Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday, 24th March 2009

The final day! Adios and safe journey home!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday, 23rd March 2009


The staff arrive in the area of the school early in the morning, just to ensure they were actually on time for once! Breakfast was enjoyed by all. Strong coffee for Mr Ludlow to wake him up and to give him the energy to go through his speech once again. Yes! He is planning to thank the school for having us in SPANISH or maybe it will be Spanglish (a new, not widely recognise language). Whilst Mr Ludlow recites a few sentences in Spanglish, the rest of the staff, who by this stage are wearing the latest fashion item (a pair of cotton wool ear plugs) tucked into a healthy breakfast of tomato toast. Ah! That is except for... you guessed it, Mr two donuts Evans. Where did that low carb diet go?

Arriving at the Spanish school was exciting for all, including the teachers who listened attentively as smiling children greeted each other and recounted the weekends events. As the children went to their classes for registration Mr Ludlow Practised his speech, yet again! Only the 350th time. Well if it takes this long to learn three sentences he should be fluent by the year 2080. He has decided not to apply for the job as translator for the European Community. On second thoughts he would probably make more sense.

Will Mr Ludlow ever get that speech correct?

Enter the gym. After a lovely welcome speech given by the headteacher the children divided into groups for some joint activities prepared by some Spanish trainee teachers. Whoops! Mr Ludlow thought they were Year 6 pupils. Is he just getting old? The children work cooperatively on a carousel of tasks, which included; building a human wall, musical chairs (well we think! or maybe it was a lesson in furniture arrangement), sporting activies and quizes. Group 1 were the champions captained by Ellie, Katie and Jayden.
Later, a fun filled PE session was followed by a delicious lunch from a selection of pasta, pork chops, huge beans, salad and fruit for dessert. Mr Evans declared it was the best and healthiest meal he had had all week (surprise surprise!!)

The afternoon was punctuated by a huge outdoor feast of Spanish food (calm down Mr Evans you´ve just eaten!).

Weekday, 21st and 22nd March 2009

So what did we get up to over the weekend? The staff decided to travel out to the Bernabeu stadium to see if they could purchase tickets for the afternoon match. As we arrived the mounted police were waiting. They needn´t have gone to that extreme to look after us. Oh dear no tickets left. Don´t they know who we are? Well never mind Mr Evans it´s only a game!

Hi Everyone
Having a great time over in Spain. The zoo was great and so was the Spanish dancing oh and the paella). The school is fantastic and big. As I am having a great time and I will see you soon.
Hugs and kisses
AlexP.S Tere was a seal show at the zoo and we all got really wet!

Hi everyone
I am having a great time .
On Saturday all of the Spanish people & there partners went
to Faunia I saw some lemurs , also we saw a seal show .
On sun we went to a famous park (called the RETIRO ) then in the afternoon we saw flamenco Dancing .
Evelyn xxxxxxxxxxx
Hi class!
Yesterday I went to Eduardo’s auntie’s
flat and me and my partner played on
her playstation3. Also I went to Faunia
which is a Zoo in Madrid.In the Zoo we
went to see a seal show and it was so funny.

Hi everyone, I´m missing you all loads.
I am having a great time here and I have been all over.
I have been to a zoo called Faunia, a football match and in the vip section ,I have been to the park and the palace and have seen many beautiful things.
I am very happy here with Rocio.
What is the weather like?
It is cooking hot over here
I hope all is well
Hugs & kisses

Hi mum , dad , Moll and the stupid dog!
I’m having a brilliant time in Madrid and am missing u. The Bernabeu is a big stadium and is very loud when a team scores. I took lots of photos also I went to Faunia which is a place for animals and birds one nicked Jaydens hat.
See u soon.
From Tyler x

Hola everyone!
We are having a brilliant time in Madrid. This weekend we all went to the zoo which was great fun because a parrot stole Jayden´s cap.
Jacob and I had a guided tour around the football stadium which was a great pleasure – the atmosphere was electric.
Can´t believe we´re coming home tomorrow the time has flown by!
Looking forward to seeing you all soon.
love ya bye!

Hi Family,
Missing everyone especially Marge.
On Saturday we went to the zoo called Faunia.
We saw water animals and land animals, there were birds , snakes, seals, penguins and at the beginning we went to see a seal show which was cool!
Then on Sunday we went to a snow dome where we slid down an ice slide on a rubber ring hoop and Carmen tipped up so she sprained her arm.
Also on Friday we went to the royal palace.
Adios amigos
Ellie Wilkins

Hi people,
I had a great time over the weekend…and now. Yesterday, I went to a giant park and we went rowing! While we were doing so, we saw ducks, fish and best off all… turtles!
We also went to a place with abandoned cats. Of course we fed them. On Saturday we went to Faunia. Please could you ask Miss Horncastle to look at the blog. And Dad, why did you put “bonjour” while we are in Madrid? The Spanish host family are really nice. The mother does all of the talking. TTYL (talk to you later). Miss you all. (YAY… I don’t have to clean out the guinea pigs!)
India. Xox.

