Pendle schoolchildren get to grips with Mandarin

Schoolchildren in Pendle have been given their first taste of Mandarin - the language of the world's most populous country, China.

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 12:30 pm
Mandarin lessons

Pupils across the Pennine Trust experienced speaking and listening, writing Chinese characters and a basic understanding of the tonal nature of Mandarin.

The sessions were delivered by Rob Neal from the Manchester Grammar School.

Rob coordinates the Manchester Centre of the Swire Chinese Language Foundation, which aim to broaden schools’ language offer right the way through primary and secondary schools.

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Their hope is for schools to succeed in embedding Mandarin Chinese into their curriculums. The Government have also backed this scheme by announcing funding of £16.4m. to support the continued development of the Mandarin Excellence Programme.

The Trust intends to join this network of schools and introduce Mandarin into the curriculum at both primary and secondary level from September 2022.

John Tarbox, chief executive of The Pennine Trust said: "We want to prepare our young people for life in a global community where countries all over the world will be more interconnected than ever before.

"The ability to speak a number of languages will be of huge benefit. As China’s influence on the world continues to increase, the importance and use of Mandarin will grow. Our curriculum needs to reflect the changing landscape in the 21st Century and ensure our pupils are equipped to succeed."

Having been involved in one of the taster sessions, Gaynor Canty, headteacher at Laneshaw Bridge, commented: "Year 5 really embraced the opportunity to experience a new language and enjoyed the various elements of the lesson. As a school, we look forward to being able to integrate Mandarin into our curriculum and seeing the benefits of language learning on children’s all-round development."