CHILDREN said ‘bienvenido, benvenuto, willkommen and witam’ as they hosted young foreign visitors.

The hand of friendship was extended to 30 children and 20 teachers from Spain, Italy, Germany and Poland who visited Weymouth as part of a school cultural exchange.

They were guests of St Augustine’s Primary School which hosted the trip as part of the British Council-supported Comenius programme.

The project sees pupils discovering and promoting their own abilities while sharing their cultural heritage and learning about new technologies.

Each school from the participating countries hosts a group for a week under a different theme and this month it was youngsters from St Augustine’s turn, working on a theme of ‘happy healthy minds’.

Comenius Project Co-ordinator at St Augustine’s Gary Ayles said: “Following a flag waving welcome assembly and a tour the pupils joined in classroom activities before taking part in a European ‘bake-off’ competition at Weymouth College with each country producing a cake recipe from their area.

“The theme of happy healthy minds highlighted the importance of healthy eating and exercise. To help with this the school enrolled in the British Nutrition Foundation Healthy Eating Week and the baking competition was to show pupils different ingredients and to consider how to make cakes healthier. The winning entry was a German apple cake.”

Other events included healthy eating workshops with Bigfoot theatre company, a five-a-side football tournament, and a picnic to taste goodies made in the baking contest plus Fairtrade fruit donated by Sainsbury’s. There was also a trip to Weymouth Pavilion where youngsters performed in front of an enthusiastic audience of more than 300. It included songs, dancing and even some gymnastics displays.

To round off the week while the visitors were on a sightseeing tour of Weymouth, St Augustine’s pupils were visited by GB Olympic and Commonwealth Games 200m sprinter Christian Malcolm.