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Oldham pupils welcome friends from China for cultural exchange

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

Pupils from a number of primary schools in 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, which has included the 'Wuhan in Manchester Week’ celebrations in 2016 to mark 30 years of friendship.

Yesterday 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.

Today the twenty-three children and seven adults from are visiting Oasis Academy Limeside to build cultural relationships.  They will join the Academy’s regular lessons in the morning, and then in the afternoon they will join in with a specially prepared performance by the pupils of the Academy.  

At the end of the visit, one of the schools, the Red Scarf International School, will sign a twinning agreement to formalise their partnership and make 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 Wuhan will then 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 visit, Oasis Academy Limeside’s Regional Director, Helen Arya, says, ‘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.”