A taste of Christmas in Bonn
Christmas time in Germany
The pupils at St Malachy's Primary School Armagh, Northern Ireland first got to know their friends at the Finkenhofschule in Bonn as part of the UK-German Bears project
The teachers and pupils wanted to build on this school partnership and meet each other face-to-face so they applied to take part in option 2 of the Magical Christmas Trips programme.
Pupils travelled to Bonn at the end of November, 2016 and were accompanied not only by their teachers but also by four mentor students from nearby St Catherine's College.
The trip, which lasted four days, gave the children the opportunity to spend a day at their partner school, where they learned about each other's schools, sang Christmas songs and even weighed out ingredients and made muesli bars together.
With the help of the mentors, the primary pupils also explored the cities of Bonn and Cologne, including a visit to Beethoven's house and a tour of the very oldest part of Cologne. Not to mention the Christmas markets, full of wonderful smells, magical lights and jingling Christmas sounds.
Although the visit was organised by St Malachy's Primary School, a representative from UK-German Connection was with the group for part of the visit and on hand with help and support with the visit logistics.
In the run up to the visit, the mentors ran sessions at school to help teach the pupils about German Christmas culture and also some German language.
The mentors were pleased to be able to develop their skills as young leaders and the primary pupils were keen to learn from their new 'cool' young teachers.
After the visit, both schools spread the word about the trip and their partnership through assemblies, wall displays and social media.
The schools would now like to make the visit an annual event and are working on plans to take their partnership to the next level.