Norfolk schools forging links with China

MARK NICHOLLS Teachers from nine Norfolk schools have spent a week in China developing links with their counterparts in Shanghai.


Teachers from nine Norfolk schools have spent a week in China developing links with their counterparts in Shanghai.

Funding from HSBC has supported a Norfolk County Council project to collaborate with schools in the city's Xuhui district

The half-term trip consisted of Norfolk headteachers and deputy headteachers from schools either already with partners or looking to create partners in Xuhui.

They attended a conference in Beijing attended by the Chinese deputy minister for education and the British Ambassador before moving on to Xuhui to visit partner schools.

Five new partnerships were created as a result of the trip: St Edmunds Primary, in King's Lynn, linked with Rixin Primary; Norwich's Cavell First and Nursery joined with No. 1 Xuhui Primary; Wayland High School, in Watton, partnered with Changle School; The Park High School, King's Lynn, teamed up with Yuannan Middle and the City of Norwich School linked with China High School.

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Simon Fisher, headteacher at Firside Middle School, in Hellesdon, which is linked with Huishi Primary School, said: "I think the link really builds children's knowledge of other people in other parts of the world. It is about raising the children's aspirations and helping them be aware of a wider world than just Norfolk.

"The trip was really useful as it gave us a chance to meet face-to-face and discuss how the scheme can and does work."

So far this year the partnership has seen two teachers from Aylsham High School, two from Neatherd High School and two from Notre Dame High School spend a fortnight in their partner schools.

In March, 12 students from Notre Dame High visited their sister school, Weiyu High School, as part of a Joint Curriculum Project on the theme of environmental awareness and carbon reduction. They boarded at the school and spent some time with a host family.

Students from Weiyu are to visit Notre Dame next month.

Teachers from Xuhui are due to visit Norfolk next month to teach Mandarin and Chinese culture to Norfolk schoolchildren.

Rosalie Monbiot, cabinet member for children's services, said: "The partnership with Xuhui provides Norfolk's schoolchildren with a wonderful opportunity to find out about another culture which is so essential to them in their learning about the world."

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