Hi everybody.
My foot is better now.
(They forgot to mention that I went to the hospital as well as the doctor).
I am having a great time in sunny Spain!!! I heard there was some sunshine in England.
(Finally)! On Saturday everyone went to the zoo. There was a seal show. I love seals!!
Hi mummy, daddy, Holly and Ruby.
From Katie

Hi all,
I know you probably want to know what I´ve been doing well I´m not going to tell you! Ha,ha joking! On Saturday we went to Faunia a sort of zoo. When we got there I realised I had been there when I was very little. It was so weird. We watched the seal show and the person explaining was talking Spanish so I just watched the seals jump. Then we had lunch and everyone started doing spit balls it was gross but the food was delicious. Then we had a water fight with our drinking water before going home. On Sunday we went to a snow zone to ski, toboggan and tubing and Carmen sprained her arm. So I went to Yolanda´s house to play with Ellie and Yoli in the park whilst having another water fight on scooters. Then we had some really nice ice creams before going home. That’s it for now but I miss home I want my bed. I´m so tired but I´m having loads of fun.
From Steph (That’s right mum I said STEPH!!!)

Hello everyone
I`m at school now, it`s much smaller than our school, everybody is very friendly. It´s nearing lunch time.¿ I wonder what there is on the menu?
¡I am certainly looking foward to it after all the energetic activities we´ve done!

¡Hola Señor R. y clase!
How r u all? We are having a great time here in Madrid , especially the weather!! All of us went to a zoo called Faunia on Saturday (It was brill!!!). We are all having fun, plus Tyler went to the Santiago Bernabeu to watch Real Madrid play against Almeria .
All having fun and not looking 4ward 2 coming back!!
Best regards,

Hi family
I am fine. Yes I am being very tidy mum! On Friday we went to the royal palace and the lights were so cool because they had crystals every where I want one pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Are the family ok?, Has anything exciting happened in England?
I have had a great time in Spain and at the zoo on Saturday.
Adios amigos
Love Rachael and the rest of the group!

Sunday, March 22, 2009


If you have the opportunity please write a message for the children in Madrid.


If you have the opportunity please write a message for the children in Madrid.

Friday , 20th March 2009

Friday, 20th March 2009:
A good nights sleep had by all. Well, at least by Mr Ludlow and Mr Evans. The boys, had a mission to stay awake most of the night and almost achieved their goal. Fortunately, Miss McHolm, Miss Dean’s and Mrs Leigh’s room was the nearest to theirs. Whoops! Sorry ladies. Another year when the men sleep through the noise and the female staff dutifully make numerous visits to the boys room, oh and one or two to the girls as well. And as for making their own beds, well the girls win hands down.
Mr Ludlow was impressed with the mess that can be made by boys after only one night. Theo gets first prize. But to be honest the logic of spreading EVERY item over the floor to make it much easier to locate items was an interesting one. Mr Evans and Miss McHolm have followed Theo’s guide to organising your room. Breakfast, consisting of a loaf of bread, cake and jam was had by all whilst plans for the day were shared with enthusiasm.
Setting off in the sun, the party of sixteen ventured out into the bright sunshine. Only a few hundred metres down the road it was noticed that poor Katie was limping badly. Such a star, not a word of complaint. We stopped off at a pharmacy to buy some blister pads only to be told that we should take her to the doctor. The SUPER team went into action. Miss McHolm and Manuela split from the party. After treatment she was feeling fine, walking without pain. Her return to the group was greeted with hugs and smiling faces by all. A call was made home and all was well.
We took the children through the city, pointing out the Pension where the staff would stay. We headed towards the Parque del Retiro. On arrival, Mr Ludlow and Mrs Leigh peeled off towards the embassy, whilst Mr Evans and Mrs Dean took the children over to the park for a drink, an ice-cream and a play.

After thirty minutes in the embassy it became clear we would need the four children who required emergency passports to have their photo for ID purposes. Mr Ludlow stepped into the telephone box and appeared wearing red underpants over his trousers and a big S on his shirt (only joking kids!). Meeting Mr Evans, as they where leaving the park, a smooth hand over took place. It could have been a James Bond spy movie. Off to the Consulate again to meet M. The children thought this was quite exciting, going through the very tight security. The consulate were really helpful, I fully recommend them, but not too often! All checks done, photos taken, identities established and then we were off again to meet the rest of the party, in Bond style, just at the nick of time for the visit to the palace.

How beautiful, just like home. Patrick, the Spanish teacher greeted us and then we walked past the snaking queue of people and went in a special guest entrance. Each child was fitted with their James Bond ear piece and we were off. The guide pointed out the key features of this amazing building. Evelyn had the quote of the day, when the guide pointed to the Frescos she commented that they were nicer than her Hanna Montana picture she had on her ceiling. A challenge for mum and dad to get their paint brushes out in the style off Tiepolo (impressive knowledge, ah). The guide was interested that the children were learning Spanish. She encouraged them to ask her questions in Spanish. I hope she wasn’t expecting questions about the palace. They asked how old she was, where did she live, what was her favourite colour and not to forget the other vital question, “what is your favourite pet?”. Well at least the children’s Spanish is better than Mr Ludlow’s. There was a small clue that the children were getting tired. Near the end of the tour the guide was talking enthusiastically, pointing to historic artefacts when she turned around all the children were sitting or lying on the floor! Maybe they were admiring the marble decoration? Energy soon returned when the word shopping was mentioned.

