Winter Adventures for Pupils
studying Modern Languages

31 December 2023

The vibrant Modern Languages department at Downe House, recently took pupils studying German and Spanish at GCSE and A Level on a trip to the respective countries at the height of the festive season.



German Christmas Markets

Written by Ms von Mering-Ashton (Teacher i/c German).

In mid-December, nine of our pupils studying German as a language took the Eurostar to experience Aachen and Cologne’s Christmas Markets.



The pupils loved exploring the stalls and seeing the many ornaments and souvenirs on offer. Paired with a shopping trip to Cologne and a visit to Aachen’s spa to rest and relax, there was plenty of opportunity to soak in the culture.

Highlights of the trip included sampling typical German food, and our Language Assistant Mlle Roger managing to get into the local paper as part of their Christmas shopping reporting!

Spanish Trip to Andalucia

Written by Mrs Pampin-Torres (Teacher of Spanish).

In December, 14 pupils from the Lower and Upper Fifth (Year 10 and 11) left for sunny Malaga, Spain, with Miss Stonebridge and Mrs Pampin-Torres.

The girls soon got immersed in the Spanish culture. Two days were spent at a Spanish language academy, having language lessons in the morning, then a series of activities with instructors where their knowledge of Spanish was truly put to the test! This included following instructions in Spanish on how to make a paella.

At the language academy, we also saw a flamenco show before the girls had the opportunity to take part in a workshop. The girls got fully involved, learning the moves and even having a go at using “cajas” which are wooden boxes used to make the music in the flamenco shows. Another activity, saw the pupils heading to the beach for an afternoon of games – all instructed in Spanish!

A highlight of the trip was site-seeing some of the best spots which Andalucia has to offer. We visited Malaga city whilst it was lit up for Christmas and explored the street markets. Although extremely busy, we were also able to see Malaga’s magnificent cathedral and the Pablo Picasso museum.

We also went to Córdoba where everyone enjoyed the history, culture and colours of the city. The visit to the cathedral-mosque was breath-taking and strolling through the Jewish quarter before trying their famous Spanish omelette was the cherry on top of the cake.

A true day of adventure was our time at “El Caminito del Rey” where brave pupils went along the walkway which is pinned to the steep walls of the gorge. There was also time to see the famous “Cuevas del Tesoro” – one of the few caves in the world that was formed underwater before emerging to the surface.

We were so proud of all the pupils on the trip and look forward to the next one!

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