As part of the Languages/International Week, a group of 23 A Level students, combining Year 12 Spanish and Year 13 Computer Science, visited the city of Valencia, in Spain.

These were three and a half very intense days, with a full-on programme which allowed us to take part in a wide range of activities, from a robotics workshop, to a paella-cooking lesson, as well as the obligatory visit to the Old Town and the impressive City of Arts and Sciences.

We were lucky enough to be in Valencia on the actual week before the Fallas Festival takes place, but we could already soak up the atmosphere and witness some of the traditional activities that happen daily. This was a unique opportunity for our students to experience the language and local culture first-hand and we all enjoyed and learnt something from it.

I feel privileged to have been able to lead this trip, and I would like to commend the students that took part for their impeccable behaviour and positive attitude, embracing the many learning opportunities we had in those few days in Valencia. I would also like to thank Mrs Camporro-Fernández and Mr Murdoch for their invaluable help during this trip.

Ms Sabaris

We spent 3 days in Valencia, where we explored the cultural elements of Spain, including its festivals, food and architecture. For the first day, we travelled to the Old Town, or La Ciutat Vella, to watch La Mascletà, a spectacular fireworks show in preparation for Las Fallas festival, which celebrates the welcoming of spring. It was so loud we could feel the ground shaking! Afterwards, we toured the city and its many fascinating historical sites like Las Torres de Serranos and La Catedral de Valencia, but of course the main highlight of day one was learning to cook paella in the city it was invented! We also learned to make tortilla (Spanish omelette) and traditional Spanish lemon cake, which were delicious.

On day two, we visited the Science Museum and Oceanography Museum in the City of Arts and Sciences, both of which were amazing experiences. The buildings were very different to the old gothic architecture that we had seen so far in the old town. We all found the underwater life in the Oceanography museum mesmerising to look at and one of the walkways was completely surrounded by sea life from all angles. We also had the opportunity to watch an incredible dolphin show, where we saw the emotional bond between humans and animals as well as the importance of marine conservation.

In the afternoon, we revisited the Fallas festival by taking a trip to the Las Fallas Museum. To celebrate the festival, Valencian communities come together to build massive papier-mâché structures, called Ninots, which are then burnt at the end of the festival to welcome the new season. However, each year, one Ninot (usually one that represents values of that year) is voted for by the public to be spared and displayed in the museum. It was really interesting to see the evolution of Ninots over time, as they represented very well the lifestyle of the decade they belonged to.

On the last day we were given free rein to explore the city on foot, which allowed us to gain our own view on the culture of Valencia. It was really nice to be given the freedom to do this. Finally, to top it all off, before our return to England, we enjoyed a delicious tapas meal that included various traditional Spanish food such as patatas bravas (baked potatoes with garlic and spicy sauce) and calamari. This trip was unforgettable and we learnt so much about the culture and way of life of the people in Valencia.

Written by Alice, Daisy and Ellie (Year 12)


On the Valencia trip, I learned so many things about Valencia culture and festivities. For example, the Las Fallas festival and the Fallas Museum were a real eye-opener for me about how different cultures celebrate different festivals. It was such a wonderful experience to be involved in another culture’s festival and it was a life experience that I feel I have now gained and will keep with me for the rest of my life. The trip to Valencia was an amazing opportunity to embrace the Spanish way of life, and I could not have asked for a better experience!

Emma (Year 13)