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What will students be studying in Mandarin this year?

Mandarin is taught in Year 10, and students will use the Edexcel (Pearson) GCSE textbook as the main textbook and the AQA GCSE Chinese textbook as an additional textbook. We follow the AQA Examination Board syllabus, which has three broad themes, each of which is further subdivided as follows.

Theme 1: Identity and Culture 

   Topic 1: Me, my family and friends

   Topic 2: Technology in everyday life

   Topic 3: Free-time activities

   Topic 4: Customs and festivals in Chinese-speaking countries/communities

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest

   Topic 1: Home, town, neighbourhood and region

   Topic 2: Social issues

   Topic 3: Global issues

   Topic 4: Travel and tourism

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment

   Topic 1: My studies

   Topic 2: Life at school/college

   Topic 3: Education post-16

   Topic 4: Jobs, career choices and ambitions

Students will follow the AQA exam board specification to learn key languages and grammar points for GCSE and enhance their speaking and writing skills.

Expectations of Students in Mandarin

Lessons continue to be given in weekly one-hour lessons after school and 45-minute lessons during the lunch break. Students are also given weekly homework. Homework includes reading and writing, vocabulary and grammar exercises, grammar practice and writing, particularly in writing, which is more positively assessed than at the beginning of Year 10 and is graded by a mark scheme. Students need to find challenges in order to achieve maximum results.

What are the major assessments this year?

There will be formative assessments covering a range of skills at the end of most units and an end of year exam in the summer term of Year 10, which includes a speaking exam. A Chinese character test or vocabulary test is required every week or fortnight. Ongoing vocabulary and grammar tests assess the extent to which students have assimilated the new language.

Year 11 students take mock exams in November and February. The mock exams take the form of four separate exams. Each paper is equally weighted so 25% of the final mark. The listening and reading comprehension require answers in English and the reading paper also includes a translation into English. The speaking exam will be 10-12 minutes plus preparation time and includes a role play, photo card and general conversation. The writing paper contains two writing tasks and a translation into Chinese.

What will the current performance grade be based on, and what do the levels mean?

Current performance grades will reflect the current GCSE grades and will range from 9-1.  A target minimum grade for each student will be determined at the start of the Autumn Term. They will have the opportunity to review their progress at termly intervals in consultation with their teacher and to set personal targets. The grade given at the end of the year will be influenced by the end of year exam but will also take into account work over the year.

What should my daughter do if she feels she is struggling in the subject?

It is important for students to let their teacher know of any concerns promptly, so that support and advice can be offered, before she starts to fall behind. The teacher will create an individual programme that is best suited to the student's specific situation and will enable her to improve her level of performance.

How can I support my daughter?

The best way to support your daughter is by taking an interest in her work in Mandarin. No prior knowledge is required! Indeed if you have never studied Mandarin you might find it interesting for your daughter to share some of her learning with you, as this is a powerful way for her to reinforce her knowledge and understanding of the subject. In addition, please provide opportunities and environments to increase your daughter's interest in Chinese in her life as much as possible.

What kind of independent work should my daughter be completing?

It is a good idea for her to review her lesson notes and the relevant resources as soon as possible after the lesson, to help it sink in. There are all the vocabulary students need for the AQA exam on, also Mandarin Click is a highly recommended site for practising listening and increasing vocabulary! We also encourage students to take part in the Chinese class school trips, which is both educational and enjoyable.

Who can I contact for further advice and information?

Ms Bongout has oversight of the twilight language courses and will be pleased to follow up any queries: 

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