A 101-strong delegation of pupils and staff from Bayi High School, Beijing, China is coming to Jersey in January specifically to visit Hautlieu School.
The two schools were officially twinned in 2011 and the Bayi party, which includes the Head and Deputy Head teachers, asked for Jersey to be included in their forthcoming tour of the UK, officially called the ‘Spring Festival New Year Visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain’.
Nick Falle, Hautlieu’s Acting Head Teacher, said: “This is a great honour for Hautlieu. Bayi High School is extremely prestigious. The current Chinese head of state, Xi Jinping, was educated there and it is highly regarded in Beijing. We are delighted to have an opportunity to welcome the Bayi group to our school and look forward to sharing Jersey’s unique culture with them. It is an invaluable experience for our students to meet and develop these bonds. There is already a strong affinity between our two schools and we hope this will continue to flourish in future.”
During their visit to Hautlieu on 28 and 29 January 2014, the Chinese students will take part in an assembly, join timetabled lessons and demonstrate elements of Chinese culture for their Jersey counterparts.
The January visit follows a successful trip to China in March of is this year. Fifty Hautlieu students and six staff spent time in Bayi High School and for many it was the highlight of the trip.
The Hautlieu students spent time in a number of classes including English, Mandarin, debating, art and music. They also took part in a Kung Fu session and received tuition from a national champion in the sport.
Francesca Pitman, a Year 13 student who took part, said: “Overall, visiting China was a once in a lifetime experience! It was enriching, exciting and opened our eyes to life on the other side of the world. What helped to make the trip so amazing was the people we were with and the laughs we shared, the memories formed will be hard to match!
“The flag ceremony which involves a group of students marching to the national anthem was something quite surreal. Over 3,000 students gathered on the sports pitch in order of year group. What struck me the most was that all these children, many younger than us, were stood silently in straight lines whilst the ceremony took place. The pride the students demonstrated towards their school and their country was unlike anything I have seen before.”
The Bayi trip is being organised by Gerald Cort, an educational consultant based in London. He visited the Island last month to plan the itinerary.
“The administration at Bayi High School is very excited about the twinning with Hautlieu and the visit next January. I have rarely seen a school so well run and managed as Hautlieu in my State school visits over the time I have been an educational consultant for the City of London. The students here are very privileged to be part of such a dynamic and progressive school situated in exquisite surroundings on a beautiful, pollution-free, sun-drenched island in the English Channel,” Mr Cort said.
The Chinese delegation will be formally welcomed by Jersey’s Chief Minister and Education, Sport and Culture Minister, Deputy Patrick Ryan, who said: “Potentially there are significant economic and cultural benefits from Jersey’s links with China and I am delighted that one of our schools is at the forefront in this way.”