Im Schuljahr 2012/2013 fand das Auslandspraktikum in der Zeit vom 09. bis 19. April 2013 statt.
16 interessierte Schülerinnen und Schüler konnten ihr Praktikum als Assistant Teacher an der Greensward Academy bzw. der Plumberow Primary School in Hockley durchführen. Wie im letzten Jahr wurden die Praktikumsstellen von Debbie Godwin vom Acedemies Trust vermittelt. Many Thanks!
On Tuesday 9th April at 7.15 am local time we - a group of 16 students and Ms Trudewind - arrived at Stansted airport, north of London. We had the best travel guide you can imagine: the competent and entertaining Ms Trudewind. A small coach took us to our destination, an office building in the small town of Hockley.
There Debbie, a former teacher, now governor, told us some important facts about Hockley, the place where we would stay for the coming two weeks. It’s about an hour by train to get from Hockley to London. The invention of the railway was very important for Hockley´s history, because thereby it was connected to important economic centres and to the city of London.After Debbie’s introduction, which lasted at least three hours, and some refreshments we took a train to our hotel in Southend on Sea, our home for the next ten days. Most of us shared a three-bed hotel room with a double bed and a sofa for the third person. The bedrooms were big enough and quite comfortable with a TV, and a kettle for making tea and hot soup. The en-suite bathroom was clean with a good shower.
In the evening some students went out with Ms Trudewind to the seafront. I stayed at the hotel room and arranged my clothes for the following week.
Every morning we got up at 6 o´clock because we had to catch the bus at 7.36. During the first week, i.e. the remaining three days of the first week, everybody attended the secondary school in Hockley, called Greensward Academy, because the three local primary schools were still on Easter holidays.
At this comprehensive school I was allocated to the department for technical support. But it was not the work that I had expected and there was nothing to do for me really. After lunchtime I changed to the creative media centre where Calvin and Jacob were. We made a film about the differences between Greensward Academy and our comprehensive school in Troisdorf. Their school has got lots of Apple PCs, so we had all the equipment to cut the film ourselves. I wish we had had more time to do it.
At the weekend, we spent most of our time in London on sightseeing and shopping. But against the common opinion, I think that London is not the best shopping place in the world - especially for boys. With Ms Trudewind we saw nearly every famous sight like Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge etc. But we didn´t visit Madam Tussaud´s or the London Eye, because ₤25 were much too expensive for us.
During the second week I, Michael and Calvin attended Plumberow Primary School, located next to Greenwards Academy. Now we were assistant teachers. Actually our task was very simple. We had to help the pupils in year 5 - at the age of ten - whenever they had some problems with their tasks. It shouldn´t have been too difficult to help pupils at elementary school, yet to my surprise, it sometimes was. Quickly I realised that the pupils were very clever, for example the kids were better or faster than me in Maths, which is not my favourite subject. Sometimes I tried to solve the task and I was very lucky that no one saw my answers.
In Science the topic was animals and how they are adapted to their environment. The pupils had to write a non-chronological report about an animal of their choice. Because of my great knowledge about animals the pupils asked me many questions. The teacher was very friendly to her pupils and to me. She was not a typically strict British teacher as I had expected. She was very patient, full of tolerance and acceptance.
All in all, it was a great experience. I could practice English very well. We came into contact with nice people and made interesting experiences in England. I´m glad to have had the opportunity to take part in this work experience programme.
A lot of thanks to Mr Nicoll and Ms Trudewind , who had organized the whole journey very well.
Just recently I stayed at Greensward Academy in Hockley from 9th to 19th April. Hockley is a small village in Essex, one of the counties in the southeast of England. We were 16 young people from form 11 who worked at different schools and one teacher. Some of us were allocated to primary schools, others to a secondary school. The school I attended was the secondary school in Hockley with about 1800 students. 300 of them were in the Sixth Form. Greensward Academy is a school for all pupils, for high and low level students.
I spent my time as an assistant teacher - it was very interesting. It was my duty to help less abled pupils with learning difficulties to understand the topics of the lessons. There were also a lot of students who suffered from mental and physical disabilities.
In England I could see some differences between English and German schools. Primary schools, for example, have classes 1 to 6, and in contrast to German primary schools children already Start school at the age of 4. Secondary schools in England Start with year 7 to year 11. After that the teenagers can choose whether to attend the Sixth Form at their school or at a College, in order to pass their A-Ievels, their “Abitur”. In the Sixth Form they also have less academic but more work related subjects like hairdressing, cosmetics and others. Pupils can choose these as they might open doors later in the workplace.
Another subject is Science. Science in Britain - at least in Essex - means a combination of Biology, Chemistry and Physics in one subject, which means everybody has to learn them all, even in Sixth Form.
