Newsletter December 2012

Residential programmes @ University of Chester - Summer 2013

Conlan organizes high quality language courses at the University of Chester Campus.

Conlan guarantees didactic reliability while paying strong attention to the residential and logistic factors involved.

Groups of students would benefit from this solutions where Conlan would also run every day lessons and the wide choice of activities offered with our experienced staff and guides.
Click here for more information about Residential programmes

North Wales Schools’ Games

After the successful experience of July 2012, North Wales Schools' Games will come back .... and they will take place during the week 7th-14th July 2013!

Inspired by London 2012 Olympic Games, Conlan School promotes North Wales Schools' Games, in partnership with Ysgol Emrys Ap Iwan.

North Wales Schools' Games represents a unique opportunity to bring sport education and language learning together and create an inspirational event for international students which will encourage more young people to take part in sport and develop language skills.

North Wales Schools' Games include the sports of rounders (typical British game), basketball/dodgeball, football, tag rugby and mini marathon plus an excellent variety of lessons and activities which enable reciprocal knowledge and cultural exchanges.

Please, find more information on and ... get involved!

Please express your interest and fill in the “Get involved! form” as soon as possible.
A deposit of 10% should be sent before 15th December 2012 and the outstanding paid before 1st June 2013.

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"!

The Chester Music Society
January 2013

The Chester Music Society has been in existence for over sixty years. The Society is committed to providing direct musical involvement and enjoyment for many, particularly by bringing increased musical experience to the rising generation. The charity's objectives are: To provide, maintain, improve and advance education by furthering the public appreciation of music.
The Society organises and promotes around twenty concerts per year in and around Chester. In addition, it organises a Chamber Music Workshop each year for aspiring local musicians. The concerts come under 4 categories; Celebrity, Club, Choir, Youth Choir. Celebrity concerts are given by invited professional musicians and groups from around the country. Club concerts are given by amateur groups and soloists from the local area and also regional specialist schools and music colleges. In many cases these are the first opportunity to perform in public. Choir concerts are performed by Society members who are members of the Choir section together with professional soloists and instrumental players. Youth Choir concerts are performed by members of the Youth Choir section with their own accompanist. The Choir and Youth Choirs also perform concerts abroad during their bi-annual concert tours.
Throughout January the Society has arranged several performances including Victoria Sayles (violin) - 09th Jan, Joaquin Trio (winners of the St. Martin’s- in- the- Fields Chamber Music Competition 2012 and finalists of the Royal Overseas League Competition) – 23rd Jan, and Chester Young Musicians of the Year Recital – 30th Jan.

Work Experience Profile

Office Angels

Conlan School is proud of its strong links with the local business community, which is reflected in our work experience programme. The work experience programme is growing ever more popular and so as a result, we have decided to profile one of our work experience placements, taking a look at what makes a company want to host a student.

Company: Office Angels
Name/Positions: Eve Roberts/Branch Manager
Who is your company?
We are here to take the trouble out of recruitment both for jobseekers and employers. The company has more than 25 years of experience and we cover a wide variety of sectors. We also offer advice and guidance about employment and employment trends. We work closely with employers and jobseekers to get the best results.
Why do you host international work placements?
We always take students from local schools and the University here in Chester. At the moment there are also many governmental schemes so there are lots of people looking for work or working experience. It’s nice to take on international students too as they often bring some interest amongst the staff.
What are the most important attributes an international student should have to be successful within a work experience?
I think that all students have to show initiative, present themselves professionally and do the tasks they’re set to the best of their ability; that’s if they are international or not. I guess the main difference for international students is that they can speak English well enough as this is a busy environment and they will have to chat with local people, work with English written documents and be able to work independently.
Which 3 things would you suggest to an international student before they came on a work experience to your company?
Hmmm… I think they should do some research about the company, they can look online at most things these days. Any background knowledge will help.
Be sure that the line of work they are going into is right for them – here it’s mainly admin tasks so we always check that students and volunteers understand what they will be doing.
The third thing I think is to try and learn any language which might be helpful. They could learn some of the terminology which might be used.

