Ripley students soak up Spanish culture

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Sight-seeing and speaking Spanish were on the timetable for students from The Ripley Academy during a trip to Barcelona.

Students spent five days in the Catalonian city visiting champagne caves, El Camp Nou Football Stadium, the Sagrada Familia, Las Ramblas, Montserrat, Girona and a local water park.

They were also given a challenge to buy ten items on a list, written in English, at the Tordera open air market.

Jessica Selby, 13, said it was her first time in Barcelona.

She said: “It was great to experience the Spanish culture. The first thing we did was visit the champagne caves.

“It was really cold because it was so deep underground. It was very interesting though, they showed us all the bottles of champagne and how the fermentation process worked. There were some really small bottles and then a massive one that cost tens of thousands of pounds.”

Beth Wilkes-Robertson, 13, said she enjoyed the shopping challenge at the market.

She said: “We were in groups and we were given ten Euros each and we had a list of items in English that we had to buy.

“We spoke Spanish and it was good fun. The only item we missed was coconut as we didn’t know what that was in Spanish.”

Ava Allen,13, said she loved experiencing a different culture.

She said: “It was good to experience somewhere completely different and it brought to life all the phrases we had learnt in our textbooks.”

Robin Pardo-Roques, curriculum area leader for Modern Foreign Languages, said the trip was an extremely positive experience.

He said: “Every single one of the students said they loved it. There were cultural elements to the trip as well as times when they could have fun at the water park and a theme park.

“They really enjoyed the challenge at the market when they had to use their language skills. It was all very positive.

“Some of the students had never flown before and never eaten foreign food. There was one student who started out on beans and by the end of the trip was eating a whole range of meats, salads and vegetables.”

Science teacher Mike Barnes also accompanied students on the trip.

He said: “It was great to see the students learning to cope in an alien environment. Some were very shy to start with but came into their own, especially in the market when they had to buy items and speak Spanish.”