variety of different languages have echoed around the corridors of
Hethersett Junior School over the past month thanks to a working
visit of teachers from Spain, Germany and France.
The visit is part
of a special University of East Anglia programme that places
trainee teachers from the three countries in local schools.
During their stay
the quintet helped pupils to improve their language skills,
learned more about the British teaching system and schools and
took part in a special International Day where classrooms were
decked out in the colours of the various countries. The teachers
also put on a version of Little Red Riding Hood using the English,
French, German and Spanish languages.
Verlynde and Gulien Boughezal come from Lille in France, Anna
Schmidt and Susanne Haehnel come from Dresden in Germany and
Gloria Espinilla from Juen in Andalucia, Spain.
The group agreed
that their stay in Norfolk had been very worthwhile as they
compared differences between the British systems and those of
their own country. It also helped them improve their already very
good English skills.
included the times of the school day (France continues until 5 p.m
but has a long two hour lunch break whereas German schools finish
between midday and 1 p.m), the role of the Head Teacher (much more
of a management position in England), the role of teaching
assistants (these do not exist in the other countries) and the
greater use of technology and interactive mediums in England. They
were also impressed by the amount of respect given to the
children, the calmness of the teachers and the teaching of
The group, who
have been staying in local homes, also enjoyed the Norfolk
countryside and visiting restaurants and public houses. They are
part of an exchange programme between the UEA and student teacher
training programmes in Germany, France and Spain with the aim of
giving them an insight into British teaching methods and also
British culture. In return Post Graduate Certificate in Education
students from the UEA spend time abroad.
Hethersett Junior School Head Teacher Andy
Whittle praised the contribution of the five foreign student
teachers: “We have been delighted with the impact our five
students have had. As well as raising the profile of their own
languages and taking German, Spanish and French lessons they have
been able to teach children about the culture of their own
countries. The children have had the benefit of hearing authentic
speakers of the languages they are learning which is invaluable.
Our European Day has stimulated all the children to discover more
about the languages and cultures of other countries. We will miss
the students and look forward to another group next year,”