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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 November 2006, 18:28 GMT
School Day: China link-up
On Friday 24 November 2006, the BBC hosted a live laptop link-up with pupils in a school in Beijing.

As part of the link-up children from a school in London put their questions to the students in Beijing. Read on to find out more about the two schools that took part in the live link-up.


Beijing students enjoy lunch in the canteen

Off a busy dual carriageway in a northern suburb of Beijing, is the Beijing Academy of Educational Science Pilot Middle School.

A security guard briskly opens the gate and welcomes all visitors.

The five-storey concrete building is home to more than 800 children - a mixture of boarders and day pupils. The latter are drawn from the local community and live in the many high-rise blocks which surround the school.

Many others travel long distances daily, by bus or by bicycle - and there are hundreds of bicycles resting just inside the school gate.

The school has a specific interest in promoting sport. At lunch time it seems the majority of the students are engaged in some sporting activity: football, basketball, table tennis are all being enthusiastically undertaken outside. In the courtyard, table-tennis tables are always given a good workout.

The children range in ages from 12 to 18 and undertake the usual range of subjects.

The school uniform is a light blue tracksuit but many of the students, particularly the girls, accessorise with other more colourful tops and T-shirts.

Students at work in the Beijing academy
The Beijing Academy can boast over 800 students
The day begins early at 0730 and runs until 1700. There is a break for lunch, which is served in the school canteen just after midday. This is followed by half-an-hour of sport and half-an-hour of free time.

Some of the pupils decide to continue with their sporting endeavours during this period, but others take the time to study or read in the library. Yet others opt for a rest and a nap.

The male students are definitely more engaged in sport than their female counterparts, who appear to be happy talking and reading in small groups during their break.


Students at work in the Hackney school
About 50 languages are spoken at Our Lady's Convent High School
Just 27 pupils were registered at Our Lady's Convent High School when it moved to its current site in 1904.

Since then the school has steadily grown and now boasts more than 700 pupils aged 11 to 19 who speak about 50 different languages.

Situated in inner city Hackney, east London, the school - which allows a small number of boys into its sixth form - has a reputation for academic excellence.

It was rated as "good" in its last Ofsted inspection when pupils were praised for their behaviour and outstanding contribution to the local community.

The school was founded by the Sisters of the Servite Order and they are still the trustees - pupils are taught about the order's compassionate values.

In 1904 the school was situated in a house which dated back to the 1800s which had a grass tennis court in the garden.

Now, the house is long gone and pupils are taught in purpose built classrooms, the oldest dating back to 1949 and the newest 2003.

Our Lady's Convent High School, Hackney, London
Our Lady's Convent High School is situated in inner-city London

The school became a Language College in 1998 and an extensive building programme had expanded its size by almost a third by 2001.

The languages department is now situated in a new purpose-built communications suite which includes a multi-media room with 30 computers and interactive white boards.

The school has a history of maintaining international links and enjoys strong relationships with Servite schools and students in countries such as Bolivia, South Africa, France and Italy.

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