Chinese Mandarin is taught to all our children from the Reception Year onwards. It is taught by a native Mandarin teacher who is a member of our teaching team.

Our intent is that our pupils can:

  • speak Mandarin to have a conversation
  • recognise, write and use Mandarin Hanzi characters
  • Know about China, Chinese culture and the country’s place in the world as a global power.

We add to our Mandarin lessons with after school clubs while pupils in Years 5 and 6 have the opportunity to spend 10 days in China. Our school hosts a number of visits by Chinese pupils each year so that our children can speak to children from China to make their learning more purposeful.

In Reception and Key Stage 1 (children aged 4 -7)

Children are immersed in Mandarin through stories, songs and rhymes. The focus is in building the children’s confidence to ‘have a go’ at speaking Mandarin with correct pronunciation as well as developing vocabulary. Alongside this they also learn about aspects of everyday life and compare this to their own life.

At Key Stage 2 (children aged 7 – 11)

Mandarin is taught following the National Curriculum KS2 languages programme of study. Each lesson builds on what has been learned in the previous lessons. Lessons provide opportunities for speaking and listening, reading and writing, where relevant. Lessons are interactive and Mandarin is spoken as much as possible. Our children also learn about Chinese history, culture and society. Each 30 minute weekly lesson is often followed up by the child’s class teacher in short 10 minute sessions to consolidate the learning of the main lesson.

After school clubs

Currently the school offers after school Mandarin clubs for children in Years 1, 2 and 3. Pupils going to China can join an additional after-school club designed to ensure they have the language and knowledge of China to be confident during their visit.

China exchange visit for pupils in Years 5 and 6

Pupils in Years 5 and 6 have the opportunity to spend 10 days in China. The visit is based in Beijing but we also spend 4 days in a second city. In Beijing, the children will visit the Great wall of China, The Forbidden City and other famous attractions whilst also spending time in Chinese primary schools. Usually, some of the children we spend time with in Beijing return to Richard Alibon later in the year so the children can continue their friendships. Private donations and funding from other organisations ensures we can offer financial assistance to pupils who would not normally be able to afford to take part in this visit.

Mandarin and its contribution to the enriched education we offer all our children.

Learning a modern foreign language is a great thing to do. It’s good for the brain and evidence shows bilingual children do better in education. It will widen your child’s horizons and help them understand the world they live in. Finding our about Chinese life and culture contributes to our aims of ensuring our school develops successful citizens ready to play a fulfilling life in our global society. In this way, learning Mandarin is integral to the curriculum aims of our school.

Our Mandarin Enrichment Programme:

Additional documents to support the Mandarin curriculum at Richard Alibon can be found below:

Richard Alibon Mandarin Scheme of Work