Students from Kangaroo Flat, Quarry Hill, White Hills, Maiden Gully, Marong, Epsom,
Huntly, Specimen Hill, Camp Hill, Golden Square, Spring Gully and Eaglehawk North
primary schools are ready to embark on a 9 day global learning experience departing May
29. Their travels will take them to the incredible city of Shanghai where they will cruise the
Huangpu River, view the city from the dizzy heights of the iconic Pearl Tower, explore
markets, taste traditional dumplings, ride the superfast Maglev train and experience the super
-efficient MET underground rail system used by millions of local Chinese everyday!
Bargaining, shopping with Chinese Yuan and conversing in mandarin will bring alive the
language and cultural learning which has been embedded in these 12 schools over the past 3
School Days in Suzhou….
After experiencing Shanghai, a city of 21 million people the group will head 100 kms west to
the much smaller city of Suzhou (5 million plus!) In Suzhou students will attend their
Chinese Sister school (all Sister schools have enrolments of between 2000 and 3000
students!) to participate in school life and lessons in the morning, followed by lunch in the
school canteen with their Chinese buddies and then cultural experiences in the afternoon. The
World Heritage, Humble Administrator’s Garden and Old Suzhou Town will be two
highlights along with an evening of Chinese Opera, Kung Fu lessons and a visit to the
stunning silk museum. Time in their Sister School will give students the chance to reconnect
with Chinese buddies who have been to our schools in Bendigo over the past 3 years, time to
meet the 50 Chinese students who will be arriving in October for eight weeks and time to
experience the day to day life in the amazing schools of the Suzhou Industrial Park area .
Local Students Go Global!
Twelve local “Team China Schools” collaborate to develop an Overseas Learning
Experience for 57 primary school students!
Pre Departure Program
As the Overseas Learning Experience involves students and staff from across 12 local schools the
planning team has implemented a comprehensive pre departure program to enable all participants to get
to know each other. Working together the group has completed a range of team building activities, a pre
departure survey about their hopes, expectations and any concerns, participated in role plays, had
practical experience in how to manage their washing “hotel style”, completed map reading activities
and increased their knowledge around local Shanghai landmarks and the special features of the
underground metro system.
Each Team China school is incredibly proud of every student who is participating in this unique learning
experience, students are not only representing their school community but also Bendigo! On their return
these students will be reporting back to their school community and to the Bendigo community. Each
student will be appointed as an International Ambassador at their local school and have a key role in
promoting global thinking, global citizenship, mandarin language learning and intercultural
understandings. They will also be wonderful advocates for the program and help to prepare the 2015
student travel group!
The Collective Strength of the TEAM
Working collectively as a team the Principals of these 12 schools have been able to bring this
opportunity to life for 57 local students. An initial information evening held last September received
overwhelming interest from both families and students across the 12 schools. Buoyed by such
enthusiasm the principal team knew that they had the support of their school communities to go forward
as a group to bring this overseas learning experience to life!
Each student traveller completed an application by addressing a criteria and participating in an
interview. Families were required to add their support and agree to be an active participant in local
fundraising with their students.
A team uniform has been designed, a team song written, a blog established and a giant “Team China,
Bendigo” banner created. This banner will be used to tell the citizens in Shanghai and Suzhou who we
are and where we come from!
Schools thrive in supportive local communities. For Team China schools there has been a
spirit of endeavour to raise funds to help reduce the costs for all students travelling.
Students and families have all worked hard in their local communities developing creative
fundraising ideas. The collective support from Rotary Clubs across Bendigo and a
significant donation from the Eaglehawk Basketball Association have provided the Team
China Uniforms for each student travelling. Team Hats have been provided by individual
donation from a local Bendigo supporter who sees this work as “an amazing opportunity for
local young people.” With the many demands on organisations and local Bendigo
businesses this support is highly valued and very much appreciated by every student and
family involved. The ripple effect of such generosity has spread quickly across each school
Looking Ahead- inclusive not exclusive!
