Cultural Exchange

Since a chance telephone call to our school in 1992, we have been engaged in a cultural exchange with a primary school in Revine- Lago in the province of Treviso, northern Italy.
The cultural exchange takes many forms, from exchanging letters and information about ourselves and our school, learning about each others’’ language and customs to working on shared projects.
Since 1993 we have taken it in turn to visit each other’’s country.
In 2015, 20 pupils plus staff visited Italy during May half term. This visit is funded entirely
by those taking part. Contributions towards ice creams and an emergency fund have usually been made by the Friends’’ Association. In 2016, our Italian friends will be visiting us in June.
We also have links with schools in Slovenia, Austria and Spain and have undertaken European
(Comenius) funded projects with them over a number of years.
Governors, staff and parents have been very supportive of our cultural exchange, seeing it as an opportunity for our pupils to become more aware of and to celebrate the diversity of the world in which we live.
Pupils who take part in the visit are usually placed in pairs and are hosted by the families of the Italian pupils. As in the UK, Italian host families and accommodation are checked so that our pupils are placed in a safe environment. Teachers accompanying the pupils stay in a
local Bed & Breakfast and are available at all times. During the day, we visit the school, take part in educational visits and spend time altogether doing sports or arts activities.
Any visits we undertake, including one to Venice, are subject to our own Risk Assessments, carried out by the teachers in charge of the visit. Again, as in the UK, places of interest also have their own Risk Assessments.
It is a very busy time but a wonderful experience and it is a pleasure to see how our pupils cope with the cultural differences, attempt the language and support each other throughout the visit.