Woodford House was privileged to host six students and two teachers from our sister school, Chengdu Wanda No.7 High School. Chengdu is a city in the province Sichuan, China which has a general population of 15 million.
The six students that attended our school from the 29 July – 4 August were; Liu Xinyue (13), Wen Jiayu (13), Wang Meixin (12), Yang Xinnan (13), Zhou Wenxin (16) and Luo Siyu (16) along with teachers; Mrs Chen Li and Mrs Chen Le. Whilst the girls attended Woodford House to experience the New Zealand culture, a further group of eight male students and teachers attended Napier Boys’ High School.
During their stay at Woodford House, the girls were able to experience the education system in New Zealand which differs from the Chinese system. During my visit to Chengdu Wanda No.7 High School in October 2017, I was shocked by how many hours the students study each day. School starts at 7.30am and finishes at 5.30pm for the juniors, and 10.30pm for seniors with every subject being compulsory.
There is an immense amount of pressure on all students studying at Wanda No.7 High School, because of one examination at the end of Grade 12 (Year 13) which they must pass with a high grade to get into university. Woodford House would have been an eye opener for our visitors and much more relaxed compared to what they are used to.
During their stay at Woodford House, the girls visited Te Mata Peak, Silky Oak Chocolate Factory, Marine Parade in Napier and Havelock North Village which is very different to Chengdu City.
This special visit from our sister school has provided the girls and staff of Woodford House with an insight into Chengdu and Chinese culture and schooling. It also opened up the opportunity, in the coming years, of a possible trip to Chengdu as we continue to build strong links and friendships together.
Olivia Eames, Year 12