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Roast dinners and football – Chinese children get a taste of British life 


Chinese children enjoyed roast dinners, football and school trips last week as they were welcomed to Derby primary and secondary pupils as part of a visit arranged through the Global School Alliance. 

At a farewell assembly at Lees Brook Academy, students from Number 50 Middle School Hefei performed traditional Chinese music and dance.

Cherry Tree Hill Primary School in Chaddesden welcomed pupils from Hongxing Road Primary School in the Chinese city of Hefei, while Lees Brook Academy hosted students from Number 50 Middle School Hefei. 
Paul Appleton, head teacher at Cherry Tree Hill Primary School, said the visit had been enlightening. 

“The children have shown such warmth towards the visitors. I know they were nervous about how they would communicate but once the visitors came into the classroom, they made friends with their buddies from China and have enjoyed doing artwork and sport with them. They’ve overcome any language barriers and have communicated brilliantly.” 

A pupil from Hongxing Road Primary School, Hefei, tries his hand at traditional weaving during a visit to Derby’s Museum of Making.

During their days at the school, children visited Derby Museum and Art Gallery, The Museum of Making and Derby County Football club. They also got treated to a traditional English roast dinner at school. 
Yixuan Li, 12, said he had really enjoyed his time in England. “I really liked the school, it is very friendly and very different. The classes are very interesting.” 
Weichen Da, 11, also noted the difference in the schooling. “I really like the classes they are very different and very practical. I also like the beauty of England and the views. The sky here is more blue too.” 

Phoebe, 11, from Cherry Tree Hill Primary School, said she had enjoyed the visit. 

“It has been good because we have been able to make new friends in another part of the world. We have done a lot of sports together which has been great too.” 

Pupils from both Cherry Tree Hill Primary School in Chaddesden and Hongxing Road Primary School in Hefei look on in awe at a Rolls-Royce engine at the Museum of Making.

Macie, eight, from Cherry Tree Hill Primary, said she was impressed with how much English the children from China knew. 

“They speak quite a lot of English and I’ve made some new friends and we’ve been on lots of trips together which has been great.” 
Meanwhile, students from the Chinese secondary school spent their days at Lees Brook Academy in Morley Road and were treated to a leaving ceremony, complete with musical performances from both Chinese and English students. 
Principal Clare Watson said: “This visit was about bringing two cultures together, learning about each other’s education systems and countries. Both groups of children and have been brilliant and have learnt so much from the experience.” 

Students at Lees Brook Academy made us of translation apps to help communicate with their Chinese buddies

Student Mia, 13, said: “I think it has been a really good experience and I have enjoyed being able to show them around and for them to see what our school is life is like here.” 
Molly, 12, also from Lees Brook School, said language had not been a huge barrier. 
“We have been able to communicate quite well. Some of the students spoke quite good English and we have been able to make ourselves understood even when they didn’t understand the language.” 
Fu Yujia 14, from Number 50 Middle School Hefei, said: “Everyone has been very kind and it has been relaxing coming here.” 

To overcome some language difficulties, students also made use of translation apps. 
Chungling Tao, a teacher at Number 50 Middle School Hefei, said he had been impressed with the education system in England. 
“The ways of education are very different, and it has been a wonderful experience. Our students are very good at working out problems on paper but I have noticed how British students can work by themselves and do some very practical work which I think our students liked very much.” 

Emily Wang from the Global School Alliance has been co-ordinating the visits across the schools. It has also involved taking the group of Chinese children to visit London and other key cultural institutions in the country. 
She said: “Quite often in China the students don’t get time to talk to one another as they are very busy working but here, they enjoy being able to have time to share their thoughts and so quite often they say it is more relaxed which they enjoy.” 

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