As a forward thinking, aspirational school, we at Upland Primary have our eyes set firmly on the future, so much so, that since September 2014, we have adopted Mandarin as our modern foreign language to teach our pupils.
The challenge of different tones and intonation, which sound so foreign to the European ear, coupled with the artistic skills needed to write the Mandarin characters, are without doubt what makes these lessons a highlight of the week.
Our aim is to embed language learning into everyday life, with everyone using and experimenting with different languages whenever the opportunity arises. As a staff, we actively incorporate elements of Mandarin into our everyday routines for example for greetings and counting. Children are able to answer the register using Mandarin.
Children who are interested in practicing more than simply their language skills, have the opportunity to attend an after school club, led by Jenny Yan, a teacher from Dartford Grammar School for Girls, every Thursday, where they learn more about the Chinese culture and music as well as practicing the use of more complex sentence structures which supports the development of their writing skills.
Additionally, for children who would prefer to learn a European language, we offer the opportunity to attend a French club, which takes place every Tuesday after school and is run by Miss Goulet a French Canadian teacher. During these sessions, children will learn to speak, sing and write in French.
When you come and visit our school, you may be welcomed in English, Mandarin or French or many of the other languages which are spoken by children from other cultures who attend our school.