It was an exciting week for pupils at Cheam Common Junior Academy who spoke to their peers at Tianfu No.6 Primary School ahead of their proposed visit in 2023.

The online meeting, led by the Chinese sister school, introduced the British students to the famous Chinese martial arts – an integral element of the culture.

After an initial introduction to the traditional sport, the pupils in Surrey enjoyed a live, authentic performance from their peers to learn some of the basic moves before having a go for themselves.

These real-time connections also provided an opportunity for both classrooms to exchange questions and compare their school life, timetables, subjects, teachers, break time and time difference.

Students and staff at Cheam Common Junior Academy were ‘very impressed with the way they presented themselves and the school’ and described it as a ‘thoroughly worthwhile occasion.’

The meeting comes after a period of online connections and communications on the Global School Alliance platform, a tool for schools to establish school partnerships, plan and manage projects, and access resources to raise the standards of quality education globally.

The two schools have a dedicated group on the platform to share school and cultural events, celebrate occasions, plan virtual meetings, upload photos and videos, and manage communications with school leaders.

LEO Academy Trust schools have been a part of the Sister School Partnerships programme since 2018, but have most recently established connections with schools in Tianfu, part of Chengdu in the Sichuan province.

A cohort of students across the trust are expected to visit their sister school next year as part of a funded project.

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