Englandaustausch 2016 – Southam College

Day 1

Right on time at seven in the morning the group of 19 students and their two teachers, Miss Barthelmes and Mr Holfelder, started their journey to Southam in Warwickshire, England. After a smooth trip we arrived safely at Southam Collage where the students were picked up and warmly welcomed by their partners and taken to lunch. A little later everyone met to have a little get-together with games before enjoying their first lessons. 

In the evening everone met at school again to have some snacks, games and conversations.


Day 2

Day 2 started with team building activities in the gym. The kids played badminton and basketball and had some fun time together. After another period in class all German students went to see the mayor of Southam, had some tea and biscuits and were shown around town to explore Southam.The evening everyone spent with their partners and their host families. 


Day 3

On the third day of their stay the German kids experienced another morning with various subjects in their different classes. After lunch German and English kids went with the bus to Warwick where they first enjoyed trampolining action at the Warwick Jump In before competing at bowling at the Ten Pin Bowling Center in Warwick. Back at Southam College the kids were picked up by their parents to do different activities with their host families on Saturday and Sunday. 


Day 4-6

The kids spend day 4 and 5 with their host families and did various things from going to Birmingham, to London, to a theme park or to relatives. They seemed to have enjoyed their time without their teachers :-)

On Monday morning everyone was really chatty and talked about their weekend experiences. At 9 o’clock the bus took them to see and explore Warwick Castle, an amazing building with loads of things to do and see: the trebuchet being fired, a bowman showing his skills, the birds of prey doing their rounds through the air, a guided tour about crime and punishment and all the rooms and exhibits in the main building of course. Some also found their way in and, thank God, out of a maze ;-) Everthing could be done in lovely sunshine even though it was a little bit chilly first.

The evening was meant to be spend with their host families in pleasant anticipation of Tuesdays visit to the Harry Potter Studios...

Day 7

An exciting day started with everyone meeting at school to get on the bus that would drive them to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour in Leavesden outside London. English as well as German kids wore Harry Potter shirts or scarfs or were provided with the remains of the unforgivable curse by Mrs Martin – no worries, instead of a wand, she used eyeliner for the scar on the kids’ foreheads :-) Even the bus driver was well prepared and so we could get in the mood by watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban while sitting in the bus.

The tour was probably the highlight of the week for most of the kids, and teachers. Apart from many short video explanations and information boards about the making of the Harry Potter movies, you could see and actually step into the sets used for shooting the movies starting with the Great Hall where we entered through the original doors that were opened by our two birthday kids, Bella and Patrick. It’s been an amazing experience and everone will have loads to talk about when being home again.

The day ended with the goodbye party at Southam College. The parents came in and brought food and drinks. Everyone enjoyed having the evening together before heading home for the night.

Day 8

Time to say goodbye...

As always, it was very hard for the kids to say goodbye to each other during lunch time. The morning they had spend in lessons with their partners.


Another very nice, interesting, entertaining and educational exchange has come to an end. Thanks a lot to all teachers of the Modern Languages Department and especially of course to Mrs Lori Martin for organizing everything and making the exchange an awesome and unforgettable experience for everyone, once again :-) 

Christian Holfelder



English Exchange with Southam College 14.10. – 21.10.2015

Day 1

After a smooth journey, the group of 30 German pupils from year 9 and 10 together with their teachers (Miss Barthelmes, Miss Schubert and Mr Holfelder) arrived safe and sound at Southam College where loads of pupils (exchange partners and others) were already waiting for us to arrive. After having been picked up and having stored their baggage all the kids were off for lunch.

In the afternoon there were some games to break the ice and then everyone went to lessons.

In the evening the kids had a little getting together at school with some snacks and music.

Day 2

On the Thursday morning, the Germans with their partners were split in two groups to play Ultimate Frisbee as a team-building activity. While one group was playing, the other enjoyed another period of  lessons from German to Chemistry. Although it was quite chilly, the Frisbee game was well appreciated by the kids and they seemed to have great fun. Thanks a lot to Becky Leng for supervising the games! After lunch break the German pupils went to Grange Hall to be welcomed by the mayor and to hear something about Southam’s interesting history before they were taken on a short historical trail around Southam with three local guides from the historical council.

After some chocolate shopping at the supermarket, the pupils went back to school to be picked up and taken home to spend the evening together with their host families.

Day 3

Thanks to Mrs Martin, all the kids got an Exchange Hoody before entering the bus that would bring them to Oxford. There they were shown around England’s oldest university and especially Christ Church College with its amazing dining hall that stood model for the one at Hogwarts. There were also many places that appear in the Harry Potter movies and some students recognized them before the guide had even pointed them out for the kids. They also got told some interesting facts and dates about the university like the annual fee of 20000€ to study there. So some of the kids might already be saving up some money...J But according to the well filled shopping bags the kids brought with them after their short free time after the tour, saving has not quite started yet.

After Oxford the bus headed directly for Royal Leamington Spa where everyone enjoyed two rounds of bowling before the long day ended at Southam College where the kids were picked up by their host families to stay with them for the weekend and enjoy different activities.

Day 6

Seeing a traditional little British town is something one really should do while staying in Britain! For the German children this can now be ticked of the to-do list after having seen Bourton-on-the-Water, a sleepy little town in the Cotswolds. The trip started with a visit to the Model Village, a 1:9 scale model of the town including a model of the model of the Model Village. The group then continued to be very British when having tea and scones with jam and clotted cream in a little tea room. After a short visit to the Motor Museum and some free time, everyone cheered for their little rubber duck during the duck race on the River Windrush.

The kids then spent the evening with their host families.

Day 7

Having spent the two first lessons in class, English and German kids were eager to get on the bus to Warwick. There they had a round of minigolf near beautiful Warwick Castle. The teacher also had a go and got quite competitive J Finally, Miss Schubert beat everyone else like at every other competition during the week.

After some free time to explore the lovely town, it meant going home for a while to prepare for the goodbye party at Southam College. The parents made big efforts bringing in lovely savoury as well as sweet food.

Day 8

All morning was spent in lessons until the departure from Southam College. After a tearful goodbye the bus set off to Birmingham Airport leaving waving English students, parents and teachers behind.

After a long journey, everyone arrived safe and sound back at Hölderlin-Gymnasium where the parents were waiting for their kids!

It’s been a very pleasant week full of new and precious experiences for both, German and English students! Everyone could profit from the exchange programme and some of them will definitely see their partners again, either next year on the exchange or on holidays!

Many thanks to Mrs Martin who, once again, did an amazing job organizing the trip on the English side and for hosting Mr Holfelder! Thanks as well to the whole Languages Department who welcomed us very warm-heartedly and assisted Mrs Martin all week long, especially Ms Galvin (who also hosted Ms Barthelmes), Mrs Pope (who also hosted Ms Schubert), Mrs French and Mrs Spencer. And finally thanks a lot to Mr Ranjit Samra, Headmaster of Southam College, who is a great supporter of the exchange and sees it as an enrichment for the school.

A very last gratitude goes to all pupils, English as well as German, for being just awesome, and of course to their parents, who made it possible to conduct the exchange by hosting the kids.

Christian Holfelder