Anglo European School in Ingatestone has been selected as one of the first schools to participate in the Department for Education’s national Mandarin Excellence Programme.
This prestigious intensive language programme, which is being supported by the UCL Institute of Education in partnership with the British Council, will see at least 5,000 school students in England on track towards fluency in Mandarin Chinese by 2020.
Year 7 students from the Anglo European School who are on this programme will study Mandarin for eight hours a week over the course of the next four years – a significant increase on the time pupils currently spend on the subject.
Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world, and is seen as important for young people in the UK to master in order for the country to remain globally competitive in the future.
Offering the option of Mandarin at these designated schools is one of the ways in which the Government is increasing opportunities for young people, whatever their background, to progress rapidly in subjects which will considerably enhance their skills and future opportunities.
Mrs Gee, Headteacher said: “We are thrilled to be one of the first cohort of schools able to offer this innovative and challenging programme which will greatly enhance our already outstanding Mandarin provision. With 100% A*-B and 89% A*-A in 2016, our school is well-placed to support participating students in achieving rapid progress over the next four years. Learning Mandarin Chinese will undoubtedly improve these students’ opportunities and employability in an ever increasingly international and outward-looking society. The Anglo European School is also leading the recruitment and training of new Mandarin Chinese teachers to the profession locally.”
School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said:
“A high level of fluency in Mandarin Chinese will become increasingly important in our globally competitive economy. As part of our drive to extend opportunity, we want to give young people the opportunity to study the language and to acquire fluency in both spoken and written Mandarin.”
“The Mandarin Excellence Programme helps us achieve this, offering intensive study in the language which will not only be personally enriching for students, but will also give them a significant advantage when they enter the world of work.”
In addition to improving students’ fluency in the language, the UCL Institute of Education, in collaboration with other providers, aims to have trained at least 100 newly qualified Chinese teachers by the end of the programme.
The Confucius Institute, based at the UCL Institute of Education already has a network of 42 Confucius Classrooms across England and supports schools in starting and developing the teaching and learning of Mandarin Chinese and the study of China across other areas of the curriculum.
Katharine Carruthers, Director of the UCL Institute Of Education (IOE) Confucius Institute said: “The UCL Institute of Education is delighted to be delivering the DfE’s Mandarin Excellence Programme. Over the last decade, our work in schools has inspired increasing numbers of secondary school pupils to take up Mandarin Chinese. This programme provides a real boost and unique opportunity for more motivated pupils to reach a very high level of proficiency in Mandarin.
“We are also developing new innovative teaching methods which will benefit the young people on the programme as well as the wider cohort of pupils learning Mandarin Chinese in our schools. The Mandarin Excellence Programme will undoubtedly further the UK’s relationship with China at all levels.”
Mark Herbert, Head of Schools Programmes at the British Council said: “Language skills are crucial for work and life in the global race, and Mandarin Chinese is one of the frontrunners when it comes to languages that matter most to the UK’s future prosperity. If the UK is to remain competitive on the world stage, we need far more of our young people leaving school with a good grasp of Mandarin in order to successfully work abroad or for businesses here in the UK.”
Notes to Editors:
For more information about the school’s involvement in the programme, please contact Mrs Gee on 01277 351907
For more information about the Mandarin Excellence Programme, please contact Kristen McNicoll in the British Council press office (Kristen.firstname.lastname@example.org)