RGS Worcester marks French Jubilee

05 Dec 2012

A school’s foreign exchange programme, which started as a one-off in 1988, is marking its 25th anniversary by trying to locate pupils from that very first trip.

When the Head of Languages at RGS Worcester, organized the first trip to Nantes, he could never have envisaged that 25 years and some 3,500 students later, the initiative would be thriving in such spectacular fashion.

Current RGS teacher Mike Vetch has been involved in the exchange since 1990 and is clear about its value: “Unlike many other schools which do as little as a 5-day exchange, we have steadfastly stuck to a fortnight, because the second week is the game-changer.

“The total immersion into France and French makes a massive difference to speaking and listening skills, as well as being an excellent and eye-opening cultural awareness experience. Pupils spend five days at the host school and they have even given speeches, in French, at the civic reception which is laid on for us at the City Hall in Nantes. In short, the exchange acts as a kind of linguistic catapult, which should not be under-estimated.”

Whilst arranging this year’s visit, Mr Vetch and colleagues in the RGS Languages Department have been keen to track down any pupils who made that first visit 25 years ago. “It would mean a lot to us if we could find people who travelled to Nantes in 1988,” said Mr Vetch, “as we would like to invite them to meet our French visitors on their return trip to RGS in April next year.”

If you were on that trip in 1988, please email Mr Vetch mhv@rgsw.org.uk