Exam board praises The Cheltenham Ladies' College for Mandarin excellence
A quartet of college leavers has been praised by an exam board for scoring top grades in Chinese Mandarin.
Nicola Adams, Louisa Cowan, Lilly Neubauer and Dido Tetley were among the country's most successful students in the Pre-U qualification.
Their D1 grades in the Cambridge International Examinations are the equivalent to higher than an A* at A Level.
Judy Palmer, Head of Modern Foreign Languages at The Cheltenham Ladies' College, said: "We have a strong tradition of teaching Mandarin Chinese to non-native speakers here at CLC, but in the past it has been difficult to find a qualification which reflects the ability of these girls.
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"The decision to move to Cambridge Pre-U was not taken lightly, but both girls and teachers rose to the challenge and have very much enjoyed the course, tailored as it is to the learner of Chinese.
"The four girls all intend to continue with languages at university and three of them will be applying for Oxford or Cambridge.
"We hope that their success will motivate even more girls to take up the challenge of learning Chinese."
An intrinsic part of the vision for Cambridge Pre-U, when it was developed, was that a grade should be awarded beyond the A Level scale to reward outstanding performance.
The D1 grade for the very best candidates is awarded where senior examiners judge that the defining characteristic of the script is academic excellence.
It requires not only consistently high performance across all papers of an examination, but also the ability of a candidate to demonstrate distinctive subject expertise.
Ann Puntis, Cambridge International Examinations Chief Executive, said: "Congratulations to the four girls at The Cheltenham Ladies' College who have worked so hard to achieve tremendous success in Cambridge examinations.
"My colleagues and I offer sincere congratulations for this outstanding achievement and wish them all well in their forthcoming studies.
"We are confident that they will bring to their university studies the same academic success that they realised in Cambridge Pre-U."
The Pre-U qualification is taught by 170 UK schools and is recognised and accepted by all universities in the UK, as well as others in the United States, including all the Ivy League institutions.