Mandarin Chinese GCSE

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Examination Board AQA
Subject Leader Mrs Hook
Exam board link Mandarin Chinese
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Chinese GCSE gives students an opportunity to add an exciting international dimension to the range of subjects that they study. The course not only equips them with the ability to communicate in Mandarin Chinese but also brings the intellectual excitement and challenge of learning how a non-European language works. It opens up a window onto a fascinating culture and furnishes them with a valuable qualification for future employment prospects.

Syllabus and assessment method:

The students are tested on all four skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. All skills are tested at the end of Year 11 and each carry the same weight in terms of marks (i.e. 25%).

Because the Chinese script is not alphabetical and takes longer to learn than European languages, all questions and instructions in the papers will be in English. Also, in the reading and listening exams, the candidates will respond in English.

Topics covered in the syllabus include contemporary and cultural themes. They are organised into three main themes and twelve topics:

Theme 1: identity and culture:
Me, my family and friends
Technology in everyday life
Free-time activities
Customs and festivals

Theme 2: local, national, international and global areas of interest
Home, town, neighbourhood and region
Social issues
Global issues
Travel and tourism

Theme 3: current and future study and employment
My studies
Life at school
Education post-16
Career choices and ambitions

Students are well supported with text books and many imaginative on-line resources. St Gregory’s also has links with schools in China so students get opportunities to make friends and communicate with their peers.

In addition, since 2017 St Gregory’s has been on the national Mandarin Excellence Programme which opens up many new opportunities for our students of Mandarin to boost their learning and take part in cultural events.

To embark on the course students are required to have studied at least two terms of basic Chinese.