Off we went to the Plaza Mayor via many famous sites and the odd building site.

Yippee, time to buy all those useful gifts! The days events culminated in a warm greeting by all the host families and children. Hugs and kisses were had by all. The Spanish staff explained that the families had booked a coach and on Saturday all the children would meet to go on a group trip. What a great idea and very reassuring that the children would meet each other.

Adios for now. We look forward to meeting the children at school on Monday morning and updating the Blog further.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Thursday, 19th March 2009

The Madrid 2009 exchange group.

It is Thursday morning, 19th March 2009. The sun rising over Strensall. All is quiet at Robert Wilkinson VC Primary School. Suddenly our senses are awakened by the sound of sizzling bacon and the soft aroma of coffee wafting from the school kitchen. Something must be happening? This is not an ordinary day. The excitement is brewing as children start to arrive laiden with luggage. The Madrid trip is about to begin. Em not a bad opening Mr Lees! Not sure whether I could achieve Level 5!
Sixteen children and their parents gather in the Brown Hall from 7.30 am. Thanks to Mrs Tottie who has been busy making breakfast and Mr Ludlow’s packed lunch. Better to forget that rather than the passports. Now where did I put the passports? Joking!
The journey on the coach was without hitch. A Harry Potter movie played keeping the children amused whilst giving Mr Ludlow the opportunity to have a snooze! The first “How long will it be?” came from Resul at 10.20 am. Not bad Resul you lasted an hour and a half, only another seven hours to go!! We stopped off at a service station for an impromptu Happy Birthday cake for Katrina. Thank you Miss McHolm. The children hit the shop. Why go to Madrid when you could spend your money in the motorway services? Mr Ludlow’s Bank was opened for Theo. I want my money back Theo, shame the interest rates are so low! Grant, who wins the competition for forgetting all his toiletries, purchased the latest item in fashion, a toothbrush! And Mr Evans purchased some intellectual reading material! The Sun!

Mrs Gibbon, Chair of Governors, wishing the group well.

Arrival at Liverpool Airport:

“We all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, a yellow submar..” , STOP singing Mr Ludlow! The team gathered around the Yellow Submarine sculpture for yet another group photo. With some great enthusiastic singing by William and Jayden. A history lesson was had by all as Mr Evans explained that once upon a time, in the olden days there was a group of singers that had an amazing impact on music, the group was called Abba. Whoops! Rewind! It must be the Christmas X-Factor experience that has gone to his head. The statue of John Lennon in the check-in hall was a clue. Yes, another opportunity for a group photo shoot. Everyone appreciated the musical history lesson of the Beatles and after two minutes headed off to have lunch. Manuela, Miss McHolm, Miss Dean and Mrs Leigh tucked into healthy snacks and sandwiches. Well our joint curriculum theme is on healthy lifestyles. Mr Evans obliged by agreeing to be the control study group member and tucked into sausage, egg and chips. We will be keeping a close watch to see which members of staff put on most weight. Now as for travel tips, we have discovered that Stephanie and Alex are the ones to ask. The quote of the day from Alex is that, “less is more!” and Stephanie can give an extensive detailed analysis of packing techniques. All the children and most staff safely went through security, no liquids, that is except Mr Ludlow. Mrs Lobb did a great job making sure he had everything needed for emergencies, including the small sachets of liquid to clean wounds. It was almost like a Mr Bean film, one security guard gets another, twenty questions and then finally they let him through. Was this a plot to leave him behind?

Arrival in Madrid:
All was going so well, famous last words! We arrived safely, collected bags and off we went to the metro. Unfortunately, we became victims of a pick pocket. We think it happened whilst gathering at the ticket barrier. Mrs Leigh´s bag was undone and her groups passports and her personal money was stolen (parents have been contacted of children that are involved). But the show goes on. Whilst travelling to the Youth Hostel plans were in place to report the loss and to work out how to get emergency passports. We arrived safely at the Youth Hostel and were greeted by the Spanish staff which was wonderful to see. We were a few minutes late because Mr Ludlow took a short detour. Next time please read the map Mr Ludlow! The children settled into their luxury apartment with Resul making frequent visits to the drinks and sweet machine wearing away the marble staircase.
Now off to VIPS, a dining experience not to be missed, except if you are a romantic couple sharing a special moment at the adjacent table! The children sat down to a quiet meal, well if that’s possible with eight boys conducting balloon experiments and girls concocting revolting mixtures with ice-cream , sauces and salt. The romantic couple enjoyed every moment!
A lovely finish to a busy day culminated in a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday Katrina with cake and candles to send us to bed and hopefully a good nights sleep.