Students at a Denbighshire high school are enjoying the opportunity and challenge of learning Mandarin.

Fifteen MAT (More Able and Talented) students at Denbigh High School have opted to learn the language in addition to their regular subjects.

Twelve students in year 7 and 8 are learning at the beginner’s level, and three students from year 9 through to the sixth form are at the advanced level.

Jessica Briody-Hughes, year 12, who is looking to study Biological Science at university, said: “Participating in the Mandarin classes has given me a wider appreciation of both Chinese culture and the language. It has opened my eyes to the opportunities learning a language can offer.”

Katie Rowlands, also year 12, said: “Learning another language has given me great confidence and self-belief which will I feel will help me when progressing to university to study law.”

Both girls are looking forward to going out to China next summer to participate in a two week summer school.

This is the fourth year that Denbigh High School has offered Mandarin and it is the only school in the county where students can gain the internationally recognised Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi Mandarin language qualifications.

The classes are run in partnership with the Confucius Institute at Bangor University, a collaboration between Bangor University, the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing with Hanban, the Chinese agency for the promotion of Chinese language and culture.

Eden Fenlon, MAT Co-ordinator at Denbigh High School, said: “As a school we are proud to be able to give our more able and talented students the opportunity to learn Mandarin and to gain accredited qualifications.”.