Over the recent half-term holiday there were 3 residential trips for AKS senior school students. Our Science Exchange involved a week of science and adventure in the Czech Republic (pictured), 30 Year 8 & 9 boys went on the football tour to Madrid, including a match in the Bernabeu stadium, then 40 students went to London to watch West End shows, explore theatres and take part in dramatic workshops. It is always good to see our pupils experiencing an enriched curriculum and on this occasion I did manage to join one, albeit over the final weekend. The Science Exchange, where our students were home-hosted, along with students from our other partner school in Germany. It was a privilege to see how young people from these three countries were living and working together.
Home-hosting has decreased in popularity in recent years, as school trips tend to opt for hotel accommodation. However, there is no doubt that our students really valued the chance to stay with a family and in doing so get to know their hosts and their culture that much better. Perhaps a little daunting at first but so much more rewarding, making friendships for life. We look forward to home-hosting next year when AKS sets up a week of learning science for our Czech and German visitors.
One of the reasons we are joining Round Square (www.roundsquare.org) is to give our students further opportunities to go on exchanges to other schools in other countries. Individual exchanges would involve staying with students in their own homes, or in school if there is boarding accommodation. There are amazing learning opportunities to be had getting to know our peers in different linguistic and cultural settings. In doing so we grow in confidence, broaden our own horizons and, most importantly perhaps, get to know ourselves better.
At home or abroad, a stranger is a friend we haven’t met yet.
M H P Walton