Our school is now officially a sister school with Fuzhou No 16. School in the Fujian, a Province of China. This means that we are encouraging international education and cooperation between China and the UK to gain a better understanding of both countries’ educational systems.
In February of this year, No 16 school came over to the UK and spent a week living with 6 of our pupils from Witton Park. They experienced the British education system and culture and were taken around the sights of Lancashire.
Then a week ago in the October half term 5 of our pupils, myself and Miss Robinson went to china to spend a week in the Chinese school with their host families.
We also spent some time sightseeing and experiencing the Chinese Cultural in Beijing, Shanghi and Fuzhou. We took a flight from Manchester to Helsinki and then from Helsinki to Beijing – we slept for all of 2 hours!! As soon as we got off the plane it was sightseeing time. The Forbidden City and the a night tour around Beijing, where we tasted some of the local delights in the food market!! The next day, we experienced the Great Wall of China. Three students climbed to 18/20 stages, whereas the rest of us opted for a cable car experience and a short climb!! Stunning. Then we travelled from Beijing to Shanghai on a sleeper train from the massive Beijing station – this was an experience!! We made the train with seconds to spare!!
In Shanghai we stayed in a cool Youth Hostel, where we were very appreciative of some social time. We visited beautiful water gardens, where we did a spot of shopping and soaked up the atmosphere of this cosmopolitan city at night with a trip to the Bund, with all its illuminated skyscrapers.
When we were still in Shanghai, we visited an Ancient Water town, China’s own ‘Venice’. This was fascinating, we saw Buddhist Temples, ancient Post offices and got to ride down the river on little boats.
The next day we were off to meet the host families at the school. A four hour train journey through lovely countryside brought us to Fuzhou, where the pupils were reunited with our Chinese friends. What a welcome at the school and what a first night in the Chinese houses!
On the Monday we experienced a lessons in the Chinese school and were traumatised by the toilets!!!
The Tuesday was very special, we were shown around a local primary school – the children were so cute, they made us tea and played for us on a Chinese string instrument. We learnt how to make our own printing stamps and we were given masks as presents. Then we travelled a bit further north of the city, to a tea factory, where we saw how Jasmine tea was made, what the Fujian province is famous for and took part in a tea drinking ceremony.
Our trip the next day took us to a different area of Fuzhou to experience a different kind of secondary school – a boarding school. Again the welcome we got here was really impressive, we were made to feel like royalty. The pupils even set off flares and confetti. Our pupils took part in lots of different activities here, some of them played Hockey and football with the Chinese pupils and others learnt how to make paper cutting pictures and play chess. Then we were given an impressive afternoon tea before we visited the famous Ningde beach in Xiapu, to watch the sun set. Beautiful. This was a very long evening as we then stopped for a meal at a fish restaurant. Not all of us liked this!! Many many dishes were brought to our table constantly, some of which were whole octopus and chickens’ feet!!
On the 27 October we had some sad faces at the airport, there were lots of tears as our pupils said goodbye to their Chinese friends. Lots of memories were shared on the flight back. What an awesome experience for us all. China was amax=zing.