Italian Trip to Rome

Last week the Italian department took 51 students and 6 teachers to beautiful sunny Rome.

On Monday, we flew to Rome to be greeted with the most wonderful 22° heat. That day we went to the glamorous Vittoriano building which was created in the early 1900s to commemorate the unification of Italy. We went to the top of the building in a glass elevator and were met with the most impressive views of the city from above. Later, we went to dinner and had traditional pasta alla carbonara and Roman chicken. Following that, we went to the Trevi fountain and threw a coin over our left shoulder to ensure we would return to Rome.

The next day, we visited a stunning church by our hotel called “Santa Maria Maggiore” that was lined with beautiful gold ceilings and incredible architecture. Later, we went to the Giovanni Fassi Gelateria which is the oldest of its kind where we learned about its incredible history and tasted some of the best gelato of the whole trip. After getting energised from the gelato, we did a walking tour around the ancient city, visiting the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. We were taught about how the Colosseum was used as a place to watch gladiators fight. Following this educating yet exhausting experience, we sat down and ate pasta al pomodoro, followed by pork and chips, at Mino’s restaurant. After dinner we took a stroll to the Piazza di Spagna and saw the Spanish steps by night which was an incredible sight.

On Wednesday morning, we took the Metro to the Vatican city. We stood in awe of the beauty of St Peter’s basilica and we even saw the Pope on the big screens as he was doing his weekly Wednesday morning visit to meet people in the piazza. We had some free time near the basilica to buy some souvenirs before getting some lunch and heading to the Vatican Museum. There we split up into 3 groups where we explored the museum which contained loads of different artefacts from ancient Greece and Rome, as well as the magnificent Sistine Chapel. After a look inside the Basilica where we saw glorious statues, artwork and even a sermon going on, we headed over to the shops on Via del Corso before dining at an authentic pizzeria.

On the final day, we did another walking tour where we visited the Pantheon, a former Roman temple, dating back to 609 AD. Then we visited various other piazzas until we ended at the Campo de’ Fiori where we had our lunch. We spent the afternoon perusing the shops.

I can say this trip was one of the best that the school offers, (maybe even the best) as not only did I learn so much, I also spoke to people I would never have spoken to before if it weren’t for this common opportunity and of course practised the language. I would also like to thank Mrs Evenden for all the hard work she had put in to make this trip possible as well as all the rest of the members of staff on the trip that sacrificed so much of their free time to help us.

Chara Pylarinou, Year 9

Comments from students:

The best trip of my life. It was a once in a lifetime experience and I loved it! Ronnie, Year 9.

I couldn’t believe it was already time to go home! I think my favourite place we visited was the Roman Forum, walking along the same paths that the Romans had 2000 years ago just felt amazing. Il cibo è molto delizioso! Hannah, Year 9.

I loved this trip so much. Every day I was there I experienced new beautiful famous places in Rome. I also loved being there with my friends and we made so many memories together and the photos are amazing. Would definitely recommend the Rome trip, the best I have been on so far one hundred per cent! Jasmine, Year 9.

It was such an enjoyable experience! Especially getting to know new people and the teachers try their very best to make sure everyone is ok and feels included. The sites in Rome are really splendid and the food is delicious. I particularly enjoyed pizza and the gelato. Georgia, Year 9 .

The trip was the best school trip I have ever gone on! The room was really nice and the places we got to go visit were incredible to see. The food was obviously delicious and I will forever love the sweets “tagada” which me and my friends had lots of! Tina, Year 10.

Rome has been my favourite country that I have visited by far. We went to the oldest ice cream factory and made gelato and it was incredible. We also went to the Colosseum as well as the famous Trevi fountain which made me feel like I was in Lizzie Mcguire. Then we climbed the Spanish steps which had an amazing view. Let’s not forget about all the pizza and pasta that we ate too. It was full of amazing memories that will last forever. I really encourage anyone who takes Italian to go on this trip because you would not want to miss it. Athena, Year 10.

This was genuinely the best school trip I have ever been on. Everything about it just made it so so good. I recommend going as I have made so many memories. Laura, Year 9

Best trip I’ve ever been on, I liked learning about Italian culture but most importantly I loved eating the food! Willow, Year 9

German Partnership Exchange

German Partnership Exchange : 18th-24th March 2024

It was an early start on Monday morning to get to Heathrow for our flight to Düsseldorf at 7.10am! The journey to Germany marked the beginning of a further development in our established partnership with the ‘Gymnasium am Neandertal’ in Erkrath near Düsseldorf. This reciprocal exchange visit was a little different to a traditional Exchange. Our students were matched with a German student of a similar age and with some things in common to help with communication. We stayed together in a local youth hostel and travelled each day to school using public transport to meet with partners, attend lessons and get involved in joint projects together. Our students were immersed in German culture and customs and were able to use the language learnt in class to find their way. Students explored both Düsseldorf and the town of Erkrath in small groups using a Rallye designed by the German students. We ate in school in the canteen, made Pizzas together and parents contributed to a farewell waffle party. We explored the differences between the school systems and the lives of young people in our two countries. We had lots of fun throwing eggs from the fourth floor of the school without them breaking! Each group was given cardboard, polystyrene and sticky tape to design protection for the eggs. Much to my surprise, not a single egg was broken! Every day was packed with activities and negotiating many trains, trams, underground trains and buses but we still found time to shop, visit Cologne, go to the zoo, look at the cathedral, have a ride on the Ferris wheel and go bowling.