For Team China schools this is the beginning of what is anticipated to be an annual global
learning opportunity for primary aged students. The strength of this team, the commitment
of the Principal Leaders, the passion of students and parents and the evolving sponsorship
interest and support from local Bendigo service groups and interested citizens adds
additional weight to the project. Team China has grown from an initial group of 5 schools
to a group of 14. The team’s strength comes from its diversity. Large Bendigo schools with
enrolments over 500 along with small rural Bendigo schools with as few as 21 students can
all capitalize on this innovative language teaching and learning model, planned cultural
events and overseas learning experience opportunities! Having such a large demand for
teaching mandarin brings with it the ability to attract high quality teaching staff to Bendigo
schools. This is great news for our community, our schools and our learners!
Cross Curriculum Priority- For students to be “Asia Literate”
We are living in the ‘Asian Century’. Globally, we live on the Australian Street in the
Government, industry and educationalists realize that to secure our country’s economic
future it is critical that our students have a global perspective, are ‘Asia literate’ and
have the skills, knowledge and attitudes to be successful in a rapidly changing,
Asian Literacy is one of 3 cross curriculum priorities in the new Australian Curriculum.
Team China Schools are responding to this priority in a strategic way by providing local
primary students with the chance to experience an Asian culture firsthand.
Did You Know?
The work of Team China Schools also includes the annual hosting of Chinese students
from Suzhou, China for 8 weeks in our schools, our classrooms and our
neighbourhoods! In October this year we are expecting a group of 50 students and 6
teachers. By the end of 2014 local Team China schools will have hosted 178 students, 21
Chinese teachers and 3 education delegations from China! With this influx comes a big
demand for all things Aussie with host families making a bee line for local attractions to
entertain their young guests over the eight weeks. This injection of spending supports
local tourism and local business.
A Language Pathway
There is enormous enthusiasm for learning Chinese language and culture in our primary
schools as students and staff prepare for their trip to China and as our school
communities get ready to host 50 Suzhou students coming in October.
This is great justification for the work done through BSSC and across our Greater
Bendigo primary schools to develop and document a Mandarin language program which
provides a pathway for learning mandarin from Year P-12.
At BSSC the Confucius Classroom Chinese teachers work together to ensure that they
deliver a consistent and engaging curriculum which maintains student interest and
passion for their learning across all Team China Primary Schools.
The program provides students with access to an online portal containing rich digital
learning objects which motivate our students to extend their learning beyond the
classroom. With hundreds of students now learning Chinese language and culture across
both primary and secondary schools, we are optimistic about a future where all students
in Bendigo are Asia literate and keen to learn a language through to the end of their
secondary school years.
Sister School Relationships Build Global Citizens!
All Bendigo schools involved in Team China have a Sister School in China. The Sister
Schools are located in Suzhou and Haimen City. Sister School relationships are an
important component in enhancing the global awareness and intercultural understandings
of our students. They also assist in broadening the knowledge and understanding of our
students by enabling them to gain an understanding, appreciation and respect for other
cultures. Team China schools use a variety of ways to communicate and undertake
collaborative projects with their Sister Schools, some of these include teleconferencing,
emailing, skyping and joint webpages. All Team China Bendigo principals have
experienced a visit to their respective Sister Schools in China and now we are ready to
share this experience with 57 year 5 and 6 students and 20 staff from across Bendigo.
Question: What are you looking forward to about the trip?
Keily is looking forward
to seeing schools and
how their education
Brianna wants to
try all the food
and going on the
Lewis is looking forward to going to
our sister school and practicing my
Mandarin with my Chinese Buddy.
Waylon would like to
compare the differences
and similarities, and
seeing how lucky I am to
live in Australia.
Miciah can’t wait to experience
different cultures, and the
Chinese circus- I hear it’s pretty
Maddie is looking
forward to the
differences in culture,
and also the plane
ride. It’s my first time.
Jess hasn’t been
to many circuses,
so that and the
food will be a
Olivia says she wants
to see the Pearl
Tower and the
The Gardens will be
Lachlan is excited about the
Pearl Tower, and trying to
bargain. That’ll be fun.
Kiarni can’t wait to
see the tourist
differences in schools
Ella is looking forward to seeing
how different life is in China, and
the tourist attractions.
Olivia would like
to Learn about