A Busy Final Week For 2015 China Exchange

  The second week of the annual China Exchange visit was always going to be even busier than the first with plenty of sightseeing, shopping and organising the annual International Sports Leadership festival for local primary school children.  It started with staff and students spending Monday morning, meeting the Mayor, Cllr John Peach and Mayoress, Ms Janet Martin at Peterborough Town Hall. Every year the staff and students from the Gold Apple School and Puxing School are officially welcomed to Peterborough. During the afternoon the students spent time visiting various lessons in school, followed by an evening at Ferry Meadows, enjoying a BBQ and game of rounders.

 Tuesday saw the first of the sightseeing trips. A full day’s programme in London, led by Mr O’Connor. They travelled to London by train, making their way across the city to the Thames where they boarded a city cruise upriver to Westminster finishing with a ride on the London Eye. For many students this was the highlight of the day.  After their ride on the London Eye, the students set off across to Hyde Park Corner where they had their annual visit to Hard Rock Café for lunch.  Afterwards a walk across Hyde Park brought the group to Buckingham Palace, providing ample photo opportunities for the Chinese staff and students, who were then keen to spend some time shopping, so off to Harrods they went.

Wednesday was opportunity to visit Cambridge. The students experienced Kings College, with an inspiring tour and an opportunity for some of them to ask plenty of questions, as many of them aspire to come to university in England. A traditional English lunch at Nandos was followed by yet more shopping.  Something that the Chinese students were extremely keen on doing.

We have worked closely with St John Fisher school over the past 3 years on the China Exchange programme, and on Thursday the students headed there to spend the day in various lessons including drama, science, English and PE. The students especially enjoyed the PE lesson, competing in Basketball against St John Fisher. The evening was an opportunity for the students to get together in the Queensgate Centre for something to eat and a final chance to shop!

 Friday, was the final day in school and the day of the International Sports Leadership festival had arrived!  Both the English and Chinese students had  been working  together through the two weeks planning and organising the festival. Sixty Primary students had been invited to take part in the various traditional Chinese and English activities. Each pair of students (English and Chinese) led their activity for the younger children for an hour, encouraging them, handing out rewards and stickers for excellent effort.

The students, staff and host families came together for a farewell party, an evening of thanks and a real celebration of another successful visit.  Everyone enjoyed Mr Barwise’s  ‘Sleepy Selfie’ movie made up of photos from our trip to China.

Saturday and Sunday were the final days of the visit and the students spent them with their host families before meeting at school on Sunday. There were lots of tears and sad goodbyes from many students as throughout the two week stay students and families had made friends for life.

 Mr Smith, who organised this year’s trip with Mr Barwise said “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all families involved in the China Exchange, because without them offering to open up their homes to students from the other side of the world we would not be able to run such amazing opportunities for our students.“