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Newstead Wood School

Newstead Wood School

Year 8 Chinese

Guidance for parents

What will students be studying in Mandarin this year?

In Year 8 students will learn Chinese official language: Mandarin – we will introduce the basic pinyin system to help students to pronounce Mandarin along with Chinese characters as a starting point. As they start to approach Book I JinBu, they will gain an insight into the Chinese language and culture; it provides a thorough foundation for progression to further studies of Mandarin Chinese. Students can have primary understanding toward contemporary China and Chinese communities that they can relate to, and the emphasis is on language and skills in speaking and reading comprehension on the daily life.

Expectations of Students in Mandarin

The Year 8 Mandarin course takes place after school for an hour and half each week with a potential progression route to the Chinese GCSE examination in Year 11. In view of its accelerated nature students have every opportunity to develop their ability to be independent learners. To this end self-assessment is an important element of the course and the weekly homework on an aspect of vocabulary and grammar is especially important.

What are the major assessments this year?

Each term students will complete an end of term unit test, focusing on developing their reading and writing skills. In the Year 8 summer exam students will also need to complete a project involving introducing their personal information and school. 

What will the current performance grade be based on, and what do the levels mean?

The current performance grades are based on all the work she completes this year, including classwork and homework as well as the 'cross year' tests. Her spoken contributions to class work and discussion will also form part of the assessment. The current performance grade encompasses all these elements.

What should my daughter do if she feels she is struggling in the subject?

In the first instance, she should speak to her subject teacher. She should try to identify specific areas of the subject which she is finding a challenge so that we can offer targeted support. Additional exercises can be found online with free registration: http://www.memrise.com/course/56836/jinbu-1/

How can I support my daughter in Year 8?

The best way to support your daughter is by taking an interest in her work in Mandarin. No prior knowledge is required! Indeed if you have never studied Mandarin you might find it interesting for your daughter to share some of her learning with you, as this is a powerful way for her to reinforce her knowledge and understanding of the subject. Do offer to help with testing vocabulary. Look out for interesting video clips and television programmes about the Chinese culture which can enlarge your daughter’s knowledge of those times. 

What kind of independent work should my daughter be completing?

To do well in Chinese, students should be regularly practising and developing her vocabulary bank and speaking skills. She will be set regular homework targeted at different topics with core vocabulary and grammar she needs to take responsibility for regular revision of all aspects of language.

Who can I contact for further advice and information?

Mr Moren has oversight of the twilight language courses and will be pleased to follow up any queries: peter.moren@newsteadwood.bromley.sch.uk