PUPILS at Meadowpark School have become penpals with French students in Cricklade’s twinned town of Sucé Sur Erdre.

Their friendship was first forged last May, when two Meadowpark pupils and their parents travelled with 40 other Cricklade residents to the French town for the annual twinning event. They were hosted by a family with a child who attended Ecole St Etienne.

After they returned home, the two schools reached out to each other to continue this cross-cultural experience.

Ali Liggins, Meadowpark’s Year three teacher, led the letter writing for the Cricklade school. She said: “I am really excited to begin the link with the French school. It gives the children here a real sense of purpose for language learning and builds their cultural awareness and understanding in a very real way, as well as being a fantastic tool for them to practise their French with.The children wrote their first letters introducing themselves to the children in France before Christmas.”

On the French side, teacher Emilie Marais received the letters and handed them out to her pupils, who are aged 10 to 11.

In January, her pupils crafted hand-made cards and personalised them to a particular Meadowpark pupil to create a one-to-one exchange.

Madame Marais said: “It is such a great opportunity for our pupils to discover a new culture.”

Ali added: “We were really excited when the replies arrived last week. The children rose to the challenge of reading the replies and interpreting them.

"Some of them were surprised by how much they could understand as well as how well the French children wrote.”