The S1 Mandarin Chinese course has been developed to take into account the principles of a Curriculum for Excellence. Literacy, Numeracy and Health and Wellbeing are embedded into the S1 course. This enables teachers to ensure that the standards and expectations laid out in a Curriculum for Excellence are rigorously applied.


Pupils will build upon their experience of Mandarin in the Primary School to develop the skills of reading, listening, talking and writing. 


Throughout the S1 course, pupils learn about the culture and traditions of Chinese-speaking countries; learn to use a Mandarin/English dictionary and have opportunities to read and listen for pleasure. A variety of materials are used to support and consolidate learning in class.

The main grammar focus is on understanding that verbs need no conjugation; that there is no specific word for ‘a’ or ‘the’, and that there is a relatively limited use of ‘to be’ verb. Pupils also develop the ability to use connectives, adjectives and opinion phrases with confidence.

The S1 course is divided up into a Bridging Unit and three main Themes:

Theme 1 – Mandarin-speaking countries and cultures

Theme 2 – School life in China

Theme 3 – Leisure activities

During the course of S1, pupils will keep a “passport”, which holds all of their writing assessments and marks for all reading, listening, talking and writing tests completed. As well as the teacher commenting on pupils’ performance in tests, pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning by assessing their own work and that of their peers. It is hoped that this will enable them to become successful learners and help them to prepare for their next steps and targets.