pupils from a school in the Dalian region of China have been experiencing life at school in the region as guests of Longridge Towers pupils and their families.
The Ealing International College students soon discovered that life and schooling is very different here in the UK to back home.
Hebe Zhang Qian who accompanied the group explained: “The pupils, aged 11 -15, spent the week learning more about education in the west and attended the same lessons and activities as the Longridge Towers School pupils.
In China they are used to a much longer and regimented school day and class sizes of up to 60, so undoubtedly life at Longridge with its small classes of just 15 pupils and different classrooms for different lessons can seem quite strange.
This is the second visit by pupils of the Dalian school and some end up as pupils.
“When being educated in the UK, the students tend to opt for and tend to do well in subjects such as Maths and Science but perhaps due to the language element find subjects such as History and Literature more difficult,” said Hebe.
“There are certainly some aspects which are entirely new – Chinese schools don’t offer the same sports so for many of them it’s the first time they have seen a hockey stick or rugby ball close up.”
The visit aims to give the pupils a taste of British culture and the Chinese children stayed with pupils’ families, taking part in family life and exploring the local area.
Pippa Cullen, whose son Sam is in Form 5, hosted Chinese students Gary and Peter at their home in Greenlaw. She said: “We really enjoyed having the students to stay and they became very much part of the family. They were really keen to try British food so we took them for fish and chips which they really seemed to appreciate.”
Chinese pupils make up a considerable proportion of boarders in European schools and visits such as this help to develop further links so that parents in China are aware of the benefits that an education at the school can offer.
Bursar, Stuart Bankier explained: “We look forward to hosting the students from Dalian, not only do they learn about us but our students also have the chance to learn a little about life in China too. ”