Third Year German Project

13 June 2019

Students in the Third Year at Abingdon have been involved in an ‘exchange’ in the form of boxes and letters with a class in Germany.

At the start of December, we got the ball rolling on our project with the IGS Trier, a school in Trier, and in partnership with UK German Connection. Both schools put together a Christmas box for the other school to open and discover some things about the other culture. We included typical British chocolates and biscuits, English tea and postcards from Abingdon and received German chocolates, such as Kinder chocolate, and a map of Trier. We heard from the Trier students that they really enjoyed trying all of the food and tea (even though they didn’t have any milk!), but that the salt and vinegar crisps had mixed reactions.

With a focus on identity we also created profiles (Steckbriefe) and sent letters in which the students wrote about their holidays and traditions, their school and their free time. For example, we learned about the story of St Nikolaus and why he is celebrated in Germany.

Both schools had written the letters in English and German so that the classes could practise their target language as well as have some reading experience of accurate, genuine language. We had written three questions for them to answer at the end of our letters, so to start their second letters, the Trier students answered these as well as describing their own school day. This time round, the pupils wrote to a specific pupil from the other class, so that they could answer the questions personally!

Our final project was to present our town. We did a trip into Abingdon and took photos of landmarks we wanted to include in our presentation like the Abingdon Town Hall Museum, St Helen’s Church and also Abingdon School. With information the students found out in their research, we recorded their voices (speaking German!) and footage of the landmarks and sent the final product to Trier!

From the students in Trier we also received a video and information about their chosen landmarks the Amphitheater, the Porta Nigra and the Imperial Baths. We discovered that Trier was conquered by the Romans in the past and that it still has a lot of historical places. One of them, the Amphitheater and how it looks like today, was filmed by the students and we found out that it was used for gladiatorial contests. The following quotes show how the project was perceived by the students:

“I found the information about a school and town that I have never been to really interesting.”

“I really enjoyed learning about Trier and the Roman ruins there. It was interesting to see the differences between there and Abingdon.”

“I enjoyed writing letters and learning more about German culture and food. I also liked the editing on [their] video and all the information inside it.”

“I think that it was a positive experience because it was nice to find out about the students in Germany and the town they live in.”

“I enjoyed making the video as we got to speak about Abingdon. Sending our gifts was fun as we got to see a part of their culture as well.”

“The most enjoyable thing that we did was writing our letters to our pen pals. I also enjoyed seeing [their] videos about [their] town. I enjoyed it very much.”

“I liked eating their food that they sent. I liked spending a lesson in Abingdon.”

“I love how we created a little bit of a connection between us and them. They were really nice and hardworking. They made posters and videos about their hometown landmarks, which I highly appreciate.”

“I enjoyed exchanging parcels of food and writing letters. We were able to learn more about other people as well as eat traditional German food.”

“I liked when they sent things over so I could gain a better grasp of the German culture.”

“I liked reading the letters and trying German food. It gave insight into German culture and what they do in their free time.”

“I loved talking to the German boys through letters. We talked about football and Berlin. It was great fun seeing England from their perspective.”

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