Active! Enjoyable! Engaging!

This was! A great, intense programme welcomed our teenager courses  arrived to their 17th edition and the Learn&Play that became 14 !

In all courses in both locations –Dartington and Holywood– students have been offered a large variety of activities as well as academic contents delivered by excellent teachers and tutors, well supported by assistants, carers and helpers.

In this article, you find an overview of the summer to refresh the memory of our programmes, before moving ahead and getting ready for the next edition 2015.


Dartington Highlights


* Singing workshops with Lucie



\Lucie Treacher offered her talent and enthusiasm during the first teenager course in Dartington.

She composed the “AEL Hymn” that boosted our energy at the start of the day and led folk music workshops. It deserves to mention the two folk songs “The wild mountain thyme” and “African song“, now available on our YouTube channel.

CAUTIONYou will simply love them while working with them!!!


* Lino-printing with Rachel and Robert


Rachel and Robert are professional artists and experienced teachers: their workshops have been fantastic! not only because of the specific activity they offered, but also for their warm welcome, support and care of the students during the whole process of lino-printing! Rachel also led watercolour workshops in August and all the artworks were absolutely amazing!

WARNING: after working with Rachel and Robert, you might want to come back…

* Leatherwork at Tanner Bates with John Hagger


The wristband at Tanner Bates: this was a gift for myself! John was one of the first tutors in AEL in summer 1998! and he continued for years until there was a break while he was setting up his Leather Workshop and School. So, working with him again in a new situation was quite emotional and I want to thank John here for his availability. No doubt that his workshops would have been pleasant and successful! He was very generous when letting each student make many wristbands to bring home as present for friends, siblings or relatives.

BE CAREFULif you book a 2-hour workshop with him, you may become a leather master!

* Archery with Tony!


Tony coaching archery
Tony coaching archery

Tony came to teach archery in a teenager course in summer 2000 and since there didn’t miss any summer! I can say that he is a pilar of AEL programmes! I wish this will be for years to come: thank you Tony!


* Canoeing with Nick!


Canoeing on River Dart in Dartington
Canoeing on River Dart in Dartington

and finally a great canoeing coach came! we didn’t have canoeing in the last two years in waiting for a good coach to come: and we found him! There was fun, adventure, joy, friendship: a wonderful restart! I look forward to working with you, Nick, in summer 2015 again!


* Duncan for circus skils


Duncan juggling with Francesco
Duncan juggling with Francesco

Duncan is also a “veteran” in AEL: still, pupils love him and his juggling skills! Thank you, Duncan! and see you again next summer!


* Baking with Katrina


Katrina baking and cooking
Katrina baking and cooking

Delicious bread and pizza, cakes and pies came out from Katrina’s workshops as well as many recipes and loads of fun!


* Adrian, a special guest-friend for a special music workshop


adrian leading an improvisation session
adrian leading an improvisation session

Adrian led one music session and achieve such an deep focus from all the participants that all together improvised -Adrian and the students- a delightful piece: it needs to be processed and will be soon published on AEL channel on YouTube: keep tuned to watch and hear the latest uploads! Thank you Adrian!


* John, the Great, one more special guest-friend for drama and crafts


John led drama and crafts workshops with great success
John led drama and crafts workshops with great success

John enjoyed leading drama and crafts workshops as much as the students: he offered a surprising performance on the last day when he suddenly joined the African Song with a super-dynamic African-like dance! Well done, John!


* Lucy and “Cat’s Ahoi!” : a wonderful performance with children!


Lucy directed "Cats Ahoy!" written by Peter: supreme!
Lucy directed “Cats Ahoy!” written by Peter: supreme!

Simply SUPER! Not only Lucy managed to get “Cats Ahoy!” performed at an excellent standard, but also engaged the children joyfully in all her workshops and integrated at the best visiting children and English ones. The results has been amazing: please watch “Cats Ahoy!” on AEL YouTube channel (the only problem has been in recording the audio outside… but hopefully you enjoy anyway!)

* More thanks and acknowledgements


Many thanks to Caolan for his volunteer participation with his fascinating harp; Peter Bently for his support to “Cats Ahoy!”Jasper and Ruby, two fantastic assistants; Heather for her lovely “Secret Garden” workshops with children; South Devon Steiner School for hosting the AEL courses in June and August; all the host families; the event providers, that is Minack Theatre in Porthcurno (Cornwall), Northcott Theatre in Exeter, River Dart Country Park in Ashburton, South Devon Steam Railways  in Buckfastleigh-Staverton-Totnes, Rare Breeds Farm in Totnes and “Open Air Theatre” in Regent Park for the great new edition of “Porgy & Bess” in London.

Last but not least the warmest thanks to our students and their families and to all our teachers of English in Dartington: Lise (teenagers and adults) , Sophie (teenagers and adults) and Brechje (children).

Next issue will be an overview of the teenager course in Holywood.

Keep tuned on AEL blog and Facebook page!