The party of 60 children and ten teachers traveled from L'Ecole Ferdinand Buisson, a primary school which has enjoyed links with Whyteleafe for four years. A pen-pal scheme has been running for Year 6 pupils and they were on hand at the school gates to greet the visitors last Thursday (8).
First on the agenda was playtime which allowed everyone to get to know each other and have some fun.
"It is a fantastic opportunity for our pupils to be able to practice and demonstrate their French language skills and it is also a key part of their educational journey, to be able to learn about a different culture first-hand," said teacher Fiona Sharp.
"The French teachers really appreciate the welcoming atmosphere and they are always keen to take ideas back home with them," she added.
The Surrey school, a member of the GLF Schools multi-academy trust, aims high with its international links and encourages pupils to appreciate other languages and cultures. It has had links with a school in Kimilili, Kenya, for a number of years and has also run a Japanese Club and offered taster sessions in German and Polish.
It teaches French to pupils from Year 3 to Year 6, when they are encouraged to begin corresponding with a pen friend to help hone their skills.
"Whyteleafe children were very welcoming and encouraging to their visitors and everyone had a brilliant time practicing their language skills and helping each other," said Mrs Sharp.
"The French teachers commented on how well-behaved our children are and they particularly liked the fact that our pupils are able to discuss ideas during lesson time, but are immediately quiet when the teacher gives them the appropriate signal.
"They were amazed by our fantastic library and appreciated the excellent learning environment on display throughout the classrooms and corridors," she said.
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