A little bit of China comes to Oldham

Date published: 09 July 2018

The children at a primary school in Oldham enjoyed classes with a difference today as 23 new classmates travelled over five-and-a-half thousand miles to join them for lessons.

Pupils from Wuhan, China, on a longer visit to Europe, spent a couple of days with the young people from Oldham’s Oasis Academy Limeside as part of a cultural exchange. 

The visit is part of a historic Manchester and Wuhan Sister City Relationship that dates back to 1985, and revived during ‘Wuhan in Manchester Week’ in 2016.  

The children met for the first time at Castleshaw Centre for Outdoor Education for a day of team building and fun together, enjoying many outdoor activities.

Then the 23 children and seven adults from, a federation of eight schools, including Red Scarf International School, are visiting Oasis Academy Limeside to build cultural relationships. 

They joined the Academy’s regular lessons in the morning, and then in the afternoon they joined in with a specially prepared performance by the pupils of the Academy. 

At the end of the visit, the schools signed a twinning agreement to formalise their partnership and made a commitment to continuing their friendship and exchange of cultures. 

The visit is not just for the children, as the teachers of both schools will also share their experiences and best practice of educating in their respective countries.

The pupils from China continue their busy itinerary over the next couple of days with visits to venues around Greater Manchester and a meeting with the Lord Mayor.

Pupils at Oasis Academy Limeside have been developing their Chinese for the last four years with the support of the Confucius Institute. 

This year the children sat the International Youth Chinese Test, with one pupil achieving one of the best results for their level.  

Commenting on the visit, Oasis Academy Limeside’s Regional Director, Helen Arya, said: ‘We are extremely proud to welcome our friends from Red Scarf International School to Oasis Academy Limeside and to sign a twinning agreement.

“At the Academy we strive to provide our young people with new and exciting opportunities wherever we can, and it doesn’t get much better than making friendships and sharing experiences with children from across the world.

“Our pupils were delighted to practice their Chinese and to share their lives in Oldham with our visitors who were so respectful and engaging. 

"We hope that this is just the beginning of a lasting partnership and friendship.”

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