FIFTEEN pupils at Arden School, in Knowle, have been awarded language certificates for their success at studying Mandarin Chinese.
After three years of hard work they have finally received Asset Languages Certificates, for their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, in this challenging language.
Following externally based tests in May, the certificates have been awarded by OCR (Oxford, Cambridge, and RSA Examinations), one of the country’s leading awarding bodies.
Matt Brady, director of Languages at Arden, said: “We have decided to test our pupils in all language skills because we value ‘Chinese’ as much as our European languages – which are also examined on that basis.”
Boys seem to be more attracted to the language than girls, possibly due to the perceived ‘commercial usefulness’ of the language. The school uses Asset Languages, as well as GCSEs, to test their students’ abilities.
According to a national survey 41 per cent of schools are now using alternative qualifications in KS4, mainly as a means to motivate students.
All pupils at Arden – a specialist language school – study two languages from Year 7, while they are also given the opportunity to learn Mandarin from scratch from Year 8 onwards.
A majority takes two languages at GCSE. Year 10 pupils are also celebrating success in Asset tests in French and German, which give them qualifications equivalent to a lower grade GSCE.