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City of London

School for girls

Over the past three decades China’s development has been unprecedented. It is predicted that children born today will leave school to see China as the largest economy in the world. China’s economic success is in large part a result of its opening up to the world, encouraging foreign investment and economic cooperation. As such, there is a huge demand for people who can bridge the gap between China and the rest of the world.

According to Schools Standards Minister Nick Gibb “young people fluent in Mandarin will be at a significant advantage when competing for jobs with their peers from around the world.”  And recent British Council research has found that Mandarin will be the most important non-European language for the UK post-Brexit. 

CLSG has long recognised the importance of providing Chinese teaching to its students and is one of the early pioneers of the subject in the UK. Chinese is offered from students from Years 7 through to 13.

The aims of the Chinese Department are:

  • to develop linguistic skills which enable students to communicate confidently and effectively in Chinese
  • to instil in our students a passion and enthusiasm for Chinese and an appreciation of Chinese culture and society
  • to provide lessons which challenge the students, but at the same time are enjoyable and accessible to all
  • to inspire students to develop a life-long interest in China and the Chinese language that can open up opportunities for them in their life beyond school.


Now the world's second biggest economy, China has become a leading international player on the world stage. Chinese is the official language in China, a country with a population of around 1.3 billion. But Chinese is spoken and understood by millions more in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Chinese communities overseas, not to mention the increasing use of the language in international business.

Learning Chinese gives students an insight into a vastly different language, thinking and culture. For many students, it provides an opportunity to stretch themselves linguistically in a completely new way. Learning Chinese combines intellectual rigour and discipline with a strong artistic appreciation of the written script and requires keen listening skills to distinguish and replicate the differently pitched tones in spoken Chinese. Students receive a real sense of achievement when they are able to read and write characters and communicate in Chinese.


YEARS 7 - 9

Students can choose to study Chinese as one of their two language choices in Year 7 to 9. Students begin to read and write Chinese characters from the outset and have access to on-line language learning tools to supplement classroom teaching activities in school. By the end of the Year 9 students are able to communicate across a range of everyday topics in written and spoken Chinese, as well as having developed the skills needed to understand Chinese written texts.

YEARS 10 and 11

Students can choose to continue with the language to GCSE level. The course focuses on all four skills areas (reading, writing, speaking and listening) across the three GCSE topic areas: Identity and Culture; Local, National, International & Global Areas of Interest; Current & Future Study and Employment. By the end of the course students will have knowledge of around 600-800 Chinese characters.

YEARS 12 and 13

As well as allowing students to develop their Chinese language skills, the Cambridge Pre-U Mandarin Chinese syllabus aims to develop an awareness of Chinese culture and history. It is a stand-alone qualification, with all components assessed at the full Cambridge Pre-U standard. Pre-U examinations are fully compatible with A Levels and may be taken in combination with them. This course is designed for non-native speakers of Chinese.


  • Family
  • Young People
  • Education
  • The Media
  • Work and Leisure
  • Equality of Opportunity


GCSE:   Edexcel
Pre-U: Cambridge International Examinations


  • Year 8 Visit to the BFI in a day of study about Chinese Cinema Year 13 'The Blue Kite': A day of lectures on a Chinese Film
  • Year 9 Visit to the British Museum and China Town
  • Year 10 and 12 Trip to Nanjing and Shanghai
  • Years 12 and 13 'China under Mao': A day of lectures held by Sovereign Education. 

"Chinese was definitely the language for me as it is not only a beautiful language with a fascinating history but it has allowed me to stand out in terms of university applications.Jathushaa

Head of Department

Ms E Garner