Friday, 29 June 2012

Euro 2012 Semi Finals

In the first semi-final Portugal stepped up their game a few notches and gave Spain a run for their money. But despite several chances on either side, and lots of fouls and dives, the match had to be decided by penalties again (at half past midnight local time!). Two initial saves made the shoot out very exciting, but a worried looking Alves used up his confidence when he walked up to the penalty spot at the wrong time. So when it really was his turn, he hit the bar, leaving it to Fabregas to strike the winner. Ronaldo, fifth in line for Portugal, never got a chance to shoot.
With a final score of 4-2 (again!), Spain is in the final of Euro 2012 to defend their title, undoubtedly supported by at least years 8 and 9 of Tomlinscote. Or are you getting bored of the Spaniards winning everything in football?
before the match,obviously...

German fans had high hopes for their team in the second semi-final, despite not having won against their 'Angstgegner' Italy in a major tournament for decades. They started off confidently with several good chances, and managed to keep Pirlo in check. But when Balotelli did his magic and scored after 20 minutes first with his head and shortly after with an ingenious strike, the Germans crumbled and never found back in the game. An extra-time penalty goal by Özil and Neuer's help as a midfielder were too little too late and Italy won deservedly with 2-1, shutting up the supporters on the 'Fanmeilen' around Germany.

Can Italy beat Spain in the final on Sunday?

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Euro 2012 - Quarter Finals

So here we have it. England had beaten co-host nation Ukraine to make it through to the quarter finals - much to the joy of our travelling year 7s who were allowed to watch it in the disco room in Germany.

In the first quarter final, Portugal made it through beating the Czech Republic with superstar Cristiano Ronaldo scoring their 1-0 winning goal. They will face Spain, who, after an early goal by Xabi Alonso, never really let France into the game, despite some good shots by Ribery and Cabaye. The final score was 2-0 after a penalty for Alonso in injury time, and the reigning Euro and World champions are set to go to the very end!

An extremely strong Italy put an end to England's dreams. Passing just like Spain and finding gaps everywhere, gli Azzurri dominated the game. However, they just couldn't put the ball in the back of the net (without the offside flag up), so the match remained goalless even after extra time. Like so many times before, England went out with a penalty shoot-out with Andrea Pirlo outwitting Joe Hart, and both Ashleys (Young & Cole) failing to score.
True: a win of this weak but brave English side would have been an injustice, but it's a great shame anyway!

'Schland Küchlein
Already in the semi-final (and surely having watched this exhausting match with glee) is Germany after defeating Greece. Cracking the usually solid Greek defence, the Germans created chance upon chance with fast passes. After Lahm (who only scores every four years for Germany) hammered in a first goal, the ban was broken. Greece's equaliser did not stop them, but rose Khedira, Klose and Reus into action: A convincing 4-2 saw them through to the semi-final.

The Iberian neighbours will battle it out on Wednesday, while Germany meets Italy on Thursday. Olé olé olé!

By the way, in Germany people are going crazy with the whole Eurocup mania: Every Biergarten becomes a public viewing spot, there are flags on many cars and even some cakes support the team!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Year 7 French Trip Return Journey

It wasn't possible to add a blog post yesterday while we were all travelling back but we just wanted to complete our series of posts for the French Trip by saying how well all the students coped with the long journey back. Unfortunately, there was a long wait to board the ferry at Calais and the sea crossing was fairly rough. Consequently, there were few cases of 'mal de mer' but everyone pulled together to look after those who felt off-colour. Our coach drivers were superb all week and got us back to Frimley safe and sound around at 11.30pm. As you can see, we just about managed to get a picture of them all (you'll notice that one of them did his best to try and get out of shot!). Thank you very much indeed, gentlemen.

By now parents and friends are no-doubt beginning to hear first-hand about the trip from those who went. We're delighted that the students have been able to enjoy a range of activities and experiences this week and we look forward to seeing their love of French language and culture develop further in the years ahead.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Year 7 German Trip - Roundup

On the road again with Coach Number 1 (the number one coach!)
We do apologise that our reporting from Germany has been a bit patchy, but there were some problems with the wifi in the hotel and everyone was just SO BUSY!!

