Headington School: Diana Bonifaci
“This is the second time that I have taken a group of Upper 4 to Spark and I can’t recommend it enough! For us being all in the same building means that students could enjoy being together and sharing dorms whilst us teachers could check on them and could benefit from having spacious rooms with an ensuite bathroom.
Inge’s and Doug’s organisation and hosting was impeccable: they took account of all our students’ medical and dietary requirements, including the last minute ones and they checked in with us on a regular basis.
The beauty of this trip was that we had a local Chaperone available 24/7, who knew the area really well, and that took some pressure off from me as a trip leader. Our Chaperone was also one of the teachers, which meant our students got really attached to him by the end of the stay. They were also motivated to speak in Spanish as much as possible as they knew they would be rewarded with tokens and there would be a prize at the end for the best team.
There was a nice variety of activities: in the morning our pupils had lessons, which meant us teachers were able to relax and explore El Puerto, and in the afternoon we did something different everyday, being it visiting Cádiz, Sevilla or making paella. There was something for everyone!
This is the fifth year we have run this trip and even students who came five years ago and are now in their final year at Headington still ask if they can go back to El Puerto!
Diana Bonifaci —is acting Head of Modern Foreign Languages at Headington School, Oxford
Diana is happy to confirm the validity of this review for schools interested in preparatory tours. Please fill in the form below if you would like to receive confirmation and ask a simple question.
“The beauty of using Spark Spanish for a school trip is that pupils see the “real” Spain. El Puerto de Santa María is a traditional, unspoilt Andalusian town yet it is still vibrant and exciting with lots going on. You are highly unlikely to come across any other English tourists!
For us, using Spark means that we get a lot of logistical support from the school. They meet us at the airport, chaperone us on tours and also stay with us in the residence above the school to ensure the trip runs smoothly. This also creates a lovely “family” feel as the Spanish chaperone is like a big sister or brother to the girls, and it is great to expose them to Spanish as they insist on speaking Spanish to the pupils. The Spanish housekeeper who is also on site during the day is also very much part of the “family”, adding to the warm and friendly community.
The programme of events and trips run is excellent, Spark will tailor trips and activities to your needs and I have to say that the efficiency and organization of Doug and Inge is really appreciated. The accommodation and facilities are of a high standard and the teaching is very good; pupils always come away from lessons having learnt and more confident in their Spanish. Using Spark will definitely take the pressure of you as a teacher. When parents ask me where they can send their daughters to improve their Spanish I always recommend the Spark homestay programme and our pupils have always been well looked-after when they have gone independently.”
Rachael Pike—was Head of Modern Foreign Languages at Headington School, Oxford
You can see more recommendations in our Spanish school tour testimonial memory book.