Wirral Schools Return From Taicang Sister Schools

The Mosslands School, St John Plessington Catholic College and St Mary’s Catholic College have returned from their life-changing trip to their sister schools in Taicang. Wirral has been partnered with Taicang since signing a sister city agreement in 2011. During this time, True Education Partnerships have helped develop the links by creating active Sister School Partnerships between the regions.

In July, over 100 Chinese students and teachers were hosted by schools in Wirral. The Chinese students used local: accommodation at the local Holiday Inn, transport, activities and shopping expenses. That visit alone injected an estimated £302,000 into the local economy during the two-week visit. The opportunity for a reciprocal visit to China presented an amazing opportunity for the UK students to reconnect with their friends in China.

The Mosslands School

Mosslands were the first group in October to depart to China for their sister school visit. The school welcomed their sister school Taicang Shaxi Experimental Middle School to the UK in July ahead of exchange trip. Mosslands have been partnered with the school for a number of years and are excited to build a long-lasting friendship. Miss Beddal, the teacher accompanying the group, looked forward to exchanging teaching practices.

Before heading to Taicang the group enjoyed exploring the sights of Shanghai to gain an insight into Chinese culture. Shanghai sightseeing activities included: The Bund, Xintiandi and Shanghai Museum. Taicang Shaxi Experimental Middle School set an exciting itinerary for their visitors to experience life as a Chinese student which gave a diverse flavour of what schooling is like in China. The three-day immersive visit included: music class, calligraphy, traditional Chinese painting, making dumplings and competitive sports. In addition, the hosts showed their friends at Mosslands around the local sights of Taicang. A visit to the ancient street, ‘A Si Ma’ pastry shop and the modern agricultural park, were some of the highlights.

Taicang Shaxi Experimental Middle School
St Mary’s Catholic College & St John Plessington Catholic College

St Mary’s and St John Plessington have visited their sister schools annually on a joint trip for a number of years as they continue to develop the relationship between the schools. The group arrived in Shanghai to visit: Xintiandi, The Bund, Yuyuan Garden and the Natural History Museum.

St John Plessington’s sister school Taicang No.2 Middle School welcomed both schools to experience day-to-day life as a Chinese student. Upon arrival the partnered school made the visitors feel very welcome during the opening ceremony. During the visit the students learnt how to write Chinese characters in traditional calligraphy with the help of their buddies. Afterwards, the group visited the Taicang Planning Exhibition and the Old Town with their buddies. A group of exchange students had prepared their own renditions of British songs and lullabies for the closing ceremony: You’ve Got a Friend in Me, Somewhere Only We Go, Wicked Game and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

St Mary’s sister school Ludu Middle School set an immersive itinerary for the group to participate in a variety of classroom activities, the students particularly enjoyed learning and practising their Mandarin with their buddies. However, language proved to be no barrier during break time when all of the students participated in competitive sports.

Beijing was chosen by the group as the final destination before departing home to the UK. The students explored some of the cities most iconic sights: Qianmen Street, Tour Beijing Hutong, The Great Wall of China and Silk Market

Taicang No.2 Middle School & Ludu Middle School

I had the most amazing time in China and couldn't have asked for a better group of young people to take! They were amazing! Definitely the best school trip i've been on so far.

- Teacher