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Category : Events

German News Article about Southbourne School by Udo Hoepker

The following is a German News Article that has been translated into English; this article was written from information given by Udo Hoepker and his stay here at Southbourne School of English.

You’re never too old to learn English                                                                                            12th October 2016

 Udo Hoepker started to learn the world language as a pensioner. Of course directly on site.

It is no longer classed extraordinary to to travel abroad and learn a foreign language. Students can acquire this experience as Au pairs and somewhat insignificantly older people get attracted by social volunteering programmes overseas during a gap year. But who gets the itch to do this in their mid fifties? Well, Letmathe has one resident who felt exactly this desire.

“This book is the reason why I am learning English”, Udo Hoepker starts and points on the book “My Lively Lady” written by the English author Sir Alec Rose. Then, in the 90s, he received this book after a house clearance. Printed on the book cover is a sailing boat, the lively lady. A coincidence? After all, Hoepker is an experienced sailor himself.

One day the curiosity became prevalent

“This is why I have always been interested in the content of the book, but I never understood a single word written in it.” For many years the book should stay on the shelf in Hoepker’s home in Droeschede. Until 2007, when it had become impossible for the former car salesman to ignore the ambition to learn English. Hoepker had just turned 63 and retired, when he bought himself a dictionary. “Things went quite well with the help of this dictionary. I could manage approximately one page per evening.”

At the institute of education he joined a learning group for seniors, which still exists to this day. Udo Hoepker was getting on well and made progress. “But then I thought to myself that it would be much more beneficial if only I could practice in real life circumstances.” In 2014 he came across an English language school for adults, the family run Southbourne School of English, situated in the city of Bournemouth on the South Coast of England. Only a few days ago the now 72-year-old has returned from his 6th two week trip. “To begin with we all had to sit an exam to evaluate our level before we were allocated to the most suitable class.” Hoepker has been classed “Elementary”. Before he could move up to this level, he had to pass two stages, the beginner and the starter. Looking at it from a sporty point of view, he plays in the 5th of 7 leagues. “Organised almost a bit in  military order”, he admits about the way the school is run. “You are only allowed to speak English. Otherwise you risk a date with the principal. Or if you are not in the class room after the second bell, you have to wait outside for the whole lesson.”

Together with him, a lot of (mostly younger) students from all over the world work on the improvement of their English knowledge. Hoepker got to know Arabs, Asians, South- and Northamericans, the classes are kept small. At the end of every day, teachers hand out the homework. Hoepker struggled to begin with, but soon gets a hint: A group of students does their homework together after school – in a quiet corner of a pub. Eventually, they are done for the day.

Hoepker favours the life in a host family

After finishing the homework, Udo Hoepker returns – exemplary – to his host family. “It is an opportunity which you should perceive”, he explains. Students could easily book a room in a hotel, as lots of married couples do, but this is not for him. “Guess what they do when they get back to their hotel room?”, Hoepker asks. “Exactly, they speak German.” He has not made any bad experience on the island so far, with that one exception. During his first trip to the UK he found himself in a slighlty uncomfortable situation when British Airways “mislaid” his luggage into an airplane which was heading to New York. Friends in his home village Droeschede reacted somewhat irritated when they first heard about his language courses abroad and asked, if it did not feel like a holiday, what he was doing in England. Hoepker replied: “No, it is much better than holidays.”


WAZ Udo Hoepker Oct 2016

Why do we celebrate Halloween in the UK?

Halloween or Hallowe’en is celebrated across the world on the night of 31st October.

Halloween is thought to have originated from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. It was believed by the Celts that on the night of the 31st October, ghosts of their dead would visit the mortal world and large bonfires were lit in each village to ward off these evil spirits and ghosts.

In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III made November 1st a time to honour all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween.

Since then Halloween has moved internationally and is celebrated by many different cultures – primarily America, first adopted by the American Indians who would host “play parties”, public events held to celebrate the harvest, neighbours would share stories of the dead, fortunes, as well as dance and sing.

As time has progressed, Halloween has evolved into a celebration filled with child-friendly activities and has taken on a more fun/entertaining form – allowing children and adults to dress up in extravagant outfits then go trick-or-treating or partying!

Don’t forget, we have our own Halloween Party on 31st October available to all students enrolled at this time!

Halloween Party

Why Do We Have a Bank Holiday Monday in England?

Just to let you all know that this Monday 29th August, we are closed for the August Bank Holiday Monday!

But why?

The August Bank Holiday was instituted by the Bank Holidays Act of 1871 for a very English reason – to give bankers a day off so they could participate in cricket matches!

However the reason has broadened since then, to give all workers a three-day weekend to relax or vacation and enjoy this hot weather (fingers crossed) before the summer holidays come to an abrupt and undesired end!

So what will you be doing this weekend? Here are a few ideas that we have for you to make the most of it whilst the skies are blue and the sun is shining!

