Having won first prize in the group performance category of the HSBC Mandarin speaking competition earlier in the year, six pupils – Edward Willey (Ldr), Coco Brown (W), Finn Taylor (L), Egan Pashley (S), Jason Parker (L) and Mimi Campbell-Breeden (Sn) – had the opportunity to put their Mandarin to good use and experience Chinese culture first-hand, visiting historical sites and meeting local pupils during a week-long trip to Beijing over the Easter holidays.

The pupils won the competition with their short Chinese play, Red Sorghum, adapted from Mo Yan’s novel of the same name.

The British Council accompanied the group, which included four pupils from other UK schools. The first two days were spent at the Peking University International School where they met and shadowed their Chinese ‘buddies’.

Trips to see the sights included the Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, National Museum, Tiananmen Square, Silk Market, Pearl Market, Olympic Park and Houhai Lake amongst other attractions. On the final day the group visited the British Council offices and had lunch with representatives from HSBC.