The Mandarin department is growing fast as the significance of China and Mandarin-speaking people in today's world is greater than ever before. While it is a common misconception that the writing system is impossible to master, in fact our pupils enjoy the challenge and find that the better they understand the concepts behind the characters, the easier it gets. With the help of modern technology, learning, reading, and writing characters is full of fun! Our pupils embrace the subject with enthusiasm and success.


Lower and Middle School

Mandarin is offered to Years 8-11 as part of the curriculum. Students can start in either Year 8 or Year 9 and continue up to IGCSE level.

The Sixth Form

In the Sixth Form, there are a number of options for studying Mandarin within the IB programme, depending on the student's prior knowledge of the language. For complete beginners, we offer the ab initio course at Standard Level. For those with (I)GCSE, or three to four years' experience of the language, we offer Mandarin B at Standard Level. The course is examined through oral assessment, reading and written response, and writing. For bilingual and native speakers of Mandarin/Cantonese, we offer Mandarin Language A at Standard Level in Language and Literature.

Students will have the opportunity to explore various genres across a wide range of historical periods, with Literary Criticism forming a key component of the course.

Outside of the classroom

Each year the department organises a celebration of the Chinese New Year with a range of food and student performances. We take part in the national Mandarin Chinese speaking and writing competition. We also organise a study trip to China in the summer and a variety of trips to London to visit Chinese exhibitions and Chinatown.

To merely know is nothing compared to being interested in knowing; being interested in knowing is nothing compared to deriving joy from learning it.


Head of Department: Miss Yingxu