Here are a few activities you could get up to during this extended holiday weekend:Southbourne Beach

  • Southbourne/Bournemouth Beaches – we always talk about the glorious beaches, but there is a reason for it, the summer is the best time to make the most of the sandy shores, with Beach Volleyball, Football, Swimming, sunbathing and much more! So grab your sunscreen and money for ice cream!
  • Notting Hill Carnival (London) – if you’re venturing to London this weekend, then you MUST see Notting Hill Carnival on Portobello Road in London, the largest street festival in Europe and the second largest in the world! With live music, parades and an electric atmosphere – it truly is a fantastic place to be! Click here for more info on it!2011, Notting Hill Carnivaldorset-steam4
  • More locally, The Great Dorset Steam Fair begins from Thursday 25th – Monday 29th August!  Showcasing some of the most vintage steam vehicles that UK has to offer, as well as folk music, cider and WWI Commemoration Displays, the steam fair is an incredibly popular attraction held every year just outside Blandford Forum!
  • Or…just… RELAX! This is your time to just do nothing and enjoy it! The whole point of this public holiday is for everyone to enjoy their free time, and sometimes that just means chilling out!

50 Year Anniversary of the School

Southbourne School of English is proud to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. This is a wonderful milestone to have achieved.

The school has gone from strength to strength and is still run by the Gallina family 50 years on. Over the years we have heavily invested in all areas of the school to make it a great place to study and to keep at the forefront of EFL learning.

We have come a long way from this,

10Old classroom








To this,


We now have top of the range interactive whiteboards in all of our 23 classrooms. These help our students have a modern and current learning platform that they are familiar with.

Although the look of the school has changed our ethics, vision and goals have remained the same. We are passionate about offering our students a first class education in a fun, caring and welcoming family environment.

With a wide range of courses available for adults, juniors, 50+, examinations, closed group courses and many more, there is sure to be a course to suit your needs.

The location of the school is wonderful and similar to when we first opened in 1966. It is still a lovely residential area. All families are within easy walking distance of the school and the beach is only a short walk away.

With a vision that exceeds many other schools, we try to lead EFL into the future.

Thank you for being a part of our rich history and celebrating how far we have come and being part of what lies ahead.


Top 10 Places to Visit in Dorset

Here are the Top 10 places we recommend visiting when you come to Dorset!

1. Monkey Worldmonkey world

Monkey World is a chimpanzee rescue centre based in Wareham, which rescue and rehabilitate primates worldwide. You can visit Monkey World and see monkeys and apes of over 20 different species that are kept in safe and naturalistic environments. You can either walk freely around the site and observe, or take a tour where you will be able to listen to the Primate Care Staff talk about man’s closest living relative. There are also cafes dotted around the site that serve hot and cold drinks/food.


2. The Tank Mtankuseum

The Tank Museum showcases tanks from across the ages, from 1915 to the present day. When visiting the museum you will be guided by accounts from veterans that used these impressive vehicles at the battlefronts. Go back in time and gain an understanding of the history of tanks from across the World Wars.

3. New Forest National Parknew forest pon

The New Forest is an incredibly beautiful national park that lies within the county of Hampshire and is a collection of open heathlands and ancient woodlands that stretches 150 square miles. The New Forest is a perfect place to visit to explore, go on long walks, see wildlife and have picnics. This area used to be a royal hunting ground for King William I and his noblemen, in the 12th Century AD and therefore holds much history to it.

4. Durdle Door

The incredible Durdle Door is a perfect example of the power and beauty of nature – presenting an arch and beach so serene and well-crafted that it feels surreal when you see it. The shingle beach is accessible via a path and steps from the car park and provides a beautiful picture opportunity through the door in the cliff to the sea’s horizon.

5. Brownsea Island

Brownsea Island provides a great opportunity to observe diverse habitats and wildlife, which includes the rare and highly endangered red squirrel, as well as a small population of peacocks. You can access Brownsea Island via a public ferry or private boat for a price that is worth every penny. Take a picnic, relax, watch the wildlife and enjoy the views that it has to offer.

Durdle_Door_Overview6. Jurassic Coast

95 miles of coastline, 185 million years of history. The Jurassic Coast consists of fantastic beaches, cliffs and landslides, of all which contain rocks and fossils from millions of years in the past. Exploring the coast is awe-inspiring, this area reveals the records for millions of years of our Earth, giving an understanding of the beautiful natural history of the formation of these rocks. This is the reason Dorset and the East Devon coast was designated as England’s first natural World Heritage Site in 2001.

7. Hengistbury Head

Hengistbury Head is a natural reserve that offers numerous areas of exploration, including various outdoor activities, wildlife, geology and a hugely interesting history. It is suitable for anyone, with a land train available for access to Mudeford Sand spit with scenic views and a café if you want a tea or coffee. For the more adventurous, you can take an educational tour or see the spectacular views from the top of Warren Hill.

8. Moors Valley Country Parkmoors valley 3

A 1000-acre country park and forest that has activities for everyone. With an Adventure Play Trail, Tree Top trail, a steam railway, golf centre, Go Ape Tree Top Adventure and Forest Segway’s, restaurant and gift shop. This country park is a beautiful place to visit for a day out and walk.

