Discovery College aims to provide a programme that will allow students to achieve a standard of proficiency over their time at the school that corresponds with their ability and commitment. It is important to understand that while we are committed to providing a comprehensive Mandarin programme, our language of instruction is English. We do not provide an immersion programme, in which some subjects are taught in Mandarin, neither are we a bilingual school.

What is the Mandarin pathway system?

The Mandarin Pathway system is common to all ESF schools, including Discovery College. The range of Mandarin ability is broad, as some students enter the school with no experience of the language while for others it is their mother tongue and they are proficient at speaking and listening when they enter Year One. At Discovery College we have three pathways that are decided on by the following criteria: 

Pathway 3
Students who have demonstrated a level of proficiency (oral and written) through formal and informal assessments

Pathway 2
Students who have demonstrated a developing understanding (oral and written) through formal and informal assessments

Pathway 1
Students who have demonstrated a beginning understanding (oral and written) through formal and informal assessment

Students are assessed either at the end of the previous year or in some cases at the beginning of the year to determine the most suitable pathway. Ongoing assessments throughout the year will also determine whether a child may need to shift Pathways. If this is the case, we will notify you of the changes.

Our curriculum design is based on the ESF Chinese curriculum, and the PYP Language scope and sequence.

Developing vocabulary, character knowledge and sentence patterns are an important element of each lesson. These are always related to the topic we are currently focusing on, with opportunities for students to practise new words or phrases in conversations at their level throughout the lesson. Wherever possible, we aim to integrate our lessons with each year level unit of inquiry to ensure learning is connected. We also use a co-teaching model where classroom teachers also support the teaching and learning of Chinese.