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Thirty-five students and staff have arrived in Cumbria from Taiwan on an 11 day visit as part of the Connecting Classrooms link. Connecting Classrooms has been running for four years and is built on a British Council run initiative that is now a self-sustaining collaborative project between Cumbria County Council and a number of primary and secondary schools in the county. The project aims to promote links with pupils in schools world-wide. This year Cumbria is partnered with Hualien in Taiwan and this is the first time the students have visited Britain
The students and staff will be visiting and working with a number of secondary and primary schools over the 11 days and the visit will culminate in an International Expo at The Nelson Thomlinson School in Wigton on Friday 13 July where pupils from all the schools involved will take part in a variety of activities including food and culture workshops.
Following the welcome ceremony at 10am, the pupils will set up an Expo style exhibition highlighting the activities they have been engaged in during the year and they will judge each other’s stands
This will be followed by a Ready Steady Wok cooking session, led by well-known local chef, John Crouch, and Askir Ali from the Maryport Tandoori (who is also hosting a lunch for the visitors on Saturday 7 July). Other events will include a Kabuki dance workshop and activities led by the school's Asia Club
At lunchtime, pupils will have the opportunity to experience Asian food from the Nelson Thomlinson School canteen.
The afternoon will see pupils involved in a Chinese Mandarin lesson with visiting Taiwanese teacher Eric Lin and a Cumbria counting lesson with Mrs Marie Banks. The Mandarin lesson will take place in Nelson Thomlinson’s observation classroom so that other students and delegates can watch.
Additionally, the Taiwanese guests will be putting on a display of traditional Amis dancing.
The day will culminate in an English tea party at 3pm with entertainment from musical groups from Nelson Thomlinson School, including their steel samba band, The Sambandits.
Special guests from the county council, the British Council, the Wigton Rotary and the local community have been invited to attend.
Debbie Johnson, Head of Modern Foreign Languages at Nelson Thomlinson School said: “We are delighted to host our partnership friends and colleagues from across the world at this exciting event this year and hope this will continue into the future.”
John Nixon, Cumbria County Council lead officer for Connecting Classrooms said: “This ongoing international partnership is a shining example of how effective collaboration can have a real impact on the development of young global citizens.