MFL – Chinese

Department Staff:  Mrs S Hook
Level of teaching: Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4

Knowledge of this increasingly important global language not only opens doors to employment opportunities but also gives students the intellectual challenge of learning a non-European language and widens their perspectives on world history and culture.

In Year 7 students have the opportunity to study two languages from French, German, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. Additionally, students can apply to join the Mandarin Excellence Programme (MEP) providing accelerated learning opportunities in this global language. A small number of students, identified by the school, will only do one language (Spanish) in order to support them with their English and Maths.

In Year 8, students continue to study their two languages alongside the MEP programme, where appropriate.

In Year 9, students continue to study their two languages. At Key Stage 4, MFL are provided as part of our broad and balanced curriculum offer with all four languages offered as part of the options process.

Mandarin Excellence Programme

In Year 7 students can apply to join the British Council’s Mandarin Excellence Programme, an intensive language programme to boost fluency in Mandarin. Each cohort of Year 7 accelerated learners will attain a high level of fluency in this key global language through an intensive programme of study, cultural activities and a trip to China at the end of Year 8. Further information on how to join this programme is provided to parents and carers at the start of the academic year.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

Years 7-8

Students can study Chinese on timetable from Year 7. Mandarin is now one of the languages students can choose to study from Year 7 either as part as the MEP program or just like the other languages.

Year 9

Students can continue studying Chinese on timetable in Year 9. They will learn basic conversational Chinese around topics such as describing themselves and their families, talking about hobbies and school life, shopping and ordering food. They will learn to read and write about 150 Chinese characters. If they study Chinese in Year 9 they can choose Chinese as a GCSE option in Years 10 and 11, talking about shopping, travel plans, school life and free-time activities.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11)

Students opting to do Chinese GCSE get the same timetabled lesson allocation as for other languages.

Course Code: AQA 8673
Exam Board Specification:

As with other languages, the students will study a range of topics including school life, travel, food, sport, media, and work. They will do controlled assessments in writing and speaking during the course of Year 10 and 11 and exams in listening and reading at the end of Year 11.

Year 10

Terms 1 & 2
Me, my family and friends
My studies
Free time activities
Terms 3 & 4
Chinese customs and festivals
Food and drinks
Terms 5 & 6
My hometown
Travel and tourism

Year 11

Terms 1 & 2
Social issues
Global issues
Terms 3 & 4
TEducation post-16
Jobs, career choices and ambitions
Terms 5 & 6
Revision/ exam preparation

Key Stage 5 (Years 12-13)

The Mandarin Chinese course is not currently taught at Key Stage 5.

Enrichment and Links:

Saint Gregory’s has long-running partnerships with schools across China. Saint Gregory’s hosts groups of Chinese students for week-long integration programmes in the spring and summer terms, with students attending curriculum lessons alongside class buddies. This enables enriching and beneficial language and cultural exchange between students, further enhancing Mandarin provision at Saint Gregory’s.

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