“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.“ Confucius

Lower School

All Year 7 students receive taster sessions in Mandarin during Term 1 at MGSG. They are then able to opt into the study of Mandarin as an alternative to French from Term 2 as an alternative to the two foreign languages they study in Term 1. These students are enrolled on the Mandarin Excellence Programme (MEP) a prestigious intensive study course sponsored by the Deparment for Education involving four hours of taught lessons and four hours of independent study per week. The course is designed to allow students to make more rapid progress in the Chinese language. There are also many opportunities for cultural experiences throughout the academic year and we also benefit from the cultural and linguistic knowledge of a Hanban classroom assistant.

The Year 7 Mandarin course is based on the textbook “Jìn Bù 1” which consists of five units. Each chapter introduces a new topic (greetings, family and home, hobbies, school, food and drink). Students also make use of several online resources and projects to help structure their independent study.

The Year 8 Mandarin course is based on the textbook “Jin Bu 2” which consists of five units. Each chapter introduces a new topic (holidays, personal identity, town and country, shopping) and presents new vocabulary, grammar and tenses, thus preparing students for language study at GCSE level. 

Year 8 students may have the opportunity to attend a two week intensive learning study camp in China. The fully immersive course includes several cultural excursions and activities. The trip is currently heavily subsidised by the Department for Education.

Upper School

Years 9, 10 and 11

Having introduced the Mandarin Excellence Programme in 2017/18, we are now pleased to have Year 9 and Year 10 Mandarin Cohorts in the Upper School. In 2021/22, we intend to offer AQA Full GCSE (9-1) Qualification in Mandarin Chinese, which is assessed by a final examination at the end of Year 11.

GCSE Chinese (spoken Mandarin) enables you to build on the reading, listening, speaking and writing skills you have begun to develop in Years 7-9. You will learn to produce language spontaneously in speaking and writing and to understand a wide variety of texts, including literary texts. In addition, you will deepen your knowledge of grammatical structures and will
learn about the culture of China.

Students will study topics drawn from three broad themes: Identity and Culture; Local, National, International and Global Areas of Interest and Current and Future Study and Employment. Students will be familiar with many of these topics from Years 7-9, however at GCSE these topics will be studied in greater depth. Students will learn to develop their ideas and opinions, using a wide range of structures and tenses and to express themselves confidently in writing and speaking.

Mandarin provides a practical and engaging course, designed to inspire and develop learners’ language skills. Learners will develop transferable skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing, which they will apply to a range of contexts as outlined below. It will also provide very marketable skills, as employers are increasingly seeking employees with language skills.

Range of contexts include:

  • Personal identity with family / friends / relationships as well the wider community
  • Youth culture and leisure
  • Typical lifestyles
  • Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • Work and employment
  • Current and future study
  • Charity-related work
  • Key features and activities of a region or town
  • Free-time and health
  • Environmental and world issues

Finally, please remember that this course requires a strong work ethic, as regular consolidation of the
learning outside the lessons is essential for students to achieve their potential.

Sixth Form

In 2022/23, we intend to offer Edexcel A Level Qualification in Mandarin Chinese, which is assessed by a final examination at the end of Year 13.

Year 12 and Year 13 students also have the opportunity to learn Mandarin Chinese as an enrichment subject alongside their core A Level subjects.

This involves 1 hour per week of lesson time and a recommended 1 hour per week independent study to consolidate learning.

Successful completion of the course will result in students being awarded a HSK 1 or HSK 2 qualification (equivalent of Cambridge Proficiency Tests in English), which covers the basics of Mandarin Chinese, including greetings, family information, food and drink, shopping transactions, travel and directions.  

This course is an optional extra and would make an impressive addition to a UCAS personal statement or job/apprenticeship application.