Pigeon Mountain Primary embraces Chinese culture

Pigeon Mt Primary School students try dumplings they made during the school’s Chinese Culture Day. LTR: Liam Jackson, Sarah Adams, Jack Li & Joel McGillivray. Photo Wayne Martin.

Curious and happy, young faces watched Chinese parents and grandparents make warm comfort food on a cold Thursday morning as they stuffed dumplings with a filling and expertly sealed them.

As part of the Chinese Cultural Day, Pigeon Mountain Primary School had organised a host of activities that included dumpling making, tai chi, calligraphy, paper cutting and table tennis.

Principal Ian Dickinson says that with 44 per cent of students at Pigeon Mountain Primary of Chinese origin, the school embraces different cultures and encourages parents and grandparents to participate in a range of school activities.

He informs that the primary school is part of cluster with Macleans College and Bucklands Beach Intermediate that shares a Chinese resource teacher who helps students learn Mandarin, a compulsory language at school.

Libby Banks, a teacher who organised the Chinese Cultural Day says the celebration is part of International Languages Exchanges and Pathways (ILEP) which offers nationwide support to develop learning languages and provides individualised professional learning and development for teachers.

“This is part of the professional development for staff members as it helps us to improve our knowledge of teaching and make learning more interesting.”

The Chinese festival held for five classes from year 1-6 also included a Chinese lunch for students, thus making it a fun experience.

Interestingly, most of the teachers at Pigeon Mountain Primary are qualifying in languages at NCEA level as part of their professional development, in order to explore other worlds through collaboration and languages.

As Ms Banks who has been on educational trip to Korea and a school trip China says: “With languages we can travel and understand others better. It’s the best way to experience other worlds, cross borders and broaden our horizons.”