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Students get together to shake not quake

MORE than 5,000 students from schools in Shanghai got together to break the world record for the most people shaking hands in one place. The actual figure was 5,102 people and they shook hands for 30 seconds. Guinness World Records is assessing the event for possible inclusion as a new world record.

A total of 2,500 students from the British International School Shanghai met 2,500 students from the Shangde Experimental School and the Shanghai Fudan Kangqiao School. They shook hands and exchanged name cards. The event was also intended as a way of showing how the young people of today will lead the world forward in peace and cooperation. Students from BISS represent over 40 nationalities making this a true international event.

The event took place at the BISS Pudong campus and was organized by BISS Nanxiang Principal Michael Embley.

"The idea of bringing together all these young people in one place to join hands is a demonstration of how our two great nations can work together and it's all the more important today than ever before."

Principal Embley says: "All the students were really excited to meet new friends, and given the recent visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to the UK we feel this event just goes to show that people everywhere want to speak with one voice and express their friendship.

"China and Great Britain both have long and proud traditions and this is a great way to celebrate the heritage and the future of both our great nations," says Embley. "The principals of all our partner schools have been absolutely great to work with and have added some really good ideas to the initial concept.

"The BISS schools have a mission to provide the best of British education to our students while making a point of being a real part of the community around us in Shanghai rather than just being an island detached from the life of the country and this city," says Embley.

Specially invited VIP guests included David Matthew, vice consul of The British Consulate in Shanghai. He spoke to the students and the assembled VIPs about the important ties that Britain and China share both in terms of trade and cultural exchange.

He says that it was important that we take time to celebrate these important links and that the British School event was a great way to show the strength that can be gained from working together in this way.

Jenny Chen, Mandarin coordinator for all three BISS schools was instrumental in the success of the event and commented that forging links between local schools will also be a great benefit to all students who took part. A number of follow-up events and projects are being planned.

Breaking the world record was also a great thing for the three BISS campuses which are concentrating on working together in a number of ways to even further improve their service to students.

The three schools recently held a conference for all their teachers to provide a rich and varied set of training workshops. It shows that BISS' three campuses are now committed to continuing staff development and training which is vital in these times of harsh economic conditions which might tempt others to cut back on such budgets.


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