Dunoon Grammar’s 30-year German exchange celebrated at Holyrood

Pupils from Dunoon Grammar School attended an International Reception at the Scottish Parliament on Thursday, June 21, to mark the 30th anniversary of an exchange programme with a German school.

The reception was sponsored by Maree Todd, Minister of Childcare and Early Years, and was arranged to honour the long-running exchange with the Hardenberg Gymnasium school in the Bavarian city of Fürth.

For 30 years, pupils from Dunoon have spent time in Fürth to learn first-hand the culture and way of life in the German city. And in return, Hardenberg pupils visit Dunoon and experience all that Cowal and Argyll have to offer. It’s one of the longest-running exchange programmes of its kind and also allows the pupils to learn new language skills.

German Consul General Jens-Peter Voss attended the Holyrood event and presented pupils from both school with a commemorative plaque to mark the 30th anniversary.

Dunoon Grammar School Head Teacher David Mitchell said: “It’s quite remarkable to think that this exchange has been going strong for three decades and that generations of current and former pupils have benefited from it, making lasting friendships and learning a great deal. The pupils from both schools were delighted to be invited to Edinburgh for this International Reception and to receive their plaques. I would like to thank the parents of our pupils for their support, without which this fantastic exchange would not be possible.”

After the presentation and speeches, the pupils enjoyed lunch at the Parliament. This year, 34 German pupils have spent time in Dunoon. Next year, it will be the turn of Dunoon Grammar pupils to travel to Fürth. Four of the staff who help run the exchange – two each from Dunoon and Fürth – have been involved from day one.

Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, Policy Lead for Education, added: “We are committed to giving our pupils the best possible education and opening up opportunities for them to learn about other cultures. This exchange programme is wonderful and the warmth and respect displayed between the pupils and their families is truly lovely to see. Hats off to the staff from both schools for their years of efforts in making this exchange such a success."

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