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Students from Homewood School showcase their Mandarin skills for Education Minister

Students from Homewood School showed off their Mandarin skills in front of the Schools Standards Minister, Nick Gibb MP during a visit to London on Tuesday 12th December 2017.

As one of the first schools to participate in the Department for Education’s Mandarin Excellence Programme, the pupils joined 13 other schools from across England to celebrate the programme’s first year – with the Minister praising the pupils for their excellent results.

The intensive language programme – which is being delivered by the UCL Institute of Education in partnership with the British Council was introduced in September 2016 and aims to see more than 5,000 pupils in England on track towards fluency in Mandarin by 2020.

Results from the first year of the programme show that the majority of students are making excellent progress so far, with the majority achieving marks of over 80% in reading, writing, listening and speaking tests.

Students at the event, which took place in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office headquarters in central London, participated in a number of activities to showcase their Mandarin skills and to help them continue their learning. This included a giant game of Chinese whispers, where the students were split into groups and had to communicate a message in Mandarin to help them practice their Mandarin speaking. The students were also invited to contribute to scrolls which included the words and characters they had learnt through their time on the Mandarin Excellence Programme.

Homewood Mandarin teacher Yanwen Tang says, ‘It was a great end to an exciting year of learning Mandarin. Our students have worked very hard throughout the year and really enjoyed this event’.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb says, ‘Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language in the world, so this programme plays a crucial role in helping students achieve the fluency they need to succeed in an increasingly global economy.’