Fourteen students – a mixture of Year 10 and Y12 – spent five days in the town of El Puerto de Santa Maria in Southern Spain at the beginning of the holidays. We flew from Bristol to Málaga airport and when we arrived to El Puerto students were picked up by their host families. They stayed in groups of two or three with local Spanish families and they really enjoyed getting to know the real Spanish lifestyle, cuisine and traditions.
In the mornings students had two hour lessons taught exclusively in Spanish in “Spark Spanish” Language school after that, they took part in a variety of activities every day.

The first day the students had a lot of fun taking part on a Flamenco dancing workshop and a paella cooking lesson, all in Spanish. Also they explored the Easter traditions by visiting the local “procesiones” (Easter parades). The second day we took a ferry to Cadiz, the capital city of Cadiz province and students visited Torre Tavira (a lookout point) and tasted the delicious local churros, in the afternoon they had some free time in the shops. The following day we did a walking tour of El Puerto de Santa María, where students visited the local castle and even did a treasure hunt in the traditional Spanish market.

Costanza and Sophia, two very confident Spanish speakers that currently study the IB, had a different programme. They did work experience in a Local Hotel “Sur Utopia”, where they learnt a lot about work environment and they were amazingly helpful in the reception, checking in and out customers, answering the phone, and even helping in the restaurant.

In the evenings all students did different activities with their families, which helped them bond and improve their language skills in a relaxed atmosphere. The last day of our trip we all visited Málaga, on our way to the airport where students visited the Contemporary Art Museum “Pompidou” by the harbour and also had some free time in a shopping centre.

We are extremely proud of all our students because they were all in the situation where they could not speak English and that can be very daunting. However, they all did extremely well. Comments from teachers, families and hotel staff were magnificent and they all highlighted how polite, helpful, cheerful and hardworking our students are.
All students had an amazing time and most importantly they all now feel more confident about speaking Spanish, which will make a huge difference in their exams next year. ¡Buen trabajo chicos!

Natalia Paul
Teacher of Spanish