Stockport teachers visit China

UNITY: Teachers and council members visited Kaifeng to try to build links between Stockport and the Chinese city

COUNCIL members and teachers from Stockport have recently returned from a visit to China.

Representatives from eight borough schools and Leader of Stockport Council Dave Goddard visited Kaifeng in eastern China in an attempt to develop stronger links with local businesses, community and cultural groups and education establishments.

The visit, which was externally funded by British Council’s School Linking Programme, included visits to students’ homes and sites of national significance.

Councillor Goddard, said: “This was a very successful visit which has the potential to forge much stronger and closer business, cultural and educational links between Stockport and Kaifeng. I look forward to building on these links in the future.”

The delegation spent seven days in the ancient capital of China visiting and working with their partner schools, learning more about Chinese education and culture.

The headteachers and teachers were from Banks Lane Infant, Broadstone Hall Primary, St Thoma’s CE Primary in Heaton Chapel, St Winifred’s Primary, Priestnall High, Offerton School, Werneth School and Reddish Vale Technology College.

Links with schools in Kaifeng began in 2008 when the eight Stockport schools took up the Council’s invitation to develop curriculum based links in the home town of Deqing Chen, director of Jinlong Martial Arts Academy in Stockport.

Mr Chen, who has organised the Chinese New Year Spectacular at the Plaza for the last two years, had the idea to link schools in his native and adoptive towns. This visit saw the realisation of this dream and the desire by all concerned to build on the relationship.

Since establishing the link in 2008 some of the schools have already started to offer lessons in Chinese to pupils and staff, with the help of Jane Kwok from the Stockport Chinese Club.

More schools in the borough are now gearing up to welcome artists from Kaifeng to perform during the week long Chinese New Year celebrations in February 2010.

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