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News > School News > Willkommen Zurück!

Willkommen Zurück!

The German exchange is back for the first time since 2019!
28 Feb 2024
School News
Ratsgmnasium Osnabrück
Ratsgmnasium Osnabrück

It can be claimed that the RGS first made contact with Ratsgmnasium Osnabrück, just five years after the end of the Second World War. The first intrepid exchange partner in 1950 was none other than Mr. Brown our then Headmaster. Now 74 years on we're delighted to host our German exchange partners at school with RGS families. The exchange with the Ratsgmnasium Osnabrück started in 1968 and has taken place nearly every year since then, with this being the 52nd exchange visit.


As part of their experience of life here in England, they will have a day of lessons with their RGS partners, two trips to London, one to Oxford and plenty they have enjoyed this weekend including Scouts, trips to Windsor, country walks and Sunday lunch.

Our close ties extend well beyond the annual exchange. In 2019, when the last exchange took place, we remembered and celebrated the life of Alan Yeates with his wife and two sons. He joined RGS in September 1982 and inspired generations of students in the study of German and French as Head of Modern Foreign Languages and German. He was also a dedicated and caring form tutor throughout his time in the school and, as was then the longest serving member of the teaching staff.

With generous donations from the school community, we were able to refurbish Alan's teaching room in the John Prior Languages building - Alan occupied this room for the lifetime it was built in the 1990's - and name the room in his honour. We put up a bench near the cricket pavilion, remembering the many happy hours he gave to sport. We also planted a tree next to the Languages Building to improve the environment, something Alan was always keen to do for both boys and staff.

Mrs Yeates and her sons, Jonathan and William, have donated a cup which is awarded at Senior Prize Giving as the 'Alan Yeates Senior Cup for Commitment to Modern Languages'. We are also very grateful to the Wilson family who have donated a cup to be awarded at Junior Prize Giving as the 'Alan Yeates Junior Cup for Commitment to Modern Languages'.

It only remains for us to thank all those past and present, to the members of staff, to the parents for their support and all the participating students involved on both sides, who embrace the experience with such generosity of spirit.

We very much look forward to sending our pupils over to Osnabrück in April for the return visit.

Osnabrück Exchange Diary Story 1994

An early start on a cold morning was soon forgotten as the coach left and the card games and Walkman's began. A reasonable journey with a 'moderate swell' in the Channel drew to an end anxious faces getting off the coach wondering what the next two weeks had in store for them.

However, these worries were unfounded. The delights of the cities of Münster, Bremen and Cologne were explored and the virtually impossible task of finding an English newspaper begun. A cost of over £1.50 just to see the football represented an expensive way of keeping up-to-date with Wycombe Wanderers' surge but it had to be done. 

A day in the 'well disciplined' and 'hard working' school brought home the fact that in this country we are worked too hard and our school day far too long, and the lack of homework meant that the young Germans had plenty of freetime to enjoy. What must they have thought when they came over here and didn't get home til 5 o'clock! The free days were spent practising our spoken German whenever brave enough and getting to know the many attractions of the pleasant town.

Other highlights of the trip included a pale Mr Yeates reacting to the term 'moderate swell', his acquisition for his tie collection, and actually winning a game of cards on the journey home - a terrific personal achievement.

Darren Page 6LY1 and Nathan Thorne 6LY1

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