There was a real buzz at Heathrow Terminal 3 Arrivals recently when a group of St Clement Danes students welcomed their French ‘pen’ friends with great enthusiasm. The students, who had been communicating for two years, met for the first time face to face last month.
“I thought they would be nervous but they all went straight to their friends without hesitation and couldn’t get away quickly enough to spend time together!” says Marie Massé, Head of French at SCD, “They have been talking regularly on social media – Facebook. Snapchat or Instagram and some write letters by hand so they can silp in a chocolate or a drawing.”
The school connection began as part of the town twinning initiative between Chorleywood and Dardilly, France when M’slle Massé set up the link with St Joseph’s School, Tassin la Demi Lune on a twinning trip two years ago.
The young French students went on daily outings to places of interest including the Tower of London. Windsor Castle, Oxford, Wembley Stadium and Harrow School. But their local jaunts to Hollywood Bowl and Hemel Ski Centre with their partner families were enjoyed even more!
Patricia Petit-Rambure and Brigitte Beche, Professors of English at St Joseph’s who led the exchange trip, both stayed in Chorleywood with Twinning Association members Kathy and Richard Foster.
It’s the French school’s turn to host SCD students next
“Our headmaster is really thrilled with the partnership, as are the parents.” says Patricia “ Everybody is looking forward to returning the hospitality in March 2018. We hope these friendships survive for years well after we retire!”