Christmas Traditions

Conlan School would like to wish everyone a happy Christmas and festive period; but what do you know about the traditions of Christmas here in the UK? For example, why do we use a Christmas tree? The advent calendar? What is the typical Christmas dinner? And why is it the season for pantomimes? All these Christmas traditions will be explained below:

Advent Calendar: The first sign of Christmas in a British home is the children’s advent calendar; it is the start of the Christmas season. Starting on the first day of December, they count down the days leading to Christmas. Every morning from 01st December one door of the advent calendar is opened until Christmas Eve. The popular tradition of advent calendars arose in Germany in the 1800s before spreading across Europe and the wider world.
Christmas Cards: The first Christmas card was created and sent in 1843. A Man called John Calcott Horsley printed the first card for Sir Henry Cole, his friend who gave him the idea. Sir Henry Cole, a wealthy businessman, wanted a card which he could proudly send to friends and professional acquaintances to wish them a ‘Merry Christmas’. The card depicted a typical English family enjoying the holiday and people performing acts of charity.
Christmas Tree: The Christmas tree became popular in England in 1841 when Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, brought a Christmas tree over from Germany and put it in Windsor Castle. The Royal couple were illustrated in a newspaper stand around the tree with their children, and the tradition of decorating a tree became fashionable. Today, the most famous Christmas tree in the UK is in Trafalgar Square. Each year a gigantic tree is set up and decorated with great ceremony. The tree is a thank you gift from the people of Norway, a tradition which began in 1947 as a thank you when King Haakon of Norway was forced into exile in England due to the German occupation.
Christmas Dinner: The traditional Christmas dinner is usually eaten at mid-day or early afternoon on Christmas Day. A traditional Christmas dinner includes roast turkey or goose, brussel sprouts, roast vegetables (potatoes, parsnips, etc.), cranberry sauce, rich and nutty stuffing, pigs in blankets (tiny sausages wrapped in bacon) and lots of gravy! For the desert a rich fruity Christmas pudding which is covered in brandy and set alight – said to ward off evil spirits. It is said that Henry VIII was the first English King to enjoy turkey. However, it was not until the early 20th century that eating turkey became fashionable at Christmas.
Pantomime: These are traditional British Christmas plays performed in theatres, village halls and community centres up and down the country. They are a mix of fairy tales, folklores and and much loved cartoons. There are always a few key ingredients to a pantomime: cross dressing – men typically play women characters and vice versa, and audience participation – this is very important, with lines such as “He’s behind you!” and “Oh no he’s not – Oh yes he is” being heard throughout a pantomime. The origins of the pantomime lie in the old Christmas Mummer plays which date back thousands of years, which contain a moral and good always defeating evil. In today’s plays it is popular for celebrities and pop-stars to feature.

Saying of the Month
“To start from scratch”

The meaning of this saying is to begin (again) from the beginning, embark on something without any preparation or advantage.
The notion of 'scratch' being the beginning - a point at which there is no advantage or disadvantage. This meaning originated in the sporting world, where 'scratch' has been used since the 18th century to describe a starting line that was scratched on the ground.
Boxing, golf, cricket and also any sport that involves some form of race use lines on the ground as part of their regulations and historians of each sport encourage the belief that their 'scratch' was the first. Cricket has the strongest claim. Everyone who ever played cricket as a child will be familiar with the batting and bowling 'creases' and will have scratched them on the ground to mark out the pitch. The first time that such a 'scratch' is referred to in print is in a cricketing manual - John Nyren's Young Cricketer's Tutor, 1833.
The expression 'start from scratch' came about in 'handicap' races where weaker entrants were given a head start. Other sports, notably golf, have taken up the figurative use of 'scratch' to mean 'with no advantage - starting from nothing'. The first person who is recorded as 'starting from scratch' was participating in 'pedestrianism' - what we would now call running. The British sporting newspaper The Era reported on a handicap running event in Sheffield in December 1853.