Newsletter September 2014

The Conlan School Course Guide

The Conlan School Course Guide demonstrates the broad range of study programmes we can offer you and your students. Through our ever growing network of contacts in the business and educational community, our aim is to provide experiences that will expand knowledge and increase confidence within the culture of Wales and the UK. We hope that during your time with us you and your students can progress personally and positively in every aspect of life!

Please, click here to download "The Conlan School Course Guide"!

Interview with Debora, Giulia and Romane, work experience students

What do our students think about their experience abroad? We asked this question to Debora and Giulia, two Italian girls in a work experience in Abergele. In the interview they revealed that they loved Wales! They said that the families were fabulous, friendly and kind - in other words that they let them feel at home. Giulia even said that her host mother was an excellent cook (what an honour when said by an Italian)!! They did appreciate their work placement a lot – they said that the colleagues where nice and friendly and that the whole experience made them feel more mature and that it would be useful for the future. Romane also had a wonderful experience.
She’s an 18 years-old girl from France. She explained that when she came initially she wanted to improve her language skills and to see what it was like to live in a foreign country. The result was an experience beyond her expectations. She said: “I totally enjoyed [myself] back in February so I called my tutor Linda to ask her if I could come back as a volunteer for another month in summer.
She accepted so I was super happy because I had the feeling that I left a part of me in Wales.” Yvonne, Director of Studies commented that Romane had not only improved her English but was more self-confident and chatty! Good news all round for Conlan School and the fantastic students!

Mechanic and IT group from italy

Last week an Italian group from Veneto arrived in Abergele for a Standard English language course with a focus on the students’ two areas of expertise: mechanical and IT. This involved having a language course in the morning and company visits or workshops in the afternoon such as visits to Techniquest Glyndwr and Electric Mountain, and also a workshop with Bangor University Technocamps.
Also organised were social activities that our students could do in the afternoons and evenings. One of these activities was the treasure hunt, which helps our students to get acquainted with the town.
Another educational activity our students did consisted of different challenges in which the students had to use their bodies and their minds. The first activity was the one involving their mind: they had quizzes and puzzles to solve in a certain amount of time to get points. The second activity was orienteering. Both kinds of activities encouraged the use of English in problem solving. The students enjoyed this activity a lot! All in all, the programme was varied, intense and produced some amazing project work in the form of posters and presentations.

MBNA Chester Marathon - 5th October 2014

First run in 2010, the Chester Marathon has grown rapidly in popularity. It was voted the UK's 'Number 1 Marathon' in 2012 - by Runners World readers. Apart from the city's ancient architecture, the course is popular because it is very flat and therefore fast. A personal best is a real possibility!
The race starts and finishes at Chester Racecourse. From the start line, the race heads through the town centre, passing the Town Hall, Chester Cathedral, the Chester "Rows", Eastgate Clock and Amphitheatre. Runners will also run through the ancient Roman Walls four times before leaving the City and heading across the Old Dee Bridge. Runners then head out of Chester, via Pulford. Crossing the border into the Welsh villages of Lavister and Rossett, the route then follows a small loop reaching the old village of Holt before crossing the ancient Roman bridge at Farndon which brings runners back into England. Runners then pass through Churton, Aldford and Huntington to finish back at the racecourse.

Phrase of the month – “Doesn't cut the mustard”

Meaning: Not be able to deal with problems or difficulties in a satisfactory way.
Origin: This phrase originates from the Old English craft of Mustard making.
The chief mustard maker or Mustardeer would make their mustard in large oaken barrels, allowing each barrel to mature for a number of months. This maturing of the mustard produced a thick, leathery crust at the top of the barrel which would need to be removed before the contents could be tested. The consistency of the crust would be such that a specialised cutting implement was required to remove it. Initially a modified scythe was used but this often lead to the crust being 'dragged' at certain points and falling into the rest of the mustard causing it to lose some of its distinctive flavour. Over many years a specialised blade was developed that had an extremely thin edge. This allowed the blade to skim the majority of the top crust off, leaving a very thin slice which would be left on to protect the mustard. Due to the coarse, leathery nature of the top crust the blade, over time, would develop dull spots along its length and thus required constant monitoring.
When it was time to remove the top crust the senior Mustardeer would instruct his apprentice to pass him the blade and would attempt to slice thorough the top leathery layer. The Mustardeer would know immediately if the blade was not sufficiently keen enough to complete the task and he would pass the blade back to the apprentice and say to him "I'm sorry, but That Doesn't Cut the Mustard". The phrase has since passed into common usage describing anything that does not meet a certain standard.
Some examples: Don't give me your excuses, That Doesn't Cut the Mustard. The computer you sold me is not up to the task for which I purchased it. I’m sorry but it doesn't cut the mustard.

phrase of the month