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This story is from Spennynews, Issue 147 - 25th July 2009

Chinese exchange visit a 'huge success'

Staff and Students at TGS had the great privilege of entertaining 26 students and 3 staff from their partner school in Shijazhuang, near Beijing, from Wednesday 8th to Friday 10th July. The students participated in lessons, visited sites of local and national interest and, best of all, made lots of new friends from all year groups. Mr Yin Guoqi, Deputy Headteacher and leader of the party, said: “We have greatly enjoyed our time here. Everyone has been extremely courteous to us and we have learned a great deal about the British education system. Best of all, the spoken English skills of our students have moved forward rapidly and this is all thanks to the friendliness and openness of the pupils at Tudhoe. I look forward to receiving some of your students at our school in the future”. Stan Bedwell, who coordinated the visit in school, said: “The visit has been a fabulous learning opportunity for all concerned. For example, our visitors were extremely interested in the way schools in the UK deliver vocational education, something which is not so common within the school system in China. Meanwhile, our students were extremely impressed at the personal qualities exhibited by our visitors; by how caring and affectionate they were towards each other and how generous they were towards strangers. It is clear that we have much to learn from each other and I look forward to developing the next stage of our partnership when we go on a return visit to China next year”. The visit culminated in a visit to Tynemouth beach where students from both schools played beach football and rounders, paddled in the sea together and best of all, sampled that great British delicacy – fish and chips! “I enjoyed the beach very much” said Liu Fan, 13, one of the students. “The water on the beach was very cold but the fish and chips helped to make us warm again”. Tudhoe Headteacher Christine Warren said: “The visit proved to be an excellent opportunity for English and Chinese staff and students to develop their cultural understanding and awareness. There were as many similarities as differences between our education system and our ways of life. Whilst our students struggled to imagine classes of over sixty students in one classroom in the Chinese school, Chinese and English students were unsurprised at the requirements for completing homework and the need to pass examinations whether you live in England or in China.”

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