Two weeks of activities and English lessons 🙂
Friday 2nd August
So, school is over for the Austrian students. They said their goodbyes and have headed to Seaford, along with their Italian friends for the Seaford Discovery Tour. This will test a few of their skills, including their navigation skills, their English skills and their ability to persuade local people to do some rather crazy things…like do a dance or two.
After the exploring, the group will meet at the Plough, where they will enjoy a pub meal, and a real taste of British pub food. It will also be farewell time, as the group will split at the weekend, with the Austrians flying home and the Italians staying for another few days.
Thursday 1st August
July has swept in and out, and we now begin August with some lovely summer weather, and the wind has gone away, which helps us to feel a bit calmer. Our programme this afternoon sees us out in the park, as we have a sports afternoon. The students will be learning how to play cricket, the most traditional of sports and one that has billions of fans around the world. It’s the national sport of India, which helps with that number! 🙂
Wednesday 31st July
Well the wind has been blowing strongly all night, but it’s a bit quieter this morning. The group are down at the Cuckmere River, where they are having a guided walk around the beach and the river, with some information about the geology, biology and other conservation-centred topics from staff at Sussex Wildlife Trust. It’s a beautiful place to explore, with the meandering river contrasting with the white chalk cliffs.
After some lunch, the students will then get ready for some time on the river itself, as they do some kayaking. They will paddle along with the sheep and the birds, as well as doing some Stand Up Paddling but hopefully no swimming, although the river is only waist deep anyway, so students just end up muddy and damp if they lose their balance. 🙂
Tuesday 30th July
Yesterday was one of the best activities we’ve ever done. The group have now bonded into one group, and there’s lots of English being spoken by the students who want to talk to the Austrians/Italians. Lessons today included Chloe’s describing people lesson, and Fin looking at some irregular verbs in action. 🙂
This afternoon we have been very unlucky with the weather and the bushcraft has been cancelled. High winds mean it is unsafe in the forest, and the Bushcraft team have said we are unable to do it. It also means that the overnight camp has had to be cancelled too. High winds in summer mean that trees are very likely to drop their branches, and it’s too high a risk for us to proceed. As an alternative we’ve had a school-based afternoon, with a Hillcrest Cafe lunch followed by a popcorn-fuelled film afternoon.
Monday 29th July
School again this morning and the teachers were preparing the students for something we were trying for the first time – our inter-generational project, where our students spend some time talking to older people. They prepared some great questions, and they had an hour to interview their guest. This was fantastic, as they were polite and patient, and listened carefully to the people. Everyone got along very well, and we invited our guests and students to the Hillcrest Cafe, for a well-deserved cream tea. Even then the talking didn’t stop, but we sadly had to bring it to an end after a while, as the school buses were waiting. There were lots of hugs and warm goodbyes and hopefully some changed attitudes and more informed opinions of the different generations.
Sunday 28th July
Sunday wasn’t a rest day, but the group headed to Brighton, where they started off with some sightseeing in this coolest of cool cities. They then stepped up the adrenaline level with some LaserZone action before a break to have lunch and sit and observe the funky people who live in Brighton. The final activity was sporty again, as the students had some Beach Volleyball time, with coaching and game time.
Saturday 29th July
We’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, as the group had a very busy weekend. First up they had a day in London on Saturday, where they did a lot of sightseeing, including Buckingham Palace, Westminster, Big Ben and Parliament, before they took a boat trip on the River Thames to Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. The rest of the time was spent in Covent Garden.
Friday 26th July
Thunderstorms to start the day on the south coast, as the students arrive for school. The first week is coming to an end, but the weekend is even busier, as we start this afternoon with a trip to the historic and very pretty town of Lewes. A lovely place to walk around, Lewes Castle will be the first stop on the visit, as the group walk up to get some beautiful views of the surrounding area. Alfie will then take them on a tour of the town including the beautiful Grange Gardens, Priory and the bridge.
After the sightseeing comes the African experience as the group settle down into the cinema to watch the new Lion King film. It’s in 3D too, so Simba and Mufasa will look even more realistic than ever. 🙂 We hope the students resist the temptation to sing too loudly, but hope they enjoy what is said to be a visual treat.
Thursday 25th July
It’s looking like being a warm one. Not as hot as Austria or Italy, but pretty hot for the UK. We expect 32 degrees down here on the coast, although London is predicting a record all-time temperature. We’ll make the most of being a bit cooler with a walk down from the cliffs at Beachy Head. The views from the top are magnificent, and on a clear day like today, the view should be excellent. You can see across The English Channel, almost as far as our dear neighbours in France. 🙂
To compare our weather with yours, check out this link, but it looks like being a good day today and the coming weekend looks like being cool enough to be active, but warm enough to feel like summer.
Wednesday 24th July
What a lovely group of young people we have. The Italian students joined their Austrian counterparts yesterday and they seemed to get along very well. We’ll be encouraging them to mix as much as possible, and we think they will. School will feel very different as we aim for an ‚English-speaking atmosphere‘.
Today the group are out on a trip. They are at Camber Beach, where they will be doing some water sports on the lake, with Windsurfing, Sailing & SUP on the menu. There is just enough wind to make it a success, and lots of lovely sunshine and blue skies. After the sports, the group will head to the sandy beach where they will spend some time chilling out before a stop off at Rye
Tuesday 23rd July
It’s heating up here in England, with the sun beating down and the mercury rising. We’ve decided to swap the programme around, and the group are heading to Brighton this morning, where they will take a quick look around the centre, with some time for ‚retailing‘. They are taking the train there and back, and will be back in school in time to meet our Italian students who will be flying in this morning, and heading down to Hillcrest around 1.30pm.
We hope that both groups will get on well, and become friends, even if it is only for two weeks. It will help their English if they talk to one another, and we’ll ensure that happens in class and on activities. The rest is up to them. 🙂 Both groups will be mixed for lessons and activities, so it’s an excellent chance for the young people to share cultures, experiences and to gain a closer understanding of how similar we all are.
Monday 22nd July
School started today, and the students took the placement test first up, which allows us to get an idea of their level of English and to help us split them into two when the Italian students join the Austrian students tomorrow. Chloe and Fin will be teaching, and they should have no problem in class, as the students seem very polite and friendly, and keen to learn.
This afternoon sees the group taking a gentle hike up to Seaford Head where they will enjoy one of the best views in England, that of the Seven Sisters Cliffs. Ulli and Alfie will be guiding the group as they get to know the students a little better. It’s a sunny afternoon after a misty start. We have hot weather on the way, as we expect temperatures of 30 degrees tomorrow, which is VERY hot for England. 🙂 To follow the weather here, this is the best site.
Sunday 21st July
The group arrived in Seaford at around 5.45pm, after a good journey from Austria. They were met by sunshine and the H2 Team, along with host families. It didn’t take long to match up who was with who, before they headed home to get to know each other and for some dinner.