On Saturday March the 6th a group of 23 students and 4 staff left Exeter heading for Germany on the annual German Exchange. The group consisted of a mixture of year groups from Yr 8 to Yr 11 all with the same goals, to make friends in another country, to practise their German and to experience life in a different land. We landed in Germany at 7pm their time and were welcomed warmly by our exchange partners with banners they had made for our arrival. We felt like rock stars! The pupils then went home with their exchange families for their first night in Germany.
On Sunday the pupils had a free day to spend getting to know their partners. Some went to an outdoor swimming pool, which was funny as outside there was 10cm of snow! Others went to Dortmund the nearest city for shopping and ice cream while some met up with other host families and spent the day playing computer games! The teachers met up at the Möhnesee, the sight of the famous Dambusters bouncing bomb raid for a lovely walk in the snowy countryside and for a slice of Kuchen!
Monday was the first day in school for the pupils and school starts at 7:55! It was an early start for us all. The first part of the day was spent in lessons with the exchange partners and the second part was spent in Fröndenberg at the Stiftskeller (the local concil chambers) meeting the Mayor. We had our photo taken and the next day our story featured in two local papers! Fame at last! After meeting the Mayor and receiving a gift of a Fröndenberg shopping bag full of goodies we were given a tour of the local church and then headed down to the Kettenschmieden (chain making) Museum. Chain making was a major industry in this area and the pupils all had a chance to make their own link of a chain to take home.
Tuesday saw the group in school again for the morning lessons, then in the afternoon as the school was closing early on that day the pupils had time to spend with their partners.
Wednesday soon arrived and the whole group, 23 Exeter pupils, 23 Fröndenberg pupils & several members of staff all boarded the train bound for Cologne. We arrived and headed straight for the famous cathedral. Most of the group decided to brave the 500 steps up the tower for some spectacular views over Cologne and the river Rhine while a few of us kept our feet firmly on the ground and were entertained by the buskers and street artists that surround the popular tourist spot. After we had explored the cathedral we headed for what was to be the highlight of the day, the Lindt Chocolate Museum! We had a guided tour and at found out about the chocolate making process, then at the end of the tour we came to the giant chocolate fountain and could try the chocolate for ourselves. Delicious!
Thursday meant a cooking day. After time in lessons with their partners the English pupils spent a few hours making traditional German waffles with cherry sauce and a kind of cake made from crushed biscuits and melted chocolate called “kalte Schnauzer” literally a “cold dog”. The results speak for themselves as all the waffles & cake disappeared twice as fast as they had been made! After eating ourselves silly we all headed to the train station to travel to Unna where we spent the rest of the afternoon ice skating. Everyone had a great time on the ice despite it being freezing both inside and out!
Friday had arrived all too quickly and we couldn’t believe it was already our last day in Germany. We spent the morning making magic pen holders with the technology teacher who kindly gave up 3 hours of his free time to help us make them. Many were given as presents upon our return! Mr Anderson was a big help showing us how to use the tools and Frankie displayed her house keeping skills as she helped to tidy up the room. When this was done the group had some free time to spend in the town to buy last minute souvenirs and presents for family and friends at home. That evening the group went bowling and had a meal afterwards. What a great way to round off our fantastic week in snowy Germany.
Saturday morning saw us all rising very early (many of us getting up at 4am) to get to the airport for our return journey. Many tears were shed as the pupils said goodbye to their new friends, many who will be visiting us in July on the return visit.
All that remains to be said is that we had a great time in Germany and we were made to feel very welcome. The St Peters pupils used the opportunity to really improve their German and they were an excellent group to take away. We hope to have an even better time next year! Sign up soon as places will disappear quickly.
View some pictures of the trip
Fröndenberg 6th March – 13th March 2010
Saturday, 6th March 21:15 Uhr arrive at Airport Dortmund-Wickede easyJet flight 2175; meet partners and their families at airport
Sunday, 7th March Stay with host families
Monday, 8th March Packed lunch.
7:55 welcome by Headmaster Herr De Vries
at R 575 (Conference Room); walk through school (or orientation rallye); pupils for work experience go with Mrs Sykes and Herr Dröge to their workplace
9:30 lessons with host pupils (3rd – 4th lesson)
11:35 meet at R 575 (Conference Room), walk to Stiftsgebäude
12:00 meet the Mayor (guests only)
12:45 visit the ’Stiftskirche’(guests only)
13:30 visit the ‚Kettenschmiedemuseum (guests only)
14:30 walk back to school or meet partner according to the arrangement made in the morning
Tuesday, 9th March 7.55 – 9.30 lessons with partners (1st and 2nd lesson)
9.40 meet at R 575 (Conference Room), prepare town rallye , town rallye afterwards,
12.25 meet partners at R 575 (Conference Room); lunch and lessons with partners in the afternoon
Wednesday, 10th March
Day trip to Cologne by train, guests and hosts, packed lunch;
08:50 meet at Unna Station;
09.14 dep. from Unna;
10:38 arrive at Cologne; short visit to Cologne Cathedral and/or go up cathedral spire; 30-minute-walk through old part of town and along the Rhine to the Chocolate Museum,
12.30 guided English and German tours; free time for shopping afterwards; meeting-place and time to be arranged in the morning;
16.21 dep. from Cologne; 17.42 arrive at Unna;
Thursday, 11th March 7.55 – 10.25 lessons with partners (1st -3rd lesson),
10:50 – 12:30 guests bake cakes at school kitchen, 12.30 taste cakes with partners, lunch afterwards
Ice skating at ice rink in Unna in the afternoon (guests and partners)
14:00 leave school and walk to Fröndenberg Station; 14.33 dep.
Fröndenberg Station, short walk through Unna possible, meet at ice-rink at 15.40 at the latest, ice skating from 16.00 -17.30, 18.13 dep.
Unna, 18.29 arrive at Fröndenberg Station, host parents might arrange to pick up partners at ice rink.
Friday, 12th March 7:55 – 10:25 (1st – 3rd lesson) project in craft&designwith guests: a magic biro holder,
10.50 onwards lessons with partners, or free time in town to be arranged with teachers, arrangements to be made when and where to meet partners again
15.40 meet at Bowlhouse in Lendringsen, bowling till 18.00 with meal afterwards at Bowlhouse, host parents will pick up partners at 18.30/45
Saturday, 13th March 05:30 meet at Airport Dortmund-Wickede, check-in,
07:10 easyJet flight 2172 to Luton
View some pictures of the trip