Dollar Academy Exchange - Chapter 2

CHAPTER TWO - CIV in Scotland, June 11-19, 2019

Day One: Dollar Academy and Castle Campbell - Our first day at Dollar Academy began, appropriately, with a tour of the school. We could easily have spent half a day visiting the many department buildings, sports fields, auditoriums and halls, but time was limited! Our group was then treated to a special pottery class where students created their own versions of - who else? - Old Nessie. Then on to biology where we were invited to partake in various experiments, most of them involving mini explosions of one kind or another! After lunch we braved strong winds and threatening clouds on our short hike up to Castle Campbell, where we steeped ourselves in over 600 years of history, in all its Scottish splendour.




Day Two: St Andrews - Today we challenged ourselves with some Scottish character building: we spent a day in the rain! Although our visit to St Andrews was a wet one, we enjoyed a walking tour of the famous university (recently ranked 2nd in the UK, thereby breaking the Cambridge/Oxford duo for the first time in many years)... the historical cathedral ruins and the castle.Most appreciated by the group was the free time, the shopping, and the ice cream!


Day Three: Deanston Distillery and Loch Katrine - Today we hopped on the minibus and headed to one of the many renowned single malt whiskey distilleries of Scotland, called Deanston. We enjoyed a tour where we learned all about whiskey-making (no tasting!). We then headed to beautiful Loch Katrine, enjoying the scenery of lush hills and passing sheep – and a couple of highland cows – along the way. After a picnic lunch, we boarded a steamship that is over a century old and took an hour-long ride on the loch, enjoying a bit of sun and a lot of wind, and appreciating the breathtaking views.


Days Four and Five: Host families - Day trips to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, hikes in the countryside, and one or two parties and sleepovers were among the highlights of the weekend! 


Day Six: Dollar Academy - Monday was an in-school day. Our Dollar exchange organiser Mr Young conspired with fellowteachers to provide the CIV students with tailor-made classes. Students went to woodshop and created souvenir Dollar-engraved pencil holders, and learned about bagpiping with the Academy’s outstanding piping band – Dollar Academy is UK Champion again this year! Students also studied the poetry of much-loved Scottish poet Robert Burns in English class…and then ended the day with some excellent Scottish country dancing! Click below to watch them in action:


Day Seven: Edinburgh - Today the rain took a blissful break and the sun was shining for our day trip to Edinburgh. We took a tram into the city centre and walked up to the fascinating National Museum of Scotland, where we spent the morning and had our lunch. Then on to a walking tour of the city, where we learned much trivia, from Protestant preachers to famous criminals, castles to cathedrals, tartan heritage to celebrity dogs! After some free time for shopping, we boarded the minibus and headed to a bowling alley and restaurant, where the students and their correspondents enjoyed pizza and bowling for their final evening together. Time to go home and pack! 



Day Eight: Back to France - On our final morning at Dollar Academy, students gathered for the much-awaited and feared Scotland quiz, where they and their Dollar correspondents were challenged with questions on Scottish trivia and lore from over the week. Bravo to winners Jamila and Lily! It was then time for farewells ...and off to the airport. All in all the exchange proved to be a resounding success on both sides of the Channel. A warm thank you to Dollar organising teachers Mr Young and Miss Clarke for taking such good care of us, as well as to students and parents, for making our exchange such a positive and memorable experience.

G Bethell



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