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Mandarin Language Assistant

The Perse School

Fixed term contract for the academic year

The Perse School wishes to appoint an enthusiastic, well-organised and engaging Mandarin speaker to assist with inspiring pupils to develop their Mandarin language skills. The position is initially for a fixed period during term time from September 2021 to 31st August 2022 (the contract includes paid holiday). The successful candidate will work to develop students’ spoken Mandarin skills and appreciation of Chinese culture, as well as playing a key role in their preparation for GCSE speaking exams. The person appointed will have a genuine enthusiasm for the language, will strive to inspire and motivate each of our pupils, and will actively promote Mandarin as part of a thriving MFL department at The Perse School. 

The Modern Foreign Languages Department

The department consists of sixteen staff including two Mandarin teachers. All students at The Perse School study at least one modern foreign language to GCSE. All pupils in Years 7 & 8 learn both French and Spanish, and in Year 8, all pupils are also introduced to Mandarin, German and Italian as part of a language carousel. Mandarin is taught formally in the curriculum from Year 9 all the way to GCSE which is taken at the end of Year 11 (the first cohort sat the examination in June 2021). From September 2020, pupils in the sixth form have been given the opportunity to study for the HSK alongside the already established courses such as the DELF, DELE and GZ. Departmental facilities include timetabled lessons for all pupils in an ICT room with language learning software, access to interactive whiteboards, and an extensive collection of audio-visual resources. The department also enjoys its own set of chrome books for class teachers and pupils to use. Expectations are high, and examination results are strong. 

We benefit from excellent, state-of-the-art facilities and resources. In 2014 we moved into a new building, with dedicated classrooms, language rooms and a large department office. This facilitates a collaborative approach and a strong, supportive team culture.

Further information about the department’s curricular and extra-curricular activities (and public examination results) can be found on the School’s website:

Applicants without formal teaching qualifications

Applicants without formal teaching qualifications will be considered for this position but experience working with pupils learning languages and preparing them for examinations will be a considerable advantage.

2019 ISI Inspection Report

The Pelican, Prep and Upper were inspected during the spring of 2019.  The inspection report can be viewed at


Working Hours and Salary

The School operates a two-week timetable (Week A and Week B). Small group Mandarin speaking lessons are only in Week B. The role requires the post holder to be in school for specific days and times in Week B.  In the Michaelmas term Week A commences on 6th September and Week B commences on Monday 13th September. The weeks then alternate throughout each term.   

Speaking sessions in Week B are timetabled for:

- Tuesday Week B: 00pm - 4.00pm (2 hours) with year 10 and 11 pupils
- Wednesday Week B: 8.50am - 9.50am (1 hour) with year 10 pupils
- Thursday Week B: 11.50am – 2.40pm (2 hours) with year 9 pupils
- Friday Week B: 10.30am - 11.30am (1 hour) with year 11 pupils

Lunch is provided free of charge to staff on Mondays to Fridays worked at School during term time, where their working hours allow for a meal break and encompass the times of School lunch. Annual salary for language assistants from September 2021 is £23,316. The hourly rate would be £15.16 consisting of £13.40 basic pay and £1.76 holiday pay.

There are 16 Week B’s in 2021/22 which would mean a pro rata annual pay (including holiday) of £1,455.36 if the post holder started in the first Week B of term, week beginning Monday 13th September. The salary will be adjusted based on the start date.

This post is term time only (35 weeks). Term time is defined as the published school term dates, plus three additional days immediately preceding the published start date of the Michaelmas term.


Paid holiday entitlement must be taken during School holidays. Other support staff benefits are outlined on the website:


Safer Recruitment

The Perse School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening appropriate to the post including: references from previous employers, a Disclosure and Barring Service check at the enhanced level, as well as eligibility to work in the UK (in compliance with UK immigration regulations). Interviews will be conducted in person, and they will explore candidates’ suitability to work with children.

Recruitment Policy

The School’s Recruitment, Selection and Disclosure Policy and Procedure is available for your information on the School website.


Please click the ‘Apply’ button to register/sign-in and apply online.

Any queries from job applicants may be addressed to: or to the Head of Mandarin, Hannah Bolton   


Candidates will be invited to meet the Senior Deputy Head, the Director of Modern Foreign Languages and the Head of Mandarin. Candidates will be invited into school and asked to teach part of a lesson as part of the selection and interview process. The closing date is 20th September.



The Mandarin Language Assistant is ultimately accountable to the Head through the Senior Deputy Head, but day to day accountability will be to the Director of Modern Foreign Languages and to the Head of Mandarin for the programme of study.

Key responsibilities

  • Preparing and delivering activities to small groups of Year 10 and Year 11 pupils to help get them ready for the role play, photo card and conversation sections of the AQA GCSE speaking exam;
  • Leading the provision of extra-curricular Mandarin speaking sessions for any native speakers and supporting them with preparation for any Mandarin oral exams;
  • Helping all pupils to develop their speaking skills to ensure impressive levels of vocabulary, accurate grammar and correct pronunciation, leading to high levels of fluency, spontaneity and confidence;
  • Developing all pupils’ understanding of and interest in Chinese cultures and current affairs;
  • Ensuring lessons are tailored to meet pupils’ Special Educational Needs and individual ability levels;
  • Assessing and recording the work and progress of pupils and providing regular feedback on this to class teachers and the Head of Mandarin;
  • Contributing to the development of resources for speaking and listening;
  • Contributing to departmental meetings;
  • Maintaining professional skills through INSET and our Professional Development Programme;


  • Degree level (or equivalent) education;
  • Fluent Mandarin speaker with a high level of written and spoken English;
  • Awareness of the GCSE Mandarin speaking exam requirements
  • Extensive knowledge of and interest in Chinese cultures and current affairs;
  • Genuine passion for working with and teaching young people;
  • Demonstrates high standards of behaviour and is able to model the School values (intellectual curiosity and scholarship, endeavour, breadth and balance, and valuing one another and the environment);
  • Proven communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Attention to detail and ability to work independently and use initiative;
  • High order administrative skills, effectively manages deadlines;
  • ICT competence and willingness to learn and use new technologies;
  • Works collaboratively and supportively with colleagues;
  • Respects and values the different experiences, ideas and backgrounds others can bring to work and to teams;
  • Emotional resilience to cope with and learn from challenging situations;

DRC/HR, September 2021

Location: Cambridge, East of England
Salary: £15.16 per hour consisting of £13.40 basic pay and £1.76 holiday pay
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 10th September 2021
Closes: 20th September 2021
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