Exciting, enriching, challenging, inspiring, amazing and freezing were some of the adjectives used to describe the Remove’s (Year 10) exchange to our parent school, Marlborough College, in Wiltshire UK. Our 27 pupils arrived in the UK to some, even for England, unusually cold weather to live in a full boarding school, taking part in a very busy programme both in and out of the classroom.
Activities included ice skating, clay pigeon shooting and taking part in camouflage and concealment with the CCF (Combined Cadet Force). The best cultural moment was considered to be the snow by some, the clotted cream tea and the English breakfasts by others. Trips to the Roman Baths, Christ Church, Oxford (where some of the filming of Harry Potter took place) and Salisbury Cathedral were thought to be ‘awesome’. Who can forget our ‘penguin huddling’ practice at Stonehenge as we listened to the narrative on headphones with horizontal rain and sleet or our march up Cherhill where we had to hang on to each other so that we didn’t get blown off! A visit to the Play House in Newbury to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream was described by one pupil as ‘phenomenal’. We were also very fortunate to see the stunning school playGuys and Dolls plus an inspirational music recital on our first evening.
One of the best moments for some of our boys was the opportunity to play rugby 7s with the MCUK team. They certainly impressed the Marlborough coaches. One coach remarked after 10 minutes that it was impossible to tell who was MCUK and who was MCM.
And what did our pupils learn from the trip? As one pupil said ‘there were many but I’ve learnt how Marlborough UK operates and the impressive heritage we’re coming from’. Another said that ‘I have learnt that being the pioneers of MCM we are responsible for the school’s future.’ Finally ‘do not only think about ourselves while we are doing something, think about others too.’
Eye-opener, brilliant, impressive; a very successful first exchange.