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Setting up an exchange visit

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by -myrtille-, Jun 28, 2015.

  1. -myrtille-

    -myrtille- Occasional commenter


    I'm in touch with a French woman from our local twinning association who is currently over on a visit and trying to get the twinning thing going again. We are interested in setting up an exchange during the Easter holidays next year (so our pupils can visit the French school - we're not allowed to run trips in termtime).

    I feel very strongly that this is an important experience that I want my pupils to have. As a child, we continually had visiting French students staying with us as my mum worked for an organisation that placed French children in homes in England. I also spent a fortnight staying with a family when I was in Year 10, just before I sat my French GCSE, and it helped so much.

    I have some incredible linguists in the current Y8 and 9 (so they would be Y9 and 10 at the time of the visit) and I really want to make it happen. But I just don't know how it all works nowadays in the world of CRB checks. I know some schools run visits where the pupils stay in a hostel but spend time with their host families during the day, so I would consider that as a back-up plan but I would much rather do a proper exchange (as it will be cheaper and more of an immersive experience).

    Any advice from those who have done something similar would be greatly appreciated.
  2. divine_dodo

    divine_dodo New commenter

    We've had an exhcange going with a partner school that was set up by our HoD and had been running for 20 years. For the 6 years i've been there, we've had 49 Y9 students take part every year. The French come to stay with us for a week in September and we go over there for a week in May. the students stay with their exchange partners and we have never done CRB checks. Our parents/school have no issues with this, perhaps because it's been going on for so long. We occasionally have students taking part on both sides that can't have anyone to stay for a variety of reasons (no room in house, difficult family stiuation etc) but we've always managed to find someone for them to host their partner). When we go over there the children can contact me on the school mobile in case of problems and we have a code phrase "I'm really missing Eastenders" in case of serious trouble - but it's never been used!

    Good luck - it's a lot of effort but really worth it!
  3. -myrtille-

    -myrtille- Occasional commenter

    Great, thanks.

    I've put together a provisional itinerary to discuss with the woman from the school tomorrow, and would probably be looking at taking a smaller group of pupils than you do (probably 20-25 pupils) to keep it manageable for my first trip. I know this will make the coach travel more expensive, but if we have extra seats it should mean we can take the French pupils out with us on excursions more easily.

    I'm hoping to do overnight travel leaving school on Thursday evening and arriving back the following Wednesday lunchtime so we'll be away for 6 nights in total, but only 4 nights staying with the host families.

    I've found quite a few trips/activities to include so pupils aren't just left with the families the whole time feeling isolated if they don't get on well, so am hoping to strike the right balance.
  4. I also do a small exchange and I don't do any CRB either. We have an understanding with the French school. They check the suitability of their families and we do the same. I put that on my risk assessment and pupils can contact me when they stay in the French families and so far eveything went well like this.

    I organise different excursiosn each day in France including a day at the French school. And pupils spend the weekend with their host family (teh activities are up to the family). We do our exchange back to back. The French come for a week, then we leave with them and spend a week in France. This mens that we can share some of the coast for travel.

    It has now been running for a few years but it is a really small trip as it is sometimes difficult to find families willing to host French students. I have a lot less trouble filling my Paris trip!

    Good luck with the organisation of your trip!
  5. paris76

    paris76 New commenter

    Hi there again

    I am about to start organising a school visit to Spain and already have a contact with a school over there but don't have a clue how to organise the cost, who pays what, etc. Any advice would be welcome

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