The arrival of Sancta Maria’s sister school

“Read thousands of books while travel thousands of miles,” is a well-known ancient Chinese motto that is followed by FuLi Middle School in Suzhou City, China. In this week’s assembly, Sancta Maria College was able to elaborately welcome members of the sister school with a very engaging Powhiri performed by the College’s Kapa Haka group.

Students from the Chinese school had an inaugural visit in 2016, however, the principal of the middle school himself was able to journey to Sancta Maria for this year’s trip.

Mrs Gillies, the Director of International Students at our College, hopes that with these trips by the middle school, some would want to choose to come back again to Sancta Maria and continue their studies here, “In China, many students go abroad to gain international experience once they finish middle school. Hopefully these students will choose to come to New Zealand to study and become international students at our school.”

In this trip, the principal of the middle school was able to take a tour around the College, observe the methods of teachings here and interview other international students about their experience at our school. He left the classrooms very impressed and satisfied with the tour.

Even though our College is very young, with its establishment in 2004, whilst FuLi Middle School was founded in 1942, respect and academic excellence are important and valued by both. One of the aspects of our school that the principal of FuLi Middle School found most inspiring, was Sancta Maria College’s modern environment, especially our library. He in fact wants to develop his own school’s library to be modernised like our one.

The students from FuLi Middle school are currently immersed into our College and being introduced to its systems and style. Study Tours are greatly encouraged by the middle school who believe that, “through international study tours, we not only widen the student’s international view but also enrich the student’s life experiences, improve the student’s foreign language skill and train the student’s independent character and quality.”

Mrs Gillies, along with the College, feel that collaborating with FuLi Middle School will expand our horizons, “in the long term, we hope that in about two years’ time, there could be an exchange whereby Sancta Maria students would have the opportunity to go to FuLi Middle School and if possible, teacher exchanges too.”

Nonetheless, the arrival of members from FuLi Middle School has grown both schools’ understanding and respect for their respective cultures.

Zoe Chou