International Visitors Enjoy The Houghall Campus Experience

Sun, 20/02/2000 - 00:00

A group of over 30 visitors from across Europe visited East Durham’s Houghall Campus and part of an international schools networking programme.


Portland College are part of The Comenius Project, which is one of the most popular international education programmes for UK schools, colleges and local authorities. Working with schools across Europe, Comenius help bring learning alive for pupils and staff alike by linking schools together and providing funding to help them to network and share ideas.


Portland College based in Chapelgarth, Sunderland is a Secondary Special School, which caters for 150 students, between the ages 11 - 19 years, who have severe learning difficulties and profound and multiple learning difficulties.


As part of this programme schools from Turkey, Latvia, Germany, the Czech Republic and Derbyshire spent a week with Portland College. Portland College regularly brings students to visit East Durham College’s Houghall Campus, so thought their international visitors would find a visit to Houghall both interesting and rewarding.


The group of over 30 staff and pupils spent a morning at the Houghall Campus and toured the farm. The pupils particularly enjoyed themselves; collecting eggs, catching chickens, meeting the small furries and exotic animals and seeing the horses.

Stacey Thompson of Portland College, who along with Brian Davison arranged the visit, said, “The Comenius Project is a great way to enhance Continuous Personal Development for the staff and offers the students a fantastic opportunity to learn about other cultures. We have a long relationship with Houghall and were delighted that the team were happy to spend time with our visitors.”


Olwen Openshaw, another member of staff from Portland College, added, “It’s been wonderful to see and meet a number of ex-pupils who are now thriving at East Durham College.”


Janet Wilkinson from the School Centre at Houghall commented, “It has been a delight to help Portland College and their international visitors. It’s also been great to see our students taking over showing our guest round rather than them having to listen to me all day!”

Portland College is just one of a number of schools from across the north east that bring pupils to visit the Houghall Campus on a regular basis. The Campus proves popular with schools as it offers an excellent stimulation of the living environment that enhances the learning experience.