Teachers from John Talabot International, a tri-lingual school in Sarria on the outskirts of Barcelona, contacted Mrs Paula Roberts, our Head of Modern Languages, to begin an academic and cultural exchange between our Year 8 pupils.
The exchange began with pupils from both schools sharing bi-lingual presentations about themselves with their partner school. The students were matched by interest wherever possible which led to the beginning of some genuine friendships that look set to last.
Samuel, who helped design a bi-lingual game of Kahoot for the students to learn about each other’s school, said: ‘’The Spanish kids were really surprised by all the things we do like Outdoor Ed and STEM. They seemed to really like it here!’’
After learning about school life in Wales and Spain, pupils from both schools enjoyed an hour on the games pitch. The Spanish pupils were keen to show off their football skills as shouts of, ‘’¡Venga, vamos!’’ could be heard echoing around the field. Meanwhile, on the netball courts, our pupils took delight in teaching our foreign visitors how to play netball.
Other highlights of the afternoon include devouring Will’s delicious Welsh Cakes and Bara Brith in the dining hall, a tour of our Design and Technology department with Mr Demery and exchanging gifts in the Minstrel Hall. Impressed by the location and facilities, it is no surprise that Head Teacher, Mercedes, said she would love to have been able to stay with us for longer! She pledged to stay in touch and is keen to arrange a return visit.
Previous successful collaborations between SDC and other Spanish schools in Cataluña include a pre-pandemic exchange trip to Sarria where our students stayed with host families immersed in Spanish culture. In addition to equipping pupils with essential life skills such as communication and travel experience, Mrs Roberts affirms that this kind of experience helps to develop empathy, understanding and resilience. Although Mrs Roberts is sadly leaving us at the end of this academic year, we hope to continue her work in growing our international connections whilst encouraging our students to be inquisitive and open-minded citizens of the World.