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Posted on: 4/05/2018

Spanish Trip to Cartagena

This year, a group of year 9, 10 and some sixth form students travelled to Spain to develop their understanding and also of course, enjoy themselves.   It started with a very early morning at 2.15am, which put people in a bit of a bad mood. The trip began when we arrived at our new home, aptly named 'The Castle' because of its building.   Four members of the camp staff informed us about the rules and expectations, but some of the younger students were surprised because everything was in Spanish! This was difficult for some people like me, as we had to act like detectives, selecting common words and carefully observing the actions that described the situation to work out the meaning.   During the trip, we participated in water activities such as kayaking and sailing, which caused some funny capsizing problems for a group of three older students. After the activities ended each day, we were able to get to know the staff a little more and we realised that they were not teachers who had strict rules, but people who wanted to have fun and make the trip an exciting learning experience.   As the week progressed, we went on trips to shopping centres and markets in the old town, which gave us the opportunity to socialise with other people instead of just our school, which became a challenge for some of them, like when trying to talk to a Spanish boy with a bad understanding of my Spanish created some strange moments.   As the week came to an end, multiple Spanish classes and some Sherlock Holmes levels of language detection had finally paid off, people who believed they had terrible skills in Spanish were understanding the instructors and really speaking fluently with one another.   Overall, it was an excellent week and it certainly fulfilled the task of merging a fun holiday with a Spanish learning trip. If this trip were to be run again, I would recommend it to anyone who is not sure if they would enjoy it!   Luke Biles, year 9   Spanish translation below - proof the trip was a big success!   Viaje a España en 2018 Este año, un grupo de estudiantes de clases 9, 10 y algunos estudiantes de los últimos dos años de preparatoria viajamos a España para desarrollar su entendiendo y también por supuesto, tener alguna disfruta. Empezó con una mañana muy temprana a dos y cuarto, que puso la gente en poco mal humor. El viaje empezó cuando llegamos a nuestra casa nueva que acertadamente llamado ‘The Castle’ a causa de su edificio.  Cuatro miembros del personal del campamento nos informaron sobre las reglas y expectativas, pero los chicos más jóvenes se sorprendieron porque ¡todo estaba en español! Esto era un poco difícil para algunas personas como yo, ya que necesitamos ser detectives, seleccionando palabras comunes y observando atentamente las acciones manuales que describían la situación. Durante el viaje, participamos en actividades acuáticas como kayak y vela, lo que provocó algún problema de zozobra graciosa para un grupo de tres estudiantes más viejas. Después de cada día que concluían las actividades, pudimos conocer un poco más al personal y nos dimos cuenta de que no eran maestros que tenían reglas estrictas, sino personas que querían divertirse y hacer del viaje una experiencia de aprendiendo emocionante. Mientras avanzaba la semana íbamos de viajes a centros comerciales y mercados del casco antiguo, lo que nos dio la oportunidad de socializar con otras personas en lugar de solo nuestra escuela, lo que se convirtió en un desafío para algunos como intentar de hablar con un chico español con un malo entiendo de español creó algunos momentos extraños. A medida que la semana tocó a su fin, múltiples clases de español y algunos niveles de Sherlock Holmes de detective del lenguaje finalmente se habían amortizado, las personas que creían tener habilidades terribles en español estaban entendiendo a los instructores y realmente hablando con fluidez el uno al otro. En general, fue una semana excelente y ciertamente cumplió la tarea de fusionar vacaciones divertidas con un viaje de aprendiendo en español. Si este viaje se ejecutara nuevamente, se lo recomendaría a cualquiera que no esté seguro si lo disfrutaría.   Translated by Luke Biles (year 9) and Rob Keen (year 12)
Posted on: 13/12/2017

Year 7 Trip to Lille Christmas Markets

Tuesday 5th December saw a very early start (0530 am to be precise) for a large group of Year 7s and staff, as we set off in search of the Lille Christmas Markets.  Spirits were high despite the early start, and as the sun started to rise over the glamour of the Folkestone Eurotunnel terminal, excitment was mounting.  Were we going under the water? Would we see the Eiffel Tower?  Where were the nearest toilets!?  A continual flow of questions helped pass the journey time quickly and by 1030 am (French time) we had arrived in Lille and the students were raring to go. Mr McKay led a short walk (march!) from the coach to the market site, providing many with their first experience of France and its culture.  This also proved to be an opportunity for many more questions and for some, interaction with the locals!  After a few minutes we encountered a military parade in one of the squares, which was keenly scrutinised by our eager students, raising yet more questions!  Having put their enquiring minds to good use, we headed for a local shopping centre, to give them a chance to try out some of their spoken skills, while fully immersing themselves in French daily life.  This appeared to be a great success, as many students came back with shopping bags!  It was then back towards the market square for lunch - another opportunity to practice and improve everyone's French speaking.  For the brave it was also an opportunity to ride on the big wheel, providing an amazing view over the market itself, the town and the surrounding area. After lunch the market itself beckoned and we headed towards the appetising smell of crepes and sausages.  As the lights twinkled and the air cooled it started to feel very Christmassy and the varying array of stalls added to this feeling. Once again, the students busied themselves shopping and chatting with the locals, experiencing a different, more intimate side to French life and shopping, compared with the large shopping centre visited earlier. It was then time to leave the lovely Lille behind and head back towards Coquelles for our journey home.  There was just enough time for a quick stop at Cite Europe - a final opportunity to try out some French - before boarding our train home.  Arriving back at DGSB in good time, it was clear that both students and staff alike had had a great though tiring day. Weighed down by bags and with many stories to tell, all left for home tired, happy and looking forward to the next trip!    

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