French Cultural and Linguistic Exchange Programme
After much research and investigation the MFL department has established a link with a partner school in the historic town of Besançon, in the department known as Le Doubs, in north-east France. The Institution Notre-Dame Saint-Jean consists of four schools; two nursery/primary schools, Ecole Notre-Dame and Ecole Saint-Bernard, a secondary school, Collège Notre Dame for 11 -15 year olds and Lycée Saint-Jean for 16 -19 year olds The Lycée is a partly Roman Catholic funded school with boarding facilities. On several occasions Mrs Chidlow has visited the area, the town and all the schools which make up the Institution. Mrs Chidlow knows the senior teachers and many members of the teaching staff, as well as janitorial and boarding staff. Three teachers of English from the Lycée, who act as key leaders of the exchange, have visited Oswestry School, the town and the locality.
The exchange programme is offered to pupils in Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 and consists of two 8 day visits or ‘legs': Oswestry to Besançon during the Michaelmas term and Besançon to Oswestry during the Trinity term.
Each pupil is matched with a French pupil and stays with the host family. The group is accompanied by staff from the MFL department who stay with the families of the host teachers. Some days are spent attending lessons in the Lyçee, others out on excursions and on visits to places of interest. The weekend is spent entirely with the host family.
In previous years the group has flown from Liverpool Airport to Basel/Freiburg/Mulhouse or to Geneva, and then made use of public transport to navigate around the town and surrounding area.
The cultural and linguistic value of this exchange cannot be underestimated for pupils taking external examinations at GCSE/AS/A2 in French. It improves fluency as well as all the skills required for success in French.
Mrs Isobel Chidlow
Head of Modern Foreign Languages