The First Week

It’s hard to believe that only a week ago, the CAE students at  Princess Helena College were getting ready for what will have seemed a daunting stay in the UK. Yet, with only seven days having passed, stilted conversations with one another and rusty levels of English have blossomed into genuine friendships between the students.

It has been a busy yet thrilling week, with trips, adventures and excursions galore. And with the introduction of inter-house competition, the children’s competitive nature has been brought out and after the first week of competition, the scores are very close indeed!

After settling in with a few fun games in the evening sun on the Sunday, as well as the first of countless football matches, Monday saw the real beginning of the course.

After some light testing in the morning in order to place the children in appropriate classes, they were introduced to a number of the sports, activities and arts and crafts scheduled for them throughout their stay. For many, the first ever attempts at touch rugby and rounders proved to be a real inspiration and, who knows, we may have unearthed some of the stars of tomorrow! The evening brought out the children’s’ creative side, with an orienteering course followed by a flag designing competition.

Tuesday saw the students settle into their regular routine, with the children involving themselves in yet more sports and activities, as well as starting work on their prized ‘portfolios’, which I’m sure will be shown off to all parents with great pride upon the students’ return! In the evening, the sense of team camaraderie within the Blue, Pink and Orange houses was expanded even further with a series of team challenges and relays set up in the sports hall.

Wednesday was the chance for the children to test their knowledge of Britain and get to know the staff, with some of the teachers revealing some fascinating truths during the Quiz Night. Who would have known that Teacher Steve had once appeared in the Japanese pop charts!?

Thursday saw the first trip of the camp, with the students visiting Hitchin to gather props and fancy dress for their evening activity. The children went back in search of their creative sides with a movie themed fashion show. Some hugely creative efforts from all the classes made it quite a spectacle, and in the case of The Addams Family group, some very creative noises were used to make a whole new soundtrack. A fantastic evening was had by all as the battle for points between the houses grew ever more competitive.

After an activity packed and fun filled first week, the children were given the opportunity to relax on Friday evening with a film night. With their feet up and fresh popcorn at the ready, the students were treated to some old classics and thoroughly enjoyed their evening off.

Saturday saw the biggest sporting event of the students’ time so far, with the inter-house Sports Day competition taking place. The houses competed in a large number of different sports, from football, tennis, the long jump and shot put to the grand finale on the track culminating in the boys and girls 4x100m relay races. After having played hard in the afternoon, the children were then able to party even harder with the first disco night of the camp giving the students a great chance to show off all their finest dance moves.

With Sunday came the second excursion of the camp, with the students heading off to Cambridge. A tour of the university colleges and the other sights of the city was enjoyed before a punting trip on the river and plenty of opportunities for the children to explore the city for themselves. Whilst most of the students seemed to choose the shops and internet café’s ahead of the city’s fine architecture and museums, the day out in Cambridge proved to be a fun and highly educational one. During the evening, the children enjoyed the World Cup Final, as a truly international audience witnessed the first ever victory by a European team on South American soil as Germany overcame Argentina in a gripping final.

The week ahead promises to be full of action, adventure and education. Stay tuned to this blog for the latest!

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