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Martes 24 de Abril de 2012 18:14

A trip to Madrid

Desde Newcastle nos envían este video que resume la estancia de los alumnos de la Newcastle School for Boys en Madrid y durante la cual visitaron nuestro centro educativo para realizar actividades conjuntas con alumnos de 4º de ESO. 

El resultado de esta experiencia está narrado en el artículo que nos mandan y en un video que han elaborado de la visita:


Thirteen boys in Year 9 and two boys in Year 10 set off from Sunday18th to Saturday 24th March on a trip to Madrid. There was excellent camaraderie and they made the most of every visit. The staff at the accommodation praised their behaviour throughout the week. The group enjoyed the facilities at the accommodation, which included a football pitch, a swimming pool and a table tennis/football area. Being woken up by dance music and having to make the beds and sweep the floor every morning were perhaps not so popular!

The week began with a day trip to the Warner Brother theme park, which many boys thought was the best visit of the week! On Tuesday boys spent the morning at the Pío Baroja School. The Spanish students had prepared presentations on different aspects of the local culture. This was followed by our boys delivering group presentations on Newcastle, the UK, Easter and life at NSB. Our boys had the chance to mix with their Spanish peers and put their language skills to the test at break time and also during a well-received ‘speed dating’ activity.

Madrid has many palaces, of which the biggest is the Royal Palace or El Palacio Real, which the group visited after their visit to the school. We were stunned by the lavish decoration of the 20 rooms our guide talked us through. We found out that the palace has a total 3,000 rooms, was built by Philip II, who also launched the ill-fated Armada against England in 1588, and that the present king Juan Carlos and his wife Sofia only use it for official occasions. Another palace that the group visited was situated in a small town on the river Tajo called Aranjuez, about 40 miles to the south of Madrid. This 18th century summer palace is full of original exquisite furniture and has a museum of gilded barges which the royal family used to go boating on the river. Teams of bulls walking along a towpath would pull the heavier ones.

Thursday started with our second visit to the school for a morning full of activities. The art teacher at Pio Baroja School spoke to the boys about Pablo Picasso’s huge anti-war masterpiece ‘Guernica’. Following the catastrophic Spanish civil war 1936-39, it was painted in only three colours with wall paint to depict the horror and banality of war, using as an example the horrific bombing of civilians in small town in north east Spain called Guernica. Our visit was happily wrapped up with boys and girls exchanging Facebook details and taking pictures. Hopefully, they will be able to meet again soon on English soil in the near future. A glorious afternoon accompanied our visit to el Parque del Retiro, where our boys had a go at a popular pastime in the most popular park in Madrid: boat-rowing. This was followed by a stroll along the most popular streets in the city centre where we could admire Madrid’s grand architecture: La Puerta de Alcalá, La Cibeles fountain and La Plaza del Sol. We could not leave without a stop at the most famous chocolatería in Madrid to enjoy the local treat of chocolate con churros (hot chocolate with fried doughnuts to dip).

On the last day, boys formed groups to embark on a ‘The Apprentice’ style challenge at a food market. A time and budget limit was set for them to purchase a list of items at the lowest price possible and make the most of their language and business skills. After, the party went shopping in the market in the Plaza de España and saw the statue of the writer Cervantes looking out over a pond. Beneath him stood two more statues of Don Quijote and Sancho Panza mounted on a horse and a donkey, the main characters of his novel Don Quijote. Finally, before returning to the accommodation, the party visited the Bernabeu football stadium and spent their money on football strips in the shop. If you follow this link, you will be able to see a video that shows some of the places we visited and activities we did during the week:

Many thanks to ‘Los Quince’, the fifteen boys that Mr Drax and Mrs Membrado had the pleasure to be with in bright Madrid spring sunshine (and snow!): Lachy, Ed, Zeb, Niraav, Greg, William, Philip, Sam, Ian, James, Leon, Zane, Calum, Daniel and Matteo.

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