HSBC Mandarin Competition finalists!

On Friday 1 December, Mr Bensley, Ms Zheng and Ms Main took a group of students to the regional heat in London to compete against over 50 schools nationwide to perform a hilarious play in 100% Chinese for the national HSBC Mandarin Speaking Competition. 

A huge well done to Jacob Farley, Joshua Honeyghan-Teves, Olivia McFarlane, Harsimran Kaur, Oliver Hunt and Louis Roberts (Left-Right) as we have now been informed that the team have made it through to the final in February 2018!

The British Council created the competition to allow students from all over the UK to practise and improve their Mandarin Chinese. It is open to UK, Channel Island and Isle of Man secondary schools (including sixth form and further education colleges) and entrants must be non-native speakers of Chinese.

Taking part in the competition:

  • increases students’ motivation for learning the language
  • develops vocabulary and improves pronunciation
  • raises confidence for oral examinations
  • encourages students to interact with their classmates
  • inspires students to discover more about Chinese culture.

For the groups category, five to six students from at least two year groups at one school needed to prepare a performance in Mandarin of up to five minutes, with Chinese content and related to China. All members of the group had to participate equally and students must have written the performance themselves.  

Below is the list of schools in the Mandarin final, whittled down from the 3 semi-finals held nationwide:

Finalist Schools

Type of School

Lumen Christi College

Selective Grammar

Kingsford Community School

Non-selective maintained

Latymer Upper School

Selective Independent

St Paul's Girls' School

Selective Independent

Westminster School

Selective Independent

Whitgift School

Selective Independent

City of London School for Girls

Selective Independent

City of London School

Selective Independent

Queen Anne’s School

Selective Independent

The Petchey Academy

Non-selective academy

Notting Hill & Ealing High School

Selective Independent

Sevenoaks School

Selective Independent

Fettes College

Selective Independent

Upton Hall School, FCJ

Selective Grammar

Calday Grange Grammar School

Selective Grammar

Queen Mary’s Grammar School

Selective Grammar

The judges were truly impressed with the level of Mandarin throughout all the heats. Participation in the competition is a great accomplishment on its own, and they were extremely happy to see the progress and increasing interest in Chinese Language and Culture.

The Competition Final will take place on Wednesday 7 February 2018 at the British Museum and the winning group will win a week-long visit to China - fingers crossed for the Petchey team!

I chose to study Chinese at The Petchey Academy and entered the HSBC Mandarin competition because I really want to challenge myself and achieve something different. It was easy for me to perform and speak Chinese for five minutes because it was so much fun working as a team. My highlight was performing in the semi-finals in central London. We performed against other schools from all over the UK and some of the other schools were really good, but I really liked ours the most because we had a really good team spirit. Our performance was wacky and fun. I hope we can win so that I can visit China and get to experience the culture. I definitely intend to be bilingual by the time I leave school.

Louis Roberts, Year 10

At Petchey we recognise the value of learning an additional language, not only in terms of future career opportunities but also the intangible skills it gives our students such as confidence and resilience. Apart from being a major positive for future employers, given the rapid development of the Chinese economy, offering Mandarin Chinese has allowed our students to benefit from exploring a rich culture and history with our annual trip to China and regular visits from our partner, the Confucius Institute.

Ms Cole, Principal