Our long journey home started on Friday. After saying goodbye to our hostfamilies, everyone took a seat on the bus. While some people continued sleeping, others were talking, listening to music or eating a literal “midnight-snack”. The two hours from Paignton to the airport in Bristol passed really quickly.
Next, we found ourselves in the middle of an airport, faced with the challenge of having to wait. For 3 hours. 😁. So we had some creative ideas like falling asleep again, talking, taking a nice walk, going to the toilet (a lot), eating, weighing our suitcases (just to make sure, the weight wasn’t over the limit) or sitting on the stairs of an escalator (and repeating this for a thousand times).
At 5 o’clock, we went to the security check and relaxed in the waiting-area of the airport. Some of us went on a food-hunt, others slept again. Our group came together at ca. 7 o’clock and off we were on our way to “Gate 12”. When we arrived there, we had to wait for ca. 10 minutes and finally found our way onto the airplane. These two hours in the plane passed really quickly, yet we still had enough time to think and talk about the whole journey.
Even though it was really exhausting sometimes, I’m sure to say that everybody in this group grew from the whole experience, including the nursery schools, living in a host family and being a student in a language school. We had two amazing weeks in a beautiful city, being surrounded by wonderful people in the nursery placements and in the homestays.
Personally, we would describe it as one of the best experiences in our lives so far!
Today we sang some songs with the children in nursery school. It was so much fun and we all enjoyed it a lot. After we had sung the songs, we asked the children if they wanted to play the guitar, too. Adriana let them sit on her lap and played the chords with the children, while Veronika and the other children sang. It seems that children in nursery school here in England love playing music and that they are really interested in trying it out themselves!
Question: So, after your first week in placements, what is different in a British nursery school?
In Hayes School every Friday, pre-school and nursery school come together to celebrate some students who have behaved very well that week. For instance, if they were really friendly and kind or they did their best at writing or reading. Every teacher can pick a few students from his or her class. The nursery teachers say a few words about what special things the students did in this week. Afterwards a certificate is handed out and a song is sung for the celebrated students.
On our second “real” day in Paignton we had already developed some sort of a routine, so I got up at 7:00am and Anja got up at 7:40am. We got ready for school and headed down to breakfast with our lovely host family. At 8:20am we arrived at the Devon School of English and headed up to our classroom. With our amazingly funny teacher Anthony we designed our own festivals in groups of three and presented them to the rest of our class. Then we had lunch at 12:00am.
After lunch we went to our nursery placement at “Braeside Nursery School”. Since it was our second day there, we weren’t very nervous and the children were excited to see us again. Also, we had enough time to do our first activities. While Anja did her maths activity, I was able to read my picture book to the children. The children enjoyed both of our activities a lot and they were proud, because they managed to accomplish the maths activity. At 3:30pm we were done with our placement for the day and went home to our host family.
When we arrived, Ziggy (the dog of our host family) greeted us with our host mother’s slipper in his mouth. Since our host family wasn’t home yet, we went upstairs in our room and got started with our school work (reflections of our placement). Soon after our host family came home we had dinner. After dinner we headed out for our bowling evening in Torquay.
We arrived at 7:30pm and split up in teams of eight and started bowling. Even though we played in teams, it was everyone against everyone. After two awesome hours of bowling we got back on our bus and had an award ceremony. Daniela won with 107 points, while Anja and I both only got 38 points. We arrived home at 9:30pm, got ready for bed and immediately got into our comfy beds, where we fell asleep right away.
On Monday at 11:50pm we arrived at our host family’s house. We were very excited and nervous to meet them, but also exhausted from our journey. When the door got opened, there wasn’t a big family there but rather an elderly lady who received us with a very big smile. So we didn’t get a host mother but a lovely and caring host grandmother! She showed us the main and important things in her house and asked if we wanted a hot drink. Because of our visit at Burger King two hours before we arrived in Paington we were still very full and so we said „No, but thanks“ and went straight to our beds after we carried our BIG suitcases up the VERY narrow stairs (this was more exhausting than our 5(!) hour journey from Vienna to Luton to Paignton!!!!!)
When we came into our room we wondered how spacious it was but quite after that we fell into a very deep sleep until next morning 7:15. We got up and enjoyed a breakfast of cereal, toast, coffee and – of course – traditonal breakfast tea. After half an hour of eating we blessedly asked when our taxi would arrive at the house. She answered in a calm way: „Oh, in about 4 minutes. You can get yourself ready for school.“ Then we jumped up as quickly as we could and ran upstairs to our room (and we usually NEVER really run :‘)) brushed our teeth and packed our bags for school. It was very stressful and so we left our room in a state of complete chaos.
After our day in school we came back home, opened the door, did some smalltalk with our host grandmother and went upstairs to our room. Suddenly we were shocked! Our 80-year-old ‚granny‘ had cleaned up our whole room! We were so thankful but it was also very embarrassing for us! 10 minutes later we had dinner. We had a nice conversation and delicious British food. This was our first day with our lovely little host granny.
Today we woke up at 7 o’clock, got ready for the day and had our first breakfast with our host families. After breakfast we put on our shoes and coats and our host father walked us to our placement, so that we get to know the way we have to take each day. From 8:30a.m to 4:30p.m we were at school, where two teachers walked us around Paignton and showed us some cool places, like the beach or the city centre and all the shops.
After that we went back to school to talk about our nursery school placements and what we as students can do to be good practitioners during while on our placement. Also, we were introduced to our placements. It was really exciting to be finally at nursery school. At 4:30p.m we went back home to our host families. After we had dinner, July and I played some Mario Cart on the Wii with our host siblings and spent some time together, which was really cool and relaxing. We went to bed really tired and ready for the next day!
Unsere Schülerinnen und Schüler dritten Klassen wollen Euch und Ihnen mit einem Reisetagebuch einen detaillierten Einblick in ihre Praxiswoche in Paignton (Südengland) geben. Hier der erste Eintrag:
Hello fellow students,
As you all may know, every year the students in year three fly to England for two weeks. They stay with host families and work (or rather do vocational training) at different nursery schools. Over the past ten years, everything has always run smoothly. Until now.
It was planned that we would depart on the 2nd of March in the morning. We were quite shocked to say the least when we found out our flight had been cancelled due to storm Emma. They had closed many airports in the UK because of the blizzard. Our host families told us that many had to leave their cars after a 4 hour wait and walk all the way home. People had to stay where they were. After a lot of calls to the agency that booked our trip, we had to go to school instead of going to the airport.
We did find a solution: We could still make it to Paignton, BUT we had to be divided in three groups. The first group (that’s us) would fly on Sunday, the second and the third one would follow on Monday.
Today we met up at 1:30pm at Vienna Airport. After saying our goodbyes to our families, we started to embark on our journey. Even though our flight was delayed, there were no signs of a blizzard in the sky. After a two-hour flight we finally landed in Bristol. Our group picked up their luggage and right now we are on the bus which is taking us to Paignton. Our host families will greet us in the car park and drive us all to their homes.
We are very excited to make many new experiences with our families, the country with its language and culture and – of course and most importantly of all – the nursery schools. We have to go now – we have almost arrived in Paignton. Fingers crossed.
You will hear from us soon.
Have a nice evening,
Gaia and Anna (3A)