St Birinus joins nationwide Mandarin programmePosted on: 08/11/2018
A group of Year 7 students at St Birinus have been participating in the Department for Education’s national Mandarin Excellence Programme since September. Joining students from 63 other English schools, our students spend four lessons a week studying Mandarin to help them reach a high level of language ability. Progress test results from the schools who have just completed the first and second years of the programme show students' skills are developing rapidly.
Now in its third year, the intensive language programme is delivered by the UCL Institute of Education in partnership with the British Council.
As the most widely spoken language in the world, the importance of Mandarin mastery cannot be underestimated if the country is to remain competitive in the future. This summer saw Chinese overtake German as the third most widely studied modern foreign language at A-level.
School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: “This government programme, launched in 2016, plays an important role in helping pupils to become fluent in Mandarin Chinese, the most spoken language in the world. I have seen for myself the inspiring enthusiasm and energy that both pupils and teachers are committing to this programme, with pupils that have already taken part achieving very high levels of spoken and written Mandarin.
“I would like to congratulate the schools that have been selected this year and the pupils involved, who will have a significant advantage when competing for jobs with their peers from around the world.”
In addition to improving students’ fluency in the language, the UCL Institute of Education aims to have trained at least 100 new qualified Chinese teachers in collaboration with other providers by the end of the programme.