04 June 2008: Green fingered pupils at Aldercar Community Language College are working hard to chill out.
The pupils are working with specialist designer Glenn Joachim to plan a calming Zen garden in their school grounds.
This is part of the celebrations to mark a decade of successful twinning between Derbyshire and Toyota City.
In 1998 Derbyshire County Council signed a formal twinning agreement with Toyota City along with Derby City Council and South Derbyshire District Council.
The exchange programme has allowed lots of people including school children, musicians and gardeners to learn about each other’s culture, customs and beliefs.
Chair of Derbyshire County Council Joyce Sanders said: “We are delighted that our links with Toyota City have continued to grow and strengthen over the past ten years.
“The twinning arrangement means that we have developed strong social, economic and cultural links with Japan which benefit Derbyshire and all its residents.”
Every year 26 children from Toyota City visit Derbyshire and stay with local families. A return visit is then made by Derbyshire school children.
Helen Gilhooly from Aldercar College said: “The twinning experience is all about opening up the children’s horizons. They come back with the confidence to tackle new things.
“They learn all about a completely different culture and way of life and come back enriched by what they have seen.
“There are lasting friendships made every year and lots of tears when the children have to leave.”
TRANQUIL SPACES: Aldercar pupils Charlotte Pease (15) from Aldercar, Robert Hatton (15) from Langley Mill, Oliver Bostock (15) from Langley Mill and Alice Brown (15) from Kimberley