period of Mandarin per week.  There will also be an enrichment offer for the Sixth Form pupils and, hopefully, an extra-curricular class for staff and pupils.  As well as delivering Mandarin teaching in our partner schools – Our Lady & St Patrick’s College Knock, Lagan College, Orangefield and Gilnahirk Primary Schools.” 



Grosvenor Principal Robin McLoughlin signs the Confucius Classroom Hub Agreement with Jonathan Bell MLA, First Minister Peter Robinson, Chinese Consul General for Scotland and Northern Ireland Mr Li Ruiyou and University of Ulster Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard Barnett.