Established 1588 ffree Grammer Schole of Newport

Erasmus Project, Short term exchange to Joyce Frankland Academy

The final exchange between the 9 schools involved in the Erasmus KA2 project ‘how to live study and work in a foreign EU country’, took place at the Academy during the 15-20th April 2018.

Arriving on the 15th April, 33 students and  17 teachers from Aguilar De Campoo – Spain, The Basque Country- Spain, Estonia, Finland, Rovigo – Italy, Netherlands, Poland and Sicily - Italy  were met at the airport at various times during the day by their host families for the week who then showed them around the area and in some cases took them to Audley End or Cambridge.

Hitting the ground running with an early start on Monday for London, the party of 50 were joined by students from the Academy, Principal Gordon Farquhar, Assistant Principal Ian Stoneham and International Coordinator Graham Hesketh where their first port of call was the Palace of Westminster better known as the Houses of Parliament, which had been arranged through the office of local MP Kemi Badenoch. Divided into 3 parties due to the size of the group the tour of the Parliament lasted 75 minutes and it was evident from the reaction of our guests that this was an amazing adventure for them as they listened with great interest about the history of the building and the work carried out there. In the words of the guide, our guests were walking in the footsteps of monarchs and great politicians like Winston Churchill.

Following this visit, the party moved on to the science museum where for two hours they visited the exhibitions on display. Finally, the party travelled to the cultural and historical area of Covent Garden where many of the visitors were enthralled by the street entertainers.

The next day, 17th April our guests visited Stansted Aerozone, where they were informed about the economic importance of the airport to the region in which the Academy is sited, and what it was like to work at the airport through the eyes of Border Force who explained their work and importance not only to the airport but across the whole UK. This was a most insightful visit which ended with the party watching several planes landing and taking off from the viewing station. In the afternoon the party travelled to Saffron Walden where they visited the chocolate shop to see chocolate being made and then were welcomed by Dr Richard Freeman mayor of Saffron Walden and Cllr Paul Gadd who delighted the party with their anecdotes of life as local politicians. Finally, that afternoon, the students in mixed groups containing all nationalities took part in a treasure hunt around Saffron Walden.

With the weather improving and temperatures rising on the 18th April, students from the Academy gave presentations to our guests informing them about the educational system in the UK. Following this they travelled to Cambridge and walked around the Colleges in almost summer conditions receiving some information about Cambridge. There was also a little time for some shopping before going to Cambridge Regional College where they learned what the College offers in the way of vocational training and apprenticeships. There was also a tour around the college as the students and teachers saw students at the college working in hairdressing salons and motor vehicle repair shops. In the evening hosting families and our guests joined together at the Academy for a relaxing quiz night and a fish and chip supper in which over 100 people attended. This event was extremely popular with all participants.

On the 19th April a packed programme of events saw students and teachers from the Academy as well as our guests travel once again to Cambridge. This time they visited Anglia Ruskin University and Cambridge University who had put together programmes explaining what these Universities could offer international students who came to study with them. In the afternoon, the party moved on to Astra Zeneca where this pharmaceutical giant provided everyone who attended with lunch before embarking on a programme which the company had put together. This involved lectures, hands on demonstrations, short films and presentations by Erasmus students who now work at the company. This was a most fascinating visit as those working at the company demonstrated what the company did and how it went about looking for new medicines to combat diseases. It was certainly a visit that inspired many of the visiting students who were seeking a vocation in life working in this area of employment.

The final day of the exchange started with students and teachers completing evaluations on the trip. They then attended a seminar in which William Hall from Stansted Airport, Dr Marie Orr from Astra Zeneca and local MP Kemi Badenoch gave their point of view on ‘what it was like to work, live and study in the UK’. This lively seminar of course touched upon Brexit and each of the contributors had their views on this subject as did the audience. Following the ending of this seminar the 3 guests posed for pictures with the students and teachers and the Academy certainly thanks them for giving up their time to attend this event.

After a buffet lunch the time grew nearer for our guests to depart for their flights home and it is hoped they left knowing far more about what it was like to live, work and study in the UK than when they arrived.

This visit was an intense affair but only made possible by the courtesy of those companies, institutions and people working within them. In this respect the Academy would like to thank the following:

·         Kemi Badenoch MP for Saffron Walden and Alex Fuller her Senior Communication Officer who made the visit to the Palace of Westminster and her attendance at the Academy possible.

·         Emma Welch and Vesela Ivanova, Employment & Skills Manager - Stansted Airport.

·         Simon Short and Salvatore Genovesi - Anglia Ruskin University.

·         Elena Morgan and Clare Edge – Cambridge University.

·         Dr Richard Freeman Mayor of Saffron Walden.

·         Cllr Paul Gadd.

·         Daniele Munteanu- Cambridge Regional College.

·         Charlotte West - Science Museum London.

·         James Third/Steve Mills Stansted Airport traffic.

·         Joelle Locke - Travel Lodge.

·         Dr Marie Orr and Kara Watt and the team at Astra Zeneca

This event could have also not taken part without the superb support of all parents and students who hosted our guests.

This also applies to staff of which the following should be mentioned.

The following staff- Gordon Farquhar, Ian Stoneham, Lee Gamble, Tim Rumsey, Ina Giron, Linda Vincent, Lucy Hampson, Mel Garnham, Laura Mc Dermott, Kayleigh Davetta, Guy Martin, Michael McSweeney, Dave Bentley, Keith Clarke, Peter Lee, Peter Mander, Pam Wright, Nicola Coop, Diane Dearlove, Ebru Brooks, Maxine Wharton, Glenn Bevan, Karl Webster.

To the above, I thank you immensely for your efforts and support


Graham Hesketh

International Coordinator


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