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Vicente Aleixandre to Seaford Head School, 20-27th March 2017

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The week saw a group of Spanish students from Seville mix with and get to know students from a new Host School, Seaford Head.  Here is what trainee teacher, Michael O’Connor said about the experience;

‘Last week saw the arrival of 21 Spanish students from IES Vicente Aleixandre School in Seville to Seaford Head School.  Hosted by a group of Year 10 GCSE  Spanish students, the exchange proved to be an enjoyable and fruitful experience for all involved.

The students met for the first time on Tuesday and very quickly formed friendships through participating in a range of bilingual icebreaker activities such as designing (and wearing!) clothes made of toilet paper, blindfolded sketching and Pictionary.  In no time at all, we could see the language barrier being broken down as students from both countries made an effort to cooperate and have fun together.

The sessions in school allowed students, arranged into bilingual groups, to explore each other’s cultures as they prepared presentations on the similarities and differences between the two countries.  The students came up with some fascinating insights into topics such as technology, music, food and holiday traditions, all the while presenting in their second language.  They were then graded on how well they worked as a team to help each other with the English and Spanish respectively. 

The highlight of the week was the trip to London on Friday. Planned to perfection by Tom and Suzie from Combination Languages Ltd, we arrived at Buckingham Palace just in time to see the changing of the guard before heading along to Westminster to see the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. A special mention must be made here regarding the exemplary behaviour of all the students on the trip; aware of the tragic events of the previous Wednesday and the heightened security measures in place in London, both groups of students followed the teachers’ instructions to the letter and made life very easy for us.

After a quick photo session in front of Big Ben, we walked up Parliament Street, passing Downing Street on the way to Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery.  Here the students enjoyed an hour searching for specific paintings before heading on to Leicester Square for lunch and some free time in the shops. With the students reenergised, we got the Tube to Notting Hill where the students were free to explore the stalls and shops of Portobello Market. Then it was time to catch another Tube to Victoria Station to get the train back home.

The value of the week has been immense with Seaford Head students discovering a new love for Spanish, undoubtedly aided by the various invitations to visit their exchange partners in sunny Seville!  With several students keeping in touch on social media, it appears that the exchange has provided a catalyst for some great international friendships to form.

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