Chinese no puzzle for Larbert High School pupil Connor Cloughley

Star pupil Michael Cloughley will continue his studies in the Orient
Star pupil Michael Cloughley will continue his studies in the Orient
Share this article

Learning a new language is as easy as ‘A, B C’ for star student Connor Cloughley.

The Larbert High School teenager, who already has straight As in English, French and Latin and a B in Spanish at Higher level, is heading to China next year to study Mandarin.

He is one of only six pupils in Scotland to win a scholarship to the Far East and made the grade after his performances with the Confucius Hub at Bo’ness Academy, which is backed by Falkirk Council education services and the University of Strathclyde.

Connor, who also has an A grade in History, started the course in September and will sit his intermediate two exam next May before heading to Tian Jin University outside Beijing in August to resume his studies.

The 17-year-old who lives in South Broomage Avenue in Larbert with proud parents Fergus and Morag and sister Niamh (14) has ambitions to be a trade ambassador – and sees languages as the key to a successful career.

He said: “This is the chance of a lifetime. I’m really grateful for the opportunity and already excited about the prospect of living and studying in one of the most vibrant and cultural countries in the world. I expect it will be very different to what I’m used to but can’t wait to get there. Latin was the first language I studied at high school then French and Spanish followed. I suppose I’m a languages sort of guy. I’m enjoying every minute of the Hub. Mandarin Chinese is a really interesting subject.”

School rector Jon Reid expects Connor, who is one of his house captains, to do well. He said: “When it comes to languages he is a natural. Everyone here is pleased for him.”