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Page last updated at 13:33 GMT, Tuesday, 16 November 2010
Mandarin lessons for Harrogate school pupils
St Aidan's Church of England School, Harrogate
Staff at St Aidan's are hoping to increase links with Chinese schools

David Cameron visited China in early November with around 50 business leaders to try and encourage greater trade between the two nations.

One major deal signed was a multi-million pound agreement to sell breeding pigs to China.

A deal welcomed by the British Pig Executive, whose chairman is the North Yorkshire farmer Stewart Houston.

Now one school in Harrogate is hoping to encourage more students to learn Mandarin.

St Aidan's Church of England School has been teaching Mandarin for several years but now the school is offering students the chance to take a formal qualification in the language.

Exchange visits

The school's head of languages, Andrew MacCallum explained why they believed it to be important: "The school is hoping to strengthen our links with Chinese schools in the coming years. We're also taking a group over there next year for the first of what could be a series of exchange visits."

He also says that the students have been very enthusiastic about the opportunity to learn the language.

One Year 13 pupil, Mary, is hoping to take Economics and Chinese at University and says she 'jumped' at the chance to learn the language.

"When you are doing economics you hear so much about the importance of China in the business world so the opportunity to learn some of the language is really useful for me. It is also a great extra skill to have when I am applying for University places."

Currently the school offers a more academic course in Mandarin for Year 13 pupils with a view to them gaining a basic language qualification. There is also a lunchtime club in the language for Year 8 pupils.

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