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  • Language Learning

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, it goes to his heart.” - Nelson Mandela

Our world is growing ever smaller and our children will live in a time where doing business with people from all over the world is commonplace. As such, we believe equipping them with the language and cultural knowledge to succeed is vitally important.

At Brighton College (Singapore) our official second language is Mandarin and we approach this with the same gravitas as any other core subject. Our language programme is designed to ensure that a child who joins us in Pre-Nursery, is a proficient Mandarin speaker by the time they leave in Year 6.

Pre-Nursery, Nursery and Reception

In the Pre-Prep, we adopt a dual-language approach. Dual language is the term used to describe an approach where children are taught knowledge and content in two languages. In these classrooms, a fluent Mandarin speaker works alongside our classroom teacher and integrates the language into the normal school activities. It is a fluid and flexible approach, directed by the child’s interests and in line with Early Years pedagogy.

In Nursery and Reception, this is supplemented with a weekly Mandarin lesson with our Mandarin specialist teachers and a weekly Mandarin story-time.

Year 1 - to Year 6

From Year 1 upwards, our children receive a daily Mandarin lesson with our Mandarin specialist teachers (in the older age range, double lessons may take the place of daily lessons).

These lessons are streamed to allow focussed activities for beginners, intermediate and native speakers and the regular occurrence allows a progression trajectory in line with our expectations for our English and Mathematics curricula. 

We believe our approach leads to confident speakers with cultural awareness and a thorough understanding of meta-linguistics.


In Prep-Prep, from Pre-Nursery to Year 1 inclusive, Mandarin is taught through the use of our highly-qualified Teaching Assistant team, who are native mandarin speakers.  This dual-language approach to teaching supports natural language acquisition by interchanging between Mandarin and English as the means of communication throughout the day.  Our Mandarin specialist teachers also spend one lesson a week with our Nursery and Reception children, as well as offering a weekly Mandarin story-time.

In Year 1, in addition to the above model, daily Mandarin lessons are delivered by specialist Mandarin teachers.

In Year 2 to Year 6 inclusive, at the Prep School, teaching is delivered in the medium of English and the children enjoy a daily (or equivalent) Mandarin lesson with a native speaker.

From Year 1 upwards, classes may be streamed by ability to cater for each child’s needs.


From Year 3 up, all children are exposed to a second additional language, through weekly French classes.