Pupil chalks up a first for Reigate school

A Reigate school has broken new ground by offering a student the opportunity to sit a GCSE in Chinese.

Dunottar School pupil Carmen Ma, 15, has been learning Mandarin for four years.

She will be the school's first student to sit the subject.

Carmen said: “Although my family is from Hong Kong, English is my first language and we speak it at home.”

She said: “My parents encouraged me to learn Mandarin as it’s part of my heritage.

“It’s also useful for when we visit Hong Kong, as I can now talk to a wider range of people.”

However, she added: “I never speak Mandarin with my parents, though. English is easier!”

Over the years, individual students at the school have sat GCSEs in other non-curricular languages, such as Japanese, Gujarati, Portuguese and Arabic.

French teacher and head of Sixth Form, Bethan Jackson, said: “It’s fantastic that we can increase the breadth of language GCSE examinations at Dunottar.

“The ability to speak more than one language is such an important factor in future success.

“Carmen is a great example of how an additional language can be accredited.”

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