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Highdown School
and Sixth Form Centre

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The aim of this course is to equip students with the skills to survive in a Chinese environment.  It also provides a stepping stone for university courses in Chinese and Chinese Studies, allowing universities to offer successful Pre-U candidates alternative courses to the prevailing ab initio classes.  Students will gain further knowledge and understanding of this language in everyday life which will include: family, young people, education, the media, work and leisure and the environment.

Awarding Organisation: Cambridge Pre-U

More information: Miss L Hurst


Entry Requirements

GCSE Grade B+ in Chinese Mandarin, plus the standard Sixth Form entry requirements.


Curriculum and Assessment

Year 12


Paper 1 –15 minute internally assessed speaking examination worth 40%

Paper 2 – 1 hour 15 minute written examination on Chinese Culture worth 60%

Year 13


Paper 1 – 15 minute externally assessed speaking examination worth 20%

Paper 2 – 2 hours 30 minutes written examination – Listening , Reading and Translation worth 30%

Paper 3 -  2 hour written examination – writing and usage worth 25%

Paper 4 – 2 hours 30 minutes written examination on Chinese Culture worth 25%


Skills that will be developed

The skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing are supplemented by Chinese-specific skills: accurate identification of roman transliteration, including tones, and the use of a radical-indexed Chinese dictionary. The aims of the course are:

  • To develop the ability to understand Mandarin Chinese
  • To enable the candidate to communicate confidently and clearly
  • To form a sound base of skills, language and attitudes required for further study, work and leisure
  • To develop insights into the culture and civilization of countries where Chinese is spoken
  • To encourage positive attitudes to language learning and a sympathetic approach to other cultures and civilizations
  • To further intellectual and personal development by promoting learning and social skills


Post 18 Opportunities

As well as allowing candidates to develop their language skills, the course will foster an awareness of Chinese culture and history. In addition to providing a secure foundation for study in higher education, the course equips candidates with a range of skills for careers in business, education and the arts.


Destinations of students in the last two years:

  • SOAS, University of London - Chinese



Students need to purchase Chinese language textbooks and dictionaries.