‘Fantastique’ aptly describes the six action-packed days spent by 41 Year 8 students in France in July. Throughout the week French language and culture was balanced with team building fun activities making this an excellent all-round educational experience for the students.
Even the accommodation epitomised the French way of life as we all stayed in the Chateau de Chantereine, a beautiful French chateau owned by the ‘commune’ of Criel-sur-Mer and used as an activity centre by Kingswood. The week was packed with excursions: the historic city of Rouen, Boulogne Sea Life Centre and a trip down the Seine on the Bateaux Parisiens to name a few. Our tour of Rouen formed the basis of the ‘reportage’ programme followed by all the children back at the Chateau. This entailed students working in pairs to produce a DVD of video clips, music, French commentary and English subtitles about the city which they were then able to copy onto CD and bring home as a memento of their trip. In this many chose to comment on the gothic architecture prevalent in the town, the rather grisly ossuary where the bones of the victims of the Black Death were kept, the significance of the textile industry to the city and of course the legendary story of Joan of Arc. All the students truly rose to this linguistic challenge, producing some excellent examples of both language work and IT skills.
After so much hard work students and staff spent a more relaxing day at Parc Asterix, and this was followed by a short tour of the main sights of Paris before our long and reluctant journey home.
Overall it was a hectic but truly enjoyable week providing Year 8 with an authentic first taste of France ranging from architecture and history to comic heroes and frog’s legs, all of which were astonishingly well received by all (especially the latter with their accompaniment of snails!). Thanks again to Year 8 for their impeccable behaviour and readiness to participate wholeheartedly, also to the excellent team of staff accompanying the trip.
Mrs Shirley D Stout, Head of German, French