Mandarin - The Anchorsholme Way


At Anchorsholme Academy, we teach a foreign language to all our children as part of our normal school curriculum. Our chosen foreign language is Mandarin. We believe that a Modern Foreign Language prepares pupils to participate collaboratively in a rapidly changing world in which work and other activities are often carried out via communication in languages other than English. The rise of international commerce means that pupils need to be equipped with the skills needed by the international workplace. The choice of which language to teach is secondary to the lifelong language learning skills that the pupils will be encouraged to develop. Skills that they will be able access in the future will help them to learn new languages or to improve their competence in an existing language. Increased capability in the use of MFL promotes initiative, curiosity, confidence and independent learning encouraging diversity within society.
The key elements of MFL learning at Anchorsholme Academy are:

  • Our language learning is inclusive and enjoyable for all.
  • The main language we study is Mandarin.
  • Mandarin is taught as a coherent programme from reception to year 6 by a team of Chinese volunteers. Our volunteers are provided through our link with Lancaster University Confucius institute.
  • The curriculum also encompasses learning about Mandarin life and culture.

Cultural Capital

  • Promote language learning as a valuable, rewarding and enjoyable experience.
  • Foster a positive attitude towards language learning and to their respective cultures.
  • Enlighten students about everyday life, customs and traditions in the countries where Mandarin is spoken.
  • Anchorsholme is linked with a school in China. We communicate with this school through video calls, letters and have had multiple visits from them in the past.
  • Trips to Lancaster university to observe MFL taught at University level and to enjoy cultural activities organised by the university.
  • Annual spring festival event in Lancaster top celebrate Chinese New Year.
  • Annual whole school celebrations for Chinese New Year and other famous festivals celebrated in China.

Lesson Expectations

  • All class teachers to be part of the lesson – encouraging children to take part, supporting Mandarin teacher where needed, managing behaviour and learning alongside the class.
  • Children to record notes in exercise book or character book under direction of teacher.
  • Encourage children to be more confident in their spoken mandarin by doing group speaking and encourage individual mandarin speaking.
  • Every class to receive a weekly 30-minute session for Key stage2, Key stage 1 and foundation year 20minutes
  • Students to work cooperatively and be actively involved in the lesson – all children expected to take part to achieve objective.
  • Students to respect the diversity of the cultural aspect of the lesson.


Most assessment is formative and is used to support teaching and learning and inform future planning. The MFL teacher assesses the children’s progress in the target language based on their achievement of the learning objectives in lessons. The use of half termly assessments informs teachers of the children’s understanding from objectives covered in that half term. The assessment is delivered in the same way as YCT examinations which we encourage every child to sit in years 5 and 6.

Monitoring -Monitoring is carried out by the headteacher, a member of senior management or the languages coordinator, in the following ways:

  • Informal discussion with staff and pupils
  • Observation of displays
  • Collection of planning

Looking at the work in individual learner files or notebooks or portfolios
Record Keeping and reporting – Records of pupils’ achievements are kept to:

  • Plan pupils’ future learning
  • Report progress to parents
  • Maintain a written record of pupils’ learning

Provide a curricular record for the subject which is reported to the headteacher regularly

Formative assessment is carried out continuously over a half term:

  • Teachers formally assess children via: observation, questioning, discussion and homework.
  • Teachers are able to record assessment in an accessible format of their choice.

Summative assessment is carried out three times over the year:

  • Summative half-termly assessments led by the Mandarin team – listening test set out and delivered in the same way as the official YCT exam. Mandarin teachers will record this.
  • YCT assessments available for Years 5 and 6


In EYFS children are taught Mandarin through the use of songs and music; they are then able to develop:

  • The ability to identify sound
  • The ability to mimic
  • The willingness to have a go and take risks
  • Their enthusiasm and capacity for enjoyment
  • The ability to develop confidence and positive attitudes to languages

More Able

Our most able students are likely to:

  • Be able to grasp grammatical concepts easily
  • Be able to transfer their acquired knowledge to other topics
  • Be able to manipulate the language by creating new structures in an imaginative way
  • Enjoy speaking the language
  • Show interest in the cultural aspects of the language
  • Be curious and ask further questions
  • Be willing to take risks with their use of language
  • Imitate to a high degree of accuracy the sounds of the foreign language
  • Perceive patterns quickly
  • Expand their vocabulary independently

For our more able students, we ensure that the lessons delivered are differentiated to challenge them. We provide opportunities for them to support other pupils and even deliver parts of the lesson. Along with our YCT 1 and YCT exams we encourage our more able pupils to challenge themselves further to sit the YCT 3 exam.


For students with SEND, the class teacher will be required to determine the level at which the student can access. This will then be shared with a member of our Mandarin team who will plan, deliver and assess accordingly to suit the needs of pupils.  All SEND children should be supported to fully participate in all Mandarin lessons. Support includes: teacher or TA support, peer support, pre-teach of vocabulary or skills, use of IT resources, differentiation of activities and practical resources.


Extra Curricular Activities

Staff Members

Years Established