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Highdown School
and Sixth Form Centre

What is MEP?

The Mandarin Excellence Programme is a nationwide intensive language programme funded by the Department for Education. Highdown was selected in 2017 as one of the 23 schools delivering this ground breaking programme. 

Students selected to be on the programme are being given an unprecedented opportunity in terms of language provision in schools in England and working towards achieving high fluency in Mandarin, gaining deeper knowledge on China, other Mandarin-speaking countries and Asia and participating in various co-curricular enrichment activities. In addition, they will also have the opportunity to gain extra qualifications such as HSK or equivalent A-level qualifications, obtain scholarships for studying in world-class universities in China and Asia and undertake internships in Mandarin-speaking countries.

In being the most widely spoken language in the world, Mandarin Chinese is one of the most important languages for the UK’s future – students will be getting a head start in life by mastering this vital skill at an early stage.

What do the students learn?

With the specific learning scheme including weekly four-hour taught lessons and the additional four-hour learning programme, students from the MEP class have been acquiring knowledge of Chinese at an accelerated rate and with broader learning content, and have been working towards the equivalent level of HSK1. They have been learning the vocabulary related to self-introduction, animals, family, hobbies, school and food and drink as well as basic grammar concepts. With various learning activities, home learning and independent learning tasks, students have been learning to apply their knowledge of language and developing four language skills. In addition, via interdisciplinary projects and intensive learning days, students have the opportunity to acquire broad culture knowledge.

Intensive learning days 

During the intensive learning days, students will benefit from extra language lessons, interdisciplinary learning sessions, workshops and cultural activities. These may include making Chinese dishes, Chinese calligraphy, Chinese dance, Chinese arts, Chinese martial arts and various activities related to Chinese festivals. In addition, these may also include collaboration with other MEP schools, day trips in the UK and a trip to China. 

How the students are getting on

Students from the current Year 7 MEP class have been making fantastic progress.  Their eagerness to learn is infectious and they inspire each other to keep learning.






Recommended by Year 8 Students

Listen to their podcast below.

Choosing MEP at Highdown School

Click the links below to find out more about the Mandarin Excellence Programme (MEP) at Highdown:

An introduction to MEP by Mr Franks

MEP at Highdown School by Mrs Huang (MEP Coordinator)

MEP at Highdown School - our students' view: