News story

Schools Minister takes a lesson in Mandarin

Schools Minister Nick Gibb visited Kingsford Community College in Newham yesterday to see how it is leading the way in teaching Mandarin.

Kingsford was one of the first schools in the country to introduce the study of Chinese into their curriculum and it now has one of the largest and most successful Chinese departments in the state sector. It was one of the first 5 Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) Confucius Classrooms in England. There are now 34.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said:

Getting more young people to study a foreign language is vital to the social and economic future of our country. The introduction of the English Baccalaureate will encourage more pupils to take GCSEs in a broad range of academic subjects, including a language.

Schools like Kingsford are leading the way in language teaching. China is at the centre of the global economy, which is why it is important that our young people understand its culture and language.

Further information

The Government announced a review of the national curriculum on 20 January 2011. The review will consider the status of languages at both primary and secondary level. It will consult a wide range of academics, teachers and other interested parties to ensure that the core curriculum can compare with those of the highest performing countries. Interested parties are invited to contribute to the Call for Evidence which closes on Thursday 14 April.

The Government and SSAT previously announced a new partnership with China to train 1000 more Mandarin teachers for secondary schools in England. Around 16 percent of state secondary schools currently teach Mandarin at some level.

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