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.
In Year 8, students continue to study their two languages alongside the MEP programme, where appropriate.
At the end of Year 8, in preparation for Year 9, students will be asked to specialise in one language, taking their study of this subject to a deeper level as they continue their progression to GCSE level and beyond. 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)
Students can study Chinese on timetable from Year 7 and there are opportunities to begin the language in lunchtime club sessions. There is also a weekly lunchtime Mandarin club open to all students in Years 7 and 8. Students get the opportunity to learn some spoken and written Chinese. In the spring and summer terms, visiting students from China share insights into Chinese culture with Saint Gregory’s students, as well as leading hands-on activities such as brush painting and calligraphy. There is also a weekly lunchtime Mandarin club open to all MEP students in Years 7, 8 and 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: www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/gcse/chinese-spoken-mandarin-8673
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.
Me, my family and friends
Free time activities
Chinese customs and festivals
Food and drinks
Travel and tourism
Jobs, career choices and ambitions
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 a 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.
It has been fantastic to see that, on the whole, our students are all now established on Google Classroom and are making great progress in their studies whilst away from school.
On Monday 25 November 2019, Miss Medcroft attended the International School Award Ceremony, at the British Council in London.
Thank you to everyone who came along to support this week’s European Cake Sale. There were some beautiful cakes available and the students thoroughly enjoyed it.