Primary Programme of Study

With the introduction of MFL as a compulsory subject across all KS2 year groups from September 2014, the UCL Institute of Education Confucius Institute developed a Programme of Study to assist primary school teachers to introduce and teach Mandarin Chinese in the classroom.

In this new version, released in June 2016, the language content and general rationale remain the same but the formatting has been changed and a far greater cultural content has been developed. The aim of this revision is both to enrich the students’ experience of China and Chinese, and also to make the programme more accessible to non-Mandarin-speaking classroom teachers by illustrating the subject’s rich cross-curricular potential. The new cultural content is designed to link to curriculum topics in other subject areas such as History, Geography, Literacy, Art & Design and Religious Knowledge.

The PoS has been further redesigned to include a separate scheme for the introduction of Chinese characters. This scheme acknowledges the time-consuming nature of character acquisition, and focuses on creating an understanding of the nature and form of characters rather than building an extensive written vocabulary

There are also supporting PowerPoint presentations on Measure Words and Chinese Dragons

Click below to open and download the Primary Programme of Study (PDF):

UCL IOE Confucius Institute Programme of Study for Primary Mandarin v2

Click here for an Introduction to Chinese characters (PPT)

Click here for suggested characters by topic (PPT)

Click here for an introduction to measure words (PPT)

Click her for Chinese Dragons (PPT)

For more information please read the rationale for the IOE CI Primary Mandarin Programme of Study.

This suggested programme of study is designed to be sufficiently flexible to be adapted to the level of learning ability appropriate to each primary year group.

These units are not designed as single lessons, rather as subjects that can be spread over several sessions, depending both on time available and depth of content.


Introductions & Explanations


1. Knowledge about language 有关语言的学问
2. China, Chinese and saying hello 中国,中文,学说“你好”
3. About me: name and questions 自我介绍:姓名及提问
4. Parts of the body 身体的各个部位
5. Numbers and age 1-10 数字及年龄(一到十)
6. Numbers 11-99 and measure words 数字和量词(十一到九十九)
7. Family 家庭
8. Countries and colours 国家和颜色
9. Pets and Animals 宠物和动物
10. Food and drink 食品和饮料
11. Time – sun moon and stars 时间- 日,月,和星期
12. Time and timetables 时间和日程表
13. Colours 颜色
14. Going Places 参观

Click here to download the accompanying vocabulary list

Throughout the document, characters are colour-coded for tone: red=1st tone, brown=2nd tone, green=3rd tone, blue=4th tone