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Muswell Hill Primary School


Foreign Language – Mandarin

At Muswell Hill Primary school we believe learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. Language teaching at primary school provides the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.

Muswell Hill Primary School is a diverse community with 44% of children being able to speak another language other than English. In 2016, the school took the decision to teach Mandarin as its foreign language. Working in partnership with the Confucius Institute for TCM at the London South Bank University, the school embarked upon a journey of becoming a Confucius classroom school. Children at Muswell Hill learn Mandarin from Reception to Y6.

We believe that a Foreign Language prepares pupils to participate in a rapidly changing world in which work and other activities are often carried out in languages other than English. The rise of international commerce means that pupils need to be equipped with the skills needed in the international workplace. The choice of which language to teach is secondary to the lifelong language learning skills that the pupils will be encouraged to develop. Skills that they will be able to access in the future will help them to learn new languages or to improve their competence in an existing language. Increased capability in the use of MFL promotes initiative, confidence and independent learning and encourages diversity within society.


The aim of learning a modern foreign language in primary school is:

  • To foster an interest in learning other languages.
  •  To introduce young children to another language in a way that is enjoyable and fun.
  • To make young children aware that language has a structure, and that the structure differs from one language to another.
  • To help children develop their awareness of cultural differences in other countries.
  • To develop their speaking and listening skills.
  • To lay the foundations for future study