Our students took it all in their stride and were wonderful ambassadors for Presdales. They are looking forward to welcoming their German partners to our school 5th-9th May 2024, where they will take part in a similar programme.

Comments from students:

German exchange trip I really enjoyed the exchange trip as I got to meet my partner and her friends and really get to know her. I asked her all sorts of questions and saw what it was like to go to her school. It was interesting to see how everyone learns at das Gymnasium am Neandertal and see how different everything was there. I enjoyed bowling and going to the zoo because it was a very different experience and it looked very different from our zoo and bowling that we have here.

My favourite part of the German trip was das Gymnasium am Neandertal (their school) because I think it was fun and interesting the way their school differs from ours. For example, they had free periods where they could do their homework and how the school uniform system works. I also enjoyed the waffles that some of the Germans made us, it was sehr lecker!! Finally, I really enjoyed going to the zoo and seeing all the different animals as well as getting my Spaghettieis!

Danke!

I really liked the German exchange trip. It was very interesting to see how their school is different from ours. For example, they have free periods and also learn Latin.

My favourite part of the German trip is when we went to the German school, das Gymnasium am Neandertal, and we saw how their school worked. The differences between their school and our school is that they have free periods, no school uniform and they have Latin as another subject.

I went round a German school and got to be a German student for a few days, got to go on a tour around their local area and Düsseldorf, went to the zoo and went bowling! My highlight of the trip was going to the German school and learning about what they learn about. If the German department decides to do another exchange like this, I would highly recommend it because I thought it was a great opportunity to explore Germany a bit further.

I really enjoyed meeting my German Partner and getting to know her. Thankfully, she spoke pretty good English making it easier to communicate. She was very eager to get to know me and asked me lots of questions and conversation starters. I also liked going to their school. They were a completely different feel to our school but it was interesting to learn how it all works.

I really enjoyed the German trip and getting to know about the German schools and their school routine. I enjoyed having a partner for a week, we got on very well and I can’t wait for them to come to us in May. It was a great experience and a lot of fun.

News from German

News from German

German A Level Study Visit, 19th to 23rd October 2023

We are studying German A Level and have recently returned from an amazing trip to Düsseldorf in the Rhineland. Mrs Yates promised us an experience of daily life and a snapshot of Germany’s rich, diverse culture as well as the opportunity to interact with German people of all ages and to hear, see and speak the language we are learning in the classroom. That is exactly what we got and much, much more. We hope this write up and the photos will give you a flavour of some of what we experienced.

One of the most interesting and beneficial parts of the trip was definitely having the opportunity to visit our two German partner schools. On our first day, we had to negotiate the transport system and set off early to visit the Heinrich Heine Gesamtschule as first lessons in German schools begin at 8 o’clock! We were welcomed by the Deputy Head Teacher, Frau Tascan-Pelligrino, in the Conference room with ‘Butterbrote’ and felt like very important visitors. Then followed a tour by sixth form students, who were very friendly and enthusiastic. It was very interesting to speak to students of similar ages and hear their opinions on the differences in the school systems, and how they find life in Düsseldorf! The biggest difference we noticed was that the school in Germany seemed quite relaxed with more responsibility on the student to self-motivate and get on with work, students did not have to wear uniforms and teachers still use blackboards and chalk! Our second school visit was to our other partner school the Gymnasiam am Neandertal school in Erkrath (near Düsseldorf). Here we were able to take part in one of their English lessons. The German student’s level of English was very impressive and gave rise to a discussion about when they begin learning English in the German School system. They begin in Year 2 of Primary School and have 4 hours per week in Secondary School. The school visits were a great opportunity for us, and were very relevant to the content on our German course.

We were lucky enough to be invited to dinner in a German home. We took the tram to Frau Schorn’s lovely home and spent an amazing evening with her. She cooked us some delicious German food, including Kartoffelklöße (Potato dumplings), made with potato starch, and Rinnderrouladen (Beef Rouladen). Her house was decorated so nicely and we were delighted that she had invited us there. We ate all of the food and went home happily with full stomachs and full hearts! However, when we arrived back at the hostel, we were met with a shock. The whole hostel had been evacuated and there were fire trucks and ambulances! We were all a bit confused and worried, but luckily, it had been a small incident and quickly dealt with by staff at the hostel before the fire trucks had even arrived. We were able to go back to our hostel room very quickly, knowing that all the safety systems were working. Another experience of daily life!

