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Jaén, Spanish Trip 2024

Dear families,

I am pleased to announce that the Spanish Trip to Southern Spain was a resounding success - the students had a fabulous time and were a testament to the school. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Ms Arteaga, Ms Ossa, Ms Nic de Deileadora and Ms Hemstead for their dedication and hard work - bring on the next trip!

Spanish Trip to Jaén 8th – 12th February 2024

40 Year 9 and Year 10 students went on a trip to Southern Spain over half term. The trip provided our students with an immersive and enriching language-learning experience. Throughout the programme, students engaged in a range of activities that promoted Spanish interaction, team building, communication and organisational skills, as well as cross-curricular activities.

We visited Cristo Rey School, where we were warmly welcomed by the Headteacher and our students' pen pals. Our students had several opportunities to communicate in Spanish with their pen pals before and during the trip, including an evening quiz, a bowling night, a visit to the shopping centre and a memorable farewell party.

While in Jaén (a municipality of Andalusía - Spain), our students had the opportunity to walk through the beautiful olivares (olive plantations). Students met with the owners of an artisanal olive oil production facility and tasted varieties of olive oil, as well as other products such as olive jam and chocolate, after all, a true cultural immersion would not be complete without experiencing the local cuisine! We also enjoyed a tapas dinner, a market lunch and authentic Spanish food at the hostel. The waiters were instructed to speak in Spanish to our students who were astounded by their level of fluency – it was truly impressive to see them confidently using Spanish in context.

We then explored the city of Granada, starting at 'El Mirador de San Nicolás' (The Saint Nicholas Viewpoint) where we visited the stunning citadel of La Alhambra, a former fortress - now a World Heritage Site. From the Mirador we descended through the medieval streets to the Albaicín markets. In Granada, we also visited the Science Park and the Biodome, which provided a comprehensive cross-curricular experience that our students thoroughly enjoyed.

Our final stop was Málaga, where we walked through the city centre, taking in the architecture. We visited the Amphitheatre which lies at the foot of the famous Alcazaba and we finished our day with a visit to the Cathedral of Málaga and the Picasso museum.

Our students were an asset to the school and made us extremely proud as they displayed the Sydenham Characters of Determination, Ambition and Respect in abundance throughout the trip. They took every opportunity to immerse themselves in the Spanish culture and were determined to speak Spanish to the highest-level by taking every challenge in their stride.

We look forward to the many trips to come in the future!

And as one parent rightly pointed out, "this is what learning is all about!”

İMuchas gracias y hasta una nueva oportunidad!

Señoras Arteaga y Ossa