Hero photograph
Panda and bamboo painting
Photo by Ms I Ding


Mrs Ivy Ding —

It was another busy year for students of Chinese language. They participated in many national competitions, cultural activities and events.

This year, Year 5 – Year 13 Chinese students have learned “Seal Script Chinese Calligraphy Writing”. Each year, in Chinese classes, students learn different Chinese Calligraphy Writing styles.Calligraphy is the art of writing Chinese characters. It is unique to the Chinese nation, and has a long history of several thousand years of tradition.

In Term One, we had the Chinese New Year celebration. The date of Chinese New Year is based on the Chinese lunar calendar. This year it fell on 5th February and celebrates the year of the pig. We did Chinese paper cutting and made firecrackers and Chinese knots together in the Chinese classroom, celebrating a year of hard work and to wish for a lucky and prosperous coming year.

In Term Two, on 16 May, Columba College hosted the 2019 12th Lower South Island Bridge Speech Competition. We had a very successful night with great team work. Six students participated in the competition at Columba College. They were: Year 9 students Anise Maclean and Nora Paicu, Year 10 students Maya Bromby, Luna Koyama and Wakane Ogawa and Year 13 student Joelle Gatenby. As a result, Joelle won 2nd place in the senior category; Maya Bromby won 2nd place in the junior category (Maya also won "The Best Talent Award - Chinese Calligraphy Writing"), Anise and Luna won 3rd place in the junior category; Nora and Wakane won “Distinguished Award” in Junior category.

On Sunday 26 May, Maya Bromby (Year 10) and Joelle Gatenby (Year 13) went to Christchurch to represent Otago and compete in the 2019 South Island Final Speech Competition. Joelle won 3rd place in the senior category and Maya won a Distinguished award in the junior category.

To conclude Term Two, we celebrated The Dragon Boat Festival in June by making paper craft "Dragon Boats" and "Sticky Rice Dumplings", and we also had cooking workshops in class.

In Term Three, the final of the "12th New Zealand Chinese Bridge Proficiency Competition" was held in Christchurch on Sunday 4th August 2019. Joelle Gatenby, represented South Island senior students. At the competition, Joelle delivered a three-minute speech in Chinese without the use of cue cards, answered Chinese questions from the judge and performed a Chinese Fan Dance. As a result, Joelle received an "Outstanding Performance” prize.

On Sunday 15th September, a number of Columba students participated in the celebration of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival at the Chinese Gardens. Chinese students Junxiao Chen, Weiyi Dong, Ruoshui Zhang, Shuyuan Zhao, Yuxuan Zou, Jiayun Zou and Kede Wei performed the Chinese Dance “Qing Bei”. Year 5 student Rainny (Yumeng) Li played “Guzheng”, which is a Chinese plucked string instrument with a more than 2500-year history. Year 4 student Simba (Xuanming) Tang sang the Peking Opera, which is the most popular and the most influential of the traditional Chinese theatrical performances.

Year 13 students Joelle Gatenby and Eleanor Dunn won second and third prize in the Chinese Gardens Essay Competition. Their cash prize of $250 and $125 was presented by Consul-General Mr Wang and Dunedin Mayor David Cull at the Moon Festival at the Chinese Garden. Joelle and Eleanor also won the equivalent cash prize for Columba College which was received by Mrs Duthie at the event.

Chinese Tai Chi is a type of Chinese Martial-arts. Tai Chi has a long history of more than 700 years. Tai Chi is a mind and body harmony exercise, good for health and reducing pressure. During Chinese Language Week and Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration, a two-day Chinese martial art “Tai Chi workshops” was organised and followed by mooncake eating to celebrate the big festival. Mr Yong Tang, a Tai Chi master, travelled up from Invercargill for the two-day event. Mr Tang performed Tai Chi at school assembly and also taught Year 0 to Year 10 Chinese students Tai Chi in the Mandarin classes. Students enjoyed this very much.

This year, four students entered the 13th NZ Chinese Essay Competition organised by the Confucius Institute (Auckland University). Year 13 student Joelle Gatenby won Third prize, Dogyeong An and Seohyun Han won Merit prizes in the Secondary Senior category and Year 10 student Wakane Ogawa won Merit prize in the Secondary Junior category.

In Term 4, the Chinese Prize Giving will be held on 24th October at Otago Girls’ High School. We have a number of students who will be awarded Chinese Calligraphy Competition and Excellence students awards.

This year, 247 students entered the 10th New Zealand Chinese Calligraphy Competition in the hard pen and soft brush divisions. Year 4 student Evelyn Cosgrove won 3rd place in Hard Pen Calligraphy Non-Native Primary Category. Year 6 Hebe Song won 1st place in Hard Pen Calligraphy Native Primary Category. Year 9 students Mabel Lee won 1st place, Ashley Miller and Koh Miyamichi won 2nd place, Yunhwa Lee and Year 10 student Maya Bromby won 3rd place in Brush Pen Calligraphy Non-Native Intermediate Category. Year 11 student Alexandra Crawford and Year 13 student Seohyun Han won 3rd place in Brush Pen Calligraphy Non-Native Secondary Category. Year 12 student Ruth Huang won 3rd prize in Brush Pen Calligraphy Native Secondary Category. Year 13 students Kana Aoshima and Suhjung Yang won 2nd place, Joelle Gatenby and Seohyun Han won 3rd place in Hard Pen Calligraphy Non-Native Secondary Category. Year 10 students Luna Koyama and Wakane Ogawa won 3rd place in Hard Pen Calligraphy Non-Native Intermediate Category. Year 13 Yuqi Wang and Echo Li won 3rd prize in Hard Pen Calligraphy Native Secondary Category.

Year 5 student Harlow La Hood, Year 6 student Scarlett Jane Wilson, Year 10 students Renee Mosley and Maggie Huang and Year 13 student Samantha Wan have all been awarded Merit prizes in the 10th NZ Chinese Calligraphy Competition. Because of the students’ excellent achievements in the Calligraphy competition, Ms Ding and Miss Jin were awarded for “The Best Coach”.

At the Chinese Prize Giving, Year 1 student Liam Mao, Year 2 students Archer Jones and Leo Mundy, Year 3 students William Henderson and Ruby Tilyard, Year 4 student Sophie Butson, Year 5 student Leo Woodham, Year 6 student Lula Joseph, Year 7 students Kaja Maciaczyk and Charli Sinclair, Year 8 students Isabella Cameron and Kayla Smith, Year 9 student Anise Maclean, Year 10 students Alisha Horne, Renee Mosley and Vivienne Lau and Year 11 student Emily Prout will be awarded the “Excellence in Class” awards.

In Term 4, we will host the Chinese Immersion Day, to promote and share Chinese culture in the local school community. Local schools and Columba College students of Chinese will participate in one day of activities related to Chinese language and culture such as Chinese craft, Chinese calligraphy, Chinese games and Chinese dancing etc.

Mrs I. Ding

Teacher of Chinese