The only school in Hounslow to teach Mandarin plans to support local primary schools in implementing the language into their curriculum.

Gumley House Convent School, in Isleworth, has been teaching Mandarin as part of its curriculum since 2008 to pupils of all years.

It now hopes to extend its programme to encourage children of a younger age to take up the language.

The scheme will begin in the 2015-16 academic year. Sara Long, head of Mandarin at Gumley House, said: "We will be contacting primary schools to offer them the opportunity of having a Chinese tutor, teaching their students both the Mandarin language and about Chinese culture.

"We cannot state which school that will be yet but the criteria will focus on schools that feel ready to implement Chinese in the near future."

Mandarin students at Gumley House Convent School, in Isleworth
 

Gumley House was the first school in the borough to teach Mandarin to its pupils. It currently has183 students learning the subject, 36 of those at GCSE and seven at A-level.

The school's work has now been recognised with an 'IOE Confucius Classroom' accreditation award from the IOE Confucius Institute for Schools.

This is a scheme between Peking University and Peking University High School in China, which works with 37 schools across the UK to support Mandarin lessons in British classrooms.

It is supplemented by an annual trip to China, where students can live with a Chinese family as part of an exchange project.

Ciara Kavanagh is one sixth form pupil who lived with a family for two weeks in the city of Hangzhou, while taking four hours of lessons each day.

She said: "Although it was hard to communicate in the beginning I think my language skills definitely improved and I managed to learn a more natural style of speaking.

Ciara Kavanagh, who studies Mandarin at Gumley House Convent School, in Isleworth
 

"This trip definitely made me want to embark on a degree in Chinese."

Tutors at the all-girls school believe the language will give students an advantage when they enter the working world. Languages are also still highly regarded by university admissions tutors, according to Alison Mullan, student recruitment manager at Salford University.

Loredana Roberts, director of global learning and communication at Gumley House, said: "We are committed to developing our students into global citizens to better prepare them for post-school lives as they will invariably be studying and working across different international territories in the future."

Students at Gumley House excelled at Mandarin in their GCSEs during the summer, with 100 per cent getting A*-C and 61 per cent A* or A.