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Farewell to French and German Students

Students from our partner schools in France and Germany said goodbye to their hosts after spending a week with KSA pupils.

As part of the international Comenius programme, KSA invited over 46 students from Le Portalet School in France and Gymnasium Balingen in Germany. They stayed with KSA pupils who were nominated by staff to take part in the British Council scheme.

During their week here, students paid a visit to the historic Holdenby House, took part in team-building activities at the Frontier Centre in Irchester as part of the leadership through sports objective, and spent time with their host families on Saturday when many were taken to London.

On Sunday they competed in the KSA Fun Run before a trip to the cinema and on Monday, they got a taste of lessons in England by sitting in on a number of classes. The group was also given filming and media editing training in preparation for the final documentary they are producing. In the afternoon, students enjoyed a tea party in the restaurant.

French teacher Aine McAllister, who is leading the Comenius programme, said: "The French and German students were a pleasure to have - they were fantastic ambassadors for their schools and so were KSA pupils. It's lovely to see the students all getting along because that's what the Comenius programme is all about.
"Our pupils were surprised at how easily friendships could be made and they gained confidence in their own language skills. Our host families were so welcoming and they went out of their way to give the exchange students a good experience. I'm very excited about going to France in June - our pupils have a new confidence about going as a result of hosting students themselves."

Before the students left on Tuesday, they gave presentations to the rest of the group to say thank you and farewell. German teacher Margret Kipp-Lenkeit said: "Thanks to everyone who help and to Ms McAllister - without her this wouldn't have happened. Thank you for the great commitment. For many students it was their first time in England - they had the chance to see how worthwhile it is to learn foreign languages.  We also hope that with the friendships that have started, students stay in contact and we hope to see you all again soon."

Thomas Wilkins had two German students and one French student staying with him. He said: "It was crazy at our house: we've been teaching each other different languages and just having fun. You learn a lot from the experience, like having the confidence to speak to anyone. We will definitely stay in touch."

Charlie Massie added: "It's been a really good experience and we're going to miss them."

The theme of the two-year project, which will focus on leadership and language skills, is Leading Ourselves to a Better Future'. Other activities pupils will take part in through the programme include:

  • Creating tourism advertisements;
  • Constructing a website which details the Comenius programme;
  • Taking part in a canoeing descent on the Ardèche river in France in 2013 or a half marathon near Stuttgart in Germany in 2014;
  • Producing a documentary on their participation in the above events

View a video here.