Jay Naidoo is Head of Languages at Alexandra Park School, North London.
Being a non-native Mandarin speaker, the thought of setting up a long-term Mandarin project at school was indeed daunting. However, it was extremely exciting for the Languages Department to venture into uncharted territory. The support of the Head teacher and parents led to Mandarin becoming embedded into the school curriculum six years ago. Mandarin is compulsory in Year 7 and approximately 80 students continue the subject throughout Key Stage 3 with almost half continuing into GCSE. Students participate annually in the Hanban/UCL IOE Confucius Institute China Summer Camps and in homestay exchange visits with our partner school in Beijing.
This year we gained IOE Confucius Classroom status and are enthusiastic about extending our current provision into the next level.