Leeds West Academy

Spanish Immersion Programme

Leeds West Academy students have been enjoying a unique Cultural Immersion Programme between the Modern Foreign Lanuages Department and schools abroad, which has included hosting students from Vallmont School, Madrid.

Last year Leeds West Academy hosted three students from schools in Spain for a term at a time. The students stayed with local families and followed their own timetable at school, learning about daily life in and outside of the Academy whilst enjoying time with their host families and attending trips at weekends.

Ms Dixon, Spanish teacher, collaborated with Study Links, a company which provides opportunities for overseas students to experience school life in the United Kingdom. The students follow an immersion programme of classes, initially buddied with a keen linguist, before following their own timetable with options for the rest of the duration of their stay. The programme has the objective of boosting their knowledge and experience of British culture and daily life.

Of key benefit to students at Leeds West Academy is direct engagement with Spanish-speaking peers. Our Year 10 and Year 11 students have relished practicing their Spanish speaking and developing their written language skills, whilst also forging international links and friendships.

Students Marina Salas and Eva Alonso from Vallmont School said: “This has been an unforgettable experience. The things we liked the most were that at the beginning all the students, teachers and staff helped us when we needed. Another thing that we thought was good is the different variety of subjects that can be chosen. In addition, people were very kind and nice with us in the canteen and around school. We were fascinated by how the school was distributed because we aren’t used to moving from one class to another for the different lessons. Finally, in spite of being in a different country with a different language, family and school, we got used to it and have had an incredible time here. Thank you for everything."

Ms Dixon adds: “Students from Vallmont and Leeds West Academy have had wonderful opportunities to develop their language and cultural awareness. Hopefully we will be branching out further to develop longer lasting links with the Vallmont School in the future, through correspondence and further joint projects.”

To learn more about Vallmont School, visit their website here.