Wonderful Wild Wednesdays (Click here)
You are hereby invited to join Rural Connect and friends for a great day out in parks around West Lothian! (Click here)
China Trip 2013
Friday 4th October - Monday 14th October 2013
On Friday 4th October, 12 S6 students accompanied by Miss Young and Miss Moar as well as Jean Ye, our translator and external China coordinator set off for China for a ten day trip.
They arrived on Saturday evening in Beijing and the students quickly had to pick up their chop stick skills which would be essential over the next ten days.
Sunday was spent experiencing Chinese culture first hand with a visit to Tiananmen Square, the national museum of China and the Forbidden City.
Students were overwhelmed by the huge crowds at these tourist attractions, as well as the large numbers of cars and bicycles on the Beijing streets.
From Monday to Friday the 12 students and two teachers stayed with host families from TEDA No. 1 Middle School, our partner school in China. This school is located in the Binhai area of Tianjin, about 80 miles south east of Beijing. Students stayed with the same students who had stayed with their families and visited Armadale Academy in August this year.
This was a most enjoyable experience for our students to catch up with the friends they had made in August and to experience first hand what it's like to live in a typical Chinese home as well as experiencing life in modern China. Both the students and staff from Armdale Academy found the Chinese to be most kind and generous.
Students were given a TEDA No. 1 Middle school uniform and got the chance to take part in various activities in school including, Chinese face mask painting, tai chi, making Chinese dumplings and calligraphy. Students and staff visited various classes including, English, Chemistry, Physics and PE.
The group also visited the local primary school and Master Kong noodle factory, a business in the area. On the final day an assembly was held with performances from students at both schools. The final activity was a basketball game which was convincingly won by the students of TEDA No. 1 Middle School.
Principal Wang, Head Teacher of TEDA No. 1 Middle School said that he found the students from Armadale Academy to be very polite and well mannered. He also commented that the parents from the host families were very impressed and went out of their way to make this a special occasion for the students from Armadale Academy.
On Friday after a tearful farewell from the students the group headed back to Beijing for the last two days of the trip. This included a visit to the Beijing National Library, the biggest library in Asia, the Great Wall, Hutong, Summer Palace and Olympic Stadium. Not to mention the shopping that the students found time to fit in.
Miss Young, Principal Teacher Curriculum Social Studies said "this has been a fantastic experience for our students. I am very proud to have been involved in the first exchange visit with out partner school in China. The students threw themselves in to all activities and were not shy when it came to trying different foods or haggling in the local markets. I look forward to many more visits from students from both schools."
Miss Moar, Acting Principal Teacher - Student Support added "I feel very privileged to have been a part of the first and very successful China exchange trip. The whole group, including Miss Young and I, have thoroughly enjoyed every minute and have many special memories to cherish, particularly those shared with our lovely host families. This was a truly unique, cultural experience that I believe has inspired our students and given them confidence to pursued further adventures in study, work or travel abroad.
S6 student Colin Waddell said "I felt really nervous before I came out but staying with the host family meant that I experienced real Chinese culture.
In the end I did not want to leave. I have made friends for life and I hope to stay in touch and go back to China in the near future."
S6 student Nina McDonald added "It was good that the Chinese students visited Armadale first because it made it easier to stay with them in China as we already knew them. It showed me a new way of living that I never expected. China is a beautiful country, with beautiful people. If anyone gets the chance to go I would recommend it."
Jean Ye feels that the students have learned a lot from this experience. " I am thrilled to work with the Armadale team. This trip brings the best out of the students. I am really proud of the students at Armadale Academy. "
Any current S5 student interested in the 2014 China Trip should see Miss Young or Miss Moar for more information.
Free wheelin' is a leadership project taken on by myself, Scott Low, as part of my Higher Leadership course.
A group of pupils are working on old donated bikes and are repairing them. The reconditioned bikes will be given away to the Council as part of the West Lothian Appeal at Christmas.
I contacted Nick McQue, from Hooked on Cycling ( http://www.shop-hookedoncycling.co.uk/ ), the main bike store in Bathgate, who came along to the school and led a group of 8 people, showing them around the bikes and their main components.
After Nick's instruction we have already taken apart 1 bike and checked the condition of the tyres, wheels and frame. The bike has also been cleaned and is awaiting a new tyre. The group meets on Mondays.