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St Mary’s Junior School named one of the best in the UK for Mandarin

St Mary’s Junior School named one of the best in the UK for Mandarin

St Mary’s Junior School is one of the best places for students to learn Mandarin in the UK and has one of the best Mandarin teachers in the country. That’s the opinion of the judges of this year’s UK National Competition held by the UK Association for the Promotion of Chinese Education (UKAPCE).

St Mary’s was recognised as one of the ‘Best Schools’ for Mandarin in the UK after demonstrating its involving culture and the breadth of opportunities open to students. At St Mary’s pupils can learn the Mandarin language during lessons, as well as other traditions such as idioms, art and calligraphy, drama and singing. Junior School Mandarin Teacher, Mrs Ariel Skillings, was also recognised as one of the ‘Best Teachers’ of Mandarin. Ariel has been teaching Mandarin in the UK for eight years and started working at St Mary’s in January 2020.

In addition, St Mary’s Year 5 and 6 Mandarin students received outstanding award wins for their hard work in the UKAPCE competition, demonstrating their knowledge of Chinese Idioms - Chinese phrases that contain four characters, each with different meanings.

Below are details of the deserving St Mary’s students’ awards:


Olivia K.

Tilly B.

Stacey G.


Eleanor D.

Tanvi A.

Bronte M.

Emma C-R.


Orla M.

Marnie J.

Eleanor W.

The option to study Mandarin is open to all students at St Mary’s from Years 1-6. In July, students from Years 5 and 6 were put forward to enter the national competition organised by UKAPCE after producing some fantastic work learning Chinese idioms. Entry to the national competition began in late May and ended in July. Each participant was able to choose the categories they entered, which was then independently judged. The results were then announced on the 10th July.

UKAPCE is a charity that was set up to promote and develop Chinese education and culture in the UK.  

Many congratulations to all students who took part as well as our fantastic Mandarin teacher, Ariel!