9. Bournemouth International Centre

The Bournemouth International Centre is a great venue for a whole host of events – from music gigs, comedy shows, broadways and musicals, the BIC has it all! See all the events they have on and buy tickets online on their website.

sandbanks beach10. Sandbanks Beach

Sandbanks Beach is arguably one of the best beaches in the UK, holding European Blue Flag status for a record 20 years, it presents a beautiful golden beach and was the only beach to be awarded 100% by the Tidy Britain Group. Along the beach there are various café’s, ice cream kiosks and even a mini golf course. This beach is a definite must-see as it also holds a record for the 4th most expensive place to live per square metre in the world – along the peninsula are some of the finest and upmarket properties that the world has to offer.


FREE English Course Competition – Win 2 weeks English tuition!

We thought what better way to start the summer than to give someone the opportunity to win 2 FREE week’s tuition to learn English in the UK! If you’re coming to learn for fun or if learning English is important to your studies, enter our competition and see if YOU are our lucky winner!

To be in with a chance of winning our English Course Competition for 2 weeks English tuition at Southbourne School of English visit our Facebook page!

There you will find our competition post! Like, Tag and Share with friends to win lessons to learn English in the UK!

Our Facebook page URL –

Good luck!

Competition graphic

Celebrating the start of our summer programme!

With the long awaited summer finally here, we are celebrating the start of our summer programme for our Junior and Adult students, which began 13th June – we also welcome all of our enthusiastic and motivated activity staff that will be hosting our summer programme activities for the juniors!

With activities from Beach Volleyball to day trips to traditional towns and cities such as Christchurch and Oxford, we are looking forward to educating and creating unforgettable memories for our students who visit from various countries across the globe.

Bournemouth, Southbourne and the rest of the UK has plenty to offer this summer for our students – with national, regional and local events/excursions, this allows them to build an in depth understanding of the British culture and leave with a quality level of English they wish to achieve and often even further!

Euro 2016 is extremely popular in England and this gives our students a fun and competitive event to follow throughout June until July 10th – and for junior students who are arriving in July, they will have the opportunity to play and be trained by a FIFA Football Association Coach that is coming to our school. Wimbledon also begins on 27th June and to accompany this, we have available an LTA certified Tennis Coach to our junior students throughout the month of July.

Overall, this summer at Southbourne gives a great opportunity for any foreign language students to not only LEARN English but to LIVE English also!


Summer adult course Summer Junior programme

Things to do in Southbourne in the summer!

With summer around the corner we thought it would be great to tell you about the events that are happening here in Southbourne and in the surrounding areas!
Whilst soaking up the summer sun on Southbourne beach can be fun, there are even more things to do throughout the day and in the evenings too!

Summer Live: July 1st-August 14th

Link to more information:

The event features live acoustic music and art demonstrations throughout the day as well as an English Garden Summer Bar – for students at Southbourne, you can simply get the yellow 1b bus into Bournemouth Square, and voila, you are there!

summer live pic

Quay for my Car – starting July 1st 18:00-21:00

Every week at Poole Quay from July 1st, there is a different theme of vehicle being showcased by any car owners that fit the theme of that week! For students, simply take the 1b or M1 bus to Poole and stroll down to the lovely Poole Harbour Quay!

The date of each theme are below:

1st July – Red open top sports cars and Red convertiblesminis
8th July – Minis
15th July – Italian Stallions
22nd July – Land Rovers featuring Defenders
29th July – Best of British – pre August 1983
5th August – VW Air-cooled
12th August – Lotus 7s & Caterhams
19th August – TVRs
26th August – American Dreams

Evening Nature Walk and Picnic on Brownsea Island – July 8th 18:00-21:00

At Poole Quay you can jump on a special Brownsea boat and make your way over to the island!
Here you will be taken on a walk around the island and you can discover more about the nocturnal wildlife!
Tickets are only £10.

Nightlife clubbing/bars! (18+) – Every evening

In the evening, Bournemouth comes alive! With arguably some of the best clubs and bars in the UK – such as Halo, Cameo, BarSo and Lost Paradise (Lost Gardens) to name just a few! You’ll definitely appreciate the nightlife in Bournemouth and have a great time partying with your newly found friends!

cameo bournemouth

Summer Breeze on the Quay with Fireworks – July 21st 19:00-22:00summer fireworks

Summer Breeze is a weekly event throughout the summer holidays every Thursday evening on Poole Quay!
With great live music, awe-inspiring street entertainment, special themed nights and a spectacular fireworks display at 10pm (22:00)!

Bournemouth Pier Zip Wire

Ever wanted to zip line or have done before and would love to try it again? Then the world’s first pier-to-shore zip line in Bournemouth will allow you to do just that, soaring over the sea and down to the beach!

£18 for a single ride! Or £32 for a dual ride with a friend! (April-September)

zip lining bournemouth pier

Southbourne and the surrounding areas in Dorset have so much for all ages! So why not come to study at Southbourne now and explore the finest events, beaches, excursions and more that the UK has to offer!

Dazzling Summer Fireworks

Boscombe & Bournemouth are kick starting this sizzling summer with a duel Firework display from both Piers! Come and join us in the Coastal Activity Park for dazzling firework display of both Piers!

Starts at 10pm – Friday 11th July

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