Year 5 have been continuing with their detailed Chinese topic since returning after the Easter break. Many aspects of Chinese life, both past and present, have been explored. This has been a very practical way of learning – traditional Chinese crafts have been made, Mandarin language has been learnt as well a trip to Chinatown in the West End.
Helping the pupils out with all of this learning had been Yi Kai, our Chinese visitor who has been tremendous help all around the school. Yi Kai recently demonstrated to the pupils the very refined technique of how to make traditional Chinese jasmine tea.
It was explained that many different stages need to be followed closely if the Chinese tea is to be brewed to perfection. Yi Kai very kindly brought in some of the tea making equipment that is needed.
Yi Kai explained every part of the process in great detail. The pupils were asked questions throughout the demonstration to describe what was happening and to perhaps provide a reason as to how this helps the tea making.
We soon learnt that tea making and drinking in China holds a very strong social and cultural connection. Yi Kai explained the three stages of enjoying the drink, once it had been brewed:
The pupils were encouraged to smile at the tea, then smell it and then gently drink it with three different sips.
The Chinese research will continue in Year 5 over the coming weeks. The pupils will be looking next at the idea of Chinese legends. These will be compared with some of the English stories that we are familiar with.
One example is the use of the dragon as part of a legends story. Year 5 will be learning how the dragon is seen as a hero in China, whereas in England the dragon is usually the villain in any legend story.