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School forges links with China

PUBLISHED: 14:37 09 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:31 07 July 2010

John Smith, headteacher of Northgate High School, Dereham, has been making contacts in China.

He has just returned from a nine-day visit to Shanghai and the purpose of the trip was to visit various schools and to set up a link with one particular school, Weiyu Middle, an 11-16 school in the Xuhui district.

John Smith, headteacher of Northgate High School, Dereham, has been making contacts in China.

He has just returned from a nine-day visit to Shanghai and the purpose of the trip was to visit various schools and to set up a link with one particular school, Weiyu Middle, an 11-16 school in the Xuhui district.

Various gifts were presented to Weiyu school including art work from Year 11 students and a Northgate School Uniform. This was proudly exhibited in a display case in the school drive.

There are huge cultural differences between the two countries. Consequently the education systems are very different. School starts at 7.30 a. with communal outdoor exercise and finishes at 5.30 pm. During the day there are sessions of eye exercise carried out by all pupils to music through the school loudspeaker system.

Students are highly focused with huge pressure from parents to succeed; competition for post 16 places is intense. In spite of this pressure the pupils clearly enjoy their learning and a sense of fun underpins the curriculum, where Maths, Chinese and English are regarded as the main subjects.

The next step is for students from Northgate and Weiyu to be involved in a joint curriculum project. It is hoped that one or two teachers will pay short visits in the autumn to teach in each other's schools, leading to a pupil exchange at a later date.

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