Pupils get a fascinating insight into life in Hamburg

Early on Sunday 7 April, 15 girls from KEHS and 7 boys from KES set off for Hamburg to take part in the annual German exchange with the Gymnasium Oldenfelde in Rahlstedt. Pupils were delighted to be met on arrival at the airport with bouquets of flowers, and this generous hospitality proved to be a characteristic feature of the entire duration of the trip. The students gained an insight into the German school system by attending a variety of lessons with their exchange partners. The school had also drawn up a varied programme of visits to enable the pupils to get to know Hamburg and the surrounding area more closely. These trips included a town quiz in the centre of Hamburg, where the pupils were introduced to the most famous landmarks such as the St. Michaelis Kirche, Binnenalster lake, the Town Hall and Hamburg’s famous new concert hall, the Elbphilharmonie. There was also a full-day excursion to the Baltic Sea coast where the pupils spent the morning in the old Hanseatic city of Lübeck with its charming town squares and Gothic red-brick architecture, typical of North Germany, and the delights of the marzipan Niederegger shop, marzipan being a speciality of the city of Lübeck. That afternoon, we travelled to the seaside resort of Travemünde, where the pupils enjoyed various team games on the slightly chilly beach. Despite the fresh temperatures, the pupils enjoyed an ice-cream from the local Eisdiele on the way back to the station.

Later in the week, the pupils returned to the centre of Hamburg to take a boat down the Elbe to the suburb of Blankenese, from where we could admire the huge container ships travelling up and down the estuary of the Elbe to and from Hamburg harbour, as well as distant views of the Elbphilharmonie. The week was rounded off with a celebration of the joint projects on German-English friendship on which the German and British pupils had worked during the course of the week, followed by a buffet of delicious homemade food prepared by the host parents.

We are very grateful to our German partner school, the Gymnasium Oldenfelde in Hamburg, and the accompanying staff of Mrs Putt, Frau Greiser and Dr Blain for making it possible for our pupils to improve their German in an authentic context and gain valuable insights into German culture and everyday life.

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