GERMAN students from Gymnasium Odenkirchen in Mönchengladbach, near Cologne, experienced English school life and met Thurrock's Mayor as part of the 25th anniversary of German exchanges with pupils from Grays Convent School.

Pupils from the school and 24 German students took part in a discussion with the Mayor and Cabinet Member for Children's Services, councillor Mike Revell, on school dinners and were given the opportunity to ask questions about the mayoralty and council.

"The children came into the Council chamber and were encouraged to debate in the same manner as Councillors. They all spoke up well and asked many questions, we then all went into the Mayor's parlour for drinks and biscuits," said the Mayor, councillor Diane Revell.

"These exchange visits are a wonderful experience for children from both countries."

During their one-week stay the students visited London, Cambridge and Thorpe Park as well as discovering school life in a day at the school, taking part in activities and eating school dinners!