Dartford Girls Grammar School
1 reviews from the community
Review of "Dartford Girls Grammar School"
On the 8th of January we set off on the Swiss exchange. It was cold, dark and 6 o'clock in the morning but hey, anythng for a week off school in Switzerland, oh and er yes, work experience. The fact that many of us spoke no or barely any German didn't really matter as the gratuitous use of hand signals, facial expressions and taking people by the hand to show them where the loo is was more than adequate. The flight over was interesting, I've never been in a sardine tin so high up before. Mind you it was a great laugh seeing as it was only us 10 from the girls and 10 from the boys' school on the whole plane apart from the unfortuante teachers (Mrs Wiltshire and Mr Nichol from over where the boys live). We arrived in Basel, got a train to Rheifelden our base town where our partners went to school, at 8 am, in their own clothes!! These crazy Swiss types!! We met our partners there and went our separate ways to get to know our host families; a host cat was often part of the family. Later we met up to explore the beautiful Rheinfelden. One of the most fascinating things is that you can quite easily walk into Germany in an evening as it is on the other side of the river (guess which one). So that evening, after being up since 5 am, a party of 40 students descended on Germany to play pool. So that day we had been in England, France (The runaway at Basel starts in France and ends in Switzerland, yeah it counts), Switzerland and now Germany.The work experience was either in a chemical factory (more exciting than it sounds), a hotel, a primary school, a rehab clinic for those recovering from operations or, the best a BREWERY !! The local Brewery, Feldschlösschen Brauerei. Fantastic.
Work experience was fascinating, we sat around in several different offices, had lots to drink (non-alcoholic, unfortunately) and had many breaks. The highlight of the experience was walking past the town to get the old Feldschlösschlen train to take us back to the town! Oh and it should be noted, never, ever let anyone who is caffeine sensitive drink a Baterry!Caffeine-sensitive Battery fuelled 17 year olds are a formidable force. The work experience wasn't all play, apart from those at the brewery.
The chemical factory was really interesting. During your 3-day work experience we made hand cream and bubble bath which you keep and they smell really nice. We also received the equivalent of a lab coat which is actually a massive T-Shirt but a nice memento of the trip. You spend a day in a specialised area of Ciba, for instance in the dyes department or plastics and plastic additives. Most people discovered what happened when you put a gummy-bear in liquid nitrogen and then throw it on the floor. For those of you not in the know, it smashes into thousands of tiny frozen jelly shards. Essentially this second day was for the employees of Ciba in their specific departments to entertain you and you get to see all the cool stuff chemistry can do when you've got oodles of resources.The Swiss Trip was a fantastic experience and they threw us a fantastic party on the last night. When you go there you have a lot of independence because their public transport is incredible. The trains are clean and the buses are made by Mercedes Benz. I cannot stress this enogh, cleanliness on a train. We all felt a little ashamed when they came back to England and we went on the train. Tips for the next trip, organise the party on the last noght (Friday) BEFORE the Thursday of that week. Obviously you're meant to go on the Swiss trip for the work experience nut the social aspect cannot be overlooked. You'll get to know people in your year you never thought you would and you get to know your partner really well, they speak English so well, it's amazing. They've only been learning for two years but come out with things that you'd never expect. The Swiss were so accommodating and understanding and you hope when they come over they'll feel as welcomed as you felt. For many of them a week was the longest they'd been away from home and because they're in England as well, it can be quite stressful and maybe a little overwhelming. I have to mention the long-suffering teachers, Mrs Wiltshire and Mr Nichol. They were both really understanding,helpful, put up with us and our singing and barely moaned about our behaviour which was nice.
I cannot recommend the Swiss exchange enough. I'm sorry to mention the phrase (you will come to hate it when you reach sixth form) but the work experience will look impressive on your UCAS form and dealing with living with another family for a wekk in another country gives you real confidence that you can achieve anything. You meet some incredible people in Switxerland and learn about their culture and way of life (they have to leave home for school at 7 am!) This is a fantastic week and well worth it.
Product Information : Dartford Girls Grammar School
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Listed on Ciao since: 30/01/2004