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Redz Perform at Disneyland Paris


After a successful two day performing arts workshop in partnership with Young Stage Leverkusen and performing at Sandhurst school, 23 young people and five Youth Workers from the Spot Youth Centre went to Disneyland Paris for three days to take part in a performing arts workshop.

We left the Spot in Sandhurst at 10am on Monday 27th October in a coach for the drive to Folkestone where we got the Eurotunnel train over to Calais, we then travelled by coach through France to arrive at our hotel – the My Explorers hotel, we sorted out our rooms and then had dinner in the restaurant.

After dinner we performed a number of songs and dance routines to guests in the hotel that we had been learning over the last half term, we performed to about 50 people who were watching us for some of us this was the first time we had performed to people other than our friends and family.

On Tuesday we got the shuttle bus to the Disney parks, we went into the Disney studio park first to trey out some of the rides, to watch the shows and to learn a bit about how cartoons and films are made, we watched the stunt show ‘moteurs action’ which was amazing and then we went over to the Walt Disney park where we spent the rest of the day going on the rides. meeting the characters and watching the shows ending with the firework show in the evening, we then headed back to the hotel for what was left of the evening, it was a long day but the fireworks and show at the end of the day was well worth it.

On Wednesday we had to be up really early, we had to have our bags packed as we had to be at the park at 8am for our performing arts workshop, we worked with coaches and actors from the park where we learnt a song dance routine and some acting based on the Disney film ‘Tangled’, we then had a Q&A session with one of the Disney choreographers.

We then had a couple of hours in the park before we had to start making our way back to Sandhurst arriving home about 8pm

‘The atmosphere was truly magical’ – Daisy, Louise and Molly

‘An experience unlike any other, the performers were full of extreme energetic excitement’ – Ryan

‘Having the opportunity to perform in a different country was great and the workshop gave us a new outlook on how to perform’ – Jake

‘All of the Disney staff were very kind and supportive and I would love to do it again – Darcy


Culture News Headlines

South Hill Park Youth Theatre visit to Leverkusen

Sophie_FlughafenSophie Todd writes :

In June 2014 the youth theatre group from South Hill Park, Bracknell were invited to perform in a theatre exchange at Landrat-Lucas Gymnasium in Leverkusen, Germany. My Name is Sophie and I was 19 years old when we set off. As someone who hasn’t travelled all that much I was extremely excited to have this opportunity. I was the 2nd Oldest of the group, with a cast of 7 Girls ranging from 15-22. Although from the first rehearsal there was no notice of age difference between any of us and we have become great friends.

After we got off the plane we were greeted by some of the young people who we would be staying with and their teachers. I had a phrase book at the ready and butchered the easiest phrase- to which all the students who had greeted us replied in perfect English. I was amazed how good everyone’s English was wherever we went.

I Stayed with Lisa and her Parents. They were probably one of the nicest, most welcoming families I have ever met. Nothing was too much to ask for and they would always ask if I was okay, if I needed anything and they really enjoyed learning about my life in England. I also really enjoyed having dinner with them as they had many family stories about World War 2 and the East/West divide. Lisa is now what I hope a life long friend, we have much in common. We both said how great it was that we got paired up as we had a mutual love of the same type of music. We have kept in touch since and I hope she can come to visit me.

We were taken on some really interesting trips around museums and exhibitions. Going up the Cologne tower and the German National Museum were two personal favourites. Landrat-Lucas Gymnasium was a very welcoming place, all the teachers and students were very keen to know about what we were doing and where we had come from. I was surprised at how many pupils spoke English and would ask me questions. As someone who has completed both school and college It was interesting to sit in on a lesson- the pupils ranged from 14-19 but to me it felt more like a college environment as they wore there own clothes with no uniform.

The night before the performance we were all invited to a barbecue hosted by the family Suzie was staying with and watched a Germany world cup match. This was a lovely evening and it was great to spend time with a mix of people from both Germany and England.

WSophie_Koelnblicke were all extremely nervous about the performance, particularly as the way the script is written making it very hard to learn lines as all of the lines overlap and characters shout over each other etc. I found the workshops that Joey and Max led on character really useful not only for Top Girls but for other roles I would play. We all thought it great to play characters who were so different from each other and who bounced off each other. I really liked doing an all girl piece with such strong female characters as plays usually have a male dominance.



I spent most of the trip laughing my head off and I was really pleased at how the performance went. I’m really grateful for all the hard work that went into organising it and especially Joey and Max for being such great directors. I made some great friends and got really close to everyone who went. It was definitely a trip I won’t forget.




