Newport Free Grammar School’s Italian exchange programme reaches 20 years

The students enjoying their trip to Venice. The students enjoying their trip to Venice.

Thursday, January 30, 2014
4:55 PM

Newport Free Grammar School has celebrated a significant milestone after the the Italian exchange programme reached its 20th year.

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And Janet Strong, head of Modern Foreign Languages, marked her own personal achievement having been on every single exchange trip since the programme commenced at the school in the early 90s.

The group – 20 students and two teachers – stayed in the historic walled town of Spilimbergo in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region of northern Italy.

Mrs Stong said: “I have taught at the academy since 1989 and the extensive exchange programme is something that I thoroughly enjoy about working at the school.

“The students find the exchange trips so valuable and an important tool in learning foreign languages. They are submerged in a foreign culture and in doing so gain a real appreciation of the language they are studying.”

The trip included a personal welcome from the mayor, two days in Venice, a visit to the only mosaic school in northern Europe and a guided tour of the Vajont dam disaster area. The students also took part in work experience in a local primary school where they learnt about the education system and the integration of immigrant children.

Newport will host the Italian exchange students in April.

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