A tour of the Turf gives Chinese students a taste of life in England

Students, staff and guests at the VIP farewell assembly organised for the Chinese students who visited Padiham Green Primary School.
Students, staff and guests at the VIP farewell assembly organised for the Chinese students who visited Padiham Green Primary School.

A headteacher's dream for his students to visit one of the world's most powerful countries has moved a step closer.

For staff, teachers and pupils at Padiham Green Primary School hosted their second visit of students from schools in Qingdao, China.

It was the second host visit for the school after headteacher Mark Dixon first visited China in 2015 and is another step closer for children from Padiham having the opportunity to visit China.

Mr Dixon said: "It was always my ambition, when I stood in Tiananmen Square looking at the Forbidden City in Beijing, to bring children from Padiham Green to stand here too.

"I am just a lad from Clitheroe and I just couldn’t believe that I was stood in that place and I wanted that experience for our students.

"And while I know there will be lots of hurdles to get over, I also think why not? "

The 14 visiting students stayed with the families of year six pupils and a variety of activities were laid on for them including an overnight camp in the grounds of the school in St Anne's Street.

The students also enjoyed a tour of Burnley Football Club and each one was presented with a Clarets shirt to take home with them.

They also got the chance to see traditional English history and heritage with a tour of Gawthorpe Hall followed by a shopping trip to Tesco in Padiham.

In return the Chinese children demonstrated many traditional activities of their own including music, drama and poetry.

Mr Dixon said: "The way the children communicated with each other and got over the obvious communication barriers was fantastic.

"Children are always amazing but to say they were speaking in two very different languages, they got along really well."

A special VIP farewell assembly was held at the school and among the guests were the Mayors of Burnley and Padiham Coun. Howard Baker and Ken Buckley respectively and Pam Smith, chief executive officer of Burnley Council.

Mr. Andrew Duncan, vice chairman of the governors was also at the assembly.

Guests received special presentations packs of beer donated by Burnley based Moorhouse's Brewery.

A second visit by teachers from Padiham Green to Bejing and Qingdao is planned for October along with teachers from other schools as part of the ongoing developing relations between schools in the county and the Education Bureau in Qingdao.

Mr Dixon added: "I think it is important for our Padiham Green children to be aware of the opportunities that may exist for them in the future through the relationships that they hopefully sustain with these children from the other side of the world.

"China is a growing world superpower and who knows what may come of these relationships in the future? "