Castilla la Mancha 20th – 25th March 2011 L Whitford Sunday 20th March Flew to Madrid Travelled by coach to Toledo for our first night’s accommodation. Monday 21st March Walking tour of Toldeo Toledo is an amazing city. It was originally built as a defensive city. The castle and the important buildings were surrounded by a defensive wall, thereby making it a walled city! Our hotel was inside the city walls. The town is beautiful and very picturesque - as these slides show! A view from the top Square of Toledo Narrow streets are typical of Toledo! El Greco was a famous painter - one of his paintings is kept in this building! Spanish Government operates on three levels - one for all of Spain…one for the region of Castilla la Mancha…one purely for the city of Toledo. In the same area as the government buildings stands the Cathedral. We went to a popular viewpoint on the hillside and we got fantastic views across to the old town… From here we travelled to the Education Offices for a formal welcome and introduction to Castilla la Mancha Presentations by two Spanish teachers Workshop session for the group Meet host teachers and have lunch Leave Toledo to travel to the host town or city. I was staying in Albacete. My School Experience - Tuesday - Thursday My host school was called Martinez Parras. It was located in a small mountain village called Lietor The school is about the same size as Richmount. The children are taught some of their subjects through English… this makes them a bilingual school. I did speak English to the children but I also had to use a lot more Spanish than I had anticipated! Pictures from school Infant 3 8 & 9 year olds 6 & 7 year olds - I loved this class!! Their classroom had a lot more on the walls than the other classrooms. Spanish schools do not display children’s work as a rule…the walls can often be very bare! At the beginning of each English taught lesson, the children completed the class calendar…this allowed them to practise their spoken English. Some of the English teachers! 9 year old class 7 & 8 year old class A typical class timetable The teachers from Clare and Suzanne’s schools took us one afternoon to a small village called Chinchilla – it is very old but the views are beautiful. The Infant 2/3 class I joined this class for their English lesson and it was great fun! Especially the singing games. 10/11 year olds This class was beginning the new topic of Materials. They were being taught it entirely in English!! Clare, Suzanne and I celebrated getting to the end of our school based days by having a very traditional lunch! Paella & Arroz Negro (black rice)! It does not look very nice but it is delicious. It is rice that has been dyed using squid ink and it has pieces of Calamari through it! On Thursday night we took a night walk around Albacete before meeting teachers from the three schools for tapas and then dinner! Inside Albacete Cathedral The new Town Hall Dinner with the host teachers! On Friday we returned to Toledo to meet up with the group again - time for more sightseeing and some shopping! Before I went to Spain I was very nervous about what I was letting myself in for - I should not have worried - it was an amazing experience and great opportunity! It might have been a busy week but I would do it all over again!