Durham Chinese School Profile

Classroom in Gilesgate Sixth Form 2002-2005

Classroom in Durham Johnston Crossgate Moor

The Durham Chinese School (DCS thereafter) was originally founded in 1998 by Dr Wenbin Wei. In 2002, Dr Yan Liu took over the running of the school as Head of the school with supports from CANER (Chinese Association North East Region) and Durham Sixth Form College. DCS is an incorporated members’ club in its legal definition teaching Mandarin and promoting Chinese culture. In 2005 the school entered into partnership with Durham Johnston School, where its classes have been held since. In September 2012, in its 15th year, the school relocated to Elvet Hill House, Durham University, adjacent to Durham Oriental Museum.

In 2002 there were approximately 10 students but student numbers have grown rapidly over the last 10 years. Total DCS membership in school year 2010/11 were 58 families responsible for 85 children to attend school and 12 adult students. In the current school year, 66 families, 97 children and 3 adults are on school register. The school provides language classes and interest clubs every Sunday during term time. There are now 6 language teachers, 4 interest club teachers for Chinese dancing for children and adults, Chinese art and chess. The governing body of DCS consists of a management committee of 5 volunteers, 3 parent representatives, 1 teacher representative and and a publicity team with 4 volunteers. Dr Yan Liu has held the position of Honorary Head teacher of the School since 2009.

DCS is outstandingly successesful in educating children in Mandarin language and Chinese culture and achieving outstanding results in nationally recognised examinations. It also has a successful track record of collaboration and partnerships with local mainstream schools, education authority, providing teaching resources and know-how and attracting external funding for educational and cultural purposes. The School is believed to be the only organisation in the County Durham area to provide Mandarin teaching for adults and children from 4 years old.

Mandarin is the official language in Mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore, and used by ethnic Chinese worldwide. DCS believes that with the increase of China’s political and economic influence in international arena and with an increasingly globalised world impacting on every walk of life which is visible increasingly boldly, strengthening education in Chinese language and increasing awareness of Chinese culture will benefit the communities in the City and County of Durham and beyond.