Waterlooville's Woodcroft Primary School hosts Chinese students in cultural exchange

A Waterlooville primary school has given visitors from Asia the chance to experience British life as they spent a week alongside their pupils.
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Woodcroft Primary School hosted 25 students from the Nanjing Phoenix Garden City Primary School in China for a week in January. The exchange scheme saw the pupils staying with host families and join in with Woodcroft's lessons to get a taste of what school life is like in Britain. The opportunity was set up after Horndean Technology College visited China in 2023, setting up a conversation for Woodcroft to host primary school aged children.

Headteacher Barry Fanning leapt at the chance to host the Chinese children. He said: "It's all being very quick, it was only just before Christmas that we started talking about it and we had the opportunity to host Primary school children and jumped at it. It's been brilliant, I think our children have made real connections with our visitors. I think the big thing for me is the fact that they've understood what children from a different culture go through on a daily basis, and not just the differences but the similarities. It has been great to see how similar the children are in their likes and dislikes. The children from China have been so respectful, they have been an absolute delight to have."

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The exchange students have been working with Year 6 students on a shared project. They have been producing a book, half Chinese, half English, where they chronicle a week in their lives including what their houses, schools and interest are like.

The Nanjing Phoenix Garden City Primary School headteacher, Xu Jianhua, believes the visit has been a success. He said: "It has been good, the school and its students have been very friendly. It has also been great to live with host families and to have built relationships with them. It's been a beautiful and memorable experience for us. We hope to welcome students to China in the future."

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