Page last updated at 18:49 GMT, Tuesday, 9 December 2008

'Beijing School days are too long'

Beijing Video Link
by Elizabeth
School Reporter, Mayfield School and College, Essex

Students gatehr round computers to speak to students in Beijing
School Reporters enjoy talking to students in Beijing
Getting to school at 0815 GMT, I found Mr Westwood and Mr Payne frantically trying to fix up the video link on the only computer in the school with the software installed.

Charlie, Emma, Helen and Tom arrived, and then after a further 25 minutes of one side of the world calling the other, we finally had picture, sound and movement. All systems go!

At 0840, after waving for several minutes, we first spoke to the English teacher at 125 School, Beijing, Hao Rui. She showed us their conference room, in which the teachers from our school have been in.

She had a chat with Mr Westwood about the weather! and we found out that it was freezing cold and raining there too. She was also impressed with Charlie, as he could speak Chinese.

Beijing students can be seen clearly through the school's video link
Beijing students talk to School Reporters
With me typing and Helen, Emma and Charlie shouting at the webcam, we managed to talk to each other about school times and sizes, before we worked out how to turn up the volume on the microphone.

Then, when the lessons had finished at their school, five Senior 2 girls, all aged 16, came into the room in their school uniform.

Mr Westwood produced a set of their school uniform from their visit, which Helen then put on. This seemed to amuse the girls in Beijing, and they told us that they also had a set of our school uniform - however they didn't put it on!

Talking to students in Beijing via video link
Talking to students in Beijing via video link
We then talked for about 20 minutes about the Olympics and our favourite subjects at school, interspersed with Charlie shouting out "Ni hao", which is Chinese for "Hello".

We thought that their day was too long, with an 0800 till 1630, seven-lesson timetable, while they thought that we did lots of subjects, and seemed shocked at the amount of languages taught at our school.

Just before their internet was cut off, we asked them for any ideas for our China Day. They suggested another video call, which everyone seemed very excited about.

Finally, it was one last pile onto the webcam for goodbyes and waving before the call ended.

Until next time 125 School, Beijing - Zai Jian, or goodbye!


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