Chinese New Year assembly
Chinese New Year celebrations kicked off at KPS with an assembly led by all our Lower School Chinese pupils.
The assembly started with year 11 pupil Michael Liu wishing everyone happy new year in Chinese. Year 7 pupil Xuanyi Zhang then gave a brief introduction to the Chinese Zodiac animals, after which year 8 pupils gave a brilliant performance of ‘The Great Race’, a play that illustrates the origins of the Chinese Zodiac.
After the play, Tina Hong (Year 10), Kitty Hong (Year 8) and Davide Palano (Year 8) explained the Chinese New Year traditions, including the new year’s eve meal, the red packets and the lion/dragon dance. A quiz was then given by Joy Wu (Year 10) and Khloe Feng (Year 11), with lucky cookies given to the pupils who got the correct answers.
The assembly ended with a year 7 performance of the popular Chinese New Year song ‘Gongxi Gongxi’ to wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year.
Chinese New Year art workshop
On the 1st February, we ran a special art workshop in celebration of the Chinese New Year. There was an excellent turn out with lots of pupils coming along during their lunch break to make a variety of Chinese New Year themed crafts.
The art teacher Miss Jardim had set up a variety of workspaces where pupils could choose between making a ‘Year of the Pig’ bookmark, Chinese lanterns, origami, or paper lanterns and umbrellas. It was wonderful to see pupils working in pairs, and mastering the tricky origami process.
At the end of the workshop, each pupil had at least one piece of craftwork to take home. As well as an enjoyable way to spend a lunchbreak, pupils also had the opportunity to learn about Chinese traditional art forms.
Kung Fu Workshop
Continuing the Chinese New Year celebrations, on 5th February we held a Kung Fu Workshop led by a real Shaolin warrior, Shifu Shi Heng Ren. Shifu Shi Heng Ren is from the Shaolin Academy London, and is a 35th generation Shaolin Disciple.
During the year 7 and 8 session, Shifu Heng Ren taught pupils ‘Qi Xing Quan’ (Seven Star Boxing), which took him 25 years to master and is one of the core traditional forms from the Shaolin Temple that has been preserved over the centuries. It combines different styles of Kung Fu ‘heart-mind’ boxing with rooster techniques – postures that mimic the rooster, such as open splayed hands. Pupils were very excited to learn real Chinese Kung Fu for the first time; after the session Shifu Shi Heng Ren found himself inundated with questions by the new, young Kung Fu enthusiasts!
The next session was for year 9, 10 and 11 pupils who were taught a stronger form of Kung Fu called ‘Xiao Hong Quan’ (Small Hong Boxing). ‘Xiao Hong Quan’ is the basic boxing routine of Shaolin Kung Fu martial arts and a compulsory routine to learn for all martial art students. It is known as the ‘mother of eighteen’ and its postures are dainty yet vigorous, highlighting the characteristics of Shaolin boxing. As well as teaching the different sets of moves, Shifu Shi Heng Ren also explained how the moves were created and the concepts behind them.
We’ve had a wonderful few days of Chinese New Year celebrations with lots of enjoyable workshops taking place, which have also given our pupils a better understanding of Chinese culture and traditions. Thanks to our Mandarin teacher Mrs Huang for organising such a fun programme of events!