Sister school ties


Queenstown students donning shorts during winter was a cultural marvel for a group of school principals visiting the resort’s Chinese sister city.

Last month, 11 principals from different Hangzhou schools and research centres spent two days in the resort, meeting with local educators and learning about the New Zealand curriculum.

Study Queenstown manager Aaron Halstead, who showed the group around, says they were impressed by the range of subjects available to students, and how children muck in to make fences and planter gardens.

The group was also interested in high school programmes promoting gender equality, he adds.

Queenstown Primary School students gave the group a warm welcome with a lesson on pukana.

“It was the children teaching them, and it was really well done and a lot of fun,” Halstead says.

One principal humorously asked if the children really wear shorts in winter, after originally thinking it was nothing more than a rumour which had travelled the almost 10,000km journey between the two places.

She was assured Kiwi kids are resilient and wearing shorts is an accepted norm here, Halstead says.