Welcome to Hylton Castle Primary School


January 2020 saw the first visit to England.  Our partners arrived in two groups the first, Greece on Sunday 12th January and the rest arriving on Monday 13th January at various times throughout the day.

Our host families were here to greet all the children at Hylton Castle Primary School.

We had a fun packed itinerary for the full week and was excited to show our partners Sunderland and the surrounding areas of interest as part of Europe is Calling.

Our theme was Joseph Swan and the electric light bulb because of the close connections to Hylton Castle and for his invention being the first electric light bulb in the 1800’s.  To facilitate the history we had organised visits to Hylton Castle, Beamish and Sunderland Glass Centre.  We also engaged with Technology Tom who demonstrated how light travels through various objects.


Welcome Assembly to our partner visitors – a celebration assembly where each country introduced their theme and historic figure.

England – Joseph Swan and the Electric lightbulb

Spain – Breogan – Ancestor of Gaels

France – Louis XIV – The Sun King of France

Greece – Alexander the Great – The King of Macedon

Poland – Nicolaus Copernicus – Great Polish Astronomer

Germany – King Ludwig II – King of Bravia

Linked to our theme we had our very own Tardis for Dr Who to make an appearance.

Technology Tom also introduced and demonstrated how light travels to the children and as part of the demonstration he was assisted by a number of children from all countries.  Just before lunchtime we were able to visit the newly restored Hylton Castle before anyone else.  It has been fantastically restored with new materials incorporated into the existing old stone bricks and has three floors to explore with a brilliant roof top for a 360 degree view of Sunderland including the Aspire bridge.

The afternoon incorporated European lessons for each year group – English lesson taught in French, History Lesson by Greek Teachers, and a Music lesson by the German teachers.

Year 3 children and the visiting children took part in a fun workshop run by Technology Tom and Nissan volunteers.  There task was to create a car using different materials and build the car and enable it to travel without an engine.


Bus trip to Beamish – outdoor Heritage Museum

Our first part of the day incorporated a Victorian Lesson in the Old School building, boy and girls lining up in separate lines and having their hands inspected for cleanliness by the Headmistress who must be called ‘Mam”.

With a maths lesson, and an English lesson using ink pens and blotting paper to the Art lesson using chalks.  We were glad the school classroom had a real log fire as it was a very cold day.

We had our lunches in the Rectory and then took a tour of the rest of Beamish including riding on the tram, visiting the sweet shop and seeing how the sweets are made and the steam trains.  We event went down the mine wearing our hard hats.


Hylton Castle Primary Victorian School Day

We started the day with a Victorian Assembly led by a strict Headmaster.  Children and visitors came to school dressed in Victorian clothes and had Victorian lesson and played games from that era.

Lunch was a Victorian meal of hot pot with dumplings and mash with sponge and custard for pudding.

ROF59, Darlington

On the evening, we had a bus trip to ROF59 which is an activity centre full of trampolines, foam pits and indoor rock climbing.  Fun but tiring for all.


Discovery Museum, Newcastle

The museum had a lot to see and do including the Ship Building industry, the electric lightbulb, the history and story of Tyneside including a large map of the river Tyne and Wear.  A science Maze, the Newcastle Story and the history of the car and how it has evolved over the years.  There is so much to do in the Museum over all the floors.

We took part in a Lightbulb and Circuit workshop in the afternoon which was interesting and we found ways of creating different circuits to light up a bulb and then progress and add a bell.  We even managed to make our own torches.


Glass Centre, Sunderland

We visited the Glass Centre and enjoyed watching Glass Blowing and adding texture and colour to the glass and a Glass Lathe workshop.

St Peter’s Church

The Anglo-Saxon church of St Peter’s was built in 674AD by local nobleman Benedict Biscop and used as a Monastery.  It is one of the UK’s earliest stone churches and parts of the original church are still standing, including the West Wall, porch and stone carvings. St Peter’s was also once home to Venerable Bede, one of our greatest ever scholars.  The church is home to the most well-known Codex Amiatinus, the earliest surviving one-volume Latin vulgate text of the Bible, intended for presentation to the Pope by Ceolfrith himself.

We listened to the Vicar talk about the history of the church and had a good look at the architecture.  We then practised bell ringing with some hand bells.

Seaburn Beach

To end the day we had fish and chips in Queens Café and a stroll along the beach.


We said our goodbyes to all the visitors as they departed at various times throughout the day.