Thursday, 29 March 2012

Easter in Germany

This year I will spend Easter here in England. As I’m German, I would usually spend the time around Easter with my parents, my sister and my grandmother back in Germany. Easter is a very important feast in Germany and you would never celebrate that day without your closest family members unless- as it is in my case- you are away from home. So what is so special about Easter in Germany? Well, first of all not only little children, but also teenagers and adults enjoy that day very much.

There are many things to prepare for Easter: a couple of days before Easter Sunday, people colour eggs at home or blow eggs and paint then. Also, the house will be decorated with appropriate Easter decoration and flowers will be put on the table. Not to forget all the shopping, cooking and baking that has to be done!

On Easter Sunday, the smaller (or more grown up) children will search for chocolate Easter eggs, either in the garden or inside the house. My family and I always have a big breakfast or even a brunch with many delicious things: fresh rolls, croissants, sweet yeast bread, cheese, ham, eggs with mayonnaise, jam, Nutella, quark, yoghurt, coffee/tea/hot chocolate and many more things! After that, we go to church and remember why we actually celebrate Easter at all. In the afternoon many other family members will be expected and we will eat cake, very often a carrot cake, and drink coffee. Later, we will go for a walk in the park or forest.  There will also be a special meal on that day- some potatoes, meat (maybe lamb) and vegetables. In a nutshell, there is a lot of eating involved on that day and a lot of time will be spent with your loved ones.

Frohe Ostern!
Karoline (German Assistant)

Recipe for a (German) carrot cake:

-          250g sugar

-          5 eggs

-          some vanilla sugar

-          250g ground almonds or hazelnuts

-          50g flour

-          some baking powder

-          a little bit of cinnamon

-          250g grated carrots

First, cream the sugar, eggs and vanilla sugar together. Later, add ground nuts, flour and baking powder and cinnamon to it. Finally, add the grated carrots.

Put the dough into an oval cake tin and bake it in the oven for about 45 minutes (200°).

Later, mix some icing sugar and lemon juice to make some icing!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Barcelona photos

Crossing Christopher Colombus roundabout after having visited ‘Port Vell’, Barcelona’s harbour.
On ‘Las Ramblas’ -ready to shop for postcards and Spanish souvenirs for our families and friends.
In front of the impressive façade of ‘Basilica Sagrada Familia’.
Amazed by the stunning interior of Gaudi’s Basilica.
Waiting for the tour of the RCD Espanyol football stadium.
Enjoying our football experience inside the stadium.
A visit to the "Torres" Vineyards.
Grape juice tasting.
One of Gaudi's most stunning buildings.
What a surprise- dinner at Hard Rock Café!

Exploring the fantastic Science Museum.

Parc Guell, our favourite place to relax.

The Gothic Quarter with its labyrinthine street plan, small streets and squares.

Waiting for the tour of the RCD Espanyol football stadium.
Enjoying our football experience inside the stadium.

¡Hola again! Year 8 Barcelona Trip II

¡Hola again!
On Wednesday we started our day with a fabulous tour of the RCD Espanyol  football club stadium! We enjoyed watching the 3D presentation on the history of the club and were really lucky to see the footballers’ 'secret room' (warming up room) as well as the VIP areas. After that, we went to the beautiful Gaudí park called Park Güell for lunch and spent some time exploring the grounds and admiring the colourful sculptures. We continued our tour with a visit to Pueblo Espanyol, a copy of a typical Spanish village with buildings from different parts of Spain where we could buy traditional Spanish food and many hand-made products. Most excitingly, we had the chance to observe a craftsman making glass figures! This experience was followed by a good walk along the Gran Via, the most expensive street in Barcelona. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough pocket money to afford any of the items! And guess what- the surprise of the day was a special dinner at Hard Rock Café!  We loved the ambience and could even choose our favourite songs to be played in the restaurant! If you want to see us dancing to “Waka waka”, go to 'Tomlinscote Barcelona Trip 2012 dancing Waka Waka' on Youtube.(

Our breakfast on Thursday was special as we were able to try fresh Churros (fried doughnut fingers with a warm chocolate sauce). The Science museum awaited us later with many interesting and hands-on activities. We loved the lively planetarium tour and a walk through in the Amazon rainforest full of snakes, fish and waterfalls. We ate our lunch in a lovely park where we had the chance to enjoy the sun. From the park we walked over to the Gothic quarter. The group then split: one group went to the great Picasso museum; the other half went around the stunning Gothic quarter. We finished off the day with a delicious dinner-Paella, a typical Spanish rice dish with different herbs, fish and vegetables. And what came next was even better- a Latin American dance workshop!
On Friday we flew back to England full of great memories and stories.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Student of the Month - March 2012

This month's Student of the Month has been nominated by Frau Davies:
Isobel Lynch in 7G has produced this fantastic brochure on a German town.


