Recently I took part in the Kings’ School French exchange which is partnered with Marmoutier School in Tours, France. I visited my partnered student and stayed within her home for a week. During this time. I got to know her whole family very well despite some nerves prior to the trip and felt fully cared for.
Through immersion in the language and the chance to practise having general conversations in another language, I felt my French speaking was greatly improved as well as picking up random phrases and colloquialisms that made me almost feel like I was fluent!
Within the week, we also travelled to many di erent historical sites, in and around Tours such as Chateau Chenonceau, the Montsoreau wine caves and the Chinon market, it was very interesting to experience such a di erent culture and see the history that has been in uencing the country’s identity in such a way. For me it was also a really enjoyable experience; the time which I was not sightseeing with school, was spent having fun, playing games and trying out new French foods. Before I went, I didn’t realise how much I would miss the family and culture in France and I was sad to leave after an amazing week.
In October, my exchange came to England and I think the excitement was reciprocated. We went away to London on the weekend and it was interesting to be showing someone around the country you have been so used to. We also o ered her a wide range of typically English food; we both enjoyed baking and tasting the cream tea. Overall I had an incredible time and I hope to see my exchange again one day.
The 7 Habits Conference
Mrs Gittins meeting Sean Covey CEO of Franklincovey, author of ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers’ and eldest son of the late Stephen Covey author of the international bestselling book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly effective People.’
Back in July this year, Mrs Gittins, (I/C in the 7 Habits at Kings’), was given the exciting opportunity to travel to Orlando, Florida for the global ‘7 Habits’ conference. She was invited by Franklincovey (the company who owns the 7 Habits) to deliver a speech on the impact of the ‘7 Habits’ in the UK and a workshop on ‘The development of the teenage brain.’
For the past 6 years at Kings’, we have been teaching the ‘7 Habits of highly effective teenagers’ in PSHEE lessons, assemblies and tutor periods to students of all ages. Helping children develop their resilience and leadership skills in order to deal with any problems they might face as teenagers and on into their adult lives.
Over 40 countries were represented at the conference, including China, India, Brazil, Cambodia, Australia and Africa. Mrs Gittins said “It was so inspiring to hear about how the 7 Habits are positively impacting on the lives of millions of children all over the world. The atmosphere was buzzing, full of energy and hope.” Mrs Gittins went on to share with me the story of one particular inspirational Headteacher from a 1st Nation Canadian secondary school. She explained that ‘1st Nation’ means the original native Canadian people and that they live in quite isolated poor communities, facing daily problems such as unemployment, high crime and gang violence. By introducing the ‘7 Habits’, this head teacher had breathed new hope and aspiration into her staff and the young people of these communities.
This was just one of many such stories shared at the conference and Mrs Gittins says “I felt truly blessed to be given the opportunity to meet so many passionate and inspirational people involved in education across the world. I have returned with lots of new ideas and a renewed determination to have a positive impact on the lives of pupils at Kings’ and in schools throughout the UK.
Lucy Payton (Year 11 Journalist)
The Dawn of a new EARA
On the 14th November Kings’ School played host to a number of other secondary schools in a challenging meeting of minds. The young delegates were all representing their various schools as Equality and Rights Advocates. At Kings’ our EARA group runs alongside our Amnesty International Youth Group, with both working towards raising awareness about Equality across the school.
As a “rights respecting school” Kings’ is keen to foster an ethos of tolerance and understanding of all, and in conjunction with pupils from other schools, to work collaboratively to promote equality and the rights of the child in our schools, based on the nine protected characteristics of the Equality Act and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)
We were pleased to welcome Councillor Roz Chadd from Hampshire County Council who joined us for the whole morning, as well as pupil advocates from Thornden, St George Catholic College, Horndean, Wildern, Bitterne Park School, The Key Education centre.
The pupils came away from the morning full of wonderful ideas to take their message to the rest of the school.