Super Saturday at CSIA – Mandarin Maths

You wouldn’t expect Mandarin Maths to be a subject learnt at primary school level, but that’s exactly what students from Year 5 studied recently. A group of eighteen children from various primary schools attended Camborne Science and International Academy’s Super Saturday workshop on 14th October to take part in a ‘Magical Mandarin Maths’.

“We started by having some fun, dividing the students into teams and taught them 1 to 10 in Chinese” commented Pauline Fedorchenko, Languages Teacher at CSIA. “We then asked the group to take part in rap battles using numbers and hand actions for each one! It was like nothing the students had experienced before and it was clear to see what a great time they were having!”

Held between 9.30am – 12 noon, the workshop was part of CSIA’s ongoing Super Saturday programme, hosted at the Academy for Gifted and Talented Year 5 students from partner primary schools.

“Students even learnt about pinyin which is how we write the Chinese characters in English, followed by flat lines, which shows how the word should be pronounced. It was all very complex but very enjoyable too.”


Students took part in various activities including SPLAT, where a number was spoken in English and three teams had to compete to SPLAT the correct Chinese pinyin board.

“It was incredible to see such young students engaging with both Maths and Mandarin and having so much fun in the process” commented Mrs Fedorchenko. “If we can capture their interest and inspire them to get involved at such an early age, it will have a tremendous impact throughout their school lives.”

Participating schools included: Troon, Rosemellin, Trevithick learning Academy, Weeth, Penponds, Portreath, Crowan, and St John’s.

The students also played games on Linguascope which is an educational learning platform for school children to learn languages. “Perhaps the most challenging activity we played was a circle running race game where students had to add, divide, subtract and multiply numbers in Mandarin – this was really HARD!”

“Children at this age are absolutely ready to get their pronunciation perfect, their brains are at the right stage for it” commented Mrs Fedorchenko. They’re less inhibited perhaps than older teenagers are to give it a go with strange sounding words and maybe getting it wrong. We can have loads of fun with them at this age and that’s what we need to do with languages!”

Prinipcal at CSIA, Ian Kenworthy, added “These workshops allow young people to develop their skills and understanding in challenging subjects, but have brilliant fun in the process. There is no better way to learn!”

Future Super Saturday workshops include – Geography: Geohunt on 11th November, English: Witchcraft and Wizardry on 25th November and Science: Christmas Chemical Mix up on 2nd December.

If you would like to book a place on any of the above Super Saturday’s, please use the booking form on our website at or email

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