This March, KJS hosted a party of 21 German students to celebrate our 43rd year of exchange with our partner school, Brüder Grimm Gesamtschule in Bebra. Our friends stayed with students’ families in Year 9 and 10 and all enjoyed a fantastic week. Over 40 years of friendship has become our mantra!
What an amazing week and even the weather played ball! I do like to be organised so planning a perfect week of mostly sunny weather, apart from the complete wash out of a day on Wednesday, was high on my list of priorities. On that day, I felt it important to show our German friends what typical English weather is all about!
Planning took place back in September and shortly afterwards, I received the students’ profiles from Germany. It is, as you can imagine, a very difficult task to match up students and after a few hours, I came up with the best fit. Best fit it certainly was! After a few uncomfortable moments on first meeting, it was clear that everyone appeared to get on well!
Our friends arrived on Tuesday 21st March and were welcomed by in excess of sixty students, cheering and waving the German and English flags. After a brief visit to Knaresborough for lunch, our friends met their hosts for the first time. Our host families did a fantastic job making their guests feel at home on their first evening staying in and living life with an English family.
Wednesday dawned and a full day in school for our German friends. On the agenda was a tour of the school, History with Mr Sugden, Maths with Mrs Coldrick, which was followed by lunch in the canteen. A real revelation for our German friends, I must say! Period 4 was a treat as our friends had a DT lesson with Mr Bolger and they made a wooden game to take back to Germany. Fortunately, his scouse accent did not prove too much of a problem! Finally, PE or rather Metafit. I was somewhat concerned to see our German guests lying on the sports hall gasping for breath after such an intense workout! Never again! It was only afterwards that I learnt that Metafit, a highly demanding, challenging military routine, is taught to Marines!
An enjoyable day in York was followed by a trip to the seaside... a truly fabulous day spent in the sunshine in Whitby, eating fish and chips, ice cream and avoiding the seagulls. Before heading back, what has become the traditional game of football and rounders on the beach took place. Tense moments, but I’m pleased to announce the result... Germany 4 England 6, thus avoiding penalties!
The weekend was spent with host families. What a fun packed weekend it was! Shopping in Leeds and Harrogate, football matches, trips to Bolton Abbey, Brimham rocks, another trip to the coast and, would you believe, a day in London by train were just some of the opportunities host families provided for our guests. A spine chilling ghost walk around Knaresborough rounded up the weekend on Sunday evening, which was attended by the German party, KJS students and their parents.
The final full day was spent in school. Slightly different this time, as the majority of our friends swapped uniform for the day. This is in real contrast to German schools where students can wear what they wish. They enjoyed various lessons such as Science with Mrs Herbert, IT with Mr Hooper, English with Miss Baker and a German lesson where they experienced speed dating in English and German!
On the final evening, a farewell party was held for all involved which was a fabulous opportunity to discuss the week. Moritz, one of our German students sang accompanied by one of our parents, which was a real delight.
As you can imagine, after such a fabulous exchange week, there were many tears shed when our friends departed KJS on Tuesday 28th March. We cannot wait for our return visit in 2018 to celebrate our 44th year of friendship. Thank you to all involved.
Mrs Allison - Languages Department