News German Exchange with Gelehrtenschule des Johanneums and Latymer Upper School 03.11.2023

At the end of last half-term, the Year 10 Germanists celebrated the arrival of their German exchange students from our partner school the Gelehrtenschule des Johanneums in Hamburg. As part of the trip our visitors experienced Godolphin school life and went on several trips around the sights of London, visiting amongst others the Tower of London, Hampton Court and the British Museum. In the evenings they enjoyed the experience of spending time with their host families; many thanks once again to the Godolphin parents who demonstrated such warmth and hospitality on this visit. Year 10 look forward with anticipation to our return visit in the Easter holidays!

The arrival of the German party also signalled the start of wider celebrations; this year marks the 45th anniversary of both the language and music exchange we enjoy with the Johanneum, and the 75th anniversary for Latymer Upper School. On Thursday 12 October the three schools came together alongside honoured guests of exchanges gone-by to commemorate this momentous occasion and look back on the history of this long-standing partnership.

The exchange began in 1948 as ‘an experiment in friendship’, and it has continued to foster life-long friendships since its inception. The inimitable experience of an exchange, in spending time in one another’s families and schools, has meant that our students have always returned with a deeper understanding of one another’s cultures and way of life, alongside the added linguistic benefits of learning another language.

In her speech at the anniversary dinner, Dr Ramsey commented:

‘Frau Hose has reminded us of the origins of the exchange, the ‘experiment in friendship’ which was courageously launched by Latymer Upper and the Johanneum in the 1940s, and, as the world became a more equal place, joined by Godolphin and Latymer in the 1970s. It has been very good to hear about the origins and to know that we have in the room this evening partners from some of the early exchanges here as living proof of the relationships which have been fostered over the years. As we move to reflect on the present though, the relevance of the association of our schools seems every bit as meaningful as 75 years ago. So much has changed, but so much has also stayed the same.’

We look forward to our continued friendship and the promise of future fun and adventure for our students, and of course to our next celebration in 2028, when we will honour our 50th anniversary as part of this unique exchange.