A GROUP of Spanish studying students at King’s Ely Senior enjoyed an action-packed exchange trip to Albacete during the Easter break.

21 students in Years 9 to 11 visited the modern Spanish city, which is where King’s Ely’s new Spanish partner school, IES Andrés Vandelvira, is located.

Head of Spanish and Modern Foreign Languages at King’s Ely Senior, Esmeralda Salgado, said: “Spirits were high although our students were nervous to meet their Spanish partners for the first time face to face, despite the fact that many of them had been in contact with them for months. Some hours after leaving Ely, we finally reached Albacete where all our partner families were eagerly waiting for us! It was great to see how students found each other in the crowd and hugs were given as if they had known each other for years.”

The trip saw the students spending lots of time in the Spanish school, taking part in lessons with their new friends, working collaboratively on the design of a school magazine and, of course, practising their Spanish language skills!

However, King’s Ely’s students and staff also crammed in lots of sightseeing, enabling them to really soak up the atmosphere and culture of Albacete. Highlights included visiting Las Lagunas de Ruidera, a national park full of history and beautiful landscapes, visiting the famous Cueva de Montesinos, which features in the world famous Spanish book Don Quixote de la Mancha, and the Warner Bros Theme Park in Madrid.

Mrs Salgado said: “Sadly, the week came to an end and we were back to Madrid to catch our flight back to England but experiences were forged, friendships made and reinforced and linguistic skills improved! I am immensely proud of how integrated, open minded and enthusiastic all our students were and how well they embraced the challenges of the language, the huge amount of socialising and lack of sleep. I would like to thank Mr Merrell, who accompanied us on this trip and Pepi Montero, the Spanish teacher who helped us organise this splendid week and who looked after us extremely well. We are looking forward to receiving our new friends in Ely from the 25th of June!”

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