Nín hǎo from Shanghai!

Having all returned safely from Shanghai and having eventually got back into the British time zone, I would like to say a huge thank you to all the children who took part in this ‘educational visit of a lifetime’ for representing our school impeccably! I would equally like to thank the parents / carers who accompanied us to Shanghai for all of their support and dedication! I hope that you all had an amazing time as I know all of the staff from St. Mary and St. Thomas Aquinas certainly did!

Here are some amazing pictures of our visit to Shanghai and Zhongshan School…

When we arrived at Zhongshan School, we were greeted by the school leader in the formal meeting room and were officially welcomed into the school. During the welcome session we were informed what we would be doing during each school day.

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Unlike in the UK, parents / carers rarely go into school so it was a unique opportunity for our parents / carers to be shown around Zhongshan School. We were accompanied by a teacher called ‘Jean’ who spoke both Chinese and fluent English. The children, adults and staff were taken aback by how big the school was and could spot huge similarities and differences between Zhongshan School and St. Mary and St. Thomas Aquinas Primary School.

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We were fortunate enough to be apart of the Year 1 Maths lesson. The children were learning how to subtract. Can you spot any similarities or differences between this Year 1 class in Shanghai and our class in the UK?

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Our children had a choice whether they would like to take part in an Art or Music class. In the Art class, the children were learning about a famous Chinese artist who was a specialist in a type of word art. Everyone in the class was encouraged to write their own name in the style of this artist. The class teacher was kind enough to translate some of our English names into Chinese.

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All of our children took part in a P.E. lesson. In China, children cannot achieve top grades in other subjects without achieving top grades in P.E. This lesson began with the children standing in neat, smart rows and bowing before the teacher as a sign of respect. The children were then asked to run around the school grounds 5 times before beginning the actual lesson.

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Our children had great fun making ceramic sculptures using air drying clay. Before they began, they explored the work of a Chinese artist and the style in which he worked.

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On the last day of school in Shanghai, we were fortunate enough to take part in a Chinese tea making ceremony. Unlike in the UK where we simply boil the kettle to make our tea, the Chinese tea ceremony is rich in symbolism, ritual and respectfulness. The whole ceremony lasted for over two hours! It was really impressive to watch and take part…

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At the end of the last day in school, we stopped to get our photographs taken with all the new friends we had made in Shanghai.


As a farewell gift, Zhongshan School kindly took us out for a traditional Chinese meal. Some of us were a little surprised when we saw that our favourite Chinese meals were not on the menu however the food was extremely tasty when it arrived!

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