Frau Stöckmann had arranged a wonderful trip for German students from Years 9 and 10 over half-term to discover Nordrhein-Westfalen. Travelling sustainably by train via Brussels accompanied by Ms Pavlopoulos, Ms Newman and Ms Bhamra-Burgess, students were immersed in European culture and a wifi-light youth hostel (Jugendherberge).
Day 1 – Köln
While visiting Cologne, of course we had to see the Cologne Cathedral, which is a renowned monument of German Catholicism and Gothic architecture and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. It is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe and it was incredible walking in and seeing just how huge the interior was, and how tall it was. (It was so big it took about ten minutes to even find the right entrance!)
Opal – Year 10
We had a very fun time at the chocolate museum which was on the river Rhein. Not only did we get to look at chocolate being made up close and try some, we learnt about the geography and history of chocolate. It was very interesting and especially yummy!
Maya – Year 9
Day 2 – Aachen
On the second day of our trip to Aachen, we went out into the town to complete a quiz. We received a quiz, map and instructions with questions on the culture and landmarks of Aachen in German, completing it required for us to not only find all places mentioned but also to ask locals for directions, as well as asking about the food and events that went on. I think this was a really fun and great way for us all to develop our language and feel more confident in our speaking skills. We were also asked to complete a Fotojagd, collecting photos of bread we saw as we explored the area. I thought this was really fun and was a great group activity overall, it furthered not only our German but also our teamwork, but most importantly we all enjoyed it.
Valeria – Year 9
The Aachen Cathedral was a beautiful, looming gothic building that we had heard a lot about on our christmas market trip to Aachen in November. It’s a Roman Catholic Cathedral, the resting place of Emperor Charlemagne and saw the coronation of 31 German Kings and 12 Queens from 936-1531. As part of the tour, we were told the interesting myth involving the cathedral’s establishment and were shown the beautifully complex mosaics and the throne of Charlemagne. All in all a very interesting visit!
Eve – Year 10
We visited the Carolus Thermen spa that uses the therapeutic waters of the Aachen springs to create warm indoor and outdoor pools. We enjoyed the water features including fountains, waterfalls, and currents, as well as freezing cold and boiling hot pools.
Alice – Year 9
On Tuesday, we took the train to visit the city of Bonn. We explored many parts of the city including the Haus der Geschichte. We then walked in mini groups throughout the city, where me and my friends managed to see Beethoven’s house, and watch a mini documentary about him.
Hannah – Year 10
Whilst visiting Bonn, we went to the Haus der Geschichte (House of History), which explored German History from the Second World War all the way through to Modern Day. The museum was incredibly laid out with numerous rooms describing in great detail the reasons for Germany developing in the way it had done. The museum itself and the guided tour of it were executed in a very engaging and enriching manner, whilst maintaining a sensitive and appropriate tone throughout. Visiting the Haus der Geschichte in Bonn was an extremely worthwhile experience and helped many students such as myself to link the historical side of Germany that we have learnt about at school with current modern day Germany that we had the amazing opportunity to visit.
Ariella – Year 10
A Three Country Walk! We went to the borders of the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. We set off at around 9 in the morning to walk to our destination. We walked through fields, forest and greenery. After being lost for about 45 minutes, we managed to find the right path and began our hike to the border. Once we arrived, it was really cool to be standing in 3 countries at the same time. It was a very fun day overall.
Annabelle – Year 9
Der Räuber Hotzenplotz was a movie we went to see in German. It was very funny and enjoyable to watch even though it was a children’s movie. It was about 2 kids whose grandma’s coffee grinder went missing, and they immediately knew the robber Hotzenplotz had taken it. They tried to trap him but instead they were caught by him, and while one remained with him the other was sold to a wizard who made him peel potatoes. Overall, it had a happy ending, where they managed to get free and were granted 3 wishes too. We really enjoyed watching it.
Lucy Year 9
For our last night in Aachen, Frau Stöckmann had organised an amazing Valentine’s party in which we danced, exchanged gifts and created funny short stories. At the beginning of the party, Frau Pavlopoulos showed us a secret talent of hers and taught us how to waltz; using music from an ipad we couldn’t hear and dancing amongst tables and chairs, the room was filled with the laughter of our attempts to turn while waltzing. After our dance lesson, we were given the challenge of creating a skit in German!
The party ended with us receiving our secret valentine’s gifts, which we had bought a few days prior. Picking names from lolly sticks we got given someone to buy a gift for and eventually surprise them with it. The whole trip was an amazing experience that I am so thankful to have been able to go on. I cannot thank Frau Stöckmann and Frau Pavlopoulos enough for making this trip possible.
Phoenix – Year 10