School uniforms, hockey and apple crumble Three months exchange in Peterborough

Hello I am Emma Pfülb and stayed in Peterborough near London for three  months. I went to the King`s (the cathedral) school like a normal student and lived at Mrs. Hollywoods house. It was much fun to live with her three children and her husband and I really enjoyed King`s school. The students and teachers are very friendly and welcoming and it was easy to find friends and talk to people. Many people could not spell my name and it was very funny. It was easy to laugh with each other.

The first weeks were a bit exhausting because of talking, watching and living english. After a few weeks I was used to it and students were friendly enough to correct my English mistakes so I could improve myself. Thank you for that.  Some people did not recognise I was an exchange at first, because I was wearing an uniform, not very modern, but acceptable: black long skirt, white-red-striped blouse, a red jacket with an school emblem on the left side, black tights and shoes. The boys were wearing black trousers and shoes, a white shirt and also a red jacket with a black-white-red-striped tie.
Wearing a school uniform was strange at the beginning, but there was one day a year where the students are allowed to wear their own clothes.

The school is very big and I needed help to find the rooms at first. The school is very safe, surrounded by a big fence. For entry you need a special automatic card (swipe card). You can also buy food in the cantine with it. The cantine is nice, sells good and healthy food and has own cooks. My favourite food was apple crumble. Most of the English food is without salt, which is quite different to the food with more flavour I am used to.

Mr. Drakeford, Mrs. Willis and the other teachers were friendly and I could ask them whenever I needed help. I did music, English and History with 6th form (year 12 and 13) and PE (physical education) with year 11. My teachers were Mr. Gun and Mr. Warsap, Mrs. Rose and English literature with Mrs. Baker. Mr. Jenkins and Dr. Ratcliff were my music teachers. In all subjects I voluntarily did homework.
You have to play an instrument to do music A-levels (Abiturfächer), what is not usual in Germany. So I trained violin. In PE lessons we did sport theory once a week and did sports, for example netball, the other week in. There is no sport theory in my PE lessons in Germany. In English literature we did Shakespeare`s Richard III, which was unknown for me, and it was a nice experience.  Some people asked if I can understand and read the Shakespeare English, but it was not so difficult for me.
One school lesson only takes 70 min, which is very nice and more productive. It is shorter than the German 90 min lesson and despite that not more stressful. I had violin lessons with Mrs. Smith and talked a bit German with her.

On Wednesday afternoons I played Hockey, which was much fun and we do not have in German schools. We also do not have house music. It is an event where the house captains organize a music evening.  So it was a nice experience to take part in orchestra, Senior choir and Finale in house music.

There are four houses at King`s School, six house captains a house and one head boy and head girl for the whole school. They are responsible for example for house music, charity weeks and care for the students in their houses.  Another thing we Germans are not used to is assemblies and going to cathedral.

I did not need to go to the silent work room and was allowed to work in the upstairs workroom. As a result I got to know many people. In Germany we don`t have common rooms at school, so it was very nice to have a room where students of the 6th form meet. I know when I really am a student at kings it would be more strict and there would be more work to do. The people helped me and answered questions even though they were busy or had exams or tests coming up.

It takes only 10 min to walk to town from school. There are many shops and it is really nice not having a short way to get into town. Where I am from it takes me 20 min with the bike to the train station. The train is not that fast and on time, so it takes quite another while to get to a bigger town with that many shops of popular brands.

Even going to London does not take that long on the train and the Kings school is doing many trips to London and other cities.

There are many differences, not everybody would like to go to school here. For me it was very interesting, I enjoyed my three months at King`School. I improved my English, met many different people and made friends.