So uploaded from home, here is the report we received from our correspondents in Germany:
Our children have been enjoying themselves immensely!

On Wednesday evening, the talent show was a great success, with Maxx being crowned the proud winner for her fantastic singing. Miss Rendell, who had saved her energy for this moment by sleeping every second on the coach, gave the group a special Zumba lesson!

Thursday was Phantasialand-day! A few children had to delay their enjoyment by some time, due to previous silliness or noise after lights out. But eventually all had an awesome day, enjoying the roller coasters and the scary Black Mamba ride (if they dared!).
Finishing it off with a bit of football in the woods and finally a disco, this was a very memorable day for our year 7s!

With one last long ride on the Party-Bus, singing and dancing to the Flieger song, they are on their way home now, looking forward to get back to their families and to tell their loved ones all about their adventures!
Thank you to the children for being a wonderful and very pleasant group (apart from some boys' singing on the coach).
And a big thank you to Frau Sparks, who organised it all, to party leader Herr Elad and all the teachers who looked after the kids out there!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Year 7 French Trip Day 4

The day started by wishing one of our students 'Joyeux Anniversaire'. Here he is, wearing a gift from us!:

We visited the medieval town of Amboise today and discovered the castle of the French kings. We learnt all about the differences between Gothic and Renaissance architecture and styles of furniture and decoration, as well as some history about the castle's many occupants. It was interesting to hear about Leonardo Da Vinci's connection with the town too. He spent the last three years of his life there and, at his own request, his grave is in the royal chapel in the grounds of the castle.

There were some beautiful old streets in the town for us all to explore before we visited Le Clos Lucé (the house where Leonardo Da Vinci lived and worked). It was particularly fascinating to interact with full-size, working examples of his inventions in the gardens surrounding the house.

We have had a great time in France this week (with thanks to our teachers and superb coach drivers) but it has also been quite tiring and we are looking forward to being back home with our families tomorrow night.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Year 7 in Germany Limburg Treasure Hunt

In the pretty town of Limburg, children had a list in German of various things to find out, take pictures of or to bring. They did a marvellous job and managed to have time to practise their language skills buying a healthy lunch from the market, or an authentic German  Döner Kebab.

Year 7 French Trip Day 3

The sun shone on us all today as we spent time in La Rochelle. The students enjoyed exploring the old town and using their French to do a little shopping and ordering of food and drink for their lunch. Here are just a few photos of the town:

After lunch we had a fascinating time looking around the aquarium. There were some huge tanks containing all sorts of marine life from around the world. Particular favourites were the seahorses, clown fish, jelly fish and sharks.

Unfortunately we didn't receive enough consent forms from parents to allow us to show pictures of the faces of our students on the web, so we decided to take some alternative group shots outside the aquarium!:

We do, however, have lots of photos of the students taking part in the activities that we will make into a display when we return to school.

Finally, food is always one of the great experiences of travel. We already mentioned how much we've enjoyed eating at the hotel. We took a 'before' and 'after' photo of 'Joseph' (named by his owner!) to show that we are all clearing our plates ... though we may be putting on a little weight, eating three courses for dinner every day!

Year 7 German Trip 2012

Despite the rain and low clouds covering the tops of the hills along the Mosel, kids enjoyed the scenery and Marksburg Castle.
Guess who is under the helmet!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Year 7 French Trip Day 2

We are enjoying eating together in the hotel restaurant. Last night we had a delicious three course meal ... and discovered that Ms Merle has a particular weakness for deep-fried balls of potato. As you can see, she was shocked to be caught helping herself to yet more of them!

Today, the weather began sunny and warm but unfortunately the rain arrived soon after breakfast. It hasn't put a dampener on our day at Futuroscope however. Students have returned from a day in the park with many tales of having danced with robots and having saved the planet from the comfort of an IMAX armchair.There has been a display of colourful footwear to brighten the day too (do you recognise any of these feet below?).

We have to say, we think the 3D glasses are quite fetching ... but the Tron suits might have been a mistake!