Students explore Chinese culture

January 22, 2023

Understanding of the Chinese culture and cultivating national identity in children has always been one of the learning objectives in the kindergarten education curriculum.


In light of the developmental and learning characteristics of young children, kindergartens use real-life themes to incorporate elements of Chinese culture in integrated learning activities, such as storytelling, reading, role-playing, drawing, singing and dancing, to help them learn and experience Chinese culture.


Diversified teaching

For January, PLK Fong Tam Yuen Leung (Tsz Wan Shan) Kindergarten has chosen the Lunar New Year as its monthly teaching theme. Relevant Chinese culture elements have been fully incorporated into the daily teaching activities and placed around the whole school.


Through a musical activity, the youngsters learnt about the Chinese legend of Nian, a ferocious beast that would descend on villages on Lunar New Year’s Eve and eat everything in sight. But Nian was said to be afraid of the colour red and loud noise, so the students played Chinese percussion instruments and waved “fai chun” or traditional red banners to drive the monster away.


At the end of the performance, everyone became friends and enjoyed a happy Lunar New Year, serving as a moral lesson for the children.


Customary celebrations

The students also learnt about the reunion dinner, held on Lunar New Year’s Eve, which is believed to be the most important part of the Spring Festival as well as the most important meal of the year.


The children had their reunion dinner role-play, with some of the students acting as chefs and preparing "lucky" Chinese dishes and their classmates playing the role of family members.


PLK Fong Tam Yuen Leung (Tsz Wan Shan) Kindergarten Principal Yick Oi-ling explained that the youngsters were able to learn and practise virtues such as filial piety to parents and elders as well as respecting, helping and caring for each other, through the reunion dinner role-play.


Another important tradition in the weeks leading up to the Lunar New Year is spring-cleaning. Families thoroughly clean their homes to sweep away the dust and dirt of the past year and embrace a brand new beginning.


The kindergarten students did their part by helping the school cleaners with this important task. Principal Yick pointed out that through this activity, the children will then be able to help out with the housework at home too.


Under its teaching theme of Lunar New Year, the school provides diversified activities such as learning about calligraphy by viewing different fonts of the Chinese character for “fortune”, crafting Lunar New Year food out of Play-Doh, and finding out more about Chinese tea and the art of paper-cutting.


Government support

The 2022 Policy Address outlined various measures to strengthen national education and formulated key performance indicators. Starting from this school year, all kindergartens joining the Kindergarten Education Scheme are required to organise at least one school‑based activity relating to Chinese culture every year.


To further support the kindergartens in promoting the learning of Chinese culture, the Education Bureau has earmarked $60 million for a one-off “Grant for Promotion of Chinese Art & Culture”. A maximum of $80,000, based on the number of eligible students, will be granted for each participating kindergarten to organise related school-based activities from the 2022-23 school year to the 2024-25 school year.


Education Bureau Principal Education Officer (Kindergarten Education) Magnolia Leung emphasised that the bureau is committed to promoting national education and helping children learn about the country and Chinese culture from an early age.


“We are delighted to see kindergartens promoting national education with a whole-school approach and actively strengthening the elements of Chinese culture in the curriculum, helping children pass on the Chinese traditional virtues.


“We will continue to join hands with kindergartens to help children gain an understanding of our country, appreciate Chinese culture and build a sense of national identity from an early age.”


Ms Leung added that there has been positive feedback from the kindergarten sector on the grant and recognition of the bureau’s efforts in providing appropriate resources to support the promotion of Chinese culture for students.


Principal Yick supplemented that she will use the grant to purchase materials relating to the teaching of Chinese culture, such as more Chinese musical instruments as well as organise more trips for students outside of a classroom setting.


In early January, the bureau issued a circular memorandum introducing details of the grant and its application procedures to around 750 eligible kindergartens.


As at January 16, more than 200 kindergartens have applied for the grant. The application deadline is January 30.

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