Europa School UK was delighted to formally mark its acceptance into the PASCH Network with a major launch celebration on Friday, 7 February. Dr Frane, Deputy Head of Culture at the German Embassy, Dr Herlt, Deputy Head of the Goethe-Institut, and Ms Simone Pliegel, Teaching Expert for “Schools: Partners for the Future” North West Europe from the Goethe-Institut were present for the ceremony, not forgetting local dignitaries, the Mayor and Mayoress of Abingdon, the Mayor of Didcot, the founding members, the Governing Body and PTA members.

PASCH was founded 12 years ago as a project called “Schools: Partners of the Future”. This initiative has created a fantastic global network of partner schools with special links to Germany. The UK PASCH network is implemented by the Goethe-Institut.

Copyright: Anna McKay Photography

The Goethe-Institut chose Europa School UK out of many applicants because of ‘its unparalleled education where students are taught bi-lingually throughout their entire school career’, as Dr Herlt put it so eloquently. Dr Frane spoke for all when she remarked, ‘But never before has your and our mission to teach languages as a gateway to another culture encouraging friendship, trust and understanding across borders been more important than today’. This was echoed by Mrs Wood and Mr Marechau.

The Launch ceremony continued with performance by students in the German Stream of the school starting with the upper primary choir singing a moving piece “We are the Children of Europa” under the able direction of Frau Scaber. Individual contributions from many classes made this celebration a true reflection of Europa School’s unique character. We were wowed by individual performances – Martin L and Sophia B on the piano and Sophie U on the cello – video contributions from the younger classes, such as Herbstlied, and class live performances such as the magnificent Der Jadekaiser with its charming fairy tale setting. There were reflective songs such as ‘Die Gedanken sind frei’, a dramatic performance of ‘Der Erlkönig’, and finally a humorous sketch of ‘Typischer Deutschunterricht’.

At the end of the launch, the school was presented with a plaque commemorating the school’s newly-acquired PASCH status, and a very generous case from the Goethe-Institut containing iPADs to support German language teaching.

With the formal presentations over, the Goethe-Institut treated us to a most splendid cake celebration in the beautiful surroundings of our chapel. The honour to cut the marvellous PASCH cake was left to Dr Frane, Dr Herlt and Ms Pfliegel. If success is judged by left-overs, this was outstanding with only crumbs remaining at the end of the afternoon.

Needless to say, such success can only be produced by collaboration across the board, so a very heartfelt thanks to all colleagues teaching and supporting German, the admin and reception staff, the site and catering staff, the IT department, all members of the Governing Body past and present, the PTA and, above all, our pupils and their parents for sharing Europa School’s vision.

Dr D.Havenstein and Mrs L.Tornow

PASCH Co-ordinators, Europa School UK

Copyright: Anna McKay Photography