Putting Their Spanish Skills to the Test

Two hours north of the majestic capital of Spain you will find the greatly acclaimed city of Salamanca, home to heaps of culture and tradition. The city is surrounded by sublime scenery; it’s the perfect combination of vibrant activity and faultless tranquillity.

That was, until a raging torrent of students and teachers from Horsforth School (and for the first time our Benton classmates) hit the city for a week in an explosion of noise and excitement, in the hope to immerse ourselves in everything the city has to offer, as well as to improve our key language skills.

On Sunday 19th March, the collection of students from Years 9-12 met at the school and settled in for the long journey ahead. With trip General Mrs Ellison, Mr Helliwell making his Salamanca debut and Benton’s own Miss Holdsworth, we knew we were in for ¡una semana fenomenal! (That’s “a great week” for you Spanish amateurs.)

After a lengthy day of travelling and what some may call a tedious plane switch (don’t ask), we finally arrived into the warm waiting arms of our Spanish ‘mamás’ and ‘papás’ who would be taking care of us and treating us to countless varieties of traditional Spanish cuisine.

Over the next week all of the students took part in 16 hours’ worth of Spanish lessons at the ISLA academy - all led by exceptional Spanish-English teachers, for which I am sure the students are very grateful, even more so us Sixth Formers as the content covered in the sessions provided crucial practice for our A Level course.

Not to worry though, the trip wasn’t all intense study. Plenty of time was put aside for the group to experience an array of the city’s finest qualities, including a tour of Salamanca’s ancient cathedrals, an attempt at salsa (dancing, not the sauce), a traditional Tapas tour, a fascinating excursion to Sierra de Francia, and even a stab at Spanish karaoke, where us Sixth Formers were assisted by our teachers in our version of Beyoncé’s “Si yo fuera un chico.”

It’s safe to say the students had a jam-packed week, in which everyone got a deeper education of the rich history and culture of Spain, as well as a great experience to take with them into their future Spanish studies. I personally can’t wait for next year’s trip. Now, I must quickly give my deepest apologies to Mr Helliwell, who got severe sun-burn on the first day and had to spend the rest of the trip the colour of flaming tomatoes…a great way to remind the students to wear extra sun-cream!

Many thanks to all the organisers of this trip, and see you next year, Salamanca!

Georgia (12DTO)

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