Stewards Academy entertain students from Finland

Communities / Fri 27th Nov 2015 at 12:38pm

Stewards FinlandReport by Stewards Academy

STEWARDS Academy hosted its first Finnish exchange with our partner school from Helsinki Finland, Puistola School between Monday 21st and Friday 25th September. The Finnish children were hosted by 12 Stewards children in Years 9 and 10. All the children involved took part in a wide range of activities both within Stewards Academy and during two trips to London and Cambridge.

The Finnish children were given the opportunity to immerse themselves into the normal working routine of Stewards Academy as they shadowed their English hosts around the school, following their timetable and taking part in a wide variety of lessons and activities. The three teachers accompanying them also had the opportunity to observe lessons in a range of subjects including English, Mathematics and Science. The three Finnish teachers commented that they were impressed by the variety of high quality teaching styles they observed in lessons and the quality of work being produced by Stewards Academy pupils.

On Wednesday, we had the opportunity to visit London and we enjoyed a very busy day. Firstly we had the chance to visit one of Europe’s leading academic institutions, Imperial College, London. We were given a tour of the main campus buildings by two students in their third year at Imperial. They told us about university life and the wide range of research which is undertaken at Imperial College in Science and Engineering disciplines. Following our visit to Imperial College, we spent two hours looking at the fascinating displays and activities in the Science Museum which is located just a short walk away from Imperial College.

We then travelled by underground to Knightsbridge and Harrods to spend an hour shopping in one of London’s most exclusive shopping areas. In the afternoon, to the delight of our Finnish guests, we visited Buckingham Palace where they had a photograph taken with a member of the armed police who help guard the palace. We were then able to stroll along The Mall towards Trafalgar Square for more photo opportunities and a brief rest. We then walked down towards Westminster, stopping briefly to look at Downing Street and then moving on for more photographs at Big Ben and Westminster Bridge.

Following this very busy day, we went on a trip to Cambridge on Thursday where we had time to fully appreciate the beauty of the colleges. Our time in Cambridge included a tour around King’s College Chapel. Both the Finnish and Stewards pupils were quite stunned by the magnificence of the 15th century King’s College Chapel, undoubtedly one of the highlights of Cambridge University and a cultural treasure of the United Kingdom. In the afternoon we enjoyed a guided tour of the university and ‘The Backs’ as we were taken down the river Cam in punts. This allowed us to see the beautiful Cambridge Colleges from the unique view of the river. We were also told about the long history of Cambridge University including the stories of how many of the colleges were founded over the centuries.

Our Finnish guests spent their final day with us on Friday, shadowing their Stewards hosts, following the normal lesson routines. We gave them an emotional farewell just before 2pm as they made their way back to Helsinki. The emotion shown by all pupils is a fitting measure of the success of this first exchange between Puistola School and Stewards Academy. In just a few short days some firm friendships and shared experiences had been established. We look forward to continuing to work with Puistola School in the years to come with more exchange visits and more close co-operation between our two schools. We can’t wait to visit Helsinki in 2016!

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