On Tuesday 19th we were lucky enough to host some special visitors to Tadcaster Grammar School who had come all the way from France! The students and teachers of St. Chely d’Apcher, Tadcaster’s twinned town, were welcomed by the Year 11s, 12s and 13s who are currently studying French at GCSE or A-Level, most of whom had already had the chance to talk to each other through pen pal letters. The aim of the day was to introduce the French students to what life at an English school is really like, to practise speaking more fluently and most importantly to make friends and have fun!
The morning consisted of some speaking activities before the Year 11s took their pen pals to their lessons. This allowed the students to experience what an English class is like and how it’s different to their studies in ‘seconde’ (the french Year 11 equivalent). Alongside this, the Year 12s and the three ‘première’ students went to an A-Level biology lesson. They completed a practical and didn’t shy away from engaging in conversations and asking questions.
Period three saw the students complete a treasure hunt around the school, trying to work out what each area of the school might be called and what it is used for. They were amazed at the large grounds, the numerous buildings, and the beauty of Toulston Lodge. A game of bingo was also held to see if the French students could remember english numbers and introduce them to some of the rhymes that go along with them in bingo.
After a relaxing lunch, while the sixth formers went to make some Yorkshire Puddings so the French students could experience a traditional Yorkshire dish, the rest of the students played a large game of benchball and discussed what they thought of the day and what they learned. This was a final way to have fun while communicating with each other and, of course, having lots of fun.
All students, both English and French, talked to each other with confidence and asked lots of questions so they could really get to know each other and what each other’s lives are like. We hope that the students from St Chely d’Apcher enjoyed themselves, they certainly looked like they did. The connections made through the pen pal system and this visit are incredibly special and will last for a long time; we would no doubt welcome them again if they decided they would like to revisit.
Overall, the day was one of learning and building connections through experiencing different cultures. All students learned a great deal from this amazing opportunity. There is no doubt that they’ll remember it for a long time.
We must say ‘merci’ to Madame Butterworth, the staff from St. Chely, the Twinning Association of Tadcaster and the French Department here for making this amazing experience one we will never forget.
Allanah Booth (Year 12)
“I really enjoyed the day, even though it was really daunting at first. I just wish I asked them more questions!”
“I found the school exchange not only great practice to speaking skills, but also a brilliant chance to meet other students from a foreign country. First we did some ice-breaking activities to get to know each other – I was very surprised that my pen pal had come by boat! After that, he came with me to my music class and got to use some of the software that Music GCSE students use, and went to my form. Then, after break and lunch, we did the highlight of the exchange – we showed the French students how to play Benchball! Everyone was laughing, and I said goodbye with a handshake. All in all, it was fantastic! “
“Nous avons passé une super bonne journée en compagnie des Anglais. Nous avons découvert votre manière de fonctionner, vos emplois du temps et votre lycée, l’endroit où nous aussi nous passons le plus clair de notre temps. Je suis enchantée d’avoir vécu cette expérience avec vous . Je n’hésiterai pas à le refaire.” (Léonie, élève de Seconde at the Lycée of St Chély d’Apcher)
“I hope we get to see them again. Everyone was so nice and I want more time with them!”
This year marks 20 years of twinning between Tadcaster and the French town of Saint-Chély-d’Apcher. To celebrate this, a visit to the twin town at the beginning of August has been organised by the Twinning Association . If you are interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.