On Saturday evening, 24 students aged 11-17 together with their 3 teachers arrived at Myton School from the Kunst-und-Musikschule der Stadt Brühl in Germany, Leamington’s twin town.
This was the return visit following our recent trip to Germany at the end of September and was the first time the German students had been able to visit us since 2019 due to Covid restrictions.
As in previous years, German students stayed with Myton host families who kindly offered accommodation and meals to a student or group of students for 4 nights. Most of the hosts had met their guest on our German visit, some of the hosts had visited Germany in 2022, and some had not taken part in the project before. German students spent Sunday with their host families, with some very kindly taking them out for the day to local places of interest such as Warwick Castle and Thorpe Park. Myton School and German staff arranged their own day out, visiting Coventry Charterhouse and gardens where we were blessed with sunny weather and the old and new Cathedrals in the city centre.
On Monday, there was a workshop for both German students and their Myton School hosts, where we got to know each other by playing name games and learned a three-chord song on the ukulele. We then left school to travel to Leamington where All Saints’ Church had kindly agreed to us using the building to rehearse in place of the Music department rooms (which are currently closed to students). Selected German and Myton School students performed in a lunchtime concert in this beautiful venue which was attended by parents and also members of the Leamington International Twinning Society, some of whom joined us on our recent visit to Brühl and to whom we are grateful for the financial assistance that helped to fund the travel costs of some of our Myton students.
As the weather was still being kind to us, we were able to give students some free time in Jephson’s Gardens before returning to Myton School to continue preparing for our joint evening concert. This was very successful with a wealth of talent on display, from Germany symphony orchestra and recorder ensembles and solo violin and cello performances from both Myton and Germany, to vocal and rock band performances from Myton students. The concert was followed by a bring and share party which everyone was invited to enjoy.
On Tuesday, German students again visited Myton School, visiting period 1 lessons with their hosts, before we travelled to Stratford. After a short walking tour taking in the Shakespeare statue, the RSC, Shakespeare’s school room and birthplace, students were given free time to explore the town in groups. This was a great opportunity for our German guests to purchase souvenirs and visit the all-important Harry Potter shop! Our day finished with a fascinating hour at the Mechanical Art and Design (“MAD”) museum, full of interactive exhibits. Students spent a final evening together before the German group departed from Myton on Wednesday.
At the end of another very successful exchange visit, it was wonderful to see the fond hugs and (in some cases) tearful farewells of the German and Myton students, many having made the effort to come to school at 4.30am to wave off their German friends. I share the hope of one of the Myton parents that students will have made life long friends through the Brühl German-Music exchange and that this project will continue to thrive for many years to come. Thank you to everyone who has helped to make this year’s visit happen, including Music and German teaching staff, site services and senior leadership and the generous host families.
Mrs HarrissonClick here to return to the current newsletter