Six international students from Italy, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland are thriving at Highbridge’s King Alfred School Academy sixth form.

They are part of a huge 100% increase in their numbers to 103 students. The sixth form enjoys excellent results, inspirational teaching and a school style community atmosphere.

The academy is part of The Priory Learning Trust and is attracting students from schools in Weston including Priory Community School Academy, Worle Community School Academy, as well as Bridgwater.

This week more than 20 students attended the Modern Languages Society after school which is run by the six students – helping to boost their learning in French, Italian and German.

Head of Sixth Form Jonathan Gaskell said: “We are thrilled to have six international students as part of our expansion. They have fitted in extremely well.”

“They are also helping our aim of broadening the horizons of our sixth form Somerset students.”

Students attending the sixth form receive a bursary for travel as well as a free laptop for their studies.

The students are Immacolata, 17 from Italy, Noémie, 16 from Switzerland, Lía, 18 from Belgium, Annalisa, 16 from Italy, Luisa, 16 from Italy and Miriam, 17 from Germany.

Each of the students decided to come over to the UK for a year’s education. They signed up for their course but had no idea where in the UK they would be sent until just before they set off. They all commute daily from Weston-super-Mare where they are staying with their host families.

They were all delighted to be at the school and have the freedom of to choose what to study from such a wide range of subjects.

Lía told “It is a great school to be studying at as we have much more freedom compared to our schools back at home. I love being able to be by the sea and everyone is so friendly.”
Noémie explained that she likes the Sixth Form as she could study her favourite subjects which would help her gain skills and qualifications to help with her University course. She liked the relaxed style of teaching and that students were treated like adults and given more responsibilty.

The group of students are studying a mixture of courses from the A-Levels on offer at TKASA’s Sixth Form including Design, English, Religious Studies, Business Studies, Psychology, History and Music. They will return back home in July to complete their courses before going onto University.

Immacolata and Lia explained that although they would love to stay in the UK to study at a University, the cost of the fees ontop of accommodation costs make it too expensive for them to do that.

While at TKASA the students are also enjoying the wide choice of extra curricular activities available to them including Drama, Music, Book Clubs, Sports and as a group they have set up a language club which is open to all sudents in the school.

Luisa told “The language club is an opportunity for students to learn some basic language words and skills and to find out about our countries. It is something that we can do to give back to the school.”

Annalise has been working with the choir and helping students practise performing for the forthcoming Christmas concert. She also commented on how friendly everyone is and how helpful the school has been at helping her and the rest of the group settle in.
All the students found the area to be to be a very friendly place to live and they enjoyed being able to go to beach as well as day trips at weekends further afield to Bath, Cardiff and Oxford. Some of them had been on trips to Scotland and London during the hoidays.
Miriam told “I love the town and being able to go to school by the sea. I was very excited when I found out that Burnham-On-Sea is twinned with Fitzlar, which is not far from where I live in Germany. It is wonderful to be here.”
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