German Exchange Partnership

German Exchange Partnership – Dorsten

Ballyclare High School is proudly linked with Gymnasium Petrinum, a grammar school in Dorsten, Germany. Our partnership with Dorsten has existed for twenty five years, making this one of the longest running German exchanges in the province. Each year, groups of pupils and staff from both schools visit each other and participate in a range of cultural and linguistic activities. Many lifelong friendships have been formed and to this end we place great emphasis on international travel as a means of developing pupils as individuals; part of our school ethos.

On a typical exchange, which lasts for one week, pupils from Ballyclare have the opportunity to see the daily life of a German family, spend a day in a German school and take part in activities which promote language skills. Visiting teachers also use the exchange as an opportunity to share good practice and look at developments in language teaching in both schools.

Our German exchange has helped us to maintain a strong, bustling German department in a period when German has lost ground in popularity in other similar schools in the province. The German exchange with Dorsten creates a sense of purpose and achievement within pupils of all ages in Ballyclare High School, especially given that many pupils participate in the exchange on a number of occasions throughout their school career. Providing pupils as young as thirteen with the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in German language and culture, while staying with a German family for an entire week, allows young people to contextualise the material they study during language classes, whilst gaining a sense of independence and, of course, having fun in doing so!