Christmas Markets Trip to Cologne 5/01/18

After a successful first term as Post 16 students, thirty three of the Trust's Year 12 and Year 13 cohort travelled to Cologne, Germany where the magic of Christmas was felt by all as they journeyed through the festively decorated city to enjoy its beautiful Christmas marketsDuring the four day trip from the 11th to 14th December, the students were treated to an array of sights and experiences. On their first day, they visited the Lindtt Chocolate Museum, which proved both educational and delicious! At the Museum, the students learnt all about how chocolate is made, exactly where it is exported from and even got to visit a re-creation of a tropical rainforest where the cacao bean is grown and cultivated. It was a blend of in depth Geography, Economics and History learning. Between watching the master chocolatiers at work, studying the engineering of the chocolate-making machinery and experiencing a simulation of a 1920's sweet shop, the visit satisfied students' curiositites, as well as their chocolate cravings! If this wasn't enough, the Museum was located on the Harbour Christmas Market, whereby students enjoyed the maritime ambience, as well as meeting a pirate!

Throughout the rest of their time, students explored Cologne's many Christmas Markets: they visited "Nikolausdorf" (St. Nick’s Village) on RudolfplatzThe "Markt der Engel" (Angel Market) on Neumarkt and the "Heimat der Heinzel" (Home of the Heinzelmännchen) on Heumarkt. At these markets, the group immersed themselves in the culture, trying the local cuisine and communicating to shop proprietors in their very best German. With their outstanding British values, students demonstrated the utmost respect for the different customs they encountered. Furthermore, on their travels through the city centre, the group met the overwhelming and stunning Cologne Cathedral which took their breath away. Students marvelled at the architecture and pondered over how such a colossal building was built 770 years ago (in 1248)!
Overall, the trip was a major success and an experience all of the students will never forget. A Parkside Studio College student commented: "I had never been abroad before going to Cologne and it was one of the best experiences of my life. It made me much more confident and independent and I am really grateful to my teachers for taking my friends and I". Another student who joined the Trust in September 2017 said, "I am so glad I joined the Trust because I get to have opportunities like going abroad. Even though I came from a different school, I've made so many new friends and everyone is so nice". In addition to this, the accompanying teachers said that the students were a delight to take and that it was one of the best residential trips they had been on. 

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