CHINESE TOPS THE CLASS; Calday Grange Grammar School Is Leading the Way in Teaching Mandarin Chinese Liam Murphy Repor Ts

Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England), May 10, 2011 | Go to article overview

CHINESE TOPS THE CLASS; Calday Grange Grammar School Is Leading the Way in Teaching Mandarin Chinese Liam Murphy Repor Ts


Byline: Liam Murphy

Pictures: JAMES MALONEY/JM040511SOTW-9 TEACHING the Chinese language of Mandarin is putting one Wirral school at the forefront of Confucius classroom education.

Based in the west of the borough, Calday Grange Grammar school has around 1,500 pupils drawn largely from the Dee side of Wirral, but with many increasingly going there from farther afield.

Although historically a boys school the sixth form, numbering 500, accepts males and females.

In a school with almost four centuries of history there are many achievements to focus on, but as China becomes more dominant on the international scene, Calday's recent success in the teaching of Mandarin stands out.

A former headteacher, Nigel Briars, set up the Mandarin language programme as one of a selection of extra curricular languages rarely taught at secondary level over a 10 week course.

Lisa Wang, head of Chinese, said: "The headmaster decided this was a subject we wanted to put on the curriculum. We were one of the first schools to put Mandarin on the curriculum."

Mandarin was offered as a option from 1998 under Ms Wang with just one class of 20 students. Each incoming year a Mandarin class was added leading to the school becoming a Confucius Classroom in 2007, marking it as a centre of Chinese excellence, and placing on it a responsibility to promote Chinese language and culture.

The school has since gone from strength to strength and that first class continued through to A-level and the school has been offering the subject to that level for the last seven years. It has also developed strong links with China, including setting up an exchange in 2000 which has continued each year, with a partner school in Hangzhou.

The school has also seen recent success in the HSBC/British Council Mandarin Chinese Speaking Competition where a group of five Calday sixth formers won their category by performing a drama piece and received a trip to Beijing during the Easter break, where they got to visit the Forbidden City, Great Wall and meet with other students.

Following this success the school has also been asked to put forward a team of students to take part in a further worldwide competition in October. …

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