Sophie_locks  Sophie_statue

Culture News Headlines

Bracknell-Leverkusen Youth Council Exchange

lev2014_01Bracknell-Leverkusen Exchange

A group of Bracknell Forest Youth Council Members visited our twin town, Leverkusen in Germany for 6 days at the end of June 2014. We also met with a group from Finland who are twinned with Leverkusen too.

Our accommodation in Leverkusen was at the youth centre, “Lindenhof “, although we had a very busy schedule so got to see so much more;

We visited the Mayor of Leverkusen in the newly developed town hall, we were given the chance to ask questions and find out more about how young people in Leverkusen get their voices heard. This was followed by a tour of the town, a chair lift ride and some very tasty waffles, a visit to a girls club celebrating 25 years and a newly built youth centre.


We also got to experience a day trip to Bonn, the former capital city using public transport and take a boat trip back to Cologne, Visits to Cologne, swimming pools and town centres gave us all a good taste of what Germany has to offer, as well as a BBQ, including some nice German sausage.

“The most interesting part of the trip for me was being invited to meet the Mayor and see their council chamber, the opportunity to understand what is on offer for the young people of Leverkusen and how they get their voices heard” Said Max Ranger MYP Bracknell Forest.

“The biggest highlight for me on the trip was visiting and exploring the cathedral in Cologne “ said Jack Ranger DMYP Bracknell Forest.

Bracknell Town Council and Bracknell Forest Council helped fund the cost of this trip. This kind support allowed 11 of us to have some amazing new experiences, to learn more about each other and have fun.

The exchange gave us a great opportunity to meet new friends, learn new language skills and share cultural differences.

Local News News Headlines

The Sister Cities at the Time of WW1

ww1LMGMembers of the regional science course in class 8 of the Lise Meitner Gymnasium in Leverkusen are planning a WW1 exhibition. They have written to Augenblink asking for contributions from Bracknell schools.

They write that regional science is a mix of history, geography and politics. The exhibition entitled “The Sister Cities at the Time of the First World War” will be mounted in September 2014. The pupils add that they would be very happy if Bracknell students took part in the exhibition. They will also be illustrating the topic with drawings.

Please contact the newsdesk to find out how you can contribute.

Culture News Headlines

Hundreds of children perform ‘Lest We Forget’

Lest-We-ForgetMore than 600 Bracknell Forest school children performed a musical extravaganza to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War and conflict since 1914.
The special ‘Lest We Forget’ performance involved the children singing, dancing and narrating to provide a tribute conflict as well as to deepen their understanding of events that happened during the First World War.

Songs from the time of the First World War were sung, including a moving performance of Silent Night which was sung in both English and German.

Lots of hard work was involved in the production and it was a special event.
It was great to watch all the young people perform and the narrations were particularly thought provoking.

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The German School System in Brief

1000px-BMBF_Logo.svgThe German School System in Brief

By Vivien Aljic and Shqipdona (Käthe-Kollwitz-Schule, year 10)

Regardless of nationality or state (we have 16 of them in Germany), six-year-old children must attend school. The children have to go to school until the age of 18. The students study full-time for 10 years and after that (depending on their degree) they continue their studies or they do part-time studies at a college and at the same time they are trained for a job.
School begins after the summer break. When exactly school begins depends on the different states.

The summer break is 6-weeks long and the other holidays (Easter, Whitsun, autumn and Xmas) are 7 weeks altogether.

Education is free and most of the schoolbooks are free too. We have no school uniforms.

German Education is divided into 3 parts: The first one is primary school (Grundschule) from age 6 to 10 except Berlin and Brandenburg (age6 to 12). The second one is secondary school, which offers 4 different types of school: a) Hauptschule : basic and general education from fifth grade to tenth grade. b) Realschule : Students who go to a Realschule get a broader education than the students at a Hauptschule. c) Gymnasium (grammar school), which provides a higher level of secondary education for students from year 5 to year 12. At the end of the twelfth year students pass exams to pass their A-Levels. With your “Abitur” you can go to university.
The 4th type of secondary school comprises the other three ones: it’s called Gesamtschule and teaches the same subjects as the other schools from year 5 to 10. The Gesamtschule (or comprehensive school) integrates organizational and pedagogical contents of the three other secondary schools, but subjects like Maths or English, from the 7th grade, are divided into advanced or basic courses. If your marks are good enough and you had at least 3 advanced courses, you can do 3 more years and then try to pass your A-Levels . Our School is a Gesamtschule.

Our system is a little bit complicated because of the many different types of school and the many different states.

