St Mary’s Welcomed Belgian Language School

Life at St Mary’s continues to be busy during the holidays despite the pupils being on their summer break.  Three groups of students have visited from Belgium’s Roeland language school for the fourth time; the first were a group of drama students taking part in ‘Gold Hill on Stage’ organised and taught by performing arts professionals, the second took part in sports activities and the last was an expedition and hiking group who explored our local area.

Roeland’s model is to use activities as a vehicle for language learning and certainly, in addition to their core themes, they took full advantage of the school’s excellent facilities and location and they enjoyed campfires in the woods, pool parties, full access to the music school (and all the instruments!). The drama group’s production ‘Trojan Women’ was performed al fresco with great aplomb in the magnificent Walled Garden before a local and international audience

Mrs Maria Young, Headmistress of St Mary’s, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Roeland students back to St Mary’s again. The school was abuzz with singing and laughter and it was lovely to see the students making the most of our wonderful facilities and grounds. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our support staff; catering, housekeeping and the grounds and maintenance teams for everything they do to support Roeland while they are staying with us.”

Hildegard Sierens, from Roeland’s drama school, commented: “For the fourth summer in a row Roeland held its summer drama course at St Mary’s. This beautiful public school set in the most amazing English countryside provides the ideal backdrop for our theatre course. Every year we meet so many welcoming St Mary’s staff members, from cleaning and maintenance, to front desk, kitchen staff, bursar and caretakers. I really feel that St Mary’s is a vital partner in this course. It has been wonderful working together once more and I can truly say that the School has become our home away from home. We can’t wait to be back next year and we would love to welcome sixth form girls as part of our activity leaders team or to join our students as actors.”

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