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“Gute Reise!” – Diary of the Year 5 Visit to Germany

Year 5 have been studying Germany as a topic because Evanglische Grundschule, Babelsberg, Potsdam, Germany is our Global Partner.  Since September we have been learning about the language, geography, history (especially WW1/2) and the German lifestyle. We have been fortunate to Skype every fortnight with our new pen pals and have also linked this to our Literacy and Maths work too.  On the 6th March, 11 Year 5 children and 3 staff began their exciting trip to Germany.  The rest of Year 5 did activities at school that related to what we would be learning about in Germany. It was a long Monday  travelling on a variety of modes of transport – coaches, planes, trains… We were met by Sabine and Irina who were our leaders from the school during our visit. Eventually we arrived at the Youth Hostel late in the evening and settled in. 

Tuesday was the children’s first experience of a German school and we had great anticipation before meeting our pen-pals for the first time face to face.  After some ice-breaker activities we all set off (by train and bus) with our pen-pals to visit the Allied Museum in the old American Quarter in Berlin.  We went there to learn about post-war Berlin and when it was divided.  We later enjoyed a tour around Babelsberg, in small groups with our German friends, finding out about the architecture and what the shops and other facilities in the town are like such as the football stadium.  Later in the afternoon we took a tram to Potsdam and had a tour to see all the old architecture, churches, film museum and Dutch quarter.  In the evening, we had dinner at the youth hostel and many of our German pen-pals came to join us and afterwards we played games.

On Wednesday morning we presented our assembly about where we come from in England and had a go at speaking our lines in German.  Then we spent the day doing class room activities (such as role plays) exploring ‘Peace and Conflict’ in our classes.  After school, the children visited their host families for the afternoon and evening and had dinner too.  Everyone came back with many stories to tell and it was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone!

On Thursday we set off on the train to Berlin with Sabine for a tour around looking at the post war legacies left from the divided Berlin.  We saw where the Berlin Wall was and parts of the Berlin wall were still left as a reminder… the Holocaust Memorial, the Brandenburg Gate, The Reichstag Building and many more…. Some children also decided they wanted to go up one of the fastest elevators in Germany to see 360 degree views of Berlin City – which was spectacular.

When we got back to the school, we watched the school’s dance club perform expertly several dances then we went shopping in Potsdam for souvenirs.

In the evening we enjoyed a lovely buffet provided by parents of the school children and the children played board games together before watching the school band  perform. Unfortunately we had to say our farewells that evening (which for many was very emotional).  We had planned activities on Friday to perform our role plays and visit a UNESCO world heritage site ‘Park Sansouci’ but     because of Airp

ort strikes in Berlin we had to change our flights and get to Hamburg to enable us to still arrive home on Friday evening!

The children all came home buzzing with stories to tell friends and family having had an amazing 5 day experience with many adventures, lots of learning, lots of fun and memories (if a little tired though!) This has been the second such trip and we are delighted that we look forward to a positive and developing relationship with our German friends in future years.