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Bienvenue to our French Pen-Pals

Posted on: 29/03/2019

We recently welcomed students and a teacher from Lycée de la Forêt, Lycée des Métiers et des Services Aux Entreprises in Chantilly, France on an exchange visit with Blenheim. 

Visiting students shadowed Blenheim students, attended lessons and had the opportunity to work on their spoken and written English. In 2020, Blenheim students will visit Chantilly, France, to enjoy a similar experience.

Our thanks to Mrs Anderson for organising this amazing experience. Both the visiting French students and our students benefited from this in so many ways and our students are looking forward to visiting their new pen-pals in France. 

 

Their teacher reported to the school on their visit:-

‘On Thursday morning at 9.30 am, the school's minibus picked us up at Ewell West Station.

Then the French group together with their pen-pals attended 5 classes specially prepared by 5 teachers who had agreed to teach in their free lessons. The classes were tailored to the French students' needs or cultural interests.

The meals were served in the room of the theatre club and shared with their pen-pals. They allowed the French students to taste the typical English breakfast (hash browns were really appreciated) and then at 1 pm the excellent triangle sandwiches, Yorkshire pudding and beautiful strawberry sponge cake.

The French students really appreciated being integrated in the various classes and carrying out joint activities which were a vector of oral communication with their pen-pals and the teachers: thinking about a historical event, writing a story together in both languages adopting a predefined tone, learning about Fine Arts and trying to paint the Houses of Parliament as Monet did, making an experiment in Chemistry or making a wooden robot in Technology provided the students with excellent memories. Moreover, the day spent in the high school offered the opportunity to compare life in both high schools.

They found many strong points which for them makes life in an English high school very pleasant:

The shorter day at school (6 periods vs 8 periods in France), the wide choice of subjects, offered in this vibrant school, in unusual fields such as Graphic Design, Technology, Textiles, Woodwork, Fine Arts..., the numerous photos of student achievements and projects in classrooms and corridors, the quotes on the walls encouraging perseverance, willingness to succeed, team spirit, the teachers' kindness and encouragement given to their students as well as the numerous school clubs: sports, creative arts, theatre, languages... The question of wearing a uniform was also discussed.

The pen-pals exchanged small presents and some of them asked for their details on social networks in order to carry on chatting while the language teachers had some time to discuss further developments of the project.’