BVGS Joins Nationwide Mandarin Programme
Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School (BVGS) is participating in the Department for Education’s national Mandarin Excellence Programme.
Now in its third year, the intensive language programme is delivered by the UCL Institute of Education in partnership with the British Council. It will see at least 5,000 school pupils in England on track to fluency in Mandarin Chinese by 2020.
31 Year 7 students from Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School have started the programme by joining pupils from 63 other English schools. They will spend an average of eight hours studying Mandarin every week to help them reach a high level of language ability.
Dominic Robson, Headteacher of Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School, said: “We’re delighted to see a selection of our students involved with the initiative, offering them the chance to learn the world’s most widely spoken language.
As a school, we are keen to encourage young people to embrace new challenges, offering them the support needed to develop key skills and realise their full potential.
This experience is perfect, as it structures the tutoring process over a number of months and gives students the opportunity to learn with the expert guidance of a recognised body like the UCL Institute of Education.”
School Standards Minister, Nick Gibb, added: “This government programme, launched in 2016, plays an important role in helping pupils to become fluent in Mandarin Chinese, the most spoken language in the world.
“I have seen for myself the inspiring enthusiasm and energy that both pupils and teachers are committing to this programme, with pupils that have already taken part achieving very high levels of spoken and written Mandarin.
“I would like to congratulate the schools that have been selected this year and the pupils involved, who will have a significant advantage when competing for jobs with their peers from around the world.”
In addition to improving students’ fluency in the language, the UCL Institute of Education aims to have trained at least 100 new qualified Chinese teachers in collaboration with other providers by the end of the programme.
Katharine Carruthers, Director of the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) Confucius Institute commented: “Learners have made exceptional progress through the Mandarin Excellence Programme in the last two years. This year we are delighted to welcome Bishop Vesey’s to the programme to give their young learners the chance to learn Chinese to such an advanced level.”