On Wednesday 24th April, BSB Nexus hosted the closing ceremony of the Sharing to Learn Programme for this school year. The event included recognition awards for the students who participated throughout the year, for the participating local schools Edumar, Garigot and Lluís Vives, and for The British School of Barcelona. Among the distinguished guests were Mr Eduard Carbonell, inspector of education from the Generalitat de Catalunya, and Ms Sònia Luguarda, coordinator of foreign language programmes at ST Baix Llobregat. BSB’s Acting Head of Secondary and Pre-University, Mr Mark Woodward, and Mr Ramón Rius Santamaría, teacher and coordinator of the programme at BSB, also took part in the institutional opening.

This event marks the end of a year-long collaboration in a programme that BSB has been part of since 2012, and it’s great to see how much it has grown significantly in both quantity and quality. This year, twenty-six Year 12 students have participated as Language Assistants voluntarily, and during the ceremony, it was heart-warming to witness the emotional bonds that were formed with Primary pupils, alongside the evident personal growth and achievements.

The Sharing to Learn Programme is an initiative of the Department of Education of Generalitat de Catalunya, where Secondary students from several participating schools support Primary students from other schools in their local area to help improve listening and speaking skills during English or other subject lessons. They also help to foster a positive attitude towards learning English and its culture. Allowing room for character development and essential learning habits and life skills, such as confidence, organisation, creativity and collaboration, is an add-on to this learning-service experience for our Pre-University students.

Part of the programme is the Language Assistant Diary that includes a final Self-Assessment, where each LA assesses themselves after the experience. Words such as ‘enriching’, ‘rewarding’ or ‘incredible’ resonate among our students testimonials:

‘I just enjoyed every single week. It was a very pleasant experience overall.’

‘One of my favourite highlights was seeing the kids progress and become more comfortable in the English language, which has made this experience extremely rewarding for me.’

‘It was very challenging at the start since they didn’t really know much English, but I noticed that by the end of the sessions they had started improving their communication skills.’

‘By doing Language Assistants has also helped me to choose what path I want to go for in the future. Initially I wanted to study medicine, but now I would like to be a paediatrician, and I’m so glad that I have been in the programme because, without it, I wouldn’t have thought about this second option.’

‘It has been an incredibly enriching experience. It has been an incredible journey seeing the children grow in confidence and become more proficient in the English language.’

‘Due to Language Assistant, I became as much better communicator as well as learnt a lot from the kids I was teaching. I would recommend this experience to everyone.’

‘I have learnt both personally and professionally. It has definitely oriented me towards child development.’

‘I had such an amazing time watching their confidence grow with English. My own self-confidence has grown so much. I can’t believe it is over.’