If travel is an education, youngsters at Longton St Oswald’s are top of the class.In the past five years, Year Six pupils from the village school have been partnering with their peers at Ecole La Gazelle, a primary school in Nimes, in the South of France.
French is taught at St Oswald’s from reception class upwards and, with help from Preston’s twinning committee and teachers Sarah Quillam and Alison Powell, the schools have become good pals.
Sarah said the school was originally sought help from the twinning committee hoping to set up pen pals links but the idea snowballed into exchange visits.
She added: “It was daunting at first.
“La Gazelle school have two ‘top’ classes with about 25 pupils in each so there are 50 pupils and eight accompanying adults.
“Five years later, we have these exchange visits down to a fine art.
“Children are immersed in the language and culture – a perfect way to improve their French.
“The children and families from both schools benefit enormously from these exchange visits.
“We have just welcomed two new staff from La Gazelle to Longton.
“They spent a week with us getting to know us and the area before their return with their children in June 2018.
“We will be taking this year’s pupils back to Nimes the following week. “
It is hoped a stronger links will be established with All Hallows High School in Penwortham and the secondary school in Nimes so the children can maintain and build on their link with the families .