It is our intent to open cultural doors and provide pupils with a deepened understanding of the global community and the world around them. We aim to promote communication with the wider world and provide the foundation for learning further languages.
Our teaching enables pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. At Albion, we want to encourage our children’s self-esteem as well as understanding and respect for people from different cultures, lifestyles and customs. Our aim is to expand their personal horizons, instil in them a love of learning and to foster inquisitive minds, self-discipline and self-motivation.
With a wide range of happy and rich memories in Mandarin formed through interesting and exciting experiences driven through vehicles that enhance a child’s awareness of their own abilities and strengths as a learner, thus ensuring that children see learning a foreign language as an ongoing process and not a one-off event. We want every child to be enthusiastic learners and we aim to inspire children today for tomorrow’s world!
At Albion, Mandarin is taught by language specialist tutors who are native speakers. Mandarin is taught weekly throughout the school, from Nursery to Year 6, where children are exposed to Mandarin language and culture.
EYFS and KS1
Children are immersed in Mandarin through stories, songs and rhymes. The focus is in building the children’s confidence to ‘have a go’ at speaking Mandarin with correct pronunciation as well as developing vocabulary. Alongside this they also learn about aspects of everyday life and compare this to their own life and locate countries where Mandarin is spoken.
Key Stage 2
Mandarin is taught following the objectives of the National Curriculum KS2 languages programme of study and is supported by planning from the Confucius Institute. Each lesson builds on what has been learned in the previous lessons. Lessons provide opportunities for speaking and listening as well as reading and writing, where relevant. Lessons are interactive and Mandarin is spoken as much as possible.
There are a number of children for whom Mandarin is their first language in the home. These children receive teaching at a higher level of challenge by the second specialist Mandarin teacher. The focus is different depending where the children are on their language journey, e.g. writing characters.
We believe in the importance of bringing a language to life by spending time in a country in which it is spoken and there is an optional language study visit to China in Year 5. Chinese culture is also brought to Albion with visits from Chinese students in addition to the international curriculum links in all year groups. Through our relationship with the Confucius Institute at London Southbank University, the children attend an annual Chinese Spring Festival performance that includes martial arts, Chinese folk singing, Chinese folk music and martial arts performed by visiting experts from China. Children in Year 1 compare London with a Chinese town in their geography curriculum and Year 5 pupils study the Shang Dynasty in history.
Children have access to a wide range of high-quality dual-language picture books and graphic novels. We offer language enrichment after-school clubs. Children can practise languages at home by Memrise.
We celebrate the different languages we have in our school through language of the month where children learn key phrases of a language spoken at Albion, children answering the register in the languages represented in their class and we hold celebrations such as the European Day of Languages.
At Albion we use summative assessment (based on the objectives in the 2014 National Curriculum) to assess children’s ability to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers in speech and writing. Our pupils are motivated to learn Mandarin through the engaging teaching style of the native Mandarin speaking tutors. Pupils demonstrate their learning through song and conversation in lessons. Pupils in Years 5 and 6 have opportunities to ‘buddy up’ with visiting Chinese students and converse together as well as appreciating similarities and differences in culture.