On 18th October 18 students and 2 teachers from SJP, along with 16 students and 2 teachers from St Mary's Catholic College, set off for Shanghai and Taicang in China.
After an early start and a long journey, we were delighted to arrive and immediately set out to see the sights in Shanghai, including the Bund with its amazing skyline and architecture and Nanjing Road with its fabulous shops. We had our first attempt at eating with chopsticks (mastered by all eventually!) and then checked into our hotel for some much needed sleep! Over the weekend we took in more sights, including the exhibitions at the Shanghai Museum and the beautiful Yu Garden before heading to Taicang where we spent three days in our sister school, Taicang No2 Middle School. Our students were treated like pop stars, signing autographs and being mobbed at every turn! We were treated to music and art lessons and took part in their Sports' Day, winning at Tug of War and the relay race (despite Nathan picking up an injury!), but suffering defeat in our basketball match despite a valient effort from our team. All students performed to an audience of 1800 during the Closing Ceremony, something I am sure they were not aware they had signed up for! My proudest moment was seeing how they all pulled together to overcome technical difficulties in front of such a large audience to pull off a fabulous rendition of "Shake it up baby" and then show our sister school how the "Cha-cha slide" should be done! Our students formed close bonds with their buddies and there were tears when we left the school after three fabulous days. We then returned to Shanghai for some more bartering and souvenir shopping before embarking on the long journey home, all exhausted but full of amazing memories and experiences that will be talked about for a long time!