Over half term, over 28 Sixth Form pupils and 4 teachers embarked on an outstanding Economics and History trip to China.
After leaving school at 4:00 am on Sunday morning and arriving in Beijing at 5:00 Monday morning, we all felt very knackered. However, this was a poor start to a brilliant trip because the events that followed were amazing, and the experiences were unforgettable.
A rundown of the trip: we started off in Beijing, then moved on the Shanghai before ending in a town called PingXiang where the pupils had to stay with a Chinese family and immerse themselves in the Chinese way of life.
Since returning from China, the authors of this article have spoken to most of the teachers and pupils who went on the trip see what their favourite experiences and moments of the trip were.
Mr Rees thought that the most spectacular place we visited was the boat journey across the Huangpu River in Shanghai, seeing the Bund on one side and the skyscrapers on the other. His favourite moment was the excitement of all of the students and host families on arriving at the PingXiang school, and sitting in a few of the classes where he was answering many of the students' questions. His favourite food from the trip was a spicy crab, consumed in PingXiang. He says he would definitely return to China if the opportunity arose His favourite photo from the trip is above.
Miss Close found that her favourite moment was when all the pupils met their hosts on the first day of arriving in PingXiang and the joy which went across all of the students' faces. Her favourite site was the Bund in Shanghai which had great views of the Chinese skyscrapers on other side. The food which she enjoyed the most was the grilled tofu. She would return to China again and she would like to see more of the Great Wall of China.
Miss Chipman thought the school in PingXiang was the greatest place that we went to in China. The goodbye ceremony, when we had to say goodbye to our Chinese hosts, who were so emotional at this point, was her favourite moment of the trip. Her favourite food on the trip was ice-cream. If she ever returns to China, she wishes to visit some new places.
Miss Rickard found the Great Wall of China the most memorable place we visited. Her favourite moment was when we had just reached the bottom of the TV tower, Miss Chipman losing odds on going all the way back to the top. The food which she enjoyed the most was the sweet and sour pork which was served with most meals. Again, she would take the opportunity of returning to China because she found it such an amazing experience.
On behalf of all the pupils who had the pleasure of going on the trip, we would like to thank all of the teachers for making it happen. We will now move on the some of the experiences of the pupils who went on the trip.
Will Dry thought that Miss Chipman losing the odds game was the best moment of the trip. His favourite site was looking down the glass floor from the TV tower. His favourite food was Honey Soaked Crispy Chicken Legs. He says that his host student was overly emotional but a top lad, and he ended up playing Chinese chess with him in the evenings.
Oliver Miller thought the TV tower was his favourite moment of the trip and the Bund was the most inspiring site. What is the Bund, though? Well it’s the foreign quarter of Shanghai. His favourite food was Bautzu, which is a sweet bun. He said that his host was very emotional and nicknamed “Bob” due to a hard-to-pronounce Chinese name. In the evening, he went out for dinner and did some sight-seeing.
George Gibson found the boat trip in Shanghai quite amazing and he also found the toilets at the PingXiang School unforgettable, as they were literally two lines of trenches. He found the Forbidden City and the TV tower particularly interesting sites. His favourite food was rice, maybe due to the fact he had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He found his host really nice and spent the nights watching films.
Kalvin Cheung thought that the sleep after being awake for 32 hours straight was the most memorable experiences of the trip. His favourite place was the boat trip in Shanghai. He really enjoyed eating Won Ton, which is a type of soup filled with dumplings. His host was really cool, and he was happy for he was taken to a karaoke bar on the final night with his host.
Tom Rafferty thought the experience of spending time with people from completely different cultures and backgrounds was the best of his life. He found Shanghai as a city really nice and his favourite food of the trip was dumplings. His host was really friendly and nice, and they went out for dinner and had top chat in the evenings.
Jack Dry found the football match between Portsmouth Grammar School and PingXiang School a fabulous event. He though that the Great Wall was the best place we visited and his favourite food from China was watermelon. His host had a nice house; Jack was lucky, for his host’s mother was an English teacher; they spent the evenings looking through photo albums.
Alicia Juniper, found the Great Wall both her favourite moment and her favourite place in China. Her host was a nice person and they got on well, chilling out with friends each evening.
Jadon Buckeridge thought Henry Ling doing his odds, on doing 25 topless push ups and Will Dry getting kissed by a girl from PingXiang his favourite moments. He also enjoyed the banter on the trains and buses. His favourite Chinese food was noodles. He found his host difficult to work with for he lacked English skills, however he managed to play Monopoly with him in the evenings.
Nick Gatenby thought Jadon receiving a love note from an 11 year old student and Will crawling up the Great Wall of China particularly funny moments. He really enjoyed the Great Wall and liked having rice and Spicy Donkey. His host was “mental” and spoke no English, and spent the evenings either watching movies or doing homework.
Andrew Gorvin was another who really enjoyed seeing Miss Chipman lose her odds in the TV tower. He also enjoyed the vast Great Wall of China. He found having a steak when he got to PingXiang to be one of the best meals of the trip. He thought his host was alright, but found it hard to communicate with him. In the evenings he went on walks and went to restaurants.
Alex McKirgan thought bartering at the two markets was a great experience and was pleased with his “authentic” Rolex. He found the Bund a very nice place, and enjoyed the taste of dog. His host was friendly and flamboyant, and in the evenings they did homework and drank wine.
Charlie Albuery though the TV tower was particularly special, and really enjoyed the school and the people in the school. He was another who found a love for Bautzu. He found that his host was a great guy and really nice, but tended to do very little in the evenings.
Roxanne Goacher thought the boat trip was the best moment of the trip and the top of the TV tower held the best sights. She found that Lotus Root is a really tasty. Her host was fairly interesting, and they ended up watching Godzilla together.
So, as you can tell, we all thought the trip was amazing and many of us would return to China if we could. All the sights we saw and the places we went were really inspirational. To those who see school trips advertised: please find out more about them because there are some fabulous trips around.