At the start of October 5 students from St. Aidan's joined up with students from Denmark, France, Spain and Cyprus for a meeting in the beautiful sea side town of Sberaeron in Wales. We had a fantastic week visiting the school and interacting with Welsh partners as well as all the other students from our partner countries all over Europe. Joseph, Chloe, Kayleigh, Sophie and Gloria have all written their thoughts on different aspects of the trip and you can read all about it here.
Ysgol Gyfun: The Welsh School
Ysgol Gyfun is the school we visited when we went to Wales. They have five classes a day and each one is an hour long. They also have an hour long lunchtime. Their canteen is huge! For your lunch you can choose from sandwiches or they serve a different dinner every day. There students are not allowed go home for lunch. They also have a fifteen minute break at eleven o’clock, where they serve Welch cakes (which are mini pancakes with currants in them), pizza, croissants and bacon rolls but you do have to pay for lunch. At lunchtime the boys play football or rugby. They have three computer rooms the majority of the students speak fluent Welch and most of the lessons are taught through Welch. In Wales they don’t have first or second years and they start secondary school when there eleven. It starts with year seven and goes up to year twelve. Year Seven is like our first years. In the school we were working with year nine. They finish school at 3:15 everyday whereas we finish at 4:00 every day except Friday we finish at 1:00. _
*Chloe O’Faolain *_
Dinners with a Welsh Family
The family we went to are really kind. There was her mum Ms. Davies, who also worked at the school, there was Broyan, her husband and their two daughters Mirian and Ellie and one or two of their friends came over.
Their home was awhile away from the school since it was on a farm. It was almost the last stop on the school bus, but driving it was quicker. On the first day for dinner we had lamb, potatoes and a little bit of vegetables.
What I enjoyed most was about visiting the family was the way they lived on a farm they were also all so nice. We also got a tour of the farm on the first visit we were in there jeep it was good...but the second day there family, friend Sion, who comes along to help sometimes, decided to put Kayleigh, Carla (a girl from Cyprus) and me in the back of a trailer attached to a quad which he told us he had never driven before! We drove all the way around the farm but while that happened we got covered in mud!!!! When we finally got back to the house we cleaned ourselves up as much as we could and had dinner, after dinner we played cards, but altogether it was really fun! Personally, I wouldn’t mind living on a farm, I am keeping in touch with some of the people at the Welsh home and other students from the school.
Trip To Cardiff
The trip to Cardiff started off really early for me as I woke up at 6:30 to go get showered and ready for the day. I didn’t have breakfast that morning because I was running a bit late and I also wanted to wait for the food I would have down in Cardiff.
For the day I stuck with Chloe, a Welsh boy called Tom, another Welsh girl called Celyn, and two Danish boys called Andreas and Frederick. We all went on one big bus to Cardiff, but before that we all met at the school where we would leave. For most of the bus journey I was asleep or had my earphones in listening to my favourite bands, Of Mice & Men, Northlane, Killswitch Engage, and Bullet For My Valentine, I also had some of Ed Sheeran on my playlist to mix it up a bit.
Our first stop was a place called St. Fagan's just outside Cardiff City. This was a loving history museum. They took old buildings from all over Wales and rebuilt them on a large piece of land. These days you can walk around St. Fagan's and see how people lived in the past in Wales.
After St. Fagans we went to Cardiff City. A few interesting sightings along the way were lots and lots of farms and huge fields, which I personally wouldn’t see in Ireland as I live in a very urban area and don’t really explore the countryside. Some other interesting sightings along the way were the Stadium in which the Welsh Rugby Team play in, The Millennium Stadium. Also there was this giant Rugby Ball prop fitted into the wall of Cardiff Castle, marking the Rugby World Cup. The first thing we did when we got off the bus was exchange phone numbers with our teachers just in case of an emergency or we get lost. After we did that, we set out on our own and our little groups to explore the city centre of Cardiff.
The first thing I did and everyone who knows me would know, is get Starbucks. I got a Large Mocha Frappe with cream on top and it was delicious. I was so excited and happy about getting my dose of Starbucks because I hadn’t had it in quite awhile.
Once we were finished looking around, me and Tom caught up with Andreas and Frederick and got a McDonalds. I got a big box of Chicken McNuggets and it was amazing! Afterwards we went back to Starbucks for more coffee, and this time I ordered a Large Pumpkin Spice Latte. We stayed in there for quite awhile, using the free internet that was in the Cafe, and we charged our phones for the journey back to Nature Base. I really enjoyed it because I missed a lot of people from home and I got a chance to catch up with them.
By the time we were finished using our phones and charging our phones, it was time to go. We started heading towards our meeting spot.
We then hopped on the bus, and before we went home we stopped into a Shopping Centre nearby to get our dinner. I didn’t eat anything because I was stuffed from all the coffee and McDonalds.
I really enjoyed the experience and I had so much fun In Cardiff. It is such a great city and I’d love to explore there again someday.
Naturesbase- Our Accomadation
Nature Base was located just outside the small town called Abereron and it was it was on a farm. The owners Gyles and Alison are really nice and generous.
There were four showers five bathrooms and five bedrooms. There was a big field, a farm, XL jenga, a pizza oven and there were a few picnic tables outside the lodges too. There were also TeePees (tents) outside where our teacher, Ms. Sloyan, stayed. There was also this clay pizza ovens that we made pizza in and a few of our Welsh pen-pals came and had pizza with us.
Inside the lodge there was a kitchen, a dining are area and a little cosy sitting room that made it feel more homely.
The Irish girls slept in the largest room that held eight people with the Cyprian girls’. The French girls and Spanish teacher slept beside our rooms we had to be quiet a certain time. The girls and boys were separated into different dorms.
My opinion on Nature Base is that its great and I would love to go back there again and I highly recommend it for people that have never stayed there before.