Culture News Headlines

Welcome to Leverkusen

LeverkusenLeverkusen on the River Rhine is a large and multi-faceted city. Its roughly 161,000 citizens are spread out over urban areas as well as idyllic rural ones. Village charisma and the vibrant city life are often just a stone’s throw apart. Sometimes they are even directly adjacent.

Leverkusen became famous as the industrial town where globally renowned company Bayer AG is headquartered. It offers much more, however: It is a city with many relaxation offers, lots of greenery

in particular at the outskirts of the Bergisches Land and with the romantic banks of the River Rhine in the North.

Leverkusen is known as a city of sports far beyond its borders. The soccer players of the national league club “Bayer 04 Leverkusen“ are one of the top national league teams and have often been highly successful in Europe. The BayArena is and remains one of the most beautiful soccer stadiums in Europe.

With this special mix of well-structured urban offers, Leverkusen was able to hold its own well between the much older cities of Cologne and Düsseldorf with their much longer history.

Leverkusen was founded in 1930 when the villages of Schlebusch, Steinbüchel, Rheindorf and Wiesdorf were combined under this name. The new town‘s name is symbolic for its history:

Pharmacist Carl Leverkus built his ultramarine dye factories here starting in 1860, thereby laying the foundation stone for the later Bayer factory and thus also for town development. Before the time

of industrialisation, the area on which Leverkusen is located today had only small villages with farmers, cattle breeders and fishers. Once the factory opened, many workers from other German regions came flocking to the Rhine. Since the area had no infrastructure, it had to be built quickly. A settlement grew around the factory and influenced the surrounding villages. Workers would go shopping in the villages, which would soon also send men and women to work in the new factory. The relationships that developed at the time were made of- ficial when Leverkusen was given town status. With the community restructuring of 1975, the town was expanded around the Rhine, the former country town Opladen and into the Bergisches Land.

Click here to download ‘Welcome to Leverkusen’ pdf.


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Shrewsbury Biscuits

shrewsbury-biscuitsA Shrewsbury cake, often called a Shrewsbury biscuit, is a traditional English dessert that bears a strong resemblance to shortbread. It draws its name from the English town of Shrewsbury, where it is believed to have originated during the Middle Ages.


125g butter or block margarine

125g caster sugar

1 egg, beaten

225g plain flour

Grated rind of 1 lemon or orange


1.         Grease two large baking sheets.

2.         Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.  Add ½ of the beaten egg and mix well.

3.         Stir in the flour and grated lemon rind and mix to a fairly firm dough with a round bladed knife.  Add more egg if needed – you need a firm dough which will roll out, but is not too sticky.

4.         Turn out on to a lightly floured surface and knead lightly.

5.         Roll out to about 5mm thick.  Cut into rounds with a 6cm fluted cutter and place on baking sheets.

6.         Bake in the oven at 180oC Gas Mark 4 for about 15 minutes, until firm and a very light brown colour.


Variation:  Add 50g chopped dried fruit to the mixture with the flour.

News Headlines Sport

Bracknell Primary Schools Indoor Athletics Championships.

St Joseph’s girls celebrate winning their relay race

Classmates from across Bracknell Forest headed over to the town’s leisure centre in January to compete in the first round of the Primary Schools Indoor Athletics Championships.


Read the full article here….


Culture News Headlines

My Bracknell Forest Art Exhibition

Earlier this year, our schools were invited to take part in an art competition to reflect life and living in Bracknell Forest.  Nineteen schools and the Youth Service submitted art work to the summer exhibition at South Hill Park on the theme of ‘My Bracknell Forest’.  The exhibition showed children and young people’s artwork from the ages of 4 to 18.  The schools and youth centres chose their best individual and group entries which were displayed in South Hill Park’s Mansion Galleries as part of an exhibition of 120 pictures exploring what Bracknell Forest means to young people.

Young people were encouraged to research their local area to inspire a piece of artwork to show where they live.  The inspiration came from many subjects including important historical buildings, such as South Hill Park, to areas of geographical or environmental interest like Swinley Forest.

Encouraging young people to be creative and imaginative is important and the My Bracknell Forest art competition provided a great way for young people to express themselves.  A selection of the art work has been photographed and put into a commemorative book.  A copy was presented to the Deputy Major when visiting the exhibition with a party from Leverkusen.

We also saw the art work created by a school from Leverkusen.

EP-Bracknell-Forest-Stag800 My-BF-art-comp-2_800 My-BF-art-comp-winners800 My-BF-art-comp800 Ranelagh-The-Elderflower-Picker800 St-Josephs-Untitled800 Uplands-It-is-always-a-nice-day-in-Sandhurst800 Wildmoor-Heath-Love-is-all-around800 Wildmoor-Heath-Wellington-College800