Summer Group UK 4 – 18.08. -31.08.2019

Summer time fun in England

Saturday 31.08.2019
Farewell everyone!

Friday 30.08.2019
We have arrived at the last day of the course and the sun is still shining, and the students are still smiling, so that’s a good start. It’s Friday and we will do our usual celebratory last day with some English games, quizzes and then a farewell ceremony. The ceremony involves the presentation of certificates to all students, and then we announce the Student of the Course awards. These go to one student in each English class based on the criteria we set, which is ‘high motivation, constant participation, a willingness to learn and help others to learn and a focus on speaking English as often as possible…in and out of class’. The person who has done this to the best of their ability will get the prize.

After school has finished and goodbyes to Chloe and Dean have been said, we’ll be off to Seaford Salts for a sport afternoon. Today’s sport will be Cricket, and after a brief explanation, we will all take part in a fast version of the sport. Most students get the hang of it pretty quickly, and we usually laugh about how hard it is. If time, we’ll also have a revised game of rugby and maybe another voelkerball.

Then there’s time for one final activity, a visit to the pub where will have a meal all together. It’s a two-course meal with a taste of traditional English pub food. It’s a lovely way to say our goodbyes… πŸ™‚

Thursday 29.08.2019
Back to school again, and the students seemed very well rested when they arrived this morning. They have a gentle day today, with English lessons first up, including some food tasting with Chloe (lots of adjectives) before they take the minibus to Beachy Head. The views from there will be excellent today – as we have another sunny day – and the impressive height of the chalk cliffs is clear as you look down on the English Channel below.

The group will then walk – downhill – to the promenade and seafront in Eastbourne, and they will head towards the pier. To round off the day, there will be time to explore the centre of this lovely seaside town.

Wednesday 28.08.2019
Back from the camp, we’re all rested after a night under the stars on Tuesday. All went well, and we had a lovely clear night, with warm temperatures. We had a great game of voelkerball, with the boys beating the girls…  πŸ™‚ Then time to chill out and relax, although the talking didn’t really stop until well after midnight. But everyone slept eventually, and all was going perfectly until the rain shower in the morning. No-one seemed to mind, however, and we packed up and headed to the beach for our guided Geography tour.

Alan, our guide talked about the different rocks that make up the cliffs and the beach, about erosion, minerals, fossils and a whole load of other things. We also did some beach measuring to show how dramatically the beach has changed in the past year (more than the past 50 years according to Alan). After a look at the river and a discussion about plastic, we headed back to camp then up to the barn for lunch. 

The afternoon was mostly spent on the river, with the group kayaking and SUPing on the Cuckmere River. It was a glorious afternoon for it, with very little wind and lots of sun. So, we had an exhausted but happy group head home to their host families.

Tuesday 27.08.2019
We’re about to disappear again! This time, we’re going down to the forest for some Bushcraft, with shelter building, fire-lighting , knots and baking camp-bread on the list of things to do. The shade will be most welcome, as it’s still very warm here. It’s supposed to be 20 degrees overnight, which is hot for the UK.

We’re then camping out for our night under the stars

Monday 26.08.2019
A national holiday here in England, and we decided to have a creative day as we booked some art tuition. We thought the students would react well to learning English via art, and they patiently listened to instructions in English, and they all created a ‘masterpiece’. πŸ™‚ The location for the session was overlooking the Seven Sisters cliffs, and there is no finer view on a sunny day. It did get hot though, and the group were grateful of some time on the beach and an ice cream. πŸ™‚

Sunday 25.08.2019
Another beautiful hot summer’s day in England and the group headed to Brighton, where they enjoyed some Laserzone action, as well as some sightseeing, before they joined the crowds on the pier and the seafront, where everyone seemed to be enjoying the Mediterranean feel. The main highlight though, was beach volleyball, where the students seemed to ignore the heat and played for ages. Ruth made sure they all had suncream, and everyone was leaping around like salmon! πŸ™‚

Saturday 24.08.2019
A hot, hot day in London but we kept our cool and took it slowly. We walked around the main sights, including Buckingham Palace, Downing Street and Westminster, where we ‘saw’ Big Ben hiding under scaffolding. We had a sunny boat trip along the River Thames and some time to take a cool group photo at the Tower of London. Then we headed west by Tube, stopping at Piccadilly and Leicester Square, before we headed home.

