A packed programme!
For forty years, Wildern School and the Ernst-Sigle Gymnasium have enjoyed a partnership that has enabled hundreds of language students to take part in an annual exchange programme. As part of our 15-year anniversary celebrations, the schools shared the history of their friendship.
Who: Wildern School, Eastleigh & Ernst-Sigle Gymnasium, Kornwestheim
At the end of each spring term, Wildern students from Years 8-10 travel to Germany for a ten-day stay. Highlights from our programme are: Heidelberg town and castle; a chocolate-making workshop at Ritter Sport; a hike through the Black Forest with lunch at the rustic Grünhütte; a boat-trip on Lake Constance and a cable-car ride to the top of the Pfänder mountain; experiencing German school life and lessons; an official welcome by the mayor of Kornwestheim.
Students from Ernst-Sigle Gymnasium visit England towards the end of the summer term for nearly two weeks. A full programme takes in Stonehenge, Bath, the New Forest, Studland Bay and the capital city for a Thames cruise and the many sights. A full day of lessons in school are always actively enjoyed by the German students.
Aside from organised events, both German and English students enjoy a quality linguistic, cultural and bonding experience with their partners and host families.
Our fantastic exchange programme has been a major factor in the success of German at Wildern School. Participants return more motivated and with a real appreciation of why they are learning a foreign language. They gain better GCSE results and are far more likely to study German at A-Level.
And our German exchange can be a life-changing experience. Down the years, many enduring Anglo-German friendships have been formed between both partners and their respective families. Just this summer, former Wildern School student Tom, now living and working in Hamburg, was best man at the wedding of Viktor, his exchange partner from 1999!
A partnership in pictures
Greg Horton, teacher at Wildern School.
This article is part of the UK-German Connection 15-year Anniversary Challenge: Capture Your Connection.