During the last two weeks of term a group of international pupils at King’s College Taunton, studying a 1 Year GCSE Programme, enjoyed a series of events, trips and activities designed to give them a flavour of life in the South West of England.
It was a jam-packed couple of weeks that saw the group start proceedings with a visit to the Northcott Theatre at the University of Exeter to watch A Dead Dog in a Suitcase. Here their eyes were opened to British theatre – something they had a few pre-conceived ideas about!
“It did not fully apply to our expectations. Due to the frightening story and an amazing plot twist at the end, we now have a completely different opinion to English role plays because we earlier thought that we had to expect a horrendous and badly performed play which turned out to be an astonishing performance with brilliant literal talk!”
Swapping the cerebral for some adrenaline-fueled action, the group headed to Croyde for two days of camping, coasteering and surfing. Jumping off rocks into the sea as the sun was setting left a lasting impression.
A visit to Bristol offered a mixture of British industrial history and retail therapy as the pupils enjoyed learning about Isambard Kingdom Brunel and the SS Great Britain, before wandering the streets, boutiques and cafes of Clifton.
As the days progressed, the pupils engaged in a ‘cook off’ in the school’s cookery school, to create the most British dish. The boys, who opted to create Swiss and Austrian dishes, won no points for ‘Britishness’, but the Wiener Schitzel and Kaiserscharrn did taste rather good!
Setting sail at nearby Wimbleball Lake, the pupils enjoyed a rather misty day on the water, sampling both Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP) and sailing. Many seemed more adept at falling into the water than ‘sailing’.
Back in the labs at school, the science challenges proved more ‘challenging’ than the pupils first expected. Inspired by The Great British Egg Race the pupils worked in teams to create a track around the classroom, to transport an egg (sometimes involving elevation) across the tables, without touching it!
Over the final two days, the pupils were treated to two very British and enjoyable pastimes: a trip to the beach and a trip into the countryside. In Sidmouth – driven by Headmaster Richard Biggs – the group were amazed at the taste of a cream tea:
“… it was new to all of us and we all loved this combination”.
They spent the day at the beach, swimming in the sea and also enjoyed some local fish and chips.
At Hestercombe House on the edge of Taunton, the pupils spent the day with Head of Art, Clare Schmidt, wandering around the stunning gardens and woodlands, creating sketches and work using charcoal. They were even lucky enough to meet with a local willow artist, who taught them the basics of her craft.
Finally, working with Head of Marketing, Steve King, the group produced blogs about their daily activities, and a fabulous video that showcased their very British adventure! Follow the link to their video here.