At the end of January, Year 9 and 10 students hosted twenty-one French students and three teachers from College Victor Duruy based in Mont-de-Marsan, south west France.
During their week long stay the French students visited Bristol, Cardiff and Tyntesfield. They also spent time in school accompanying their exchange partners to lessons to get a taste of how a British school works.
The week flew by and, after sharing such a special experience together, the students found it hard to say goodbye without shedding a few tears.
The school exchange programme organised by the Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) team is designed to give students opportunities to develop their linguistic skills, broaden their cultural knowledge and widen their horizons. The words of one of the teachers from College Victor Duruy and a St Katherine’s parent (below) are testament to the fantastic benefits these exchanges give to our students.
Farewell letter from Mrs Bernarde, French trip Leader:
“Thanks very much to you all, families and staff, for this warm welcome. This trip will remain vivid in everybody’s memories. We, as teachers, are plant growers, gardening your children’s brains, planting seeds to develop. I’d like to use an image to characterize this exchange: that of an acorn. It is a potential oak tree. Let this newly-born link be the first of a long-lasting list and the acorn develop into a sturdy tree. We are delighted to be part of this scheme with St Katherine’s because we share the same values: involvement, commitment, faithfulness, honesty and both our schools highly praise this type of collaboration for the benefit of the whole community.”
Email from host family parent:
“ I wanted to email to say what a wonderful experience my son has had this week with the French Exchange programme. I have watched him blossom and grow this week. His French conversation has improved enormously as has his accent. He played games like Pictionary, Boggle and Guess Who with his French Partner and they enjoyed trips out after school and at the weekend….all the time chatting away in French. It has been such a rich experience for us all and even had me speaking my secondary school French! My son is very much looking forward to his return trip to the French family too. Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity for my son.”
The St Katherine’s students and MFL team visit Mont-de-Marsan in March for the return trip. Needless to say both students and teachers are looking forward to it!
Mrs G Maringo, Head of Modern Foreign Languages.