Online and in-house teaching solution

Project Background

Alleyn’s School, part of the Dulwich Foundation, is a co-educational independent day school for pupils aged 4-18 and located in Southwark, London. Alleyn’s School Head and Senior Leadership Team approached Dragons Teaching to discuss an effective way to launch Mandarin Chinese on curriculum in Key Stage 3 from September 2023.

The Solution

Dragons Teaching advised Alleyn’s to run a ‘My Week in China’ short course during Chinese New Year week in February 2022, in order to build up Year 7 interest in advance of the curriculum launch. Followed by an after-school curriculum club to continue interest from these Year 7 pupils.
Around 160 pupils were enrolled in the Chinese New Year programme and circa 50 of these pupils signed up for the after-school super curriculum; it is a tremendous result, with almost a third of all pupils opting to continue their Mandarin studies.

Ongoing Support

The super curriculum course will continue into Year 8 but new Year 7 students will also have the opportunity to sign up for a beginners course. Furthermore, Year 6 of the Junior School will also be completing the ‘My Week in China’ short course this summer, so the pupils who continue to the senior school in September will have had an introduction to the Mandarin language.

The goal net result is that this joined up approach will create a strong cohort of young sinophiles who will have covered the fundamentals of the language and culture before starting Mandarin on curriculum and progressing to GCSE from September 2023.

The outcome

Feedback from pupils, the staff and our own teachers has been really positive, with a key emphasis on enjoyment of learning about Chinese language and culture.

“There are so many excellent reasons for learning Mandarin. The excitement that comes with mastering an intellectual challenge, the joy of discovering a new language, the fascination in the exploration of an ancient and vibrant culture… and, of course, it’s a language associated with great social, political and economic power now and in the years to come. All those things are true, but, above all, learning Mandarin with Dragons Teaching, is just enormous fun! And that’s precisely what we have found at Alleyn’s in the last few months.”

Jane Lunnon, Headteacher, Alleyn’s School