From autumn 2013 every pupil has to stay at school until the age of 18.It is also very interesting that every school has different holidays and different timetables. Well, first to the holidays. In Britain every school decides itself when the holidays Start and when they end. So every school has holidays at a different time. Also, the timetable is different. In Greensward Academy one lesson lasts 75 minutes. They Start school at 9 o’clock. After the first lesson they have breakfast. During the 25-minute break they can eat their homemade breakfast or buy something in the school canteen or Sixth Form Cafeteria.
Then there are 2 more lessons of 75 minutes and then comes lunch. During their 40-minute lunchtime break they can eat in the Cafeteria. In my school there were 2 cafeterias - one for everyone and the second one only for the Sixth Form students. We were also allowed to eat there. After lunch there is a final lesson and pupils can go home at 3 o’clock. Often, when they go home, their parents take them to some sports straight away. At home they have to do a lot of homework. In my opinion it is too much ...
It was a very good experience to be a teacher, but sometimes it was also very hard! When there was Science in year 11, you had difficulties to help them because it was just too hard. On the other hand in years 7-10 you could help the children very well - especially if they had Maths. The British education System is very different from the German one. To give you one more example: they Start to read the play “Romeo and Juliette” in year 7, while in Maths they only do multiplications.
Of course the most obvious difference is the support some children get. In each lesson there is a ‘normal’ teacher like the ones in Germany. But, in addition, there are one or two other adults, the “assistant teachers“. They have to look after a child who has a handicap like dyslexia or behavioral disorders. Sometimes, however, they also help other pupils. During my time as an assistant teacher I became acquainted with a lot of interesting people - young and older ones. I met people who were very interested in the German language und in Germany itself.
Looking back, staying at Greensward Academy was a very good experience.
After work at about 3.15 I and my German classmates went back to our hotel by bus or by train. The bus was cheaper than the train but it also took much longer. Our hotel was in Southend-On-Sea, near the seaside. Southend is a big town and and we had a lot of fun there.
At the weekend we went to London twice with our little group of 17 people (16 students and our teacher, Ms Trudewind). We formed little groups and got the chance to see London either by ourselves or with Ms Trudewind as our guide. It was very cool.
I would like to do this again. I enjoyed a great time in Britain and at school.
First of all, our journey started on Tuesday 9th April. So we met at quarter to six at Cologne/Bonn airport. After that our flight took no longer than one hour. The plane started at about 7 o’clock and arrived at 7.20 am local time in London Stansted. From the airport a bus took us to Hockley, a small town near Southend on Sea. The journey took about 45 minutes.
Arrived in Hockley, there was Debbie, a former teacher, now a school governor. She was a very nice person. She told us something about the schools and the students, Hockley, Southend and London. She also informed us about bus stops, so that everybody knew where they had to go on their first working day.
After this "short" introduction, we went by train to Southend, where our hotel was. Here we dumped our luggage into one hotel room as our rooms were not ready yet, they had not been cleaned yet. Some of us went into a restaurant to get something to eat.
In the afternoon we visited the town, the seaside and some shops. Some of us went to Sainsbury’s, a very big supermarket chain in the UK, because we wanted to buy some drinks and biscuits for the evening and the next day.
In the evening, most of us stayed in the hotel as it had been a long day and we were extremely tired.
The next day all of us wore a business dress (the men had to wear jackets, ties, ordinary trousers, no jeans or denims and no T-shirts). We wanted to make a good impression working at the secondary school in Hockley. I believe all of us were very nervous when we arrived at Greensward Academy, because we didn’t know what to expect. So first of all we were introduced to the school and later shown around. After that, the seven students from our school, who would stay at the secondary school, met our assistant teacher in the "CG03", which was a room where students and assistant teachers can work together. It was like a little staff room, i. e. in German "Lehrerzimmer".
When the first lessons began, we went with our assistant teacher to our classrooms. All the students were very friendly and they asked me a lot of questions about Germany and our school System, as their school System is much different from ours. They only have 4 lessons a day. One of their lessons takes 75 minutes. After a few days I helped some younger students with their work.
In the afternoon we had enough time to do our Shopping. The pedestrian precinct was just behind our hotel. There were enough fashion shops etc.
Mostly we spent our evenings together. We went to some restaurants or pubs. After that we met in our hotel rooms and made some funny things.
Moreover on the weekend we visited London, twice on Saturday and on Sunday. We did some Sightseeing of wellnown tourist attractions and had enough time for our private Shopping.
All in all, it was a great time at work and in our free time and I believe everyone of us would do this interesting and exciting journey again.