Sunday, 18 March 2012

Primary French - colourful animals

Year 4 at Ravenscote Junior School, one of our feeder schools, have been learning about colours and animals in French with Madame Christian. Here is the fabulous work some of the children have produced. Well done to 
Harry, Sam, Isabella, Cameron, Nikhita and Caitlin.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Japanese Taster Sessions

Here is an account by Eloise Warren (Year 7) on her Japanese taster sessions:

Japanese taster sessions at Tomlinscote are really good. So far I have only had a couple of lessons and have already learnt a lot. I think that it is good that Tomlinscote have these taster sessions because it gives pupils the opportunity to gain a little knowledge of Japanese, and then later on maybe continue with the GCSE. It is fun as the Japanese culture is very different to ours and learning to write the language and learning about Japan is interesting and enjoyable. I also think that writing the language is fun because it is almost as if you are drawing what you are writing about. Even though Japanese is great fun it can be challenging to learn how to write the symbols correctly and learn all of the different types of alphabets. I think the best part of learning Japanese is being able to learn how to write the symbols because it is really knowing how to write in another language.

Thank you very much Eloise!
Have YOU had taster sessions at Tomlinscote? 
Do you want to tell the world what you think of them? Write use an email ( or hand in a text to the MFL office.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Shakira in Spanish and French

Some of the most famous international singers surprise you when they show off their language skills.
Here's an example with Shakira during a concert in Paris:

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Day trip to London

Today was a very long day touring London so that the French could take a good look at all the main landmarks, followed by a picnic in Hyde Park and the musical Wicked.

The feedback seems to be positive. It looks like everyone was tired but happy at the end of the day.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

French Exchange - at last, the French have come to see us!

The French exchange party arrived today at the end of the day at Tomlinscote, as planned.
Only one slight obstacle left to negotiate: the traffic on Tomlinscote Way.

Are you sure that hands off the steering wheel is the best course of action, Mr Driver? 

I'm sure the French students were glad to get off the coach to stretch their legs! 

After collecting their luggage, the French students were eagerly trying to find their Tomlinscote partners amongst the crowds. 

And it wasn't long before smiles appeared on everyone's faces. 

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

News from Barcelona

On Monday, despite our slightly late start, we managed to arrive on time at the airport to take our flight to Barcelona. After meeting our guide for the week, we went to Torres Vineyards and we learnt how red and white wine is produced after a thorough tour of the beautiful grounds and seeing thousands of barrels and bottles of the famous wine!  Did you know that red wine is made from a combination of black and white grapes? And we also had the opportunity to try some lovely Moscatel (grape juice of course) but in a very authentic way!  We were still  not very tired so we went to the lovely on-site swimming pool at the residence to play water polo and relax in the jacuzzis!  After our busy day, the moment arrived to try some Spanish food. We  had a delicious 'tortilla de patata con ensalada' (Spanish omelette with salad) for first course, and 'pollo al ast con patatas fritas' (roast chicken with chips) for second course, and a nice 'helado de vainilla y chocolate' (vanilla and chocolate ice cream). Hmmm, ¡qué rico!

La Sagrada Familia
Yesterday morning we woke up early to try a delicious Spanish hot chocolate called 'Cola Cao'. After re-charging our batteries with a tasty breakfast, we went to Port Vell to see the sea and Marina as well as all of the magnificent yachts  we walked through  'Las Ramblas' practising our Spanish buying some souvenirs and lovely food in the famous 'Mercado de la Boqueria'. As our tummies were rumbling, we decided to go to Montjuic,where we had our lunch in a beautiful park with stunning views of Barcelona. The next visitor attraction was the impressive Basilica Sagrada Familia designed by the Spanish architect Gaudí and due to be finished by the one hundredth anniversary of his death, 2026!!! After having such an exciting time in the city of Barcelona, we went back to our very nice holiday park just in time to get ready for our Aqua Gym session. We are looking forward to our remaining days in Spain and we will post again soon!  ¡Hasta pronto!                                                  

Monday, 5 March 2012

Mother's Day

On the 18th of March 2012 is Mother's Day.

Mothers were already honoured in ancient times, and in Great Britain the tradition of a special day to show gratitude and give flowers and gifts to our mothers dates back to the 13th century. Here, Mother's or Mothering Day is always celebrated on the fourth Sunday in Lent.

In many other countries, like Germany, Spain, Italy, China and Japan, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May. So there mothers get their presents on the 13th of May this year.

Mother's Day in France, or Fêtes des Mères, falls this year on the 3rd of June.

On the 8th of March many countries celebrate women, regardless of whether they are mothers or not: International Women's Day remembers the economic, political and cultural achievements of women past and present. First introduced in 1911, it even is a national holiday in some countries like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria. In Italy, all women get free entry to museums and galleries on this day!

Friday, 2 March 2012

French charity song

A number of French singers got together to sing this very catchy tune. They are hoping that the public will enjoy it, download it and all the benefits will be given to Unicef charity organisation to support children who live in the Horn of Africa.

So, if you like the song, download it (legally!!!); it's for a good cause.