Before the Easter holidays in March 2015, twelve students of year 11 did a two-week workexperience course in England. During this time we worked as "Learning Support Assistants." We got to know the English school system and improved our English speaking skills.
At the beginning of our trip, the large group was divided into smaller groups, and then again into pairs. We were placed in different schools in Hockley.
Together with my partner Sarah B. I was sent to Greensward Academy School in Hockley for lessons. A normal day began with the one-hour bus journey from Southend on Sea to the village of Hockley, the journey by train would have been much quicker but also more expensive.
At school we were warmly greeted by our colleagues. Before the ﬁrst lesson, we had the opportunity to have brief conversations and to be informed about the current timetable. Five lessons a day of 75 minutes each. We accompanied the English students through their school day.
During the lessons we had to help the students if there were any questions, problems or difﬁculties.
Then we were on our own - we had to think carefully "How do I say this in English? Is it right?Does the pupil understand me?" To be honest - sometimes it was difﬁcult and quite complicated to communicate. But no matter how good or bad our English skills were, we were always understood. Neither students nor teachers minded errors or bad English, i.e. they were really understanding and patient, which encouraged us to continue speaking.
English students respected us as ‘real’ teachers, particularly as we were dressed in suits – no denims, T-shirts, sweaters or trainers. We really looked smart. They were always polite and courteous, and addressed us as "Sir" or "Miss", which was quite strange at ﬁrst, but somehow funny. Every day at three o' clock Sarah and I took the bus back to Southend with the other German students. Then we had enough opportunity to go shopping etc. In my spare time I often visited the beach or sometimes the amusement arcades with all the casinos:D
We spent Saturday and Sunday together with our teacher Ms T. in London.
Exploring the flea and food markets and some of the famous sights was really interesting, also the crowded shopping streets where we spent some hours.
During our stay in England the weather was wonderful. So we had the opportunity to visit the large beach promenade in Southend. This was a three-kilometer long pier into the sea, the longest pier in the world. As you can imagine it's a very popular attraction for tourists in Southend on Sea. The view was great.
At the end of our stay, the principal of Greensward Academy in Hockley thanked us for our assistance and we were given a small present. I can sincerely thank Greensward Academy and the primary schools in Hockley that they gave us the opportunity to gain these experiences at their schools.
The time in England was really exciting, sometimes even funny ... the weeks went by too fast.
I would do it again, any time! I recommend you apply to participate in 2016.