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Chinese Languages Centre

We are delighted to be invited to become a Chinese Languages Centre supported by the Swire CLF. This will be a ground-breaking opportunity for our students as they will get to explore new cultures, traditions and values. As one of the few schools to teach mandarin to non-native speakers, we are thrilled to be able to bring this language to our globally thinking school. Alice Gavin and Felicia Li have been finding out more.

We feel that it is time to embrace another widely spoken language as the Chinese community continues to spread throughout Sheffield. With China becoming an increasingly important business partner of Sheffield, Chinese will be a great language for our future business men and women to learn. It is a really exciting opportunity for students in all years to get involved whether they have a good knowledge of Mandarin already or are complete beginners. It is also a fantastic chance for Mandarin speakers within the school to gain experience of student leadership.

The Chinese language course will begin in September 2017 as a twilight running after school on Tuesdays. The lessons will start with smaller classes containing between 15-20 pupils, with Mandarin speakers guiding them through their learning journey. We are hoping that Mandarin will then become an option for Y7s who excel in languages in the academic year 2018-19 as they make their choices for language study for Y8.

In the 3rd year, GCSE Chinese will be introduced to the ones studying it and after a few more years we will hopefully have A level students. The topics will be the same as any other languages that we teach in school, with minor differences in festivals and traditions. We would then love to have a school trip to China in the 3rd year where we will celebrate what we have learned. Mr Driver, who will be leading Mandarin at Tapton commented “It is very rare for schools to take pupils to China and this will be the chance of a lifetime!”

Many parents are really supportive of this, with one commenting that “Trying to learn Chinese helps you see another cultural point of view – this is maybe the main benefit of learning the language, even if you can't speak much of it.”

We hope that by bringing these two cultures together we will open many doors and bring new friendships and business opportunities to Tapton and to Sheffield.

By Alice Gavin and Felicia Li Y9.