White Hills PS Team China Blog Link

Students 2016

2016 Overseas Learning Experience

The White Hills Primary School 2016 Team China ambassadors, Mitchell, Dylan, Jakob, Aimee and Mrs Gray, will be travelling to China for an Overseas Learning Experience. They will depart for Shanghai, China on Thursday, 2nd June for an experience of a life time! The students will be attending school at Jinji Lake School, our Sister School, which is situated in the Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP). You can follow their journey on the White Hills Primary School Team China blog link above.

Special Guests

This week, one of the Prep students brought in some special guests with her. Xinling's mum and dad, Mr Liangpei Li and Ms Hui Hui, came in to teach the Prep students about some Chinese traditions, clothing and most importantly dumplings.

Students 2015

Chinese Lessons

Here is a photo of Robert, our visiting teacher from our Sister School Jinji Lake, teaching us how to talk about the weather in Mandarin.

Cultural Day

 On Thursday, 5 November our Suzhou friends and WHPS Home Stay ambassadors attended the Bendigo Senior Secondary College (BSSC) Cultural Day event.

2 Skype Conference with Jinji Lake School


Today we had a very special Skype conference with Jinji Lake School. Our five (5) visiting friends from Jinji Lake School had the opportunity to communicate the similarities and differences they have found between WHPS and our Sister School. During the Skype conference we continued to experiment with team teaching a shared activity. Both, Chinese and Australian, classrooms participated in a calligraphy activity where our Jinji Lake buddies taught us how to hold a calligraphy brush correctly and write some simple Chinese characters such as friend and koala.

Welcome to our very special friends from Jinji Lake School!

 Since 2011 we have annually hosted Grade 5 Chinese students and their accompanying teachers for eight (8) weeks within our school community in a Home Stay arrangement.

 This year we have 5 students and a teacher from our Sister School, Jinji Lake School. 6 generous families from White Hills Primary School have taken these children into their homes, immersing them in the English language, Australian culture and family life. The Chinese students are attending school each day with their Aussie buddies.

 Please welcome the Jinji Lake School students; Nina, Melody, Annie, Joe and Mike and their accompanying teacher Robert.

2015 Skype Conference with WHPS Students in China!

This week Dakota, Hope, Jemma, Mrs Price, Mr Jenkyn and other students and teachers from the Team China Schools are in China for an Overseas Learning Experience. They have attended their Sister School, Jinji Lake School which is situated in the Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP), immersed in Mandarin language, experienced life in Shanghai and Suzhou and met their Chinese buddies.
This week we have had regular Skype contact with our White Hills PS ambassadors and followed their journey on the blog. This morning they were departing Suzhou for Shanghai.


Here are our White Hills PS crew in a paper cutting class at Jinji Lake School and visiting the Humble Administrator's Garden.

Team China Overseas Learning Experience 2015

The White Hills Primary School 2015 Team China ambassadors Dakota, Hope and Jemma will be travelling to China for an Overseas Learning Experience. They will depart for Shanghai, China on Thursday, 28th May for an experience of a life time! The students will be attending school at Jinji Lake School, our Sister School, which is situated in the Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP). You can follow their journey on the White Hills Primary School Team China blog link above.


Easter Gala Parade

This year, our students had the opportunity to participate in the Easter Gala Parade on Easter Sunday. The Team China schools, in conjunction with the Confucius Classroom at BSSC, marched in traditional Chinese dress together.



