St. Stephen's Junior School is developing strong international ties with schools and educational organisations across Europe as part of the Erasmus+ project.
In addition to this and becoming increasingly popular is our annual skiing adventure to Macugnaga in Italy in January of each year. Children who have chosen to go spend a week on the foothills of the Alps developing their skiing skills.
Groups range from beginner to advanced with the week culminating in a race where the children show off their ability at running the slalom.
Global Voice: A musical and languages exchange project with Madrid
We are pleased to announce that our school was awarded a grant through Erasmus +, a European Union funding body to carry out a 5 day school exchange programme.
Our Project "Global Voice" will involve 24 members of our Upper school choir travelling to Madrid in June with school staff, visiting our partner school and taking part in a musical performance, celebrating languages and culture. Our Partner school, CEIPSO Principe Don Felipe is based in Boadilla del Monte and their pupils and staff will be visiting us in March and taking part in our spring concert at The Gulbenkian.
Earlier this school year, on European languages day we launched in school a day of learning about Spain. Pupils took part in a mock flight in the school hall and with passports took a flight to Madrid! throughout the day pupils tasted Spanish food, began learning some Spanish phrases and exploring its culture. We have invested in a Spanish language programme to assist teachers in teaching Spanish at school too.
Prior to Christmas Mr Pywell and Mrs Millsted visited Madrid and met our partner school. Teaching staff in Madrid are very excited by our coming exchange programme and gave us a very warm welcome. They have assisted us with finding some excellent accommodation in a nearby town Of San Lorenzo de El Escorial where our staff and pupils will be staying. (see photo) In January we welcomed a return visit by their Headteacher and English teacher from our partner school, we returned their warm welcome and following a tour of our school, assisted them with a tour of the local area and accommodation for their exchange.
Gobal Voice: The trip to Spain (June 2019)
Last week 23 members of our upper school choir travelled with 5 staff to visit our exchange school near Madrid.
In the Spanish heat we visited their Royal Palace and Cathedral, had a tour of a Monastery where the King of Spain once lived and even held insects during a workshop at a local insect park. We all swam in an outdoor pool (on the hottest day when temperatures reached 37 degrees Celsius!) and performed with our Spanish partner school in their city Auditorium.
It was a wonderful week of music and bonding with our partner school.
Global Voice has been a successful international project for our school that has been financially supported by the European Commission and the Erasmus Plus School Exchange Programme. Alongside the school exchanges, the impact of this project has been school wide. Once we successfully achieved our funding, we launched the project on Wednesday 26th September 2018 on European Languages Day where all pupils had mock passports, took a flight to Spain and experienced a day immersed in Spanish culture.
We have now been regularly teaching Spanish across our school and we are continuing to develop this expertise. Pupils in the upper school have begun exchanging pen pal letters with our partner school. Both schools do want to continue to the partnership and we will be exploring the costs of continuing the exchange next year.