Overview of Key Stage 3 Curriculum
All Year I girls study Mandarin for 2 hours per week. It is not long before total beginners of Mandarin are confidently applying basic Chinese greetings and getting to grips with the linguistic peculiarities of the language. These include the Chinese characters ( 汉字), the phonetic alphabet pinyin, and the four tones of Mandarin. By the end of Year I, students can write a range of most frequently used characters and hold simple conversations.
In Year II, girls start to use the popular Jinbu textbooks written by Xiaoming Zhu and Yu Bin. These provide a thorough foundation for progression to GCSE and to other routes of learning and qualification. The girls will be introduced to more advanced grammatical features such as the position of time words, comparatives, different tenses and aspects. They will be required to submit a Chinese diary every fortnight.
In Year III, girls can choose to continue their study of Mandarin, and there is also the opportunity for girls new to QM to begin the subject from scratch. By the end of the year, students will have finished the Jinbu textbooks 1 and 2, and about half of the grammar and syntax needed for GCSE has been covered.
What makes the department unique from those at other schools?
Many girls describe the subject as “different” as it adds freshness to their learning experiences. Mandarin lessons are filled with a rich variety of fun activities and resources to ensure that different learning styles are catered for. Our students will find themselves interacting in Chinese with their teacher, between each other and with Chinese girls at QM. For those unable to have Mandarin as their curriculum lesson, they can enjoy learning at the weekly Mandarin Club.
The department strongly believes in the importance of promoting the culture of a country alongside the study of its language. Therefore a wide range of enrichment activities are organised, including watching and reviewing Chinese films and videos, learning to sing Chinese pop songs, celebrating traditional Chinese festivals and eating out at Chinese restaurants. QM’s first trip to China is also being organised for Easter 2015.
Career prospects for reading Mandarin are endless. Some include international finance, foreign office, interpreting and translating, journalism and publishing.