Chinese GCSE & IB Network Event at Dartford Grammar


Last week saw the second Chinese & Japanese GCSE & IB Network Event take place at Dartford Grammar School. Organised by Melissa Carr (Head of Non-European Languages), we were first welcomed with an address by John Oakes, Headteacher at DGS, followed by a demonstration of ‘Flipped Learning’ by Anne Rajakumar (Head of Japanese at Hockerill Anglo-European College).


The group then divided into Chinese and Japanese teacher groups, with the Chinese group having a presentation from UCL IOE Confucius Institute for School’s Philippa Vallely (Teacher Training Coordinator) about support and training that we offer Chinese teachers. We then received a presentation from Edxcel regarding changes to the Chinese GCSE curriculum, followed by a group activity looking at the grading/moderation of spoken and written exams.


Key Points from the Edxcel Presentation

Whilst the final decisions are being made, it seems that the Chinese changes will broadly follow those of other MFL subjects, so it is a good idea to start familiarising yourselves if you haven’t done so already, and talk to colleagues in other languages. Some key points appear to be;

  1. External examinations only, with equal weighting (25%) for each skill
  2. New 9-1 grading scale (9 being the top)
  3. No change to guided learning hours
  4. Translation will be required (from English to Chinese, and Chinese to English)
  5. No dictionaries in the speaking exam
  6. Some target language questions in the reading and listening paper
  7. Authentic stimuli in the reading, including literary texts

In line with DfE complusory topics, Edxcel have developed five main themes:

  1. Identity and culture
  2. Local area, holiday, travel
  3. School
  4. Future aspirations, study and work
  5. International and global dimensions

School in chinaHow will this impact on KS3? Edxcel emphasised the need to develop learner’s ability to work using authentic texts including literature, to be able to translate, and to work with a degree of spontaneity.

For those who have concerns and questions, Edxcel encourage you to contact them and be involved in the process. The person to contact is Alistair Drewery, Subject Advisor, email: