Five interesting things about Edinburgh

The QueenThe Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, is the Duke of Edinburgh.  This title was created in 1726, for Prince Frederick, the son of George I.

The famous Royal Mile in Edinburgh runs from the Castle down the hill to Holyrood Palace.  It is actually one mile and 107 yards!

Edinburgh Castle  is built on a volcano.  Don’t worry though, it’s extinct and has not erupted for 350 million years!

Edinburgh was the first city in the world to have its own Fire Brigade, in 1703.

Many people nowadays like body piercings. However, not many have as many as Edinburgh’s Elaine Davidson who is the world’s most pierced woman, with more than 9,000 piercings!

Another five interesting things about Glasgow

Glasgow City Chambers, pictured above and a short walk from Glasgow School of English, is said to have more marble than the Vatican.  It was built in 1888 at a cost of £578,232 – the equivalent of £40 million today.

The City Chambers have been used as a stand in for the Vatican and the Kremlin in films.

Glasgow’s subway – the metro/underground railway system – is the only one in Scotland. It’s also the third oldest subway in the world. It is nicknamed the Clockwork Orange, because of the colour of the trains, and it’s an easy and cheap way to get round the city.

In the late 18thcentury, over half the tobacco imported into Britain came through Glasgow.

Although the one in Scotland is the original, there are more than 20 towns named Glasgow in the United States, with several more in Canada.

Five more interesting things about Glasgow

The Horseshoe Bar in Glasgow city centre was established in 1884 by John Scouller who was a captain in the cavalry. The Horseshoe has the longest bar in the UK, measuring 104ft 4in in length.

The film star Roy Rogers and his horse, Trigger, rode all the way round the Horseshoe Bar in 1954.

Glasgow also has the tallest cinema in the world, the Cineworld in Renfrew Street. It is 62 metres high, has 18 screens spread across six floors and up to 633 people at a time can attend.

Unlike Edinburgh, Glasgow no longer has a castle. However, we do have Castle Street, near the Cathedral. That’s where the castle used to be, but all traces were finally demolished in 1792.

People from Glasgow are called Glaswegians (or ‘weegies’ if you are not from Glasgow). However, the term is relatively new, being first used by Sir Walter Scott in 1817.

A couple of other things you might not know about Glasgow

If you like football you probably support your local team and your country’s team. But did you know that the very first international football match was played in Glasgow? It was played in 1872, at the West of Scotland Cricket ground and was between Scotland and England. The game ended in a 0-0 draw.

The Glasgow Subway (underground/metro). It opened in 1896 and is the third oldest underground railway in the world. It is often referred to as the “Clockwork Orange” because the carriages are very small and are all painted orange!

Yet more things you need to know about Glasgow

 

Glasgow Cathedral is the most complete medieval cathedral on the Scottish mainland (pictured above). Our social programme at Glasgow School of English often includes visits to the cathedral and the nearby St Mungo Museum of Religious Life.

While we know that some of our students don’t drink alcohol for religious reasons, many others do. If you like a beer (or even if you don’t!) then when you come to study with us you should go to the Horseshoe Bar in Drury Street in the city centre. It is a very old bar, established by Calvary Captain John Scouller in 1884. It is famous because its bar, measuring 104 feet and three inches, is the longest continuous bar in Europe.

Ecole Diagonale – Our Sister School In Paris

École Diagonale is a private High School in the 5th arrondissement in the heart of Paris, with its four buildings located within a very short walk from the historic and magnificent Jardins du Luxembourg. It is a school that strives to combine the exceptional artistic and sports talents of its students with a rigorous academic programme and very responsive follow-up by its dedicated professors.

In the distant 1990, the establishment Diagonale started as a small education centre for additional classes in various subjects to help students improve their academic scores at their respective schools.  Quite rapidly, with the innovative teaching approach and the amazing ambition of our Principal and school owner, Mr. Michel Naniche, the education centre became a French State-recognised High School in 2008. These past years, we are proud to announce our excellent results at the National Baccalauréat with up to 92 % success rating. While, our school tends to be flexible towards the students ranked at high national level in various sports in France, our teaching methods of constant availability for our students proves to be very effective and productive. Although it started as a small education structure, today, we have about 600 students aged 14 to 18 in our establishment, and we plan to expand and be able to accept 800 students, next autumn!

As the main English professor to our senior students, I have always been trying to develop international projects and ways of co-operation with other schools abroad which would be a beneficial and enriching experience and opportunity for our ambitious students. Therefore, as part of my personal efforts and with the tremendous support of Ecole Diagonale, I initiated and am currently working on the development of our first international agreement of cooperation with another group of schools, the Glasgow/Global Schools of English in Scotland, with its two centres in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Filip Zafirovski (left) with Principal Michel Naniche.
Filip Zafirovski (left) with Principal Michel Naniche (wearing the Edinburgh sweatshirt!).

I have been a full time professor of English and Specialised English at Ecole Diagonale since 2011 and my personal international education background confirms my firm belief that language and international training are indispensable for any young person seeking to succeed personally and professionally. Since the age of 16, I have been travelling and studying abroad, earning my certificates and diplomas in foreign languages, international education, politics and international affairs, co-operation and development, cultural diplomacy and globalisation, which was crucial in my decision to teach my students to become well-rounded citizens of the world. Moreover, having done parts of my education in New York, Berlin, Bordeaux, Paris and southern Italy and Macedonia, I encourage my students strongly to travel, explore the world and study abroad in order to broaden their horizons.

Finally, I sincerely hope that this sister school arrangement with the Glasgow/Global Schools in Scotland will be an excellent asset and option for our students to visit Scotland, learn about the Scottish culture, while above all, they improve their English skills at very reasonable prices. As the person responsible for developing this collaboration, I will personally do my best to enhance this joint project between our two schools, for the benefit of our students and all our staff members.

Filip Zafirovski

 

 

 

 

Even more things you need to know about Glasgow

Glasgow has some trees that are older than the dinosaurs! Well, to be strictly accurate, they are fossilised trees. Fossilised simply means that they have become fossils and a fossil is the remains or impression of a prehistoric plant or animal embedded in rock and preserved in petrified form.

Our fossilised trees are in Victoria Park. They are around 330 million years old. At that time, Glasgow’s climate was warm and humid.

The Hunterian Museum in Glasgow is Scotland’s oldest public museum.   It is in the University of Glasgow and was built in 1807. The museum has a large collection of art and scientific relics including the world’s first-ever ultra sound machine. We often organise trips to see this museum, so if you come to study with us here at Glasgow School of English then you’ll be able to see all its exhibits for yourself.

Glasgow and Global Schools’ of English – our first sister school arrangement in Russia

Following our recent establishment of a sister school arrangement for France, Glasgow School of English and Global School of English Edinburgh are pleased to announce we have now established another bilateral agreement, with Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University, Faculty of Foreign Languages, Russia to work together to give students and staff of the Faculty the opportunity of studying English in Scotland.

The Scottish schools are offering a sister school relationship to be developed with the Faculty. Our new sister school arrangement will provide the following to each of the institutions:

  • The Faculty will send to Glasgow /Edinburgh a group of students each year.
  • The Scottish schools will provide a prize each year to be offered to senior students of the Faculty.
  • The prize will be a two-week course of English, including accommodation, transfers, teaching materials and sight seeing.
  • The Faculty will provide an award ceremony each year where the prize(s) will be awarded to its students by a Scottish school representative.
  • The Faculty will provide opportunities to promote the Scottish schools and what they offer, to students and staff of the Faculty..
  • As the relationship matures, teacher exchange will be considered and developed for the mutual benefit of both parties to the agreement.

Andrew Lennox, President of the Scottish Schools stated “ I have for many years tried to establish this type of arrangement with overseas schools and I am delighted that Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University, Faculty of Foreign Languages, has recognised the mutual benefits of such a cooperation.  We look forward to welcoming their students.

Glasgow and Global Schools’ first Sister School arrangement

 

We are delighted to announce that Glasgow School of English and Global School of English Edinburgh have established a Bilateral Agreement with Ecole Diagonale School in Paris to work together to give students and staff of the French school the opportunity of studying English in Scotland.  Pictured above are Filip Zafirovski from Ecole Diagonale and Andrew Lennox, President of Glasgow and Global Schools.

The Scottish schools are offering a sister school relationship to be developed with Ecole Diagonale.

The sister school arrangement will provide the following to each of the institutions:

Ecole Diagonale will send to Glasgow /Edinburgh a group of students each year.

The Scottish schools will provide a prize each year to be offered to senior students of Ecole Diagonale.

The prize will be a two week course of English including accommodation, transfers, teaching materials and sightseeing.

Ecole Diagonale will provide an award ceremony each year where the prize(s) will be awarded to its students by a Scottish schools representative.

Ecole Diagonale will provide opportunities to promote the Scottish schools and what they offer, to students and staff of the French school.

As the relationship matures, teacher exchange will be considered and developed for mutual benefit to both parties of the agreement.

Andrew Lennox, President of the Scottish Schools stated “ I have for many years tried to establish this type of arrangement with overseas schools and I am delighted that Ecole Diagonale has recognised the mutual benefits of such a co-operation

Glasgow is a wonderful city with a lot of green places

Sergei Koliaskin won a British Council competition to come to Glasgow School to improve his English language skills. He is from Chelyabinsk in the Ural Mountain region of Russia and he has been studying at Glasgow School of English for two weeks.  He kindly agreed to meet me recently to talk about his experience at the School and in Scotland.

We discussed what Russian people know about Scotland.  He said that one of his friends is studying Celtic history and I was amazed when he showed me photographs taken at a dancing school in Chelyabinsk with Russian girls dressed in Scottish tartan and about to enjoy some Scottish dancing!

Sergei told me that this is the first time he has visited Scotland.  He says, “Scotland is a nice place.  Glasgow is a wonderful city with a lot of green places – many nice parks and public spaces  – and the people are very friendly.

“The teachers are good and the lessons are interesting.  They give you more confidence in speaking and my English has improved. One other good thing is that there are people from all over the world studying here and you get to meet them and learn about their countries.  It’s good to learn about different cultures.”

Interview by Alastair Blair