SCI Newsletter - July, 2023

It's been a busy few months at the SCI and we're pleased to share some highlights with you as well as some upcoming events.

Read on to find out more!

SCI Newsletter - July 2023

Welcome Ziyuan Gao

Ziyuan Gao with Dr Daojian Zhang and Professor Li Xiao
Ziyuan Gao with Dr Daojian Zhang and Professor Li Xiao

The Sheffield Confucius Institute is delighted to welcome our new Project Coordinator, Ziyuan Gao, who’s joined us in place of our previous Project Coordinator, Olivia, who’s on a secondment. She’s already got stuck in, providing valuable help with a variety of SCI projects. Ziyuan is part of the SCI family and we wish her a successful year full of growth and friendship.

May Fayre Success

SCI stall busy with activities
SCI stall busy with activities

The annual May Fayre took place on 21 May and the SCI were delighted to be a part of it. Jointly organised by Sheffield City Council and the University of Sheffield, it attracted crowds of up to 10,000 visitors, all of whom came to enjoy the stalls, exhibitions and performances.

The SCI was at the heart of the entertainment, from calligraphy and Chinese paper cutting to a Chinese costume stall and a pop-up shop featuring cultural items and trinkets.

Chinese Proficiency Tests


We were very pleased with the turnout for students taking their HSK, HSKK and YCT proficiency exams this year through the SCI, both in-person and online. We were delighted to collaborate with Queen Ethelburga's school in York to platform the YCT exams at their institution, and with Bishop Vesy’s Grammar School in Birmingham to host HSK exams at their school.

Adult school Summer School Success

CI adult course
Teacher delivers CI adult course lesson

Our Adult Learning Summer School started on 12 June and is in full swing. We’re delighted that sign ups have exceeded expectations and that the lessons are engaging and fun for both the students and our sponsored teachers alike. We can’t wait for the beginning of our September semester course starting 24 September - it's very rewarding for us to encounter so much excitement for Chinese language learning!

Sino-English Club 

Sino English Club in action at ALS Gongcha
Sino English Club in action at ALS Gongcha

Our Sino-English Club is taking a break for the summer but will be back with a vengeance in September to continue as a platform for sharing between Chinese and English speakers in Sheffield. The home of the gathering is at ALS Gongcha in Sheffield city centre, a great location for the event and a wonderful link to the Sheffield local community. 

For more event information details, please email us:

Fantasy Ballroom Dancing Show Success

BRD Group

It was a show to remember on 3 June as we collaborated with the Beijing Ballroom Dance Company, the Wanlin Dance Academy and students from the Department of Music for a wonderful Fantasy Ballroom Dancing event. It’s very rewarding to see students share the stage with trained professionals, gaining such valuable experience. They definitely held their own, and the quality was on display from all partners throughout the event at the University of Sheffield's Foundry venue in the Student's Union building. As well as being a promotional sponsor for this dynamic event, we took the chance to display our Chinese cultural pop-up stalls that were a hit with event goers - who dabbled in Chinese Calligraphy and our Chinese Tea Ceremony. 

One of the important pillars of the Sheffield Confucius Institute is Innovation. We believe that this event firmly achieves this in its collaborative nature and community application, and through the unique experience it has provided for our students. Here’s to more exciting collaborations in the future!

Tongji University Visit

Professor Yijun Liang
Professor Yijun Liang with SCI staff

We were delighted to welcome Professor Yijun Liang, Vice Dean at the School of International Cultural Exchange, Tongji University in Shanghai. The SCI management team and Professor Liang gathered together for collaborative working discussions, making real headway for potential partnerships in the future.

Dragon Boat Festival Party

There was a lovely party atmosphere

On 19 June, we gathered with the local community at St Andrews Church in Broomhall, Sheffield to celebrate this year’s Dragon Boat Festival. There were a host of exciting activities, from a zongzi making workshop (zongzi is a traditional rice snack with sweet or savoury fillings wrapped in bamboo leaves), to a Chinese Three-Legged Dragon Boat Race, a Culture Quiz and musical performances from student singer, Yang Qin and a local band, Joker's Belief. 

We’d like to thank all of our organisers, staff and attendees for such a wonderful and successful event. The sharing between local Chinese and UK culture was really special and we can’t wait for the next Mid-Autumn Festival in September!

Chinese Bridge Competition in London

SCI staff with contestants Isabella and Chao Chao Yi
SCI staff with contestants Isabella and Chao Chao Yi

The annual Chinese Bridge competition in London is a compelling competition between different universities and Confucius Institutes in the UK to showcase the skills of candidates who are both specialists in Chinese learning (e.g studying it directly at University), or non-specialist (studying part-time or as a hobby). Our non-specialist candidate this year was Chao Chao Yi and our specialist candidate was Isabella C. Gualeno. Both candidates travelled down with SCI staff to London to take part in the competition. 

The competition has four sections, the first consisting  of an introductory video about the experience of learning Chinese, the second section consists of a speech, the third was a performance, and the fourth part was a question and answer session. Chao Chao Yi sang a classic Chinese song called ’Niu Nai Mian Bang’ and Isabella performed a section from a Chinese drama performance called ‘Lei Yu’, or ‘Thunder & Rain’. Our teachers worked hard with the candidates to prepare and on the day they were a little nervous but overcame their anxiety and gave amazing performances. We couldn't have been more proud! 

The Star has Landed: Star Mandarin School Celebrates End of Term

SCI Marketing Officer delivers presentation at the event
SCI Marketing Officer delivers presentation at the event

The Star Mandarin School is immensely proud to be part of the University of Sheffield, to benefit from its expertise, resources, support and reputation. SCI staff have been delivering presentations and Star Mandarin teachers have been conducting special presentations with their classes as part of an end of term celebration at the school entitled, ‘The Star has Landed’. These dedicated performances, presentations and speeches are all designed to signal to the parents and students the strong bond that the Star Mandarin School enjoys with the university. Here’s to many more years of student growth and success!

Tai Chi Taster Class with Deborah McCall - 13 July 2023

Deborah McCall training with double broadsword with Grandmaster Chen Xiao Wang
Deborah McCall training with double broadsword with Grandmaster Chen Xiao Wang

Our very first Tai Chi taster class will take place in Bartolomé House, University of Sheffield on 15 July 2023. Our teacher, Deborah McCall, has over 15 years of experience in teaching the art in a number of styles. She’s trained under renowned masters and teaches regularly in her own classes. We’re very excited to invite her to deliver this taster class and we hope to invite Deborah back in September for more classes delivered after the summer break. 


Five day summer Mandarin Summer School (ages 5-16)


We know that keeping children occupied and engaged over the summer can be challenging. Our Mandarin Chinese Summer School offers five action packed days of activities and learning for children aged 5-16. Held on the University’s campus in Bartolome House from 24 - 28 July, this summer school is tailored for native English speakers new to the language. As well as learning key words and phrases in Mandarin Chinese, your child will also explore Chinese approaches to maths skills and art as well as fun and interactive activities to help them grow and make friends. The summer school costs just £80 for children of University of Sheffield staff/students or just £100 for children of non-University staff/students. Sign up this July to give your child some great memories, learning experience and who knows... the beginning of a new language learning journey!


Thank you for reading!

Take a look at the links below to read more about the SCI's recent activities and events!

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