A GROUP of students and teachers from Granada, Spain, recently spent 10 days with A level and GCSE students from St. Michael’s Grammar School as part of a long-running exchange programme.
Organised by Head of Spanish Mr Colin Heaney, the exchange aims to enhance students’ language skills as well as their understanding and appreciation of each other’s culture and customs.
The trip was a return visit, as a party of 10 students from St Michael’s Grammar School had already spent ten days with their partner students in Granada in April this year.
The St Michael’s Grammar School Granada Exchange is organised in conjunction with fellow GCSE and A level Spanish students and their teachers from two other schools in Armagh: St Catherine’s College and St Patrick’s Grammar School.
Last year, Loreto College, Coleraine also came on board the Exchange programme and have participated once again this year.
During their visit, the Spanish students gained several days’ experience of everyday life as a student in St Michael’s, as well as experiencing family life with their host students.
They also enjoyed trips to some of Northern Ireland’s main tourist attractions: the Giant’s Causeway; the Titanic Centre, Newcastle and shopping areas of Belfast as well as a day trip to Dublin. The group also had the opportunity to sample traditional Irish culture with a ceili in Armagh.
The students were, of course, encouraged to perfect their use of English during the trip and to benefit from their experience of everyday life in Northern Ireland, even if this did occasionally involve some rather unpleasant weather!
In turn, the opportunity was there for St Michael’s Grammar School’s host students to practise their Spanish - especially important as these students are all preparing for the GCSE and A level Spanish examinations later in the year.
Mr Gerard Adams, Principal of St Michael’s Grammar School was delighted to welcome the Spanish visitors to the school and acknowledged the excellent collaborative partnership which existed across the Lurgan-Granada link.