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The Russian exchange programme between Stamford Endowed Schools and Gimnazia Number Four School in Khimki celebrates 25 years

A town’s schools and a Russian school have celebrated 25th years of being twinned during their most recent and for the first time, snow-less exchange trip.

Stamford Endowed Schools have been twinned with Gimnazia Number Four School in Khimki, about 20 miles northwest of Moscow, since 1995 when Boris Yeltsin was Russia’s president.

About 12 pupils from Stamford visited Khimki between Thursday, December 12 and Thursday, December 19 and stayed with host families.

The pupils in Red Square, in front of St Basil's Cathedral, Moscow
The pupils in Red Square, in front of St Basil's Cathedral, Moscow

During the trip, pupils between Years Nine and 12, saw the famous Fabregé eggs housed within the Kremlin armoury, learned about the history of Red Square and toured the pioneering space museum, the Museum of Cosmonautics.

The group also toured the Moscow Metro and visited St Petersburg.

As well as sightseeing, the pupils also attended school lessons which was followed by a concert.

During their time with host families, the pupils went ice skating, visited the circus, watched the Nutcracker ballet, went to the theatre, took in an international ice hockey and toured the Christmas markets.

Head of Russian at Stamford School, Caroline Wray, said: “It’s hard to believe that we are celebrating our 25th anniversary already.

"The trip was incredibly successful, and our Russian hosts looked after us royally.

“Our tour of the Moscow underground was stunning – what a difference between this and the tube in London.

"It was, as usual, also wonderful to see the great friendships between our pupils, particularly when they were ice skating at the beautiful outdoor ice rinks in Moscow.

“There have truly been some memorable experiences across my years on the trip; I particularly recall the year where the coldest temperatures dropped to -22 degrees celsius.

"However, this year was the first that we haven’t experienced snow, and so we were a little disappointed with the weather being the same as in Stamford!

“I have been on the trip at least 10 times now and have certainly seen some changes.

"Moscow has become busier, however, the investment in the city has increased hugely and it is always impressive, clean and beautiful.

“I’m always blown away by the warmth, hospitality and generosity of our Russian hosts, who go out of their way to make us feel welcome.”

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