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Chinese students visit UCAN to experience British culture and school life - 26/07/2018

Twenty-one students from Wenzhou Nanpu Experimental Middle School experienced life at a British school during a five day visit to the University of Chester Academy Northwich (UCAN).

During their stay the students from China's Zhejiang province experienced the different styles of teaching, learning and facilities in comparison to the education system in China.

One of the aims at UCAN is for students to leave as global citizens and the school has established strong links with China and its sister school in Wenzhou which has allowed two groups of students over the past three years to visit the country and develop unique life-long experiences.

Working with UCAN as a sister school, the students from China were absorbed into the education system and British culture and took part in a range of activities including life at university, understanding British values, attended a range of different subject lessons and also explored Northwich’s rivers and bridges through treasure trails.

Upon arrival, the students from Wenzhou were greeted by a raft of cheering students from UCAN, celebrating their arrival with flags, banners and gifts. The welcome ceremony took place at the Northwich Parish Church Saint Helen Witton where students from both schools performed a range of musical numbers including singing, choir performances, traditional Chinese dance and the cucurbit flute. The ceremony also included a welcome from both schools as they exchanged gifts and shared memories from past visits to the Chinese school last year.

The trip allowed students to share and experience what makes each of the schools and nations unique by learning from one another and developing lifelong friendships. The students participated in a range of lessons including: Art, Mathematics, Geography, Sport, History, English and Food Technology.

In Art, the students from Wenzhou worked with local primary schools and students from UCAN to create a stunning collective art installation that will be displayed at UCAN. The students also had the opportunity to explore life in Northwich as they visited the Canal, River and Bridges Trails across the borough for a treasure hunt style afternoon. The students also attended UCAN’s end of year musical performance, Stage and Screen at The Grange Theatre.

As part of the exchange, the students also had the opportunity to experience higher education in the UK at the University of Chester where they were given the opportunity to hear from University students as they took part in a student-led campus tour and a range of activities. The tour was designed to give pupils an insight into the life at the University of Chester and allowed the students to ask important questions about studying, accommodation and the on-site facilities available.

To celebrate the British culture, the students from Wenzhou also enjoyed a traditional British afternoon tea in the marquee with scones and cream.

Mr Phil Brown, Teacher at UCAN said: “It’s great to see friendships blossom and develop.  This has been a great opportunity for both groups students to make real connections and to celebrate difference and similarities with students from the other side of the world.”

One student said: “It was an experience like no other, I enjoyed embracing a new culture!” another added: “The Chinese children’s visit to our school was an experience for them as well as us. Learning about different cultures and experiences is a good way to get to know a different country.”