Warrington Schools Visit Xi’an Sister Schools

In October 2019, Ravenbank Community Primary School and St Philip CE Primary School developed their sister school partnerships by visiting Xi’an, China. Ravenbank and St Philips visited their sister schools and immersed themselves in Chinese education. Their personalised trip itineraries also included sightseeing opportunities in Xi’an to see some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Xi’an’s ancient architecture includes the City Wall, Bell Tower, Drum Tower and Wild Goose Pagodas. Before the trip, students in both UK schools attended Mandarin lessons with the support of the school’s community and put their skills to the test whilst in China.

Ravenbank Community Primary School

Ravenbank have recently achieved the Inclusive School Award for the third time. The school has been praised for its excellent links with China, facilitated by TEP’s Sister School Partnership Programme. Developing a China link with their partnered school in the future is an integral part of their priority for global learning.

A total of 14 exchange students from Ravenbank visited their sister school, Gaoxin Primary School. Students were immersed in the day-to-day Chinese life as they reconnected with their Chinese counterparts. Visiting the sister school was a great opportunity for the students to practise their Mandarin with the native speakers; a parent helper runs an after-school Mandarin Club every Thursday for KS2 students.

A year 6 student on the trip, said: “On the first day, we visited our sister school and met our buddies who showed us around the school. The school was massive and some of the students performed for us in the welcome ceremony.

“The food in China was really nice, even though it was quite different – we tried everything. We went haggling at the souvenir market and saw the amazing Terrcotta Army. As well as going on the City Walls when the sun was shining. Overall, we all think it was the best residential trip ever.”

Mrs Rawson, a teacher on the trip, added, “everyone enjoyed the trip and I was so happy to have such an amazing experience.”

Gaoxin Primary School

St Philip Westbrook CE Primary School

St Philip Westbrook CE Primary School’s trip to Xi’an follows a visit from students at sister school Huanghe Splendid Primary School in 2018. Prior to the trip the students had been practising their Mandarin during an after school club and they were excited to put their language skills in to practice when speaking to their buddies in China.

It was an exciting start to the trip for the students, who realised they’d boarded the same plane as the England Rugby players! Upon their arrival, St Philip’s were greeted with a spectacular welcome ceremony from Huanghe as students performed traditional dances and martial arts for their visitors. During the visit, St Philips students participated in activities like maths, calligraphy and fencing to experience life as a Chinese student. Chinese and UK pupils were ‘buddied’ up into pairs, as the hosts helped St. Philips explore some of the most iconic sights of Xi’an when exploring Ancient City Wall, Terracotta Warriors and Big Wild Goose Pagoda.

A spokesman said, “This wonderful experience for both St Philip’s children and their Chinese students was organised by True Education Partnerships. What a wonderful opportunity to experience a culture which is different to our own but to see that children are still the same even if living at different ends of the earth.”

Huanghe Splendid Primary School