German Exchange

German Exchange 2014

Belper School’s German Exchange is a very successful programme which has been running for many years.   In fact, 2014 is our 20th anniversary!  The Exchange takes place every year with our partner school, the Gutenberg Realschule in Eltville.  Throughout the programme students have the opportunity to increase their knowledge and appreciation of the German language and culture, as well as becoming a lot more independent as for some of them, this is the first time they go abroad without their parents!

Eltville is situated in the Rheingau region in Germany, which is near the major cities of Wiesbaden, Frankfurt and Mainz.  The town is famous for its roses, its sparkling wine production and Johannes Gutenberg, who invented the printing press and started the printing revolution.  The town’s website,, gives you more of an idea of the beauty of the town and surrounding areas.

Our German partners came over in March this year (2013), and really enjoyed their time in the UK.  They visited Belper and Strutt’s Mill, Chatsworth House, Sherwood Forest, Sheffield Meadowhall and also spent a day in school observing what life as a Belper student is like.

We departed for Germany on Thursday 27th June and travelled by coach to Eltville, taking the ferry from Dover to Calais and driving through France and Belgium.  The students were superb this year, and really did themselves and Belper School proud.  We even beat the German school in their own swimming gala!

As students can take part in the Exchange in both year 8 and 9, the trips in Germany vary but are likely to include a tour of Eltville and trips to Cologne or Bonn (respectively to a chocolate factory or the Haribo shop), Frankfurt and Rüdesheim.  In Rüdesheim we travel by various means, including a cable car, a chair lift and a boat on the Rhine.  Students even have the opportunity to try the legendary Spaghettieis – anyone who has had been taught by Lexie will know about this!

We take great pride in our Exchange programme and enjoy enabling students to put their language learning into a real-life context.  Here are some comments from previous Exchange participants and parents:

“Thank you so much for taking me on the exchange!  It was great!”
“Rüdesheim is beautiful, I’m really going to miss it.”
“I would just like to say a big thank you for everything that you have done this week, without you none of this would have happened and what I have noticed over the two years I’ve done is the fact that the exchange is getting better every year! Since this is my last time on the exchange I’d like to thank you for all your support.”
“Our son had such a fabulous time in Germany…so much that he wants to go again next year!”
“A massive thank you for giving up your time with the students and our son.  He had a fantastic time, so much so he thinks they should last 6 months at a time!  He was very inspired, thanks again.”