Pupils from two Cardiff primary schools have returned to Wales after a 12-day trip to China.
Year six pupils and two teachers from Welsh-medium primary school Ysgol Pencae in Llandaff joined children and staff from Landsdowne Primary School in Canton for the trip to Xiamen city in the south of China.
The trip, organised by Cardiff University’s Confucius Institute, was designed to introduce Western pupils and teachers to China’s language and culture, with children enjoying calligraphy, Mandarin and Tai Chi lessons, as well as visiting museums and trying traditional Chinese food while keeping a Welsh language blog about the experience.
Ysgol Pencae plans to build on its connection with Xiamen by twinning with a primary school in the city, and teacher Bethan Davies will go back to China next month for a three week course for teachers and intensive Mandarin lessons.
Miss Davies will keep up with her Mandarin when she returns with a course at Cardiff University, and by running a Mandarin Language Club for year two and five pupils.
Ysgol Pencae head teacher Richard Thomas said: “As far as we know, we’re the first Welsh-medium school to take part in a project such as this. It was a fantastic experience for us all and we learnt so much about Chinese culture.
“Pencae pupils, who already learn French, as well as Welsh and English, are excited at the prospect of a Mandarin language club next term, and I’m delighted we’re building links with the country.”
Adam Field, one of the four Ysgol Pencae pupils who travelled to China, added: “It was an unforgettable trip and every second will stay with us – from the foods we tried, to the people we met and the places we visited.”