Discovering China

Discovering China NQ is a project run by CISS that aims to support GTCS teachers and their provision of Mandarin qualification classes in state schools across Scotland. Preference is given to schools who do not have access to a GTCS Mandarin teacher. Online lessons are delivered by one of our GTCS teachers of Mandarin and live streamed into the classroom via Microsoft Teams in Glow.

Discovering China consists of National 4 & 5, Higher and Advanced Higher online classes. CISS provides all resources for pupils and can work within the confines of your timetable. Teacher attendance at an information session is required.

Timetable for registration

Technical Information

Microsoft Teams within Glow is the online platform which will be the means of delivering the live lessons.

  • To enable access to the online learning, all staff and learners must register using their GLOW accounts in advance of the start of the course.
  • Learners will be added to their group’s Team in Microsoft Teams. Live lessons will take place within the Team. In addition to their live lessons, learners will be able to communicate with the Mandarin teacher through Teams and will also be able to access a variety of course materials to support and enhance their learning.
  • There is currently no facility to record lessons in Microsoft Teams within Glow.
  • Please ensure that there is a suitable learning environment for live online classes.

The CISS Mandarin teacher will be responsible for the following:

  • Course and lesson planning
  • Preparation of all course materials
  • Delivery of all online lessons via the Microsoft Teams platform
  • Sending any materials needed to the contact teacher in school ahead of each lesson
  • Uploading materials to Microsoft Teams for learners to access between lessons
  • Preparing feedback for parents/school as appropriate
  • Setting and marking of all National Qualifications assessments, including moderation and verification of these materials
  • Providing and marking a full prelim (National 5/Higher/Advanced Higher)
  • Preparing learner reports after all prelims have been completed. These will be passed on to schools for dissemination in their preferred format.
  • Liaising with each school’s SQA co-ordinator regarding all aspects of presentation

It is possible that learners may access some of their Discovering China classes from home through a blended learning approach. However, accessing from school will, circumstances permitting, be the standard procedure for the Discovering China programme, and for this the following conditions will apply:

  • A named teacher from each school will be the contact point for the CISS Mandarin teacher and will liaise closely with them.
  • This teacher will access the lesson on Microsoft Teams and will display it on the class whiteboard/screen
  • This teacher will also ensure that the GTCS Mandarin teacher is informed of any AAA requirements or other relevant information pertaining to pupils in the Mandarin class.
  • This named contact point will be responsible for give feedback to parents through the school system of reporting; as stated above, the information to feed back will be prepared by the Mandarin teacher.
  • All assessments must be carried out under controlled conditions as stipulated by SQA; the Mandarin teacher will supervise these remotely and the GTCS registered teacher from each school should supervise directly in class to ensure that this is the case.
  • The named teacher will be responsible for ensuring that assessment materials are sent to CISS for correction.
  • Learners studying with us for National Qualifications will be fully supported throughout their course. The courses do, however, all require an element of independent study and this should be discussed with learners from the outset.

Although SCILT will conduct all class teaching and assessment, including internally conducted assessments submitted to SQA, the school will remain the presenting centre for each candidate. Schools, and in particular the SQA co-ordinator within each school, will therefore be responsible for:

  • Ensuring that the school is approved by SQA to present candidates in Mandarin (Simplified) at the appropriate level(s). Auto-approval is in place for Mandarin in schools, but notification to SQA via the relevant paperwork must still take place
  • Completing, together with CISS, an SQA Partnership Agreement, confirming key areas of responsibility of each party
  • Entering candidates for presentation at the appropriate level(s)
  • Submitting coursework/evidence/marks to SQA in accordance with deadlines given
  • Administering the prelim provided (National 5/Higher) during the school’s prelim timetable
  • Submitting verification materials if requested by SQA. Materials to be submitted will be prepared by the CISS GTCS Mandarin teacher
  • Submitting AAA applications and arranging resulting provision for candidates
  • Facilitating candidates sitting SQA Mandarin exams in school, including provision of Chinese dictionaries and appropriate arrangements for Listening exams. CISS will have native speakers of Mandarin on stand-by on the day of the National 5 and Higher exams in the event of any problem with the Listening materials supplied by SQA, and will assist virtually if necessary.

Discovering China Handbook

You can read more about the Discovering China course including course topics in the Discovering China Handbook 2024-25.