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Mandarin (Chinese)

Subject Leader: Mrs Yan Cui



At West Kirby and College, we offer Mandarin, because it gives students an opportunity to learn another rich language and culture. Mandarin is very accessible because it has a logographic alphabet, words are built in an entirely different way to European languages. For instance, 火 means fire. A fire vehicle (火车) is a train. A fire mountain (火山) is a volcano, but fire big (火大) means to get mad, be angry. Looking at a passage of characters as a puzzle to be solved opens up a whole new approach to learning.


Key Stage 1 & 2

In addition to providing stimulating language lessons, the Chinese department offers pupils a wide range of opportunities to improve their language skills and experience in Chinese culture.

The course focuses on all four linguistic skills at a beginners level. Cultural elements are also embedded in the programme: students are given or choose their own Chinese name, learn about Chinese festivals, making Chinese food in the school kitchen and utilising traditional skills such as paper cutting and Chinese calligraphy.


Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, students will have the chance to work towards gaining a GCSE in the subject or an FCSE qualification. Also enjoy learning its culture and people.

The GCSE course covers all four languages skills: listening, Speaking, Reading and writing tasks. At the end of the course an exam is taken.

The FCSE qualification provides a qualification for students who may not achieve a GCSE; Its can be studied as a Full course or a Short course. The Full course covers all four languages skills, The Short course can be studied as in Spoken Language (Listening and Speaking) or Written Language (Reading and Writing). Students take assessments when a topic has been covered, at different stages in the course. FCSE is 100% internally assessed by the centre and externally moderated by AQA

Both courses help students develop communication skills and giving pupils tools to make direct and personal contact with other people and their cultures.


West Kirby School and College, Meols Drive, West Kirby, Wirral, CH48 5DH

0151 632 3201