In 2017, St John Bosco Arts College, a Salesian Sisters' school for girls in Croxteth near Liverpool, became the first UK school to send a delagation to China, after it was selected as an ambassador school by Access China UK, an organisation which funds school partnerships in China and promotes the exchange of ideas through different international programmes, and paired uop with a sister school, Wenzhou No.2 Foreign Language School.
Text and photos: The Foundry Agency
Students from St John Bosco Arts College have recently returned from an eight day trip to China. 36 students from years 9 and 10, plus four members of staff, embarked on the 10 and a half hour journey from London to Shanghai, and immediately commenced their whistle stop tour of some of the sights of China by visiting The Bund, a waterfront area in central Shanghai and one of the most famous tourist destinations.
The following days saw visits to The Shanghai Museum, The Yuyuan Garden and the Yuyuan Bazaar, Zhujiajiao Water Town, Jiangxin Island on the Oujiang River at Wenzhou city and Wuma Street Shopping in Wnenzhou and the magnificent views from Wenzhou Jiushan Park.
Everyone entered into the cultural experience with enthusiasm using chop sticks and eating the local food at the numerous local restaurants.
The group then travelled by fast train to Wenzhou at speeds of up to 217 mph to visit its sister school, Wenzhou No.2 Foreign Language School.
Over the two days at the school the students engaged in calligraphy, tennis and singing classes, watched a singing competition and learnt the basics of the martial arts with sticks. Two students, Ellie and Mollie, took part in the singing competition performing in front of a packed auditorium and representing St John Bosco Arts College.
The students and staff formed firm friendships with the Chinese hosts who gave their visitors a very warm welcome. After a busy few days, the group said farewell and travelled back to Liverpool.
Headteacher Darren Gidman, said: “The visit to China to see our sister school is a fantastic opportunity for our students to meet young people their own age from different cultures.
“They have talked non-stop about the trip since they have returned and it is wonderful to hear all their stories. I hope the memories of this incredible experience stays with them for many years to come.”