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German students have been visiting Leek High School

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: May 06, 2014

German students have visited Leek High School – as well as local attractions including Alton Towers, Leek town centre and Rudyard.

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A party in a traditional British pub rounded off a week-long visit to the Staffordshire Moorlands for a party of German students this spring.

Students from Leek High School played host to a group of nine teenagers from Burgstädt, in Saxony.

It was part of an exchange scheme designed to foster international links.

And they enjoyed a farewell party at The Blue Mugge, in Queen Street, Leek, where they took part in the traditional pub games of pool, darts and skittles.

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The group flew into Manchester airport on a Sunday in time for a proper British Sunday roast, with some staying with host families around the Staffordshire Moorlands and several accommodated in Ilam Hall's Youth Hostel.

A week of lessons at Leek High was broken up by trips into town, to compare Leek with their home town of Burgstädt.

There was also a visit to Manchester, a walk to Rudyard, a visit to the industrial museum at Etruria and a much anticipated trip to Alton Towers theme park.

Wolfgang Mohn, the teacher who accompanied the group, explained: "The city of Chemnitz, near to Burgstädt, is known as the German Manchester and there are a lot of similarities in our areas with textiles, engineering and car production employing a lot of our people.

"We have discussed our shared history and are learning that the past is necessary for us to have a future together.

"It is good for our teenagers to learn from each other and they have enjoyed comparing the two regions and learning about each other's different backgrounds.

"Whatever their backgrounds, what is important is equality and friendship."

German student Anna Barsch, aged 16, who stayed with Leek High student Stephanie Booth in Elkstones, said: "I was really nervous before I arrived in Leek, but once I met my host family I felt much better as they are really friendly and I enjoyed my Sunday dinner of roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and mashed potatoes." Student Johnnie Förster, who stayed at the youth hostel in Ilam, said: "I enjoyed the trip to Etruria's industrial museum where it was a great experience to see a steam engine working."

Leek High's students journeyed to Germany last year where they experienced a three-night stay in Coldidtz.

The former Second World War prisoner of war camp, now housing a youth hostel, was their base for a study visit to the Saxony region.

The study trip was part funded by Staffordshire County Council's International Links fund.

The students not only improved their German language skills but also learned a lot about the history of the region.

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