Ms Paull, Head of Spanish, retells the highlights of the Spanish trip to Valladolid.
The Spanish department is well travelled, having been to Salamanca, the Gredos Centre and Mallorca, amongst other exciting destinations in previous years. This year, the College saw its first trip to Valladolid. Students from Year 10, 11 and Upper Sixth all managed to make it to the airport punctually, despite the early start on a Sunday morning. After a day’s travelling, we arrived in the beautiful city of Valladolid. The students were treated to a tour of the city, discovering the secrets of its architecture and history, whilst getting their bearings. After dinner at our hostel, we were all pleased to head to bed for a rest after a long day.
Monday brought a number of lessons in different forms. There were the traditional classroom-based lessons, in which the students got their teeth into Spanish grammar and conversation. Then there was a lesson learning how to make ‘Tortilla’, a traditional Spanish omelette. I am pleased to report that no fingers were lost in the making of this snack, and indeed it was good to see that some of the students were already handy in the kitchen. Parents take note – they should now be able to cook you this famous Spanish dish! They also learnt just how much better Spanish hot chocolate is, as they were treated to ‘Chocolate con churros’ during the morning break. However, the most important lesson that day came in the evening when the boys learnt how to ‘tapear’. They made like the locals, moving from bar to bar to snack on small plates, or ‘tapas’, whilst soaking up the atmosphere of the city.
Following lessons the next day, we headed to Segovia, a town made famous by its incredible Roman aqueduct, still standing after 2 millennia despite not being held together by a drop of cement and featuring only granite bricks. We toured around the town as the sun set, and then went to dinner in a local restaurant.
Wednesday was the final day of lessons, one of which included a quest to go around the local food market completing various challenges, using their Spanish to chat to the local vendors. The students were then allowed some time to explore the town, buy some souvenirs and complete a scavenger hunt before the final dinner.
It was great to see how all of the students grew in confidence throughout the week, as they found opportunities to use their Spanish and get to grips with lessons taught entirely in the language. Everyone commented on their politeness, the quality of their Spanish, and the women who ran the school canteen were delighted with the quantities of food they could eat! All in all, it was a great trip and I hope the students got as much out of it as I did.