Thanks to our partnership with Jaguar Land Rover (China), Sandie Robb got the opportunity to visit Chengdu and Ya'an - along with 10 students and 4 staff from Lasswade High School.
Sandie was the first to travel to China, taking a 10-hour flight from Heathrow to Chengdu. When she arrived she met with staff from the Bifengxia Panda Base, a giant panda breeding facility located in Ya'an in Sichuan Province, to find out more about their conservation and education work with giant pandas.
In 2013, Ya'an suffered major damage from a 6.6 magnitude earthquake and many buildings, including the school, were affected. As a result, Jaguar Land Rover (China) decided to build a new school to accommodate students from Ya'an and the surrounding villages.
The new school, called the Ya'an Hope School, is due to be completed in 2015 and when the Lasswade students arrived in China, Sandie took them to visit it. They met some of the pupils and teachers there and spent the day experiencing what it would be like to attend a suburban school in China. They shared stories about their lives and swapped email addresses, promising to keep in touch with one another.
The next day pupils from both schools met up again to visit the Bifengxia Panda Base. During a tour of the facility they were lucky enough to get up close to the pandas and even got the opportunity to prepare bamboo for them!
When the Lasswade pupils left for Shanghai, Sandie visited the Chengdu panda base and spent the rest of her time exploring Chengdu and collecting ideas to further our Beyond the Panda learning resources. She even managed to practice her language skills!
To find out more about Sandie's trip visit http://rzsschengdu.wordpress.com