Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Chinese visit forges firm friendships

NINE Chinese teenagers spent a week in England with pupils from The Piggott School in Wargrave.

NINE Chinese teenagers spent a week in England with pupils from The Piggott School in Wargrave.

The students, who attend Luzhou High School in the country’s Sichuan province, were taking part in an annual cultural exchange trip.

They sat in on regular lessons, including some with the school’s sixth formers, and learned how to make traditional afternoon tea.

They also visited Windsor, Oxford, Brighton and finally London, where they rode on the London Eye and visited Madame Tussaud’s waxwork gallery.

During their stay the Chinese students, who were aged 15 and 16, stayed with the families of year 10 and 11 pupils.

Before the group left on Monday, the Piggott pupils put on a farewell show in which they played music and sang.

They also brought out a traditional Chinese stringed instrument called a zheng, which belongs to the school’s Mandarin Chinese teacher Jing Forrer. Silas Li, who teaches English at Luzhou High School, told them: “Time flies and it is time for us to leave. I feel a little tearful for that, as we would like to stay for longer, but we have to go back home.

“We will never forget the beautiful memories we have, however. You took care of us very well and prepared delicious food for us all.

“I just want to say one word, and that is thanks. Many, many thanks. We will bring your love back to China and let everyone there know that we have a friend in The Piggott School.”

The two schools have been in partnership for the past four years.

They take it in turns to visit each other on alternate years.

It is one of several international partnerships that The Piggott School has set up. It also has links with schools in France, Germany and Spain.

Next year, it will launch a scheme in which its teachers will visit Luzhou to learn about Chinese teaching methods.

Teachers from Luzhou will also come over and spend time at The Piggott School.

The school’s community administrator Gillian Maloney said: “The Chinese students loved coming over here because there’s much more freedom than in their own educational system.

“They particularly enjoyed the ceramics and food technology lessons as those aren’t part of their curriculum.

“They also don’t do independent learning or have any peer mentoring systems in place, so they found that really interesting.

“It was also beneficial to our pupils because it helps them gain an awareness and understanding of other cultures. They are already very accepting of other people because of our European exchanges but this is something quite different.

“It helps them to be better citizens because they will be more open to new experiences when they leave the school.”

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