Students gifted hoodies ahead of once-in-a-lifetime China visit

A group from Alnwick's Duchess's Community High School have been kitted out in brightly-coloured hoodies thanks to the support of a town-based firm, ahead of a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 20 March, 2016, 10:30
Students and staff from Alnwicks Duchesss Community High School, with Lindsey Fiddes and Zoe May from MSP. Picture by John Cuthbert.

On Wednesday, the party of 66 students and nine staff members will embark on a 10-day visit to China.

They will take in the sights, both ancient and modern, in and around the capital city, including the Summer and Winter palaces of the Emperors, the Temple of Heaven and the Great Wall of China.

After four days in Beijing, the group will take the bullet train south to Shijiazhuang, where they are twinned with No. 1 School, and joint activities will take place.

Pete Burrow who is leading his third school visit to China, regards this as the highlight of the trip. He said: “Our students benefit greatly from the visit to the Chinese school as it gives an insight into how their school system works and we are made very welcome by the Chinese students.”

The party will then travel south by sleeper train to Shanghai, which has come to symbolise modern China with its towering buildings and stunning architecture looming over the temples and gardens of ancient China.

The school trip has been supported by Alnwick-based metrology software products (MSP), which specialises in the research and development of world-class precision software and part manufacturing solutions.

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Teachers Nell Gair and Emma Robertson with students Gordon Rae, Natalie Batey and Gabriel Brown, with Lindsey Fiddes and Zoe May from MSP. Picture by John Cuthbert.

The firm, located at Greensfield Court, Greensfield Park, donated the eye-catching hoodies to the students and director Tony Brown said the company was only too happy to support the trip.

He said: “We are passionate about supporting education and personal development in the North East. We hope the students have a fantastic trip.”

Mr Burrow added: “We are very grateful that MSP have again been able to support our visit and the hoodies they have donated make it much easier to identify our students in busy places, of which there are many in China.”

It isn’t just MSP which has supported the trip to China. Pete Burrow expressed gratitude to Rothbury Motors for providing free transport to the airport, Alnwick Rotary Club and Alnwick Inner Wheel for sponsoring bottles of clean water for use in China and also to Newton Hall and to Vision for their generous financial support.

Students Isabelle Fountain, Gordon Rae, Gabriel Brown and Natalie Batey have created a China trip blog and they will continue to update this during their visit. To read the blog and follow what the children get up to on their adventures, visit