New visit of Manchester Grammar School to TANDEM in Spring 2010

Once again this year we had the pleasure of receiving the visit of the students from Manchester Grammar School, with his teacher Richard Simpson.

We would like to thank this school for the trust they have placed in TANDEM for many years. The programme was very interesting and the students learned a lot of Spanish. You can read their testimonial below.

Nueva visita de la Manchester Grammar School a TANDEM en primavera 2010

El estadio Santiago Bernabéu

The Spanish Trip to Madrid was a great experience,  improving our Spanish  beyond recognition.

The host school,  Escuela Tandem, is right in the heart of the city and was where our classes were to be based. On arrival we met our host families – worse than a blind date – who were to look after us for the week.  We all struck it lucky as they really took care of us.  On the first night we were taken to a karaoke bar where we performed songs in Spanish such as Angels by Robbie Williams. Fortunately no-one was listening.The next morning we all met at Escuela Tandem where we were introduced to our teachers, Natalia and Ruben, who taught us for the duration of our stay. However, one of us (Dylan Rose), made it to the lesson 40 minutes late, very red in the face, having been overcharged by a taxi driver and then fighting with him (verbally of course!). The afternoon was very interesting, as  we visited the famous Prado museum. Led by our guide Sonia, we gained incredible insight into Spanish Art, especially the work of Goya.

Our 3rd Day in Madrid was spent in Toledo, the old capital of Spain; a beautiful city which is rich in culture. Once again Sonia was our guide and she expertly explained the various phases that Toledo has seen and the reasons as to why it was the capital of Spain. Our improving Spanish enabled us to haggle with a waiter in a restaurant, especially satisfying as he tried to rip us off! The highlight of the day, however, was the tour of Toledo on a road train, from which where we got to see how beautiful the whole city is.

Clase de cocina

Con Don Quijote y Sancho Panza

Sunday (the next day) was split into three. First we visited the Madrid version of Portobello Market, called EL RASTRO, where we invested in tee-shirts with wonderfully inappropriate Spanish slogans. This market was incredible simply because it was so cheap and you could find all the tacky items that tourists want to buy!  We then took the train from Atocha station to Alcala de Henares, birthplace of Cervantes and home to one of Spain’s most beautiful and prestigious universities.  In the shadow of dreaming Spanish spires we watched the storks circling and ate our ice creams.  The trip was worth it for those wonderfully relaxing moments alone.

Later on that day, back in Madrid, we went to El Parque Retiro, where we played football for a few hours and soaked up the late afternoon sun.  Antonio Yoo managed to set a record by queuing 35 minutes for a toilet, or so he said. It may have been the ice cream.

Monday was perhaps the best day as after our morning classes, we went to the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, the home of Real Madrid, where we went through the museum, took many photos, acted like the team by running out from the tunnel, pretended to take questions during a press conference and bought clothes and football items from the megastore. All in all this was a great day and was topped off by a fantastic Madrid derby between Real and Atletico, which we watched in a restaurant.

Tuesday was our penultimate day, where we had classes in the morning and then free time to pack and roam around Madrid. Not being adventurous shoppers, we settled for El  Top Man and Los Dunkin Donuts.   I would be doing this report an injustice if I didn’t mention the fact that we had falafel sandwiches from the most incredible place called Maoz, every day! The best food we had in Spain! We regrouped at Escuela Tandem and were led to a restaurant where we were given cooking lessons. We learnt how to make paella, traditional omelettes (potato) and a dessert too. Over a hot cooker we got into a rowdy conversation with a German student about that night’s  Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich game …of course Bayern won and we were humiliated but it was still a great night to end the trip on.

Our last day came to a close with two more classes, one with each teacher, with the group leaving straight after this to come back home. The two teachers, Ruben and Natalia were superb and taught us a variety of very useful things, ranging from some basic work on the first day, to in-depth descriptive phrases, to getting us to describe our favourite Spaniard in detail. The lessons were very relaxed and enjoyable, as both teachers paced them perfectly. Of course, there were some hilarious comments during the trip, one of which was Adam Talbot on the tube: “this is like the tube in London but the tube in London is ‘tubier’”.  Actually, he’s right.

On behalf of Antonio Yoo, Adam Talbot, Mark Kelly and Dylan Rose, I would like to say a really big thank you to Mr. Simpson and Mrs. Thornber for giving up their free time to come with us.

Akhil Shah 12 SJP


Summer camps for children and teenagers. 

If you sign up before May 31: free registration.
If you have already participated in a summer program at TANDEM: 15% discount + free registration.

Use the coupon code when booking: CAMPS2024