Read Kathryn Norton's account of how our exchange students have been spending their time in Germany
The days have flown by here in Germany. We come back tomorrow and it seems like we have spent no time away.
Early Friday morning, half asleep, we all (Kathryn Norton, Jack Evans, Lauren Peck, Stephan Hardy, Mr Boyle, Frau Pfeiffer, Julia and Rachel) arrived at Cavell car park to start the journey to Bad Bederkesa in North Germany. We flew from Stansted at 12.30 and endured the Ryanair song for less than an hour so we made it in good time. The airport in Bremen is small but very modern. We grabbed our bags off the carousel and made our way to the ticket desk to buy Tram Tickets. The Tram was very modern so soon we were at das Bahnhof or train station. The building was quite old and there was a huge contrast between that and the rest of the town as most of the buildings were destroyed in the war.
We caught our train and it bought us straight to Frau Kannewischer - the NIG organiser of this trip - and the host families. We were whisked away to our homes for the next few days, trying to speak as much German as possible which turned out to be very hard indeed. Luckily the families understood our halted German that would get us through the first day.
The next day was another quite early start as the Schulfest (school fayre) had been organised so we could have our first look at NIG. The school's main building is a lovely old building that looks very majestic and grand where as the new building which has just been opened is modern and spacious. The school is not as large as Wymondham College so it is very different.
Frau Pfeiffer, Rachel, Julia and Mr Boyle had set up Wymondham College's room the night before and all the four Yr 9s had to do was draw a picture of ourselves on the white board. We were given a special welcome by the students. They had made a large banner with both the school names and the UK and Germany on. Some small children also sang a song in English for us. The press was there and several children interviewed us. We were given a tour of the school which was interesting as they had preserved some of the school's old dormitries and bathrooms. We passed the rest of the day in our room where we had quizes and games for people to do.
The next day we went into Bremerhaven to the zoo and Emgration Museum. In the zoo we learnt the names of all the animals in German before going to the Mediterano for luch which was gallettes and ice cream! The German Emigration Museum is very interactive. We all learnt a lot about the emigrants' fate and what ships were like then.
Today was a very early start as school starts at 8 oclock. We all got up at 6 oclock. The lessons here are very different and the classrooms are very plain. There is not enough time in each lesson as they only last 45 minutes. There are 6 lessons and school finishes at 1 O'clock. They don't have books they write notes on paper. School is nearly over and tonight we go bowling and there is a suprise activity.
This has been a great experience and I have learnt a lot. The families have been so kind and helpful that it makes you wonder why anyone is scared to go on an exchange. I'm so glad that we have a link with NIG and I will be very pleased when they can come to Wymondham College and see the differnce between the schools and learn as much about England as we have about Germany.
By Kathryn Norton (Yr 9)
Please click the links on the right to read a news report about the trip and greetings from the NIG Headmaster.