Trip to Malaga, Spain
Following on from a very successful trip last year, Year 10 students from Teignmouth Community School visited Malaga, Spain, for a week in February.
The weather was kind to the group this year, and students arrived to a very warm 25 degrees – a reward for getting up so early to catch their flight.
On the first day, students experienced their first public bus journey to the ‘Peñón del Cuervo’, a picturesque rock formation at a nearby beach, and then walked back to the hotel. In the evening, students met with their penpals from IES Bezmiliana, Rincón de la Victoria, where their teacher and trip leader had previously worked. It was great to see them practise their Spanish, and during the course of the week they met several times, hopefully creating lifelong friendships.
Every morning students had Spanish classes at Academia Inma, where they learnt essential vocabulary to be able to survive in everyday situations in Spain, as well as practising the skills needed for the speaking part of the GCSE exam. After classes, students were able to use their language skills in real-life situations, such as buying tickets, going to the market, and ordering at a restaurant.
Students got to try typical Spanish dishes, including croquetas, paella, and natillas (Spanish custard). They were also treated to a ‘campero’ – a large round sandwich bigger than their hand, which is typical from Malaga. Everyone tried something new and it was lovely to see so many of them enjoying it. Naturally students also had authentic churros con chocolate and celebrated a classmate’s birthday on Valentine’s Day with a Spanish birthday cake.
Cultural visits included the historic centre, the Alcazaba fortress, a coastal walk, a visit to the Centre Pompidou, and a graffiti walk. The trip also included several shopping trips, with Ale-Hop featuring highly!
Another activity was a ‘selfie trail’ where students were given clues in Spanish and had to work out what the clue meant, and then find that place around the city centre, asking people in the street for directions and help with the clues. On the last day, students also took part in an Apprentice-style challenge where they were given a list of items in Spanish and had to work out what they were, and then find it for the cheapest price. Both activities saw students practising their language skills and gave some surprising results.
The day trip to Nerja was arguably the highlight of the trip. The short coach journey from the hotel took students past the Acueducto del Agila and the beaches around Nerja, before arriving at the Caves. Students were given a guided tour around the Caves and learnt about the formations in the caves and the different chambers that have been discovered. After being in dark for so long, they made the most of the sunny weather and strolled around the botanic garden, learning about herbs, trees and flowers in Spanish. Students were then taken to have lunch in Nerja town and were amazed at the artist who painted scenes onto white tiles using only his fingers, as well as local musicians playing on the Balcón de Europa. After a few hours to admire the balcony, the beaches and the quaint town, and have a quick photo with King Alfonso XII’s statue, students returned to the hotel to relax and have dinner with their penpals.
Students have come home feeling inspired, wanting to speak Spanish more, and feeling more confident using the language. Some students have even said they want to retire to Spain in the future! It was a great experience for all concerned, and teachers were impressed by their mature attitude and willingness to try new things. ¡Hasta la próxima!