Delivering 8 hours per week


Classroom taught hours

All schools taking part in the Mandarin Excellence Programme are contractually required to deliver four hours of timetabled face to face Mandarin classes per week. It is expected that your school will deliver a minimum of two (and preferably three or four) hours of Mandarin teaching each week as part of the core timetable (i.e within standard lessons typically run between 9 and 3pm).

If your school is only able to deliver two hours as part of their core timetable we would expect the other 2 hours of face to face teaching to be delivered at either the start or end of the timetable day. These hours would need to be made into a fixed part of student’s timetables, and their compulsory attendance must be made clear. Ideally, any extra teaching hours would not be delivered during lunchtime hours.

The case study section of our website explains in detail how different schools taking part in the programme have structured these four hours of face to face teaching into the school timetable.

Non classroom taught hours

Students must also study for four additional hours each week – this could consist of after-school teaching, independent study and intensive study. Your school should work with pupils to decide how best to spend this time.

The Mandarin Excellence Programme team have developed a series of projects for students to complete outside of the face to face teaching hours. These activities can be downloaded from our Mandarin Excellence Programme Edublog, alongside accompanying teacher notes.

There are a range of other activities that pupils could undertake, such as:

  • Practising handwriting characters
  • Enhancement of speaking skills through services such as Skype
  • Reinforcement of these or other specific skills through various online resources, e.g. enhancement of listening skills through listening to podcasts, or reading skills through reading blogs or other material
  • Going through past exam papers
  • Drilling vocabulary and other aspects of language using apps or online resources
  • Enrichment activity which enables use of language, e.g. writing songs or watching Chinese films and discussing them in the language
  • Digital storytelling
  • Free style conversation clubs