Cast not a clout ’til May be out.
Summer finally came in May and what a summer! With record heat for the month we were basking in temperatures of over 24ºC on May 5th (28ºC in London) and I remember last year we were scraping frost off the car!! What a crazy place. So that is what this blog title is all about. It’s a very old saying which means that you should not divest yourself of warm clothes until the hawthorn flowers (also called may) appear on the hedgerows. However, plenty of ‘clouts’ were cast early and we thoroughly enjoyed what was a tremendous month weather-wise.
For our Fleetham Lodge students here in May it was a real treat! They saw it at it’s very best and with all the spring flowers still around. One student said on the only day it rained – “Oh, I’ve never seen England in the rain!” I had to laugh as most students would say the opposite.
So this post is a catch-up post – it’s been a while and that mostly because we’ve been busy hosting both our first IELTS Workshop of the year and also our first Teenage English and Golf course – busy times :-).
First up was IELTS at the beginning of May. I love these workshops as there is a chance to really get our teeth into the techniques and material. Each day we studied for around 6 hours and there was homework too (writing and reading). Every part of the test was covered and I was able to focus on exactly the areas that needed to be improved and practised more. Scores slowly improved day by day as students understood the best techniques to achieve high bands. Outside of lessons there is plenty of time to speak (in fact the best thing is that students are speaking English from the moment they wake up until they go to bed – which is fantastic for both fluency and confidence. Listening also improves as English is all around all day long.
Despite the long days of study there was still time to pop out to the local town and do some shopping and spend a few hours in York which is well worth a visit. It’s good to have a break to clear the brain to let everything ‘bed down’ and it would be a great pity to be here and not see anything but the inside of Fleetham Lodge (lovely though it is!).
The time went by quickly and I can’t believe it’s already a month since this course! We worked hard but found time to relax and enjoy each other’s company too and reports back told me that everyone was satisfied and enjoyed the experience and that counts more than anything 🙂
Hot on the heels of this we had our young golfers for golf and English lessons. Boy they had a busy week! English every day, golf lessons and golf games in the afternoons. We are very lucky to have several golf courses very close by (around 15 minutes) this means it is possible to experience different courses even in a short, one week stay. We visited 3 courses with the students. One was fairly new and a favourite, a second they liked less but it had the most activities for juniors and the third, which one student told us was the oldest he had ever seen (founded in 1892 and in its current location since 1904), was very challenging and they really enjoyed this aspect of it. As for the English we covered mostly tenses but read a little Charles Dickens Great Expectations each day (in graphic novel form) and they really got into the story – watching the film version at the end of the course was a treat and a chance to compare the book and film versions.
We also managed to drop in a visit to York and went to the Yorvik Viking Museum which they
considered ‘cool’ and had afternoon tea at the famous Betty’s tea shop . A visit later in the week took in Richmond castle on the way to a lesson with the golf pro.
On the very last day we had arranged a trip to the cinema to see the new Star Wars film followed by a golf game with a group of local teenage golfers (the same age as our students). They had met them earlier in the week and were looking forward to a re-match. Sadly, the weather was not kind and it rained. However, all was not abandoned and the golf club had a golf simulator room so this was a great treat and a coup de grace at the end of the course. Our young students returned home happy and a little tired – just the way we hoped they would be .