A Confucius Classroom
The teaching of Mandarin language and culture is an important and innovative aspect of the Kingsford learning experience, expanding the horizons of the school’s pupils at home and abroad. Mandarin has been identified as one of the most important languages for the UK’s future prosperity, and at Kingsford pupils experience a transformational international experience that prepares them to be linguistically competent, culturally informed, and highly employable.
In 2000, Kingsford became the first school in the United Kingdom to introduce compulsory lessons of Mandarin into the curriculum. In 2007, the school became the first Confucius Classroom, a recognised centre for promoting Mandarin and Chinese culture, in London and the South-East. During a state visit, the school was invited to attend a meeting with the Chinese Premier Xi Jinping in recognition of the impact of our work in this area.
The school continues to work closely with the Chinese Centre for Language Education and Cooperation (CLEC), the National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language) and the Institute of Education in order to develop its own Chinese learning programme and also to promote the teaching of Mandarin and the Chinese culture to other schools in London and the South East. At a local level, we have developed the teaching of Mandarin in our feeder primary schools, as well as developing business language courses for staff from the banking sector.
As a designated SSAT ‘hub school’, Kingsford works closely with both CLEC and the SSAT with the aim of expanding the network of Confucius Classrooms in the UK. This task has been facilitated by Kingsford’s partner school in China, Peking University Middle School. The school’s considerable expertise has led to it being recognised by Hanban (now CLEC) as one of the best Confucius Classrooms in the world.
Kingsford has played an instrumental role in developing the Mandarin Excellence Programme, which offers pupils a unique immersion experience and the opportunity to leave the school with the prestigious HSK level 3 proficiency certificate, and scholarships to continue Mandarin studies at top institutions in China.
Kingsford Community School achieves outstanding results in the Mandarin Excellence Programme, leading the way among the now 45 UCL Confucius Classrooms in the country. Pupils joining Kingsford Community School in Year 7 have the opportunity to sign up to the intensive programme, and the number of pupils continuing their Mandarin studies through their school and to A level and beyond are increasing each year. These outstanding international results provide pupils with a strong foundation for their Post-16 steps, supporting their Russell Group and Oxbridge applications and enhancing their employability.
The Head receiving the Hanban (now CLEC) award for Best Confucius Classroom in the World on behalf of Kingsford Community School
The school’s Confucius Classroom status and international links add a positive dimension to all curriculum areas, helping to raise pupils’ aspirations and preparing them for working and living in an increasingly competitive and global economy.
Several Learning Areas have organised school trips to China and we have also developed a groundbreaking work experience placement in the country. A pupil who took part in the work experience programme, described her time in China as ‘life-changing’, saying that it had given her the ability to make new friends from all around the world.