KS2 Chinese Immersion courses

‘Children are engrossed from start to end and are inspired to continue their learning of Mandarin and Chinese culture. It is how education should always be….fun and memorable.’ Colin Miller, Head Teacher, Little Bowden Primary School.

These popular courses are an exciting opportunity for primary school children (Year 5) in England and Wales to learn Mandarin Chinese and experience some of China’s rich culture.

The courses, which are held at boarding schools, are funded by the HSBC Global Education Programme and managed by the British Council.

The example programme in the downloads section below from 2015 gives you an idea of how the course will run. 

How to apply 

Applications for courses taking place next summer will open in January. 

Benefits to your school

The courses will:

  • increase your students’ understanding of, and enthusiasm for, Chinese language and culture
  • embed a new language and culture in your school
  • provide professional development opportunities for your staff
  • help to support partnerships with China and the teaching of Mandarin
  • inspire students to go on to learn Mandarin at secondary school
  • help your school to support others in your local area to do the same.

How it works

  • Each course has a total of 50 student places.
  • Clusters of two or three primary schools in England or Wales can apply for ten student places to be shared between them.
  • We can accept an application that’s been coordinated by a local authority representative or one that’s submitted by a member of staff from a cluster school.


The cost of accommodation, meals, teaching and cultural activities are all covered by HSBC. Local authorities or schools will be expected to cover the cost of transport to and from the course.

What happens on the courses?

Mornings: Students enjoy Chinese language lessons led by experienced teachers of Chinese. Topics include how to introduce themselves and their family, counting, colours and food and drink. They also learn how to write some Chinese characters.

Afternoons: Students take part in workshops and try out a range of cultural activities, such as lion dancing, opera mask painting or t’ai chi.

The courses culminate in a final performance in which the students showcase what they have learned to their families.


Comments from previous participants

‘I feel very proud of myself and happy that I have tried and done lots of things that I would never think of.’

‘I have learned a lot on this course such as songs, Mandarin, t’ai chi, kung fu and music.’

‘The course has given me lots of knowledge, ideas and confidence to implement Chinese throughout the school.’

'If you want your children to unlock the mysteries and magic of Mandarin Chinese language and culture without having to visit China, then take part in this Summer School. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring China to children from your school' - Daniel Clayton, Associate Headteacher, Broughton Primary School.