Teaching on Curriculum

‘At Queen’s Gate, we employed Dragons in Europe to introduce Mandarin to our Junior School in January 2015 and it was such an outstanding success that in September 2015, this was extended further in the Junior School and also introduced in Years 7 and 9 in the Senior School. In September 2016, Mandarin teaching will be further extended to GCSE in Year 10.’

Rosalynd Kamaryc, Headteacher at Queen's Gate School, London

Chinese on Curriculum

At Dragons in Europe we believe that the best way to ensure strong progress and maintain high rates of improvement in learning Chinese is by offering it to students on curriculum at school. We can provide schools with experienced, charismatic and engaging Chinese teachers who are fully trained and supported by the company throughout their time at the school.

Contact us to arrange for a school visit where we can meet and discuss your needs.


We teach students from Reception age up to GCSE on curriculum, in a variety of different school settings. Please see Our Clients to find out where we are teaching at the moment.

Dragons in Europe teachers don’t merely turn up for class and then leave. Our curriculum teaching services extend to far much more than this because we understand that being a teacher isn’t just limited to the classroom. We like our teachers to be integrated into the school community as much as possible and be easily recognised by the students and colleagues of the school. Curriculum teacher responsibilities may include regular reporting and parent-teacher consultations. See below for a comprehensive list of responsibilities that we can undertake for your school.

Our teachers are automatically enrolled on our CPD programme and certification scheme, MCTC®. This ensures that the lessons are delivered to a high standard and aligned to national Teacher Standards. Find out more about MCTC® here.

Key Responsibilities undertaken by our Curriculum Teachers

  • plan varied and engaging lessons
  • differentiate learning to cater to all abilities
  • regularly conduct informal assessments
  • test students according to the school’s assessments policies and calendar
  • provide a general class report every half term
  • provide annual long reports
  • act according to the school’s child safety policies for safeguarding children
  • be aware of pastoral issues affecting the students
  • observe school regulations
  • enforce rules and encourage attitudes specific to the school
  • liaise with school management

Chinese on Curriculum at Primary & Preparatory Level

The Course

All our primary and preparatory school students study our Primary School Chinese curriculum. We use teaching resources and our online portal designed around this curriculum to strengthen the programme and ensure good progress. The key objective is for students to experience a world-class curriculum lesson and to make Mandarin Chinese language and culture both fun and easy to learn. Students will use the Primary School Chinese textbooks, workbooks and online learning materials throughout the course. To find out more about how the course is structured, see our Books page.

When to start

Every school is different, and we pride ourselves on our teachers’ ability to work in a wide range of school settings and with a wide range of ability children. We do, however, usually recommend starting the Primary School Chinese curriculum in Year 4 (or later), when the children have a solid basic literacy foundation and a good understanding of phonemes and spelling.

How often?

Most primary and preparatory schools timetable one lesson per week of Chinese. This means that over the course of one academic year, the first book in the series can be completed and well-consolidated. Of course, the more time the students have, the better their Chinese will be and the more creative they can be with the language.


Some schools are keen for us to set homework in order to maintain a good pace of learning. We usually set homework via our e-learning portal, which is easy to access from a computer and fun for the students to complete.

However, some schools prefer not to set formal homework for Chinese. In this case, we encourage the students to play the online learning games on Kung Fu Kingdom as an informal way to consolidate their learning. Of course, some students do both their homework and the games – especially when they realise that they can win extra Kung Fu Kingdom points if they do!


Dragons in Europe are pleased to be responsible for writing the ISEB Common Entrance exam for Chinese. This assessment can be taken at three times throughout the academic year, and the Mandarin Chinese exam is available to students of any age. The Level 1 exam is designed to be taken upon completion of Book 2 in the Primary School Chinese series, so usually after 2 years of Chinese classes on curriculum. Whilst not all schools use the Common Entrance exam system, it is still a great barometer of achievement and a great way to prove the success of the course, so is recommended. We can also design and run more bespoke assessments upon request.

Chinese on Curriculum at Secondary Level

The Course

Most of our secondary school students study our Secondary School Chinese curriculum. We use teaching resources and our online portal designed around this curriculum to strengthen the programme and ensure good progress. The key objective is for students to experience a world-class curriculum lesson and to make Mandarin Chinese language and culture both fun and easy to learn. Students will use the Secondary School Chinese textbooks, workbooks and online learning materials throughout the course. To find out more about how the course is structured, see our Books page.

When to start

All of our secondary school provision starts in year 7. This is especially important for continuity if students have prior knowledge from their primary or preparatory education. The course starts from foundation level, but with a more mature style and with more detailed textbook resources. By introducing Chinese onto the curriculum at year 7, the students have ample time to get to grips with the foundation knowledge before choosing their GCSE subjects.

How often?

Secondary schools usually timetable one 40-60 minute class per week for the first two years of study. This is ample time to gain a good foundation level of language and introduce the students to a wide range of culture. Once students progress past year 8, it is recommended to give them at least two 40-60 minute lessons per week. In Year 7, teachers aim to complete book 1 of the Secondary School Chinese course. One lesson per week (plus homework) is a suitable amount of time to achieve this. In Year 8, students move on to Book 2 of the Secondary School Chinese curriculum, which requires a similar length of study as Book 1. Once students progress past Book 2 (usually in Year 9) it is advisable to increase the timetabled lessons to at least two per week. This will enable the students to begin building up a good vocabulary of Chinese characters and lay some good groundwork for the GCSE course.


The Edexcel GCSE in Mandarin Chinese is organised in a similar way to the other modern foreign languages. Students are required to demonstrate their knowledge in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Dragons in Europe is completing work on a new textbook to use to prepare for this exam. It will bring in a variety of disciplines and resources to make the course easier to follow, revise and enjoy. Once the new GCSE specifications have been determined by the government, we aim to release a second book which will ensure that our students are well-prepared, not only for the GCSE exam, but also to communicate using Chinese in a real-world environment. When offering a GCSE course, we recommend allocating the same time on the timetable as with other GCSE courses offered at the school.


Homework is an important part of our secondary school curriculum. For Years 7 and 8 homework is usually set through the e-learning portal and is marked automatically with moderation and comments by the teacher. These activities usually take around 30 minutes. Once in Year 9, students may be required to complete more complex tasks at home, especially with regards to practising writing Chinese characters. Typically, students may complete one character learning exercise and one comprehension or writing exercise per week at home. Many students like to use our e-learning portal to consolidate their learning, or apps such as Quizlet, to vary their study styles.


Our teachers usually set an end-of-year assessment at the end of each year from Years 7 – 9. This is either produced by the teacher themselves, or, upon request, can be produced as an online assessment by Dragons in Europe for a more standardised format. Once studying the GCSE curriculum, students will be assessed in Year 10 through a GCSE foundation mock, and in Year 11 by the GCSE itself. Mock tests and assessments will be given to help train the students to have good exam technique.

GCSE Mandarin Chinese Study Centres

If there simply isn’t enough space on the timetable for Mandarin Chinese please have a look at our Study Centres service, where we can set up a small study group hosted at your school outside of normal timetable hours.