Friday 23.08.2019
The rugby went well, and the group seem full of energy on this sunny morning. They will be looking forward to the weekend, but it won’t be a restful, boring weekend, because we’ve got lots planned for them. It starts after school today, when we take a trip to the lovely town of Lewes. We start with a visit to the cinema, where the students will watch an newly-released English film about a teenager growing up in the UK in the 1980s. It’s all about his family background and how he ‘wakes up’ when he discovers the music of Bruce Springsteen. It’s a feel-good comedy, so let’s see if the students laugh and if they feel good afterwards πŸ™‚

After the film , we have a trip to Lewes Castle, and a short film about the history of Lewes, and a walk up to the tower, from where there is an amazing view over the town. You can appreciate the strategic importance of the site and enjoy some blue skies and shining rooftops. After the castle, there will be some time to look around the town itself, with Keere Street, Grange Gardens and the Priory being some of the highlights before the group get a short break to look around the centre.

This weekend is a ‘long weekend’ here in England, with Monday being a national holiday. We’ve got some lovely hot, sunny weather on the way, so this will help.

Our plan is:
Saturday – trip to London for sightseeing and a boat trip
Sunday – Brighton, LaserZone and Beach Volleyball
Monday – a day out at the Seaford Head, with an art lesson, a picnic and the Seaford Discovery Quiz.
Busy, busy, busy   πŸ™‚

Thursday 22.08.2019
The sun is with us again today, as we continue our dry summer. The students are back in lessons and hopefully working hard on their fluency.
This afternoon we ‘release’ them again, out onto the sports field this time, as they let out some energy. They are going to be playing a mix of sports, with some rugby (non-contact) and some football, as well as maybe a game of Volkerball.

We hope you are checking out the photos which we are adding below…

Wednesday 21.08.2019
The meeting with the older people was lovely, and our young students did exceptionally well to ask incisive questions and to use all their listening skills. I think the cream tea was the highlight though, and enjoyed by everybody.

A break from class today, and it’s going to be a lovely day to be outside. The group are on a day trip to the wonderful sandy beach at Camber. They will stop off on the way to see our friends at Rye Water Sports, where they will receive some training in how to windsurf and how to Stand-Up Paddle (SUP). They might also do some sailing and sit-on kayaking, depending on the wind, which has luckily dropped a lot.

After the sports, the group will head to Camber Sands, where they will have some time to run around and play, as well as eat some sandy sandwiches in the sand dunes. The amount of time here will depend on the weather, and there will be a stop-off at Rye on the way home, so the student scan take a quick look around this lovely medieval town, home to Sir Paul McCartney.

A day that is clearly not as fun as school, but not bad  πŸ˜‰

Tuesday 20.08.2019
The second day of school and the students should be settling into their classes now. Yesterday’s walk was  a very windy experience but a good taste of life on the coast, where most days are windy, some days are very windy, and some days you stay indoors!

To round off lessons today, the teachers will be preparing the students for this afternoon’s activity. We call it the Inter-generational Project, and we invite a group of older local people to come in and talk to our students. The students prepare questions and ‘smalltalk’ as well as some questions about historic events that the older people have lived through. Our students do lots of listening and speaking, and exercise their patience and politeness. πŸ™‚

As a social end to the afternoon, we then head to the Hillcrest Cafe for a cream tea, at which the older people educate our youngsters in how to prepare a scone with cream and jam. It sounds simple, but local wars have been fought over which way round the cream/jam should be. πŸ™‚ Here’s some background info

Monday 19.08.2019
Everyone arrived on time today, and we had a little induction talk to explain a few ‘housekeeping’ and safety rules to the group. Then we split into two classes, so that we can have two small groups and nowhere for students to hide away. πŸ™‚ Lessons are with Dean and Chloe and they’ll be asking a lot from the students, and hoping for some energy and motivation to learn.  

The afternoon sees us heading across to Seaford and a walk up Seaford Head to see the Seven Sisters cliffs. It’s a stunning view and worth the walk. There will probably also be some time on the beach as the students enjoy time in one of England’s most loved natural landmarks.

One final thing, as we want to wish Franziska a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY. We’ve already sung happy birthday to her and we’ve all shared a doughnut in her honour. πŸ™‚

Sunday 18.08.2019
Wow, what a windy start for our new group. They arrived in Seaford bang on time, and were met by around 45kph winds from the English Channel. It made it feel quite chilly, despite the sunny skies. We introduced ourselves and then host families took their students home to have a look around and to get some much-needed dinner.

To follow the weather this week, we recommend the Met Office.

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