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Greenfield has ‘une semaine fantastique’ hosting partner French school

posted 3 May 2018, 05:44 by Daniel Potts   [ updated 3 May 2018, 05:45 ]

Greenfield Community College have been privileged to host partner French school, College Arthur Rimbaud from Amiens, as part of an exciting international project. The students from both sides of the channel had a fantastic week working closely together to gain a better understanding of the significant impact that railways have had on our society.

The project is supported by the British Council via the Lefevre Fund, and was brought to Greenfield through a bid which was put together by Subject Leader for Performing Arts, Mrs Ali Dixon. It has also given students an exceptional opportunity to learn more about heritage, culture and creativity whilst also improving their language skills and establishing new international friendships.

The packed week included a programme that supported activities centred upon both past and present. This included visits to ‘Head of Steam’, Hitachi, Locomotion and Beamish Museum, giving a broad focus to help students expand their knowledge and understanding of the project and how important the railways have been to the region.

The students received a great welcome from staff at ‘Head of Steam’ where the group explored first hand the beginnings of passenger rail, something that we can often take for granted as part of our heritage, however the French students from Amiens were fascinated as the tour unfolded. It was also nice for the students to see their twin-town, Darlington, on the trip.

The visit to Hitachi was a perfect contrast as it revealed the next generation of trains which are being built right here in Newton Aycliffe, it was an amazing experience for all the students, Mrs Dixon was thrilled with the activity and how well the students engaged “we even got to try out some of the induction training to see how smart we are and passed with flying colours of course, and without translation!”

At Locomotion students were able to learn more about train engineering in our region, the students and staff were keen to share their pride in their local heritage at Shildon, and were amazed at what was created by Hackworth, Stephenson and Pease. What a legacy to follow! The visit also coincided with STEAM week a celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, a very fitting connection for the students and a fantastic way to connect with the curriculum.

The final educational visit was a trip to Beamish to gain a wider understanding of the impact of travel on the region and how it affected coal mining, communications and what it meant for industry and society. “Our partner school thoroughly enjoyed the week and said we have set the bar for our reciprocal visit to Amiens at the end of June, we can’t wait”, said Mrs Dixon. The students have worked very hard showing an increased curiosity, building skills in team work and developing aspirations through this long-term partnership between the schools.

As part of the project the students will have an opportunity to create a DVD using all they have learnt throughout the project, using dance, drama and photography, cartoon imagery, poetry and soundscape. It is sure to be a special piece of work that will bring together an interpretation of their experience and showcase the exceptional talents of the students and staff at Greenfield and their commitment to Arts and Science as a Specialist school.

The week was a great success and Greenfield students have learnt so much in the process. The week concluded with a well-deserved trip Planet Leisure and tea for 45! The students are keen to keep up their friendships and the school are keeping in touch through social media whilst they await the trip to Amiens.

Well done to all the students involved and a big thank you to Locomotion, Hitachi, Head of Steam, Beamish and Planet Leisure for their wonderful contribution.