German Exchange

Our German Exchange has been running since 2004 and takes place every year. Our exchange school is called “Gymnasium Harsewinkel” and is an academic school with over 800 pupils from year six to thirteen, aged from 10 to 18. It is situated in the small town of Harsewinkel, near Gütersloh in the North West of Germany.


The exchange is open to pupils in Years 8,9 and 10 and some pupils have taken part two or three times. Our German visitors come to stay with us in June and we return to Germany in September. During their visit here, they come into some of our lessons and we take them out on visits to show them our local area, as well as spending a day in London.


The German pupils stay with the families of our pupils and join in with their normal routines in the evenings, perhaps enjoying some special outings or social events with them at the weekends. We also usually undertake a project together where the pupils work together on a topic and produce posters in both languages. Recently we looked at the rules of Rounders which is not played in Germany and Handball which we don’t play at school here.


In the same way, we are welcomed into the homes of the German pupils and we visit cities and attractions near Harsewinkel. We have a packed programme, starting with a “communicative breakfast” in school on the first morning. Then our pupils get their first real experience of German grammar school life as they accompany their partners into some lessons.


Throughout the week, we often visit the cities of Bielefeld, Münster and Cologne, enjoying guided tours, town quizzes, as well as some free time to look around in groups. A barbecue is organised for us early on in the week, giving us the opportunity to exchange experiences and tales of the families and the chance to try out some real German “Bratwurst”.


It is a fantastic opportunity for personal development and our pupils always return having made new friends and had new experiences, as well as, of course, improving their German.

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