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MEP Students meet Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP

On Monday, 24th May, Alex Morgan (Yr 10) Yan Morris (Yr 11) and Mrs Gee, Headteacher had a video call with the Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, Minster for School Standards, Mark Herbert, Director Schools and Skills at the British Council and Katharine Curruthers OBE, Director of UCL IOE along with representatives from 4 other MEP schools. Minister Gibb spoke with each school in turn, thanking the Headteachers and Chinese teachers for their contributions to the success of the programme and then talking to each student in turn about their experiences and their achievements. Mrs Gee, who chairs the National Headteachers’ Strategy Group for MEP, spoke to Minister Gibb about the impact the government support has had on the success of this prestigious project and what a pleasure it has been to see our first cohort, now in Year 11, about to qualify with GCSEs and an HSK 3 qualification in Chinese Mandarin this year.

Minister Gibb spoke to Yan Morris about his assessments at the end of Year 11, his experience of HSK 3 and congratulated him on achieving Gold, the highest award given in this qualification. Yan said, “It was a great opportunity to speak to Nick Gibb MP about the Mandarin Excellence Programme and to hear from other students who share the same passion and enthusiasm for learning Mandarin. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning Mandarin on the Mandarin Excellence Programme, which included the trips to China and Nottingham, visit to the Foreign Office and House of Lords, as well as taking part in the Mandarin Speaking competition. I hope to study Mandarin further in our Sixth Form, then at University. My aspiration is to become a Chinese teacher.”

He then spoke to Alex Morgan to congratulate him on his recent success in the National Mandarin Speech Competition, organised annually by the British Council and held virtually this year on May 5th 2021. Alex said, “The competition was a great way for me to practise and improve my confidence and Mandarin speaking skills, I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Anglo’s success in this competition is notable; candidates from schools all over the UK joined the first round in March. Our students Alex Morgan (10C) and Yan Morris (11C) both made it to the final. Last week, we learnt that Alex had been awarded third place in the Intermediate Plus Level, which is hugely impressive. The judges complimented Alex on his “very organised responses with good structures.” and his use of “complex conjunctions …in the final performance.”

Our CLEC Chinese Language Teacher Tina Dai said, “We prepared the competition together from the heats to finals. It was a pleasure to train such brilliant boys who are so hardworking and full of creative ideas.” Mrs Gee added, “Many congratulations to both students for their amazing success in this national competition. They have worked extremely hard on this very demanding and intense programme of Chinese study. To listen to their confident, fluent and eloquent performances in this challenging competition and to listen to the reaction of the judges made us all very proud.”

The MEP programme, with Minister Gibb’s support, is hoping to secure another 5 years of funding to continue the excellent work that Anglo, along with 13 pioneer schools began back in 2015. There are now over 80 schools involved and the programme has exceeded its targets of securing 5000 fluent speakers of Chinese by 2021 and continues to enhance the curriculum with enrichment, immersive study visits to China, university residentials, and virtual tours. In Phase 2, we hope to enhance our primary liaison and support, connections with business and enterprise, work experience opportunities and a continuation of enriched provision into the Sixth Form and beyond, working with Higher Education institutions to enable our MEP students to achieve their ambitious goals.