This year, students taking GCSE and A-Level German in Years 10 & 12 had the opportunity to participate in our German Exchange programme. This programme, run in conjunction with Ribston Hall School, offers students the opportunity to travel to the picturesque German town of Göttingen, a few hours south of Berlin. The town is a beautiful example of a typical German town and its university boasts the greatest number of Nobel Prize winners in history. Each year, we are lucky enough to visit Göttingen at the start of the Christmas season, so we can experience the real German Christmas spirit in full flow!
While in Göttingen, our Year 10 students stay with host families to experience the German way of life, visit our award-winning partner school, IGS Göttingen, see an authentic German market, and visit various interesting and historical towns and cities nearby. In previous years, students have also visited Berlin for a day’s shopping, visit the many different war memorials, and see the remains of the Berlin Wall.
This year’s trip consisted of a trip to the town of Kassel, ice skating on Göttingen’s outdoor ice rink, visiting the German Market (of course!) and a planetarium.
Our Year 12 students, also stay with host families and visit the IGS Göttingen, but also undertake a four-day work experience placement, utilising their German language skills and developing professional relationships with other Year 12 students and their employers.
In the following spring, the German students visit us in Gloucester and, as well as visiting The Crypt School, they also visit Gloucester, Cheltenham, Oxford – and many other interesting places. In the past, trips have included a day trip to London, taking in all the sights and Madame Tussauds, and also Warwick Castle, where students watched a working trebuchet fire a fireball across the grounds and entered the terrifying dungeon - meeting several gruesome characters who have each played their part throughout the history of the castle.
This year, German students went bowling at Hollywood Bowl, went on a trip to Warwick Castle again, visited to Cheltenham and Crickley Hill, and met the Mayor and Sheriff of Gloucester.
As with the English students, the Year 12 German students undertook a work experience placement whilst in Gloucester whilst here so are at home and out socialising with students at evenings and on weekends.
The annual German Exchange is a truly unmissable experience and extremely valuable for those students undertaking a GCSE or AS Level in German. Students in Years 9 or 11 who will be taking German next year should speak to Mr. Ferguson to take part in next year’s incredible trip.
“The German Exchange was one of the best school experiences I have had since Year 7. We were able to meet and see new people, and overall just have a really fun time interacting with people who like the same things as you do.” – Ryan Langston, Year 10, German Exchange 2014/15.
To see photos from this year’s exchange, visit our Facebook page.
For more information about the town of Göttingen, visit the tourism website.
By Chris Ferguson