Before the fall break, bilingual classes 8a and 10a went on a trip to England together to explore the nature of the southern coast, meet English teenagers, and learn about history and sights.
If you are interested in more detailed accounts of our trip read the reports below!
Some impressions from the trip:
Reports from our trip to England in September 2019
Sunday: Bus Journey and Arrival
Our class trip started very early in the morning. We were supposed to be in front of the school at 4 am. Slowly everybody came to the meeting point. Ms. Santelmann and Ms. Quade checked if everybody of the 10a and 8a, Mr. Schikora and Mr. Köhler had arrived. At 4:30 am the bus arrived. The students brought their baggage to the bus driver and we all got excited going into the bus. Then the time was there, everybody had a seat and said goodbye to their parents. Our bus driver, Rainer made a short announcement about the 18-hour drive.
Outside it was still dark, so most students slept, but some were very excited so they didn’t sleep. We saw a beautiful sunrise. The bus driver made 20-minute or 30-minute breaks, where we went to the toilet and bought some snacks. The trip was long, but nobody got bored, we watched movies, played cards and slept a lot. Unluckily some students got travelsick and felt bad. When we were near Hanover, we switched the bus driver Rainer for Micha, who also stayed with us for the whole time in Great Britain. Our bus route went through Belgium and France to Calais, to the ferry. In France we had a passport control. Unfortunately we were too late and missed our ferry, but we took the next 30 minutes later.
Our bus drove into the ferry and we were allowed to leave the bus. On the ferry we watched the sunset and took photos or ate something. After one and a half hours we arrived at Dover port and left the ferry. Then there was a one-hour drive to Hastings left. Finally we arrived in Hastings. We were all very nervous before meeting our host families, which is why we were especially impatient. A woman from the travel organization announced the families, were students stayed. Those who were already organized were collected by their family or taken there with a taxi. The host families showed us our rooms and made us some snacks. In the end we were all happy going to bed.
Monday: School Visit and Nature Walk
We were supposed to be at our meeting point at 8 o’clock on Monday morning. Well, we managed, but the bus did not. But anyway we had fun. When the bus finally came, we drove to a place called Eastbourne, which was “half an hour” away, to visit Ratton School.
When we came out of the bus, the first thing that impressed us was the beautiful, green, big front yard. We were given a warm welcome by a German and Spanish teacher, Mr Reene.
When we entered his classroom, he treated us with sweets and information about the school, including nice pictures of students and the nature and atmosphere around the school. An hour later, a tenth grade came and taught us the ball game “Stoolball”, which is very famous in England. When we went outside to their sports ground, every German student was stunned by the big size of the field. It seemed bigger than two football fields. It was really funny to play the game for the first time because a lot of us German students couldn’t hit the ball with the small bat which is used for Stoolball. It was great fun, though, and I think everybody had a good time playing this fantastic game.
After the game, we definitely needed a break. But soon afterwards we were facing an eleventh grade that is learning German with Mr Reene. We did “speed dating” with them, but not the real one. We came together in groups and asked questions to each other. They spoke German and we in English to practice more.
After this wonderful morning at the school, we went to the “Beachy Head and Seven Sisters” to see the famous cliffs. It was very windy and it started to rain badly but that could not keep the fun from us. We had a tour guide who told us a lot about the place, like how it looked earlier and that the Quidditch match from the fourth Harry Potter movie was shot there.
We were at the cliffs for at least three hours and because of the gorgeous view everybody took a lot of beautiful pictures of the stoney beach from above.
At around 6 pm we boarded the bus to be driven back to our host families. A lot of nice memories will definitely stay with us.
Tuesday: London Tower, Sights – and Weather
On Tuesday we woke up really early, because we were supposed to be at the bus stop at 7 o’clock. It takes pretty long to drive to London, nearly two hours. We drove across the Tower Bridge. From there you could see the Tower of London, which was our first stop. We walked through the Tower seeing the history of the Crown Jewels. The Crown Jewels were very amazing. We even saw the crown of Queen Elisabeth II, which she has to wear at every opening of the parliament. We also got a guide telling us some interesting facts about the history of the Tower and showing us the old prisons. He was dressed up as someone from the old times, and so were his colleagues.