We spent some time doing some German language work together in the lounge of the hostel, even on a Sunday morning but it didn’t seem like work ! We had many opportunities to choose and organise activities we were interested in. We chose to go to the K21 art gallery, where we were able to experience the exhibition “In Orbit” by Tomas Saraceno. This allows guests to walk on nets 25 metres off the ground over the art gallery. We had to wear uninspiring jumpsuits and special climbing shoes, but it was a fun experience. Mrs Yates was a keen participant and liked it the most out of all of us!

One of the highlights of our visit was to get the chance to meet Carl Philipp, the sixth form pen friend from our partner School who Amelie and Evie had been writing to during Year 12. He met us outside an ice cream shop in Carlspaltz. He introduced us to a German speciality, ‘Spagettieis’ which is an ice cream dish made to resemble a plate of spaghetti. Vanilla ice cream is squeezed into the shape of spaghetti is place over whipped cream. It is then covered in strawberry sauce, made to look like tomato sauce, and then topped with coconut flakes or white chocolate, to represent parmesan cheese! Really delicious!! Carl Phlilip showed us another part of the city Oberkassel, a modern new development with shops and restaurants, where we drank coffee and chatted about our life in England, and his experience when completing his GCSEs in Manchester for a year abroad. He said he liked the English school system better than the German one, which we were all a bit surprised about! Overall, it was so cool to finally meet him and to have the experience of meeting a young German person and to have him show us around his city. We were lucky enough to be invited to dinner in a German home. We took the tram to Frau Schorn’s lovely home and spent an amazing evening with her. She cooked us some delicious German food, including Kartoffelklöße (Potato dumplings), made with potato starch, and Rinnderrouladen (Beef Rouladen). Her house was decorated so nicely and we were delighted that she had invited us there. We ate all of the food and went home happily with full stomachs and full hearts! However, when we arrived back at the hostel, we were met with a shock. The whole hostel had been evacuated and there were fire trucks and ambulances! We were all a bit confused and worried, but luckily, it had been a small incident and quickly dealt with by staff at the hostel before the fire trucks had even arrived. We were able to go back to our hostel room very quickly, knowing that all the safety systems were working. Another experience of daily life!

We spent some time doing some German language work together in the lounge of the hostel, even on a Sunday morning but it didn’t seem like work ! We had many opportunities to choose and organise activities we were interested in. We chose to go to the K21 art gallery, where we were able to experience the exhibition “In Orbit” by Tomas Saraceno. This allows guests to walk on nets 25 metres off the ground over the art gallery. We had to wear uninspiring jumpsuits and special climbing shoes, but it was a fun experience. Mrs Yates was a keen participant and liked it the most out of all of us!

We were all very sad to have to come home, but we are very grateful that we had the amazing opportunity to take part in such a memorable, exciting and educational trip.

Our reflections:

“I think that the trip was great, because not only did it really help to improve my confidence in speaking and accuracy in listening, but it was also really fun! It was very interesting to be surrounded by German culture and I felt that it really helped to develop my understanding of the culture and language. In particular, I really enjoyed having dinner at Frau Schorn’s house. It was very cool to see what a German household looks like and to taste some traditional German food! I also feel that as a class, it was a great bonding experience and I always look forward to my German lessons with my classmates! I really loved making memories with everyone and I am really glad I was able to be a part of this trip.” – Jess

“Being constantly surrounded by the German language meant that I picked up on new vocab, as well as the rhythm of the language. The trip also allowed me to be more independent and motivated me to further develop my German skills. It was an amazing experience which I am grateful to have been offered. For me I found visiting not one, but two schools fascinating, as I saw how their education system worked, and the differences between the two countries.” – Maja

“The German A-Level trip was great, we all had such an amazing time and learnt so much about the culture and everyday life in Düsseldorf. We all became really good friends and made lots of memories. Despite having a lot of fun, the trip has also benefited me in a number of academic ways, including improving my German speaking and listening skills. I think hearing the language intensely for 5 days will really improve my understanding moving forward. Thank you to Mrs Yates and Mr Baldwin for making this trip possible and for making it such an exciting and memorable experience for us all!” – Evie

“I really enjoyed the A level trip to Düsseldorf and I think it was really beneficial to experience everyday life in Germany and I have gained a new appreciation for German culture. We have all learnt new skills we can take forward with us and we have especially improved our German skills! I would like to thank Mrs Yates and Mr Baldwin for making the trip possible, and I am very grateful for the amazing memories I have made.” – Amelie

“I found it really enjoyable to go on the German trip, it was great fun to go interrailing as it was something I’ve never done before. Additionally, it was really good to hear the language in an actual city environment rather than just a classroom – I’ve found that this has really helped my German. Overall, I believe it has been an incredible experience for my learning and I really enjoyed it.” – Luca

Year 8 French Trip to the Opal Coast