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Chinese students share the universal language of music with Tintern Middle School students as 24 children from a Chinese Primary School in Guangzhou visited Tintern last week to take in the sights and sounds of our School. The children attend a primary school with a population of 3,000 children, so they found Tintern quite captivating with its rural setting and small classes. They usually have anything up to 45 children in one class.

The children and their teachers enjoyed a tour of the Girls’ Junior School and loved the play equipment and our school grounds. After morning tea, they watched a game of baseball on the oval with Mr Kenny and enjoyed a visit to our farm. A select group of their musicians (they have a band of 67 members back home) participated in a workshop on Monday afternoon with Mrs Clarke and then joined together with our Concert Band to play through some pieces as a massed ensemble on Tuesday afternoon. They also performed at the Girls’ Junior School Assembly on Wednesday morning.

This was a wonderful opportunity to welcome visitors from overseas to our school and allow our students to mix and create musical magic with the visitors. Despite the fact that the visiting children spoke little or no English, there were few barriers, as the universal language of music allowed all of the students to communicate on an equal footing in the rehearsal room.

Thanks must go to Mrs Clarke for organising this event, Mrs Riddell for her generosity in showing the visitors around the school, Alec Chen (Year 9) and Marcus Chen (Year 9) for assisting with language interpretation and Ella Watt (Year 11) for supervising the visit to the farm.

by Anna Riddell, Head of Girls’ Junior School and Early Learning Centre