Visit to Tangshan schools in China
In 2016 our school has been an active participant in the British Council’s ‘Shakespeare Lives’ project which celebrates the author’s work in the four hundredth anniversary year of his death in 1616. Our school has collaborated with five other Lincolnshire primaries and a secondary co-ordinated by Emma Whitson of Washingborough and supported by British Council Schools Ambassador, Chris Williams of Lincoln Christ’s Hospital School, and Li Ying of the Tangshan Foreign Affairs Office. The connection between Lincoln and Tangshan goes back to the early 1990’s, but this has been the first time our school has been involved in the link. After some preparatory work and communications, Chinese headteachers visited our school in July 2016 and we have just completed the return leg.
As part of the project as a whole, our school has corresponded, sending letters and work to our partner school. We hosted a delegation of Chinese headteachers, showing off our maypole dancing and singing skills. We have produced wall hangings about Shakespeare, some of which were presented to our partner head. A visit to the mayor and her parlour, a walk around Hubbard’s Hills and a pub evening meal brought us all closer together.
In October I returned the visit to the schools in Tangshan and was struck by the warm welcome by the teachers and pupils. I had the opportunity to experience the creativity and enthusiasm shown in lessons ranging from calligraphy and art to robotics, pottery and drama. I saw many excerpts from Shakespeare’s plays in both English and Chinese along with examples of dance and opera.
The partnership remains strong and we are currently looking at ways of studying Chinese poetry supported by our Chinese colleagues. Exciting times ahead.