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GYAP China 2018

GYAP

On 10th November 2018, Mr Wright embarked on an exciting Chinese adventure as part of the 'Global Youth Ambassador Project'. This is an organisation that looks to build links with schools all over the World and promote global citizenship. GYAP looks to inspire, motivate and educate children and young adults from across the globe, developing critical and creative thinking skills whilst helping the children to become more self aware and open minded.

Day 1

I left London at 9.10pm on Saturday November 10th, arriving in Chongqing at just after 4pm local time (this is 8 hours ahead of GMT). We then had an hour's drive to our hotel, followed by a huge Chinese buffet dinner. We then had an early night ready for our school visits the next day.

Day 2

On Monday we got up early and were taken by bus to the first of our school visits. We arrived at No1 Experimental Primary School of the Gaoxin District. We were welcomed by 3 very helpful guides from Year 6 and then followed around by a number of interpreters, photographers and school staff. We had a wonderful tour of the school with the highlight being the whole school assembly that we were special guests at. An audience of over 2000 children welcomed us.

In the afternoon we went to another school in Chongqing - Yudong No.4 Primary School. We received another warm welcome and tour, observing PE and games lessons, which included over 1000 children participating in sports at the same time. We also observed a music lesson and some traditional Chinese artwork being created. After this we had the opportunity to find out more about the school in a formal meeting setting, where we also had the opportunity to talk about our schools and exchange gifts. We were then taken to dinner with some of the senior staf,  before returning to our hotel later in the evening.

Day 3

On Tuesday morning we had an exciting trip planned to a very special museum in the Bishan District of Chongqing. We were up in the mountains and didn't really know what to expect at first. The museum was a private collection of artifacts from a a range of house clearances dating back to 2000 years (in the time of the Hong dynasty). We were the first western visitors to the museum and it was an absolute honour to be invited to see the amazing furniture, statues and artwork. 

In the afternoon, we were taken to visit another school in the Bishan District, Bishan Experimental Primary School. This was a school set across 2 campuses, housing about 1800 children on each site. The school itself was a well organised building with lots of greenery everywhere. The children were very keen to meet us and we were involved in a number of different activities. After we had done our formal presentation we were taken to a really nice restaurant where we had a fantastic meal and then took a nightime stroll through Bishan.

Day 4

On Wednesday we had to do our first bit of proper travelling, since arriving on Sunday. We had to be up and out of the hotel by 6.30am. We were catching the bullet train to XI'an at 9.00am and had to battle the enormous traffic queues. We then had a 5 and a half hour journey, travelling at approximately 250km. A Starbucks breakfast and a pork and rice lunch helped the journey pass by. 

After we arrived in Xi'an we checked into our hotel and acquainted ourselves with our GYAP colleagues, meeting teachers and headteachers from the UK, USA, China, Australia, New Zealand and more. We then had a short time to explore a very foggy, smog filled Xi'an, before getting an early night in preparation for the summit on Thursday morning. 

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Day 5

On Thursday we embarked on the first day of the GYAP summit. This was an incredible opportunity to gather educators from all over the World to share their thoughts about education and share what they believe to be the areas of development in their schools and countries. In the afternoon we broke into smaller groups to find out a bit more about specific schools before talking to Chinese teachers and headteachers who wanted to find out more about the English education system.  We then had a gala dinner with all of our new colleagues and friends.

Day 6

Friday started with the 2nd day of the Summit where we participated in a round table discussion about educational reform. This was followed by some more guest speakers including Margaret Hepworth from Melbourne who shared her work on the 'Gandhi Experiment' and promoting non-violence as an active choice amongst children, young people and adults. This was a fascinating approach. We then had more time to spend talking to Chinese teachers and staff before a large shared lunch.

In the afternoon I was whisked off to Xi'an Hi tech Elementary School. This was the most incredible school I have ever had the pleasure to visit. They were really focused on the wellbeing of their pupils and the quality of work, particularly in the arts was fantastic. After this we were taken out for a pizza and then embarked on an evening of karaoke!  

Day 7

So on Saturday we got to play tourists. We spent the morning visiting the 'Terracotta Army' museum. I had heard a lot about this and it didn't disappoint. It is an incredible thing to behold and the scale of the first pit, which houses about 2000 soldiers,  is enormous. It was amazing to get the chance to find out more about China's rich history. We also had the opportunity to participate in a tea ceremony, which was brilliant. 

In the afternoon we visited the Muslim Quarter in Xi'an this can best be described as an explosion to the senses - the sights, sounds, smells and tastes were out of this World and it is something I will never forget. We had the opportunity to visit some amazing shops and grab a few souvenirs. I spent quite a long time in the tea shop! We then returned back to our hotel and went out for a delicious final meal.

 

Day 8

My last day in China and the sky cleared and the sun came out! An early morning stroll around the area was all we had time for before we were heading back to the airport to catch our flight home.

A truly magnificent adventure that has had a profound effect on me both professionally and personally. I have met some amazing people, built some new friendships and learned so many new things. Thanks for having me China. 

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