12 Wirral Schools Welcome Chinese Visitors

During July, a selected group of 12 schools in the Wirral boosted their connectivity with China by hosting over 100 Chinese students. As part of our Sister School Programme, schools have the opportunity to host their sister school to offer all students the culture sharing experience. Previously senior leaders have visited their sister schools in Taicang to set up the international partnership, with Wirral Council maintaining a strong link with their sister city.

The travelling groups embarked on the 5,687-mile journey from their China institutions in coordination with the Chinese Education Bureau. Students learned about UK culture and education, went to timetabled lessons with their buddies, whilst also developing their language skills. Exchange students found that partnering with children who speak English natively was an incredible experience. Meanwhile, the 19 Chinese teachers were fascinated by UK teaching methods; leaders traded educational practices and resources with their British counterparts.

Schools who acted as ambassadors for the UK education system in the Wirral were: St John Plessington College, St Mary’s Catholic College, Bidston Avenue, The Mosslands School, St Anselm’s College, Upton Hall School, St George’s Primary School, Thornton Hough Primary School, The Mount School and Townfield Primary School.

The Mount Primary School

Gift Exchange at The Mount Primary School

The trip proved to be a great opportunity for the Chinese visitors to learn and develop new skills. Students particularly enjoyed shadowing their buddies during their food technology lessons as they learnt how to make traditional English delicacies. The welcome and closing ceremonies are an important aspect of Chinese culture to build the relationship between the two schools. Students performed a number of traditional dances, performing arts and gift exchanges. Pupils developed friendships to last a lifetime as they spent the trip getting to know their buddies.

Chinese Visitors Boost Local Economy

International students have a tremendous impact on the local economy during the two-week visit in the local area. The visitors’ accommodation at the local Holiday Inn, transport, activities and shopping expenses have had an estimated injection into the local economy of £304,000. The exchange students enjoyed exciting itineraries set during their trip, including local visits to Vue Cinema to see Toy Story 4 and competitive trips to Riverside Bowl and LaserQuest. In addition, campus tours of universities were very popular with the visitors, to offer an insight into university life in England for students considering to study abroad. The local area can expect to see long-term benefits as the rising number of Chinese students choosing to study at UK universities to has gone up 32% since last year, according to official statistics from UCAS.

This October, 34 students from The Mosslands School, St Mary’s Catholic College and St John Plessington College will continue to build the partnership with their sister schools as they travel to Taicang in China. It is a life-changing experience for the students to raise cultural awareness and act as ambassadors of their school and the UK.

Feedback received from the Wirral based schools who hosted this July demonstrates the great success and impact of the programme. 100% of schools wish to host again and 100% have been inspired to visit China in 2020 to help create long-lasting partnerships with their sister schools.