Summer Group UK 3 – 04.08. -17.08.2019

Spending August days in Seaford, UK

Thursday 15th August
The sun is back and sky is blue again, as summer makes a re-appearance. We really need this, as we are visiting the Eastbourne Airshow this afternoon. This is a huge airshow and is very special as it takes place over the sea, which gives it a very dramatic backdrop. So the students will be taking the bus over after school, and will have a look around Eastbourne as well as seeing the aircraft.

Wednesday 14th August
After a reasonable night’s sleep (everybody did go to sleep, and most people went to sleep when we asked them), the group awoke to some rain, which got quite heavy as we began our walk around the Country Park. We started on the beach, and huddled together to keep dry and warm, as Alan, the guide, told us about the cliffs, erosion, the sealife and the changing nature of the coast. We then headed back to camp to collect our things and walked back to the centre for hot chocolate and lunch.
After warming up, the students then went back to the water for some kayaking. They had wetsuits and jackets, so they managed to stay warm enough to get around the meandering river and see the wildlife up close. Nonetheless, they were a very tired group of young people who headed home for some dinner, as warm shower and some sleeeeeep. 🙂

Tuesday 13th August
Again, we had a lovely afternoon yesterday as we met a group of very sweet older ladies. Our students were very polite and asked lots of interesting questions to their designated ‚older person‘. They then had a cream tea and continued chatting, which was great to see.

Today we head to the forest for some bushcraft. It’s the chance to do some fire-lighting, shelter-building and knot-tying in the great outdoors. The session is all in nature, and will end with us cooking a camp dinner around the fire, finishing off with delicious ’smores‘. Then, as the evening sets in, we are all walking down to the campsite, where we will spend a night under the stars.

It looks like being a mostly clear night, so we should at least see the stars, but tomorrow looks not so good. In the morning, we’ll have breakfast then take a guided walk around the beach, river and cliff area of the Cuckmere River.

As we are away until tomorrow afternoon, there might not be any blog tomorrow until late…

Monday 12th August
The second week of school, and the students arrived under some rain clouds this morning. It won’t affect our programme today, as we are indoors this morning and this afternoon. The morning sees Chloe back from holiday and replacing Louise. Fin is still here, and he and Chloe will be looking to get some Monday morning motivation…

One part of this morning is a lesson where the students prepare questions and small talk in readiness for our afternoon project. We are having another inter-generational afternoon, where we invite some older people to meet up with the students and engage in conversation. Our students will prepare a number of questions, and they will work in pairs to look after and interview their ‚older person‘. The conversation then continues over a cream tea, which we will enjoy in the Hillcrest Cafe.

Sunday 11th August
Another windy day, but the rain stayed away (mostly) as the group headed west to Brighton. They took the double-decker across, which is always a good experience for the students and provides some wonderful views along the coast. The first part of the day was sightseeing and a game of LaserZone, which the students really enjoy. It gives an adrenaline rush that they love.

After the drama, some time to explore the city before heading along to Yellowave, where the students had some beach volleyball coaching and the chance to hang out in the sand and improve their already amazing volleyball skills. 🙂

Saturday 10th August
A big day for everyone as we visited the capital for a day of sightseeing in one of Europe’s busiest and most visited cities. There are 8 million people resident in London and, added to tourists from all over the world, we spent a lot of time in the company of others. Our group is small however, and we had few problems walking around the city as we began our walking tour with Buckingham Palace and St James Park before a stop off to see the horseguards with their lovely red tunics.

We then headed past Boris’s house and down to a covered-up Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Westminster Abbey was passed as we made our way down to the River Thames and the boat trip. The river cruise took us past several sights we wouldn’t have seen otherwise, including Shakespeare’s Theatre and Old London Bridge. We also got a great view of Tower Bridge and a group photo at the Tower of London, where we had a short break.

We took the underground to Embankment and then walked through Trafalgar Square to Piccadilly and Leicester Square, where we had some retail tourism at the M&M’s store and Hard Rock Cafe. We also offered St Martins In The Fields church, but only had one taker, which is a shame because the classical music being played was beautiful. The rest of the day involved a gentle walk down The Mall, back past Buckingham Palace and back to Victoria Station.