Chinese culture and Mandarin language program

As part of our Chinese culture and Mandarin Language program this term, our students have been learning how say different countries in Chinese. They have been learning how to ask and answer questions about nationality and location. Our students have been learning how to write common Chinese characters, such as 中,大,日,国。

Students 2014

Skype Conference Monday, 24th November


Today White Hills Primary School had their final Skype conference with Jinji Lake School for 2014. Our Jinji Lake School buddies performed a play for us, ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes.’ It was very entertaining and the students demonstrated some excellent drama skills. The White Hills PS students performed ‘Waltzing Matilda’ and sang a song. The Chinese students sang along with us and giggled at our high notes. This term we experimented with team teaching a shared activity via Skype conference. Both, Chinese and Australian, classrooms participated in a shared Venn diagram activity, comparing and contrasting the two plays performed. At the end of the lesson, students were given the opportunity to share their responses with their buddies, practising their Chinese and English language skills. Our students enjoyed watching how their buddies worked on activities in their Chinese classrooms. We look forward to contacting our buddies in 2015.


Team China - Overseas Learning Experience 2014
On May 29th our White Hills Primary School ambassadors departed for Shanghai, China, for an Overseas Learning Experience. During their visit, the students visited many tourist sites in Shanghai, including the Pearl Tower, Science and Technology Museum, Yu Yuan Gardens, a night time ferry on the Hungpu River, ERIA Circus, J’ian Temple and explored the famous Bund area. The students immersed themselves in Chinese culture, bargaining with locals in markets and using their Mandarin language skills to order food at restaurants. A highlight of the trip was meeting their Chinese buddies from Jinji Lake School, situated in the Suzhou Industrial Park. They spent a day in our Sister School participating in classes and taking part in a welcome and farewell ceremonies. Our WHPS ambassadors were very sad to leave China and would have liked to have spent more time exploring. This was a once in a life time opportunity and an experience our students will remember fondly for a lifetime. A detailed blog authored by the students can be found at the top of this page.


Pre-departure day 2

Yesterday we had our 2nd pre-departure session at Golden Square Primary School. As a whole group we learnt the words to our song Team China nǐ hǎo ma? We are going to work hard at learning the words in Mandarin so we can sing it to our friends at jinji Lake School in Suzhou. Yesterday we learnt how to hand wash our clothes in a hotel room and what we need to pack. We enjoyed looking at Chinese money and learning how to barter and bargain in a respectful way. Shopping in China is going to be very different to shopping in Bendigo. Mr Lin does a great impersonation of a Chinese shop keeper trying to get a good deal! Only 22 day until departure.



Team China News!


This year students and teachers from each of the 13 Team China schools, Bendigo will be travelling to China for an Overseas Learning Experience. On May 29th Fabian, Lewis, Hope, Bailey and Matthew will depart from Melbourne Airport to Shanghai, China for an 8 day experience of a lifetime. The students are going to visit many tourist sites in Shanghai and Suzhou, and will be attending school at Jinji Lake School, our Sister School, which is situated in the Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP).

 Our school community are extremely excited about our students travelling to China and we would like to thank the White Hills PS community for their support with the Overseas Learning Experience thus far.



Pre-departure session 1

On Wednesday, 2nd April our 5 Team China students participated in a pre-departure session with the other 50 students travelling to China in term 2. The Mayor of Bendigo Barry Lyons came to farewell our students. The students felt honoured to be supported by Barry Lyons on behalf of the citizens of Bendigo.

Jinji Lake Skype Session March 31st

Students from WHPS spoke with students from Jinji Lakes School in China via Skype. Our students performed plays and spoke about the Easter traditions in Bendigo, while the Chinese students presented plays, songs and facts about the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival in China.




Kung Hei Fat Choy - means Happy Chinese New Year!


Chinese New Year is the most important of the Chinese holidays, and is a time of feasting with the family, celebration, fireworks and gift-giving. It is a 15 day holiday, beginning on the first day of a new moon and ending with the full moon on the day of the Lantern Festival. Our students have taken part in Chinese New Year celebrations; making lucky red envelopes, horse masks and red lanterns.



One of the best parts of Chinese New Year is the food. Tang Yuan are small, sticky dumplings made of rice flour and black sesame. While Tang Yuan is consumed all year round, they are most prominent at Lantern Festival, which is the 15th day of the New Year and signifies the end of New Year celebrations.


