Pupils, parents and staff from Dunoon Grammar School gathered at the school at 6.30 am last Thursday (26 June) to bid a fond farewell to German partners as the 2014 edition of the Dunoon Grammar School and Hardenberg Gymnasium exchange came to a close.
The tearful goodbyes from both sets of pupils as the German bus pulled away from DGS illustrated the success of this year’s exchange and the bond forged between the pupils involved.
Following on from last week’s events, there was no let up to the activities pupils were immersed in. On Monday, the pupils set off for Edinburgh to visit the Castle, with the one o’clock gun, the crown jewels of Scotland and the Stone of Destiny amongst the most popular attractions for the pupils. Next stop was to ‘The Whisky Experience’ on the Royal Mile, with pupils learning about the processes used in whisky production and the importance of the whisky industry to the Scottish economy. All were impressed with the high tech, interactive nature of this attraction – with pupils enjoying a wee dram at the end of the experience (Irn Bru of course!)
Pupils were then given some time to explore the sights and sounds of the Royal Mile, before meeting at the Scottish Parliament.
Tuesday took exchangers to Largs. First up was Vikingar, as pupils experienced life as a Viking and investigated the Scottish victory over the Vikings at Largs in 1263. Pupils then explored the town, with many enjoying a Nardini’s ice cream.
The traditional exchange Ceilidh took place in the school on Tuesday evening, with all exchangers participating in Ceilidh dancing to music provided by the excellent Herron Valley. Pipers and Highland Dancers from DGS also provided entertainment that was greatly appreciated by the German visitors – as was the mouth-watering buffet supplied by parents of DGS pupils.
Wednesday witnessed the exchangers visiting the Glasgow Science Centre, taking in a star gazing show in the Planetarium before getting hands on with the many attractions in the centre. Finally it was on to Braehead for some last minute souvenir shopping.
Tired and sad to be parting, the pupils gathered at the school early on Thursday morning – but with plans for the DGS visit to Germany next June already underway it was a case of ‘bis bald!’… ‘see you soon!’
Head Teacher David Mitchell commented:
“The success of this year’s exchange was clear to see. The warmth and respect displayed between the pupils and staff involved was evident. The range and quality of learning experiences provided for the pupils was first class and I am confident that many lasting friendships have been initiated this week. I would again like to thank all staff and pupils involved. I would like to extend my thanks to the parents of our pupils. Without their support and commitment this fantastic exchange would not be possible”.