Seven Bury schools are preparing to host 42 Chinese students next month, as part of their Sister School Partnerships with Chinese schools in Datong.

The trip, organised with help from True Education Partnerships, will allow students from Datong to visit their UK sister schools and explore what life in a UK school is really like.

There are seven schools in total set to welcome their Chinese peers next month: Failsworth Academy, Christ Church C of E Primary, Unsworth Academy, Philip’s High School, St Mary’s Primary, Pownall Green Primary and Prospect Vale Primary. The Chinese visitors will attend timetabled lessons with their peers; play games and work on joint projects; learn more about UK culture and go sightseeing to some of the biggest landmarks in the city.

The week-long trip will kick off on 2nd February with a Welcome Ceremony held by the UK schools, which usually include lots of dancing, performances, and speeches from both the Chinese and UK headteachers. Gifts are also exchanged between schools and headteachers, to mark the friendship between the two schools.

Bury has been twinned with Datong as part of a sister city partnership since 2005. Over the years the two cities have worked hard to develop ongoing beneficial business, education and cultural links.

These links were further strengthened when several schools in Bury signed a Sister School Partnership agreement with schools in Datong, through True Education Partnerships. Since then, the schools have enjoyed hosting their fellow students from Datong and will later visit their sister schools on a life-changing trip to China in Spring 2020.

True Education Partnerships’ hosting programmes are designed to strengthen relationships between schools in China and the UK. Research has shown that encouraging multi-cultural experiences among young people has profound effects on the school community, leading to increased cultural awareness, increased confidence and fostering lasting friendships.

Bury primary school students

Datong Experimental Primary School exploring Manchester with their hosts at Christ Church Primary in Feb 2019.