A host of exciting new opportunities have been launched to the pupils of an Ellesmere Port school following the formation of a partnership with an education establishment in China.
Despite there being nearly 5,500 miles between the two schools, The Ellesmere Port Church of England College (TEPCEC) and The Qingdao Middle School No. 31, which is in the Shandong province on the shores of the Yellow Sea, have become sister schools to help students immerse themselves in different cultures.
To help start the relationship, one teacher from TEPCEC, Mrs Donnelly, flew out to Qingdoa earlier this month to sign a declaration of friendship between the two schools. During the visit, Mrs Donnelly encountered the different styles of teaching, and experienced the Chinese culture first hand.
Mrs Donnelly said: “This experience of going to see how education is delivered in China has been phenomenal.
“What was so incredibly heartening is how warm and welcome I was made to feel. The staff and student in Qingdoa are so keen to find out more about our school and how we learn. They are also just curious to know more about what it is like to grow-up in England.”
“The friendship that we will look to develop between the two schools will open up so many doors for staff and students. It really is a fantastic opportunity.”
To launch the partnership in Ellesmere Port, Mrs Donnelly will be talking to all students after half term, about her experiences and how TEPCEC students can get involved in the future.
She added: “This partnership means that there is a real opportunity for some of our students to get to know young people in a country thousands of miles away – they may even get to visit them!”
The arrangement has been facilitated through the True Education Partnerships, a programme encouraging personal development that includes students having the opportunity to learn Chinese and experience life changing experiences. Visit www.trueeducationpartnerships.com for more information.
It is one of just a number of new initiatives that is being implemented since the school joined the Frank Field Education Trust earlier this year.
Mrs Cath Green, Principal at the College, added: “This is one of the most exciting things I have been involved in since entering the teaching profession.
“All to often schools talk about broadening horizons and encouraging children to explore the world around them – but that exploration is limited to video and the written word. This partnership offers something very different. Not only will there be exchange trips, but there will also be interaction with children of their own age overseas on a regular basis through video conferencing.
“This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to help our students understand and prepare for the global opportunities that await them after they have finished their education.”