During Activities Week, the Modern Languages Department opened the door to the Mandarin World and Chinese Culture with all the Year 9 students. The students learnt that Mandarin is the most widely spoken language in the world and found out that it was not only China but also Taiwan and Singapore where it is one of the official languages.

Students enjoyed speaking a few words of Mandarin and engaged enthusiastically when repeating common greetings.  The classes then looked more closely at Mandarin writing or more precisely, Chinese characters. They saw how many common Chinese characters were derived from the shapes of the objects they are describing such as “tree/wood”.

Students then practised writing the school’s motto, “Respect, Honesty and Excellence’ in Chinese characters. Finally, there was a competition for small groups to make a poster of this motto, with the best three posters to be displayed in the Shakespeare corridor on the ground floor. Brushes, paint and traditional Chinese symbols were available to students. Many students said that this was the most enjoyable part of the session and many of the posters produced were of an excellent standard.

Mrs Lepetit, who planned the session, said that she was really proud and impressed with how the Year 9 students had been open to learning about a different culture, language and a totally different way of writing. The Year 9 students demonstrated how they are global citizens.