We had a great time during the first week of our summer school and we hope you did too! Activities ranged from learning about famous Scots, festivals, creating a country to using past & present tenses and the pronunciation of the ‘schwa’ sound.
Our students come from Spain, Argentina, Syria, Poland, Chile, Romania, Nepal, Kuwait and Taiwan and many of them live in Stirlingshire. Every day in the afternoon all classes meet together to get to know each other and play communicative games.
While parents study English, their children are looked after and learn about Scotland with Fiona and her dedicated team of volunteers. This week they made highland cows, the Loch Ness monster and drew beautiful ”flowers of Scotland”.
Wednesday was our excursion day- Stirling! We explored the Engine Shed where we got hands-on with Scottish built heritage. One of the many attractions there was the interactive map, which is the first of its kind in Scotland. It is part of the educational offer at the centre. The real-time AR content is activated by the user scanning an iPad around the map, with over fifty 3D buildings appearing in augmented reality on the screen, enabling viewers to see where each site is located, along with detailed information, hundreds of photographs and sketches.
After lunch in nature, we headed to the Smith Art Gallery and Museum and enjoyed the tour with very knowledgeable guides. We’ve seen the oldest football in the world from 16th century (in the showcase). It’s made of a pig’s bladder.
It was a hot day so we relaxed in the garden behind the museum and then made our way up to Cowane’s Hospital, a 17th-century almshouse in the Old Town of Stirling. It was established in 1637. The hospital building itself is now used as an arts venue, and remains in use by the Merchant Guildry.
Our last stop was the Church of the Holy Rude- the second oldest building in Stirling after the castle. Founded in 1129 during the reign of David I (1124 – 1153) as the parish church of Stirling. In 1567 the infant King James VI was crowned here.
It is hard to believe that we are already half way through the Summer School 2018, yet we have so much more to get through! Our students are much more confident and lively and have thrown themselves into the summer school and Scotland.
Highlights this week included: expressing the future and past, preparing a travel itinerary, learning about jobs, films, book genres and festivals, and an excursion to Deanston Distillery and a picturesque town of Callander. We also said good-bye to Santiago and Natalia and welcomed some new students.
The children had lots of fun, too- singing rhymes, talking about jobs and playing in the playground. We were all absolutely delighted with their obvious enthusiasm and progression in spoken English.
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These past three weeks have flown by so quickly. Our theme for this week has included topics such as film and television, as well as the arts in general. In addition, we have also discussed various grammatical structures; including the use of the past simple tense, the second conditional, the difference between adjectives and adverbs, and phrasal verbs. We have also looked at various practical ways in which these tenses can be used, such as in writing a review and in discussion, which provided the students with opportunities to use different ways of expressing their opinions. In the pronunciation class, we have learnt the difference between long /i:/ (as in leave) and short /I/ (as in live) and practised making these sounds in games and while reading short dialogues.
The children enjoyed having plenty of art and craft activities and decorating cupcakes.
Our students have been hard at work and at play. This week’s excursion was a trip to Callendar House and the Kelpies in Falkirk, where they were able to walk into one of the sets of the famous TV series, ‘Outlander.’ The Georgian kitchens were used in the filming of series too. Though normally closed on a Wednesday, we were fortunate enough to have a member of staff provide us with a detailed background of the house and how the apparatus of the kitchen worked.
There were also various exhibits on display in the house, such as a history of Falkirk, dating back to the Roman era and the Jacobite Rebellion. We were also provided with a detailed exhibit of the town’s industry, including the Carron Iron Works, as well as the history of the local football team.
Afterwards, we decided to have a nice cruise on the pond in some of the pedal boats provided. Finally, our day was rounded off with a trip to the Kelpies, where we were able to take a wander and enjoy each other’s company, taking advantage of the gorgeous weather in the meantime.
We were saddened to hear that this was the last week for two of our students; Kei-Wei and Katine. It was an absolute delight to have them both with us, and we are so pleased with the progress that has been made by the two of them. We wish them all the very best for the future and we hope that our final week will be a memorable one.
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It is quite a bittersweet feeling knowing that this is the last week of our summer school. We’ve had such an amazing experience with our students and tutors and we are so grateful to the students for joining up and for their attentiveness and dedication to learning English. I can safely say that I and our tutors have been absolutely delighted to be able to get to know each individual student and that we have thoroughly enjoyed teaching these last four weeks.
We studied various topics, including the past perfect and a selection of idioms that are often used in English. In addition, we also spent some time going over listening exercises, as well as looking at a practical use of the second conditional when giving advice to people. In the pronunciation class, the students learnt how pronouns and verbs are pronounced in fast speech and practised different ways of saying the letter ”o” in various words.
The children’s programme focused on technology, however, Fiona and her team also made sure the little ones got plenty of time to play in nature and do creative activities.
On Wednesday, our final excursion took place in Dunblane, where we visited the Cathedral which had fallen into disrepair during the Reformation, having been later restored to what would have been its original design. We also visited the library founded by Robert Leighton, who accepted the role of bishop, in order to reconcile the Catholic and Protestant communities living in Dunblane at the time. The library is recorded as being the oldest in the entire country, with a wide selection of books from all sorts of countries across the world.
On Friday, each of our tutors and the creche coordintor was given a card and gift for all their hard work and dedication, the children sang some rhymes and songs they have learnt with Fiona and our students each brought a wide selection of food and drink from their own countries. There was so much to choose from, and we spent the rest of the afternoon talking, playing games and enjoying each other’s company. I think it goes without saying that the summer school was a success, and I wish all of our tutors and students all the best for the rest of the summer.
Our morning classes begin on 28th August at 10am at the Rock Centre and the evening classes start on 4th September at 6pm and Wallace High School.
Looking forward to see you there!
If you’re interested in attending the Summer School in 2019, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope to see you there!
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