Over recent years, language exchanges have become a popular element of language learning at Warminster School. Whilst some schools in the country have ceased to offer similar exchanges, they continue to enjoy great popularity and support within our community.

Between 11th – 18th October it was time for a group of Year 10 pupils, who study French, to embark on their adventure to our partner school, the Collège Elisée Mousnier in Cognac. Our pupils stayed with French students for a week, working jointly on a project concerning the cultural implications of food – and talking about food, let’s be honest, is a great basis for communication.

Our pupils went to lessons with their French partners and experienced first-hand how much more challenging it is to listen to, speak and interact in a foreign language all day long. The pupils did brilliantly however and, when stuck in one language, improvised with some “Frenglish” to overcome any communication difficulties.

The emphasis all week for both English and French pupils was to exchange cultural experiences and traditions concerning food. Mrs Rodriguez and Miss Weeks kept us in the loop about all the exciting activities on Twitter – with the prominent question being “Are we really what we eat?”

A whole range of activities helped both English and French pupils with their reflections on food. The group visited a sixth form college that specialises in restaurant skills and learnt how important social behaviour around eating is in French culture. The pupils also found out more about one of the most important aspects of the town – the making of cognac. An enlightening tour of the Hennessy Cognac Museum revealed a fascinating insight into a business which is central to the working economy of the majority of our partner families. 

Much to everyone’s amusement Warminster pupils shared some of our more “alternative” British crisp flavours with their French partners. The highlight of this was the Marmite tasting experiment having told the French pupils that it tastes lovely and sweet. . . Mr Mortimer would not be pleased! If you would like to see what our French partners thought about the taste of Marmite take a look at some of our Twitter pictures @WarminsterM. Other activities during the trip included a food quiz, scone making, visiting a goat farm near Angoulême to learn how goats cheese is made, visiting the Atelier des Chefs in Bordeaux to learn how to make a number of traditional French dishes, as well as a gastronomic tour of Bordeaux. As you can see, the focus on food and its differences in culture was ever-present!

As well as having frequent opportunities for pupils to travel abroad, we were also fortunate to welcome “World in Wiltshire” sixth form pupils from France and Spain into our school at various points during the year. This time, the pupils came from the Lycée Stanislas, Cannes. They had a productive and fulfilling time here and we are very grateful to all Warminster teachers who welcomed them into their lessons.

On 20th November, the Onatti Theatre Company put on a production of Ticket pour l'Espace for pupils from Warminster Prep and Year 7. As always, the play was highly entertaining and involved considerable pupil participation. We are looking forward to the Spanish and German productions later in the year already.

Miss Barbara Mitterrutzner, German Teacher