Friday 9th August
A sunny day here now, and we are having another exciting day of summer school for the students. They are looking at navigation and directions using underground maps with Louise, as well as some history with Fin. The history focuses on the queen and how she used to lead an army, drive a chariot and love a good fight. Hmm, ok, that wasn’t Elizabeth, that was Queen Boudica, who ruled the Iceni tribe in their fight against the Roman invaders. Why are we choosing Boudica? Well, the group are heading to Lewes today, and their final destination there is the cinema, where they will watch a new movie – designed to be funny – about the history of Boudica and the Romans.

Before the film though, there’s time to visit Lewes Castle, from where the students will experience a lovely view of this historic town. Lewes is the ancient county town of Sussex and has played a big part in the English Civil War, and the US War of Independence via Thomas Paine. There is also the beautiful Grange Gardens to explore, and the Cluniac Priory, which Jan will explain, before some free time to look around the centre.

If the blog goes quiet for the weekend, it’s because we are busy in London (Sat) and Brighton (Sun). More to follow soon… 🙂

Thursday 8th August
Back to school yesterday and the students seem to have recovered  all the energy they spent yesterday. They will have some gentle English lessons to wake them gently and get their brains fully functioning. By now, and with some pressure from teachers and guides, they are at least trying to speak English before German. If they can get into this habit, they will gain so much more from their time here. We give lessons in English, activity instructions in English and only answer questions in English, so we try to do as much as we can to help them. 🙂

After lunch, the group are back in Seaford town centre, where they will be doing the Seaford Discovery Tour: A fun quiz where the students work together to answer questions about Seaford. Each question has some directions that the students need to follow to reach the next question. They are also encouraged to ask local people for help. To get bonus points, there are some fun tasks such as finding things that remind the students of Austria, as well as asking people to dance. 🙂

Wednesday 7th August
A windy day out there as we set off for a journey along the coast. We’re taking a trip to the far east of East Sussex, where we will make a first stop at Camber lake, where we will be getting into our wetsuits ready for some windsurfing, stand-up paddling and sailing. As such, the wind is very welcome, as it should help everyone to stay balanced and speed along the lake.

The wind may be less welcome in the afternoon, as we head to the beautiful miles of sandy beach at Camber. We will make camp in the sand dunes though, and should find some welcome shelter from the breeze. We will play some games on the beach and wander along with some beachcombing, as well as taking in the relaxing sea air – of which there might be a lot today!

As a final activity, we’ll stop off in the medieval town of Rye. Home to Sir Paul McCartney, Rye is a beautiful little town and is full of history, particularly connected to ships and smuggling.

We’ll take lots of photos today, as we realise we are lacking a few. More updates later. Bye for now… 🙂

Tuesday 6th August
Farewell and Ciao to the Italian students, as they head back to Florence. They have been a lovely group to spend time with, as I’m sure our new group will prove to be. In terms of size, we’ve now shrunk down into a group of 17, which means we are a closer group than before.

The students continue their English lessons today, and then head over to Seaford Salts field, where they will play some sports and games with Ruth and Alfie. It’s been an ok day regarding the weather, a bit cloudy but a ‚warm enough‘ 20 degrees. We eagerly wait to discover whether our students will be the sporty types or not…   🙂

Monday 5th August

School starts for the Austrian members of the group, and they are lucky enough to be here while our Italian group are still here. It’s only for today and tomorrow, but it’s an excellent chance to use English to get to know people that you meet for the first time. The students have taken the placement test, and are in two small classes. Lessons are with Fin and Louise, with Chloe coming in next week. 

The day started cloudy and a bit rainy, but , in true British style, the weather has improved and the sun is now out, and the cloud is burning off. We need good weather as it will help the background for the view today as the group take a walk over Seaford Head to see the Seven Sisters cliffs. These beautiful chalk beauties are a famous natural landmark and bring in visitors from all over the world.

We recommend the Met Office website for the latest in how hot and sunny it is in Seaford. 🙂

Sunday 4th August
It was a little after 5.30pm when the coach bringing the group arrived in Seaford. We said our hellos to Ruth and the students before introducing everyone to their host families. It was a little chilly but dry at least, and the students were soon heading to their new ‚homes‘. We wish them the best of times here, and hope they go back with a whole host of good memories and new friendships.

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