After this we took the ferry and went to the other side of the Thames driving along the London Eye. We got off at Embankment Pier. It was raining nearly the whole time but we walked through London anyway. We stopped at the most important sights and some of us gave their presentation in front of them. We passed for example Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and many more sights. We were also supposed to have some free time after this for shopping and buying souvenirs. But it suddenly started to rain so unbelievably that we had to go back to take the ferry. The way to the ferry was really long and in the end everybody was totally wet. We were all freezing and it was smelling pretty bad because the sewer had overflown. But what we’ll never forget is the Thames full of poop!
The sun came out shortly before we got on the ferry. So we could see the London Eye in sunshine. We took the bus home and arrived in Hastings around 9:30 pm. We all went home as quickly as possible to take a shower and warm up. All in all the day was pretty cool – except the weather.
Wednesday: Sports and History
On Wednesday, the 25th of September, we met at 8:30 am at the bus stop where Micha (our bus driver) picked us up. We drove “half an hour“ to the YMCA sports centre.
When we arrived, we were supposed to make pairs and we played some warm-up games. After that we split and made six groups and Josh – that was the name of the coach – showed us how to hit the ball in Cricket. Unfortunately, I hit the ball only once. Shortly after a small drinking break we played a game to prepare for the next game. In my opinion it is similar to the game we play in Germany named “Fischer, Fischer, wie tief ist das Wasser?“ Afterwards, Josh explained us some rules of Rugby but we played a slightly changed version of it, where we had to pull out a camisole from the trouser pocket of the opponent who had the rugby ball and shout “TAG!“ if we got it. Then our team would get the ball. Some of us were already exhausted but the day had just begun.
We drove to Battle where “The Battle of Hastings“ in 1066 had been fought and it also lasted “half an hour“ to get there. Firstly, we were in an exhibition room where the history of both sides was explained and why it came to the “Battle of Hastings“. We stayed there a little bit longer than planned because we had to fill in some worksheets and because of the whether.
As we walked towards the battlefield, we stopped at an abbey and three students of my class gave their presentation. Two of them told us something about the “Battle of Hastings“ and the other one about how the French language influenced the English language. The abbey was built by William the Conqueror in honour of the soldiers who had died in the battle. There we met our eighth-graders, who re-enacted the “Battle of Hastings” with us. We even had props for it and we took a lot of very funny pictures of every fighter’s side.
Luckily, this time we had some free time, not like in London where the rain had ruined our plans. My friends and I went in basically every shop that caught our interest. Because of the long day we had already eaten our packed lunch but we were still hungry, so we decided to eat Fish and Chips in a shop that we had seen before. There, we ran into half of our class. When we had finished eating, we went to a coffee shop, where we met two of our teachers. At 5:15 pm we went to the bus with them, because we did not know where exactly where it was waiting for us.
At 6 pm we arrived at our bus stop in Hastings again and walked home to our host families who already waited with dinner for us. On the next day we were going back home and wanted to park our luggage in the bus on Thursday morning. That is why we had to pack it the evening before. We just showered and fell into bed like stones.
What I really liked about this day was that we learned something new, not only in history but also in sports.
Thursday: Hastings, Dover Castle, and the Journey Back
Our last day of the class trip started at 7:30, when we got up in the morning. After we got ready, we finished packing our suitcases and ate breakfast, made by our host mom Sarah. When we were done, we grabbed our packed lunch for the day, which was toast, fruit and some snacks and sweets, carried our suitcases from our room upstairs to Sarah’s car and she kindly drove us to the bus stop, where Micha, our bus driver, already waited to load the luggage into the luggage compartment. Then we entered the bus and our teacher told us that the plan for this day was a ralley with free time in Hastings and the visit of Dover Castle before we could drive back home to Berlin. They also gave us the task to take a picture of something old, something sweet, an interesting doorway, an animal, a boat, a fish-and-chips shop and something typically British.
In out free time in Hastings, we went to the shopping centre Priory Meadow, ate typical fish and chips, bought souvenirs and food for the journey back and generally did what we were in the mood for. The bus picked us up again at 12:45 and drove us to our last activity in England, Dover Castle.
At Dover Castle, we explored the place by ourselves as a class without a tour guide. We went inside the chapel and to the top of the castle to enjoy the amazing view. Of course, we also looked around inside the castle and had a look at the rest of the area. In the evening at around 5 o’clock we went back to the bus.
Instead of the ferry, we used the Channel Tunnel for our way back home. That was a lot faster, easier and also interesting. The bus only made two more breaks for us to get some fresh air and walk around. That also saved some time, so we already arrived in front of the school at 8:15 on Friday morning. Back in Berlin, everyone just grabbed their luggage, said goodbye and went home to enjoy the weekend.