Mandarin Chinese

Benenden has established an outstanding profile for its expertise in Mandarin teaching and learning and China studies in the region, nationwide and overseas. We have been teaching Mandarin to non-native speakers for 12 years, and the number of pupils is growing as the subject becomes more popular and embedded in the life of the School.

We have had an A Level/Cambridge Pre-U cohort for seven years now and are seeing non-native speakers applying to read Chinese or Oriental/Asian Studies courses at Oxbridge, Peking University and other leading universities.

We also teach Chinese to native speakers who board at our School from their homes in Hong Kong, mainland China and Singapore and we provide a programme which allows them to accredit their language at IGCSE, AS and A2.

We have been putting on a range of cultural activities including Summer Camps in China for both native and non-native speakers at Benenden, as well as providing Mandarin clubs, workshops and events as part of our outreach programmes to local schools and communities.

Awards include:

  • Confucius Classroom award for the excellence of our Mandarin teaching and our promotion of Asian culture;
  • Winner of the Good School Guide Award for Excellence for Girls taking GCSE Chinese Full Course. 

Head of Department

Alice Webb

Alice WebbAlice is the winner of UCL IOE Confucius Institute Excellence Award in 2014. Apart from school responsibilities, Alice has been the Chief Examiner for a leading awarding body since it first introduced Mandarin Chinese qualifications. Her role also involves specification development.

Together with her school career, Alice is also a PGCE professional and subject mentor and a university associate lecturer which has contributed to make Benenden School recognised as a centre of excellence for Mandarin teaching and learning nationally and internationally.


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