Meet our teacher Shengjie Wang

China is now our major trading partner and our economic ties are strengthening.  

In March 2012 Mr Jenkyn travelled to the city of Suzhou, China to establish links with local schools, including signing a Sister School Agreement with Jin Ji Lake School. In Term 4, 2012 White Hills hosted four Chinese students and their teacher from Xin Cheng Garden School for eight weeks.  This was an unforgettable experience for our White Hills Home Stay families.  In conjunction with ten other Bendigo schools we are working towards our own children being able to visit China - but certainly not for eight weeks!  It is now possible for your child to continue Mandarin studies at the junior and senior secondary level at our local state secondary schools. 

Lin Lao shi and the Bendigo Senior Secondary College Confucius Classroom partnership


The Bendigo Senior Secondary College (BSSC) Confucius Classroom, with the support of Hanban, Dongzhou Middle School and our Bendigo state schools, aims to promote Chinese language learning by providing opportunities for all communities to learn Chinese. The BSSC Confucius Classroom aims to develop Chinese cultural awareness and share Chinese experience with all nationalities and communities, contributing to the development of multiculturalism and the building of a harmonious world.

The White Hills Primary School Mandarin (Chinese) Language program has been developed in conjunction with BSSC to provide an extended learning challenge for high performing grade 4 & 5 students.

Mr Juncai Lin is a Chinese teacher from BSSC who conducts the lessons at White Hills Primary School.


Juncai grew up in Shenzhen, a city in the southern part of China, and studied language at a Chinese university before coming to Australia to study and work. His goal was to teach Chinese language and culture to others.  A visit to Bendigo was the beginning of realising his dream. In 2011, Juncai graduated from LaTrobe University, taught Mandarin and Asian studies, and was appointed the Confucius Classroom Coordinator in 2013.

His main responsibilities include coordinating and supporting the delivery of Chinese across Team China primary schools, supporting delivery into two Bendigo secondary colleges, teaching in four primary schools, teaching community Chinese classes, developing and documenting a Prep to Year 10 Chinese curriculum for implementation across our schools, mentoring our assistant teachers from China, liaising with Sister Schools and Hanban in China.

Our school happenings

Students from the Mandarin (Chinese) Language program participated in the Bendigo Easter Festival, as part of the Confucius school.



Bendigo Chinese Association Road Show Production
The Bendigo Chinese Association Road Show Production came to share a dragon dance with us. The lead performer (carrying the head) lifted, dipped and swept the head of the dragon. This traditionally symbolises historical roles of dragons demonstrating power and dignity. The serpentine movements required speed, coordination and power, which in all brought the majestic creature to life!


Sister School Relationships, Asian Studies & Asia Education Foundation


Since 2010, annual reciprocal delegations of principals visiting Suzhou and Bendigo schools has forged strong Sister Schools links, resulting in shared curriculum projects utilising information technology.  Language and cultural learning has been enhanced through our students and their Chinese buddies having shared lessons via Skype, communicating through email, and constructing shared wiki sites on the internet.     


Studies of Asia is taught across our school curriculum.  Learning activities provide students with knowledge, skills and understanding of the history, geography, society, arts, literature and languages of the diverse countries of Asia.  In association with the Asia Education Foundation (AEF), University of Melbourne, teachers are being supported to implement the new Australian Curriculum with its cross- curriculum priority of ‘Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia’.  Team China principals are undertaking the two year AEF program ‘Leading 21st Century Schools: Engage with Asia’ to further build Asia capabilities among teachers, students and the community. 

Mandarin (Chinese) Language classes

The study of Chinese develops students’ abilities to understand and use a language spoken by about a quarter of the world’s population. It is the major language in China, Taiwan, Singapore and overseas Chinese communities. China’s economy has been booming over recent decades and links between Australia and China have been strengthened, particularly in business, tourism, education, commerce and investment. The study of Chinese promotes the strengthening of these links.


