A Christmas visit to Berlin
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Kling, Glöckchen, Klingelingeling!
In December 2016, pupils from Mossley Primary School in Newtownabbey and mentor students from Belfast High School took part in a four-day visit to Berlin to meet children from Germany and explore German culture, history, school life and Christmas traditions. The combination of seasonal excitement and intercultural activities made for a highly successful visit.
Prior to the trip, the primary pupils attended regular sessions at school run by their mentors to find out about Christmas in Germany and learn some new German words and phrases in preparation for the visit and for meeting their peers at the German primary school.
During the visit, the mentors helped to guide the children through the various programme activities, such as the school visit, the advent craft workshops and the Christmas markets. They also delved into Berlin's history at the Story of Berlin Museum, as well as through visits to the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag and the Holocaust memorial.
Working within this primary-secondary structure meant that the mentors had the opportunity to develop their language and leadership skills and that the experience was even more enjoyable for the primary pupils as they were able to connect with young people of a different age and from a different school.
As part of the trip, the pupils visited their partner school in Bad Saarow, the Maxim Gorki Grund- und Oberschule where they got involved in lots of joint activities, such as crafting, singing and Christmas games. The schools are planning to continue their partnership and are looking forward to future projects together.
To round the visit off, on their return to school, the pupils shared their experiences in the form of assemblies, displays and newsletters with other students, parents and the wider community to highlight the impact of their UK-German activities and show just how magical German Christmas culture is.