Accessibility links

Chinese (IB Higher, Standard and Beginner Level) at Bexley Grammar School

Course description

The study of Mandarin at IB (group 2) is a language acquisition course for students with some prior knowledge of the target language. While learning this additional language, the course provides the opportunity for enjoyment, creativity and intellectual stimulation. Standard and Higher Levels are differentiated by the number of teaching hours, the depth of syllabus coverage, the study of literature at Higher Level, the level of challenge and the demands of the assessment criteria.

Students develop the four skills they have known at GCSE to the levels required to deal with more complex themes, including Communication and Media, Global Issues, Social Relationships, Cultural Diversity, Customs and Traditions and Science and Technology. At Higher Level, students will also study two works of literature. Students will reflect upon multifaceted ideas and shades of opinion and learn to tailor their language to different contexts. This is achieved through a range of activities encompassing a variety of styles and registers and full use of the school’s access to various media. The Learning Resource Centre is stocked for research and reading for pleasure, films, periodicals, TV and the Internet. Students are encouraged to use Mandarin as their means of communication at all times. To facilitate this, additional support is provided outside timetabled lessons by a weekly conversation class with a foreign language assistant. At the heart of the IB is the development of an awareness and appreciation of other peoples, their cultures and perspectives. In Modern Languages, in addition to the cultural knowledge acquired in lessons, we offer students the opportunity to visit China during their course and we organise regular local trips to extend language learning beyond the classroom.

Entry requirements

School Entry: Minimum 7B and 1C grade at GCSE including English and Mathematics

Course Entry: GCSE grade B to study Higher Level

The majority of students continue studying one of their languages to standard or higher level. However, students looking for a fresh start in a new language or those who did not achieve a grade B or above might wish to study at beginners (Ab Initio) level. The points earned are exactly the same as those for Standard or Higher subjects.

Future opportunities

Only 6% of the world’s population speaks English as their mother tongue. 75% don’t speak English at all. It’s therefore no wonder businesses need people who can speak an MFL. In the annual CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey 2014, 65% of firms identified a need for foreign language skills. 41% said that knowledge of a foreign language would be beneficial to their business. Furthermore, on average, those who have learned an MFL earn 8-20% more than those who haven’t. Even if you don’t study an MFL at university, taking one at KS5 will give you sufficient language skills to put you ahead of the rest of the UK and on a par with global competitors. For example, law firm Eversheds awards bonus points to applicants with an MFL at A-Level or above.

Many universities regard studying an MFL at KS5 as highly advantageous and complimentary to a large number of subjects and degrees, so even if you want to be a doctor, a dentist or a lawyer, for example, choosing an MFL at KS5 is highly regarded. In fact MFLs link well with all other subjects at KS5 and are beneficial for all students. You will gain confidence, broaden your outlook and develop a life-long skill that will give you an edge in the workplace.

If you do decide to further your study of languages at university level, it doesn’t limit your options to being a teacher, an interpreter or a translator. Marketing, PR, Sales, Business, HR and Finance are the sectors most language graduates enter after graduating. Language graduates have the lowest unemployment rates overall, after those in medicine and law, with 98% of them getting a job within 6 months of graduating. All the top universities offer a Joint Honours programme of study combining an MFL with another subject, from Accountancy to Maths, Chemistry to History. Plus, many give you the opportunity to start a new language from scratch. Or you could study one, two or even three MFLs on their own. All degrees which comprise an MFL offer a year abroad, which can be spent working or studying at university and of course travelling, and gives you the chance to fully immerse yourself in another language, lifestyle and culture whilst you improve your language skills and acquire extraordinary experiences. Many say it’s the best year of their life.

Further information

To find out more about this course or qualification please contact us, or you can ask your Connexions Personal Adviser or school/college careers staff.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Bexley Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 06 November 2017
Provider logo

Key information

Venues