Mandarin Chinese is taught across the whole school by our specialist Mandarin teacher. Children in Key Stage 2 receive one hour of Mandarin lesson a week, while children in Key Stage 1 and Reception receive a 30 minute lesson.
Children in Reception and Key Stage 1 learn Mandarin through songs and art activities, while children in Key Stage 2 learn a variety of topics starting with greetings and moving onto numbers, body parts and food. In Year 3 this links with the children’s work on the country of China, deepening pupils’ knowledge and encouraging them to make connections across the curriculum.
The lessons encourage children to develop their skills in the four main areas of language learning: speaking, listening, reading and writing. This enables children to communicate effectively in an additional language as well as encouraging them to collaborate and support others. While Mandarin Chinese characters can prove a challenge, many children enjoy the problem-solving and critical thinking aspects when they are presented with a new character. Using existing knowledge and creativity, children are encouraged to solve problems and test out their theories while developing their confidence, resilience and independence.
Children in Year 5 have the opportunity to take the Youth Chinese Test (YCT) at the end of the academic year.
We strongly believe in promoting an appreciation and an interest in different communities and cultures: many of our children have a pen pal at our partner school in China which helps to develop empathy and deepen understanding of life in different countries. Some of our Year 4 children have taken part for the last two years in the local Love Languages Competition, which they won in 2019.
Click here to view a play written and performed by Year 3 pupils, entitled, “Zodiac Great Race Play”.