AES Students feature in the Mandarin Excellence Programme Promotional Video
Over 7,000 pupils are now benefitting from a national Mandarin learning initiative delivered by UCL Institute of Education, in partnership with the British Council. Anglo European were amongst the first 14 schools in the initial cohort chosen to pilot this programme. Now in its 6th year, our first cohort have progressed to the Sixth Form and are now studying IBS Chinese Mandarin and further HSK qualifications, giving them internationally recognised qualifications which will assist their progression to Higher Education, Apprenticeships and their employability in the years to come.
The Mandarin Excellence Programme (MEP) gives AES the chance to offer an intensive language learning option alongside the traditional delivery of our other 7 languages: French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Arabic.
The programme, which began in 2016, has exceeded its target of seeing at least 5,000 pupils in England on track towards fluency in the language by 2020. It has also reveals supported the supply of Mandarin teachers in the UK, by increasing the number of opportunities for teacher training and practice and AES has continued contribute to the support and training of new teachers to the profession.
Mandarin is the most-spoken language in the world and British Council research has identified it as the second most important language for the UK’s future prosperity, security and influence globally. The MEP aims to be a catalyst and accelerator for the uptake of Mandarin in the state sector. The evaluation found the learning of Chinese has multiple benefits alongside reinforcing language learning, including offering a unique and sometimes life-changing cultural experience, and building pupils’ confidence, resilience and self-esteem.
One of the unique features of this programme is the 2-week intensive study visit to China in Year 9. Our students have benefitted from visits to Beijing in previous years and have enjoyed teaching on a University Campus and visits to historical and cultural sites such as the Great Wall of China and the Olympic Village. This year, sadly, Covid 19 has paused this visits and so, in partnership with UCL IOE, The British Council and our partners in Peking University, we held an international conference where our Year 9 students were able to converse with their peers in Chinese schools, were taught virtually by colleagues in China and enjoyed sharing diverse cultural activities simultaneously with their Chinese partners.
A promotional film captured our Year 9 students participation in this global conference and this has now been published on the UCL and British Council websites. Our students performed so well at this event that they were asked to speak and perform live at the Closing Ceremony. It was a really moving and innovative means of achieving the central aims of our curriculum: to develop a respect and deeper understanding of others’ cultures, values and traditions and to allow our students to move confidently beyond the boundaries of our students’ own experiences and communities, albeit virtually in this case, and to employ their own linguistic, creative and social skills so that they can confidently converse and communicate with others across the globe. Mission accomplished for Year 9 MEP students in 2021.