Over 80 linguists from Fourth Year to Upper Sixth enjoyed a number of overseas trips over the Easter holidays. The trips offered invaluable language practice and the opportunity for the linguists to immerse themselves in the culture and history of a different country.


A group of eight Hamptonians travelled to Germany for a week long stay in the city of Hamburg. The Lower Sixth pupils enjoyed a ‘work and study’ experience, which involved language school in the mornings and work experience in the afternoons. The language lessons, held at the Colón Language Centre, provided pupils with a valuable opportunity to focus on their spoken German. The afternoons were spent working in various local businesses including cafes, hotels, a kindergarten, a charity clothes distribution centre, and a soup kitchen. The varied experiences gave the Hamptonians a fantastic insight into real-world German language and culture.

On the first day of their trip, the Sixth Formers delivered presentations in German on some of the key sights in the historic city, an opportunity for everyone to get their bearings before they explored further. They enjoyed a fascinating tour of the FC St Pauli football ground, where they learnt about the history of the club, which is known for its left-wing and anti-establishment attitudes. In the evenings the group entertained themselves with a Hamburg quiz, a visit to an enormous fun fair, a trip to the Miniatur Wunderland, where they marvelled at the world’s largest model railway, and even solved an escape room which had to be completed in German!


Sixth Form Hamptonians travelled to Nice in southern France for an educational and cultural trip which combined morning lessons at a local language school with a varied programme of activities in the afternoon. The linguists also had the opportunity to practise their skills with native French speakers, as they stayed with a host family for the duration of the trip.

Each morning, pupils would gather at the Alpha-B Language School for a formal learning experience with French teachers. The  Lower Sixth Formers enjoyed classes together honing the skills that they had learnt at Hampton, while Upper Sixth Hamptonians were stretched in classes including adults from across Europe, helping them to push the limits of their understanding of the language.

The afternoons saw a mix of cultural sightseeing and exploration of the local area. From the glitzy streets of Monaco and the exhibits at the Musée Masséna in Nice, to the Florian Confiserie, each excursion offered an insight to the region’s rich history and artistic heritage. A highlight for many was the visit to the Picasso Museum in Antibes, where Hamptonians were able to see a portfolio of one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. The trip culminated in the glamorous city of Cannes, adding a touch of cinematic flair to the already picturesque setting of the South of France.

One of the most valuable aspects of the trip was the opportunity to practice both professional and conversational French. Whether engaging in structured classroom activities at the language school or interacting with their host families over a meal, the linguists were encouraged to hone their language skills in real-world settings.


Hampton’s French department has been running the French Exchange trip, partnering with Collège et Lycée Notre Dame de Sion near the Jardin du Luxembourg in central Paris, since 2009. During the Easter holidays, a group of twenty Fourth Year Hamptonians travelled to Paris for the return leg of their exchange, having hosted their exchange partner earlier in the spring term. The week offered invaluable language practice and the opportunity for the pupils to immerse themselves in the culture of the vibrant city.

Pupils spent the weekend with their exchange partners visiting a range of places of cultural interest including a rugby match at Stade Français, a tour of the Paris Saint-Germain football stadium, visits to les Catacombes and Montmartre, and even experiencing la Course des Cafés, a race of over 200 waiters, dressed in traditional costume, tray in hand loaded with a glass of water, a coffee and a croissant! Competitors raced a 2km course – without running – to try to be the first to cross the finish line without dropping anything on their tray!

During the week, the Hamptonians enjoyed a guided tour of the Louvre which included Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, fantastic views from the top of the Eiffel Tower, an exciting day at Disneyland Paris, a boat trip on the River Seine and sampled plenty of the local cuisine with their exchange families. The week was a huge success, and provided the linguists with a valuable opportunity to improve their oral fluency, listening skills and overall language confidence.



A group of 37 Fourth Year Hamptonians travelled to the beautiful Andalusian town of Ronda for a nine day trip in April. The pupils spent their days working in four different schools in the town, making friends with the local pupils and speaking a mixture of English and Spanish so that everyone had a chance to perfect their oral skills.

Time after lessons was spent exploring the town, soaking up the sun and the local culture, and blowing off some steam in a hotly-contested football match against the local school team. In the evenings, the Fourth Years ate in a range of excellent restaurants trying typical food from the region. Cultural highlights included visits to the Arab Baths, the Mondragón Palace, the church of Santa María la Mayor and the theatre to see a musical play based on the life and works of Antonio Machado.

At the weekend, the pupils swapped their pens for hiking boots and enjoyed a 12km walk through the sierra from the village of Benaoján back to Ronda, followed by a scavenger hunt and a guided visit of the oldest bullring in Spain. They also enjoyed a visit to Seville including the iconic Giralda, the bell tower of the city’s cathedral, from which the pupils had a bird’s eye view of the city and were able to admire the many monuments and narrow streets below them.

Mr Tom Aucutt, Head of Modern Languages, was delighted that so many Hamptonians took advantage of the languages trips on offer over Easter:

I am extremely proud to see the range of travel experiences enjoyed by our Linguists during the Easter break. Each pupil will have returned with a greater understanding of French, German or Spanish history and culture. I hope that these opportunities to test their language skills in authentic contexts gives them confidence and encourages them to think about how far they can go with their learning. Languages set you on an exciting path of discovery and personal enrichment and there is no doubt that those who took part will have benefitted immensely.

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