Sixteen Derby Grammar School pupils who are studying Spanish headed off to Barcelona on Sunday 4 February for a week-long trip. The aim was to immerse themselves in the Spanish culture and to further develop their language skills.
The trip is based in Barcelona and combines three hours’ tutorials a day at the Oxford House Language School with cultural experiences and excursions including an exploration of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter and Gaudi, a visit to Camp Nou, and a visit to the chocolate museum – Museu de la Xocolata.
On their first full day the pupils were greeted with torrential rain, but it didn’t deter them. After the first session at the Language School they took a trip to the Gothic Quarter, but eventually the rain defeated them and so they resorted to eating chocolate con churros!
Day two was devoted to Gaudí, and the sun came out. The pupils visited Casa Battló and Casa Milá, popularly known as ‘La Pedrera’, the stone quarry. These are two of the Gaudí houses on the Passeig de Gràcia – one of the major avenues in Barcelona containing several of the city’s most celebrated pieces of architecture.
They also visited La Sagrada Familia, which it is hoped will be finished by 2026, the centenary of Gaudí’s death.
Wednesday, day three, was definitely a day of excitement as the group embarked upon the long-awaited trip to Barcelona FC’s stadium, Camp Nou, after Language School. Did you know it is the largest stadium in Europe and the fifth largest association football stadium in the world in terms of capacity?
On their final day the boys visited Museu de la Xocolata to learn about the history of chocolate. They also took in some of the amazing sculptures crafted by the Master Chocolatiers. The day finished with a walk under the Arc de Triomf – yes, there is one in Barcelona too!
Ben, Year 10, said: “The biggest thing that’s surprised me about the culture is how big football is. Everybody cares about how well Barcelona FC does.”
Miss Stebbings, Head of Modern Foreign Languages, led the trip and said: “We have had a fabulous week and are quite sad to be saying ¡adiós! to Barcelona.
It is very rewarding to see how the boys have gained linguistic confidence over the course of the week. They are surrounded by the language and learn without realising it. It has also given them an incredible insight into a different culture.
It is also lovely to see, as a group of sixteen, new friendships being formed”.