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Gumley House School FCJ

Gumley students ‘on track towards fluency’ in Mandarin ​​​​​​​

In our second year of the national Mandarin Excellence Programme.

Evidence shows 400 students are making considerable headway. Progress test results from students on the Department for Education’s Mandarin Excellence Programme (MEP) indicate that this first cohort from 14 schools across England - including those from Gumley - are excelling when it comes to learning Mandarin Chinese. Delivered by the UCL Institute of Education in partnership with the British Council, Students involved, spend an average of eight hours per week studying the language.

Headteacher, Caroline Braggs said: ‘We are delighted that our school was in the first cohort of MEP schools. The Mandarin Excellence Programme is impacting significantly by allowing our Year 7 and Year 8 MEP students to make increased progress in Mandarin language skills whilst also developing their cultural awareness through a range of experiences. We are the only state school in Hounslow to teach Mandarin from Year 7 to sixth form. Additionally, over recent years, a number of our students have elected to read Mandarin at university.”

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: “I would like to congratulate the first cohort of students on their success. They have achieved some excellent results thanks to their hard work and dedication. This will give them a significant advantage when competing in the global jobs market.”

In addition to improving students’ fluency in the language, the UCL Institute of Education, in collaboration with other providers, aims to have trained at least 100 new qualified Chinese teachers by the end of the programme. The Confucius Institute, based at the UCL Institute of Education already has a network of 45 Confucius Classrooms across England and supports schools in starting and developing the teaching and learning of Mandarin Chinese and the study of China across other areas of the curriculum.

Katharine Carruthers, Director of the UCL Institute Of Education (IOE) Confucius Institute said: “The progress that learners have made after their first year participating in the Mandarin Excellence Programme is exceptional. The test results from the end of year one of the programme demonstrate the success and the impact that it is having.”

Mark Herbert, Head of Schools Programmes at the British Council said: “If the UK is to remain globally competitive, we need far more young people leaving school with a good grasp of Mandarin in order to successfully work abroad or for businesses here in the UK..” 

State schools in England can apply to join the Mandarin Excellence Programme from 2018 with funding available to support successful delivery. As part of the programme, some students will have the chance to go to China from summer 2018.

More information about the programme and how to get involved can be found here:

Photos of our students experiencing a cultural day in China Town which included a Chinese bookshop event.