A PARTY of pupils from Culcheth High School travelled to South Africa to visit partner school, Matseliso High School at Soweto.
It was the fifth time pupils from Culcheth had visited Soweto and for the youngsters it was the journey of a lifetime.
The Culcheth-2-Soweto project started in 2008, originally as a teacher exchange.
But since 2010 has been a unique and totally self-sufficient student exchange scheme, running be-annually between the two countries.
The current team joined the programme as apprentices in 2017, as Year 8 and Year 9 pupils. They were part of a larger team of more than 100 pupils working together to raise funds and plan activities for Soweto pupils to visit Culcheth in Jul y last year.
This proved a huge success and a small group of young people from Culcheth High went on further to be selected to represent the school in Soweto this year.
They were given a warm welcome, attended lessons alongside the Matseliso pupils , led discussions about life in the UK, school life and popular culture. . There was plenty of singing and dancing in school with South African games drawing in all the youngsters.
There were inter-school games of football and netball, with teachers from both schools joining in.
The Culcheth youngsters were impressed with the self-confidence of their young hosts and the responsibility they took for their own learning.
The visit ended with a cultural celebration, with tribal dances, colourful outfits and history and tradition celebrated with singing, dancing, chanting and cheering.
A particular highlight r was to hear the sounds of the Rishile Primary School playing the marimba, especially as their school band uniform was the black and yellow kits; donated by Culcheth over 10 years ago and looked after and treasured ever since.