We have strong ties with the Unviersity of Wuppertal in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, and annually stage internship from German teacher trainees to spend a full term working in an English School.

Our first interns were Katharina Spellerberg, Lea Uhlmann and Judith Gärtner they made a fantastic contribution to the school – supporting in lessons, staffing school trips, performing at school events, and running a German Club. Certainly, the opportunity to meet with international student teachers was an asset for all of our students, a chance to appreciate an overseas culture and approach, and a real insight to Sixth Formers who could gather information to secure their own international placements.

Recently, the trio sent us a write-up on their internship which reads as follows:

“We are the three German students from the University of Wuppertal, who visited The Friary School in the summer term 2017. Our university offers a program where the future foreign language teachers of English can go abroad for three months in order to complete a traineeship at an English school. To participate at this programme we had to hand in an application and our university forwarded those applications to the English schools they are partnering with. The Friary School was a new partner so therefore we were the first German students to come to Lichfield.

After all of the organisational matter were arranged, we were very excited and arrived in Lichfield a few days before the term started so that we had enough time to get to know the city and to explore Birmingham. On our first day at school, Mr. Allman and Mr. Cain welcomed us, showed us around and introduced us to the teachers. We felt very relieved that the teachers and the pupils were so nice and welcoming. Mr. Cain provided us with timetables he created, suiting the subjects we are studying. In the first few weeks, we sat in the back of our classes and observed the lessons and how the teachers taught the pupils. However, after the half term break, we each started to teach a few lessons ourselves in order for us to gain some teaching experience.

We felt very well incorporated into the school’s daily life and we had the opportunity to participate in a lot of extra-curricular activities like the French exchange programme, the Summer Sizzler and the German lunchtime club we offered. Our personal highlight was the Modern Foreign Language trip to France, where we had the opportunity of getting to know the teachers und the pupils even better.

In our free time and on the weekends, we travelled a lot and got to see many English cities. Next to many more, we went on weekend trips to Cardiff, Bristol, London, Brighton and to the beach in Southport, and during the half term break we went to Dublin, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Our time at The Friary was a great experience for our future profession as well as our personal development. We enjoyed living in Lichfield and getting to know the British culture and overall we can only recommend pupils to go abroad to experience another culture.”

Matt Allman, Headteacher, added: “We hugely value our links with Wuppertal and recognise that students and staff benefit from international links and insights that improve our own education. Katharina, Lea and Judith were fantastic and threw themselves into school life and we are already looking forward to our next round of interns arriving later in the school year.”