Howick and Pakuranga Times
Botany and Ormiston Times : Howick and Botany Times Wednesday November 19 2014
www.times.co.nz Howick and Botany Times, Wednesday, November 19, 2014 — 5 welcome home 128447 By Farida Master THE powerful Maori rendition of Hallelujah echoes through Sancta Maria Catholic College as principal Yang Long of Shanghai Jincai Exper- imental Junior Middle School is wel- comed by the choir. The principal of the progressive school in Shanghai is accompanied by Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross and a Chinese delegation on a five-day visit to Auckland last week. After a thunderous Maori welcome, Sancta Maria College principal Paul Daley reflects on the significance of the moment that marks a grand new beginning. “We’re very pleased to establish a formal relationship between your school and ours,” he says. Mr Ross congratulates the princi- pal from the Chinese school on part- nering with Sancta Maria College. “This is an excellent choice. Sancta Maria is a very high achieving school with high moral standards,” he says. “This school is so impressive that I, as an MP, brought the Minister of Education to visit it. “There are 2500 schools in New Zealand and for the minister to visit it it has to be very special.” As Mr Long and vice-principal Wei Zhu tour the school, Sancta Maria’s director of international students Rosemary Gillies, who visited Shang- hai back in April, says it’s a great investment. “The aim of this programme is to begin annual visits from Chinese stu- dents to Sancta Maria for two-week study tours. It’ll give the students a taste of our Kiwi culture. “Once they visit us, the students looking at studying overseas may want to come back as international students,” says Ms Gillies, who plays the mother hen role to foreign pupils and is responsible for spearheading the initiative. “From just nine international stu- dents, we currently have 23.” Ms Gillies, who’s had an overseas experience of teaching in a Hong Kong school for four years, adds: “It’s very exciting that next year we will have around 20 to 30 exchange stu- dents visiting us from China. “Later, we’ll send our students. Two or three of our teachers will also get a chance to travel there.” Mr Long is equally enthused about the new partnership. He’s visibly impressed with the activities and the range of subjects, as well as the posi- tive environment that Sancta Maria offers. “The students look very bright and there are a lot of things we can learn from this school,” he told the Times, with the help of agents Jeff Ren and Isabella Ye as interpreters. “It’s very creditable that the prin- cipal seems to know every student by their name.” Referring to a year 7 maths class where a former student of the school is helping younger pupils, he says it’s a brilliant idea to have senior students take time out to help the juniors. “Compared to the rest of China, our school is very small,” says Mr Long, talking about the Shanghai school with an international outlook. “We have around 40 students in a classroom with a focus on art, music, languages, technology, robotics, vol- leyball and table tennis. “We like to imbibe different cul- tures and our students travel exten- sively all over the world. Forty of our students have just returned from vis- iting a school in Germany. “Soon, a batch of students is going to France. In January, another lot is travelling to Austria. “We offer our students an interna- tional platform and send them over- seas so they can experience different cultures, customs, and learn about other traditions. “Like Sancta Maria, we’re a young school and I look forward to forging a close relationship on our journey together.” On the visit to Sancta Maria Catholic College last week to sign a formal relationship is, from left, Huang Xiao Dong, Jeff Ren, Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross, Shanghai Jincai Experimental Junior Middle School principal Yang Long, Sancta Maria College principal Paul Daley, vice-principal Wei Zhu, Cao Hong, and Rosemary Gillies, the director of international students at Sancta Maria. Times photos Wayne Martin From Shanghai to Sancta Maria Mr Ross, Mr Long and Mr Daley are led into the school reception for the official powhiri; the Chinese visitors were greeted with traditional Maori kapa haka and waiata; the Sancta Maria College choir was in fine voice.
Howick and Botany Times Wednesday November 12 2014
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