During the first semester, students involved in the Chinese program have learned about both Chinese culture and Mandarin language. Cultural experiences included learning about Chinese New Year, learning a New Year song in Mandarin, creating their paper cutting designs, and learning the Chinese zodiac animals story. Students also learned about typical Chinese New Year food, such as dumpling and fish, as well as do’s and don’ts during the Spring Festival. For Mandarin language, students learned how to greet each other, count numbers from 1-99, introduce themselves, nationalities and talk about their family members in Mandarin.

Team China Background


Team China Schools grew out of an initial delegation of Bendigo principals who travelled to the city of Suzhou (population 6 million) in China in 2010. The purpose of the visit was to establish Sister School relationships, including a student and staff exchange program, with schools from the Suzhou Industrial Park Education Bureau.  Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) is an ultra-modern, architecturally designed suburb that has been built by Singaporean and Chinese consortiums.  There are high-tech industries and modern high rise apartment blocks for families, all surrounded by beautiful parklands.  Each neighbourhood has its own school, built to accommodate 2000-3000 students, even though the neighbourhood itself may still be under construction! 

The Chinese Cultural Immersion program aims for each Chinese student to embrace the Australian culture. The homestay and school visit component of the program provides opportunities for the Australian and Chinese teachers and their students to learn more about each others’ culture and to reflect and identify the similarities and differences. During their stay each student is expected to speak English at home and at school and be considered a member of the host family. 

The students participate in normal everyday family activities, eg. school, shopping, sporting events, etc. 

This year the students are coming from the city of Suzhou, China and will be here for 8weeks, arriving on 14 October and departing on 7 December.


We anticipate this 2013 experience to be an exciting one for all members of our school community.


“I was involved in the Chinese Home Stay Program last year. My husband and three boys aged eleven, ten and nine adapted very well to having a ten year old Chinese boy blend into our family for eight weeks. We didn’t need to change any of our routines or eating habits as we made our new member feel at home and explained and showed him many different Aussie ways of life. He experienced so much in eight weeks like shearing sheep and Australian farm life, learning how to play cricket (actually joining in with my boys’ cricket team on Saturdays) and also eating lots of Aussie barbeques and meat pies. Our Chinese boy Jim, was always willing to give anything a go and had a great relationship with each of my boys. Kids learn so much from each other and my boys taught Jim so much of the everyday Australian life in such a short time! Things like sport, food, animals, art and the English language was absorbed every minute by Jim and he found it hard to leave and head back to China. It was strange for us to say our ‘goodbye’ as well because we had developed a very strong bond with Jim. We still Skype and email Jim and his family on a regular basis. We have a very good relationship with Jim’s family and feel very comfortable talking to them. They often tell us how much Jim misses us! One day we hope to see them all in China and see their way of life. Our family experienced something very special and wonderful when we took on this Chinese Home Stay Program. I can definitely say that our family benefited immensely from this experience and would recommend it to any other family.”


Monique, WHPS parent 


My name is Fletcher and last year I had a Chinese boy named ‘Jim’ come to my house. At the start I was a little bit nervous but as the days went on I got stronger and a little less nervous because Jim became my very good friend. He played sport with me like cricket and footy and he didn’t have any idea how to play them until I taught him. Then he showed me how to play some of their sports like ping pong and swimming.  Jim absolutely loved eating meat pies and barbeque food and whatever we dished up he ate twice as much as me. I did have to show him how to use a knife and fork! We did have some Chinese food and he showed me how to use the chop sticks, but as usual every time I tried, he beat me to eat his food with the chopsticks as I was not very good at it! He was even faster with his chopsticks when I used my fork!  When Jim went home I was really sad and wished for him to come back. It was like losing my brother. I Skype him all the time and talk to him and he wants us to go over to his house to experience China. I hope we can one day!


Fletcher, WHPS student