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Home > News and Events > Year 8’s Normandy French Trip

Year 8’s Normandy French Trip

22 Sep 23

Year 8 students returned from their trip to France earlier this week, having spent a long weekend in and around Normandy. Immersing themselves in the culture and language throughout their stay, with every activity involving French speaking instruction and communications, students visited local markets, milked goats on a farm, visited D-Day landing beaches, took part in archery, climbing and so much more. You can hear more about their trip from Freya and Ella in their reports.

Freya, Year 8
It was an early start for everyone on Friday morning as we loaded ourselves on to the bus and set off for Portsmouth. We took part in a quiz, listened to music, played bingo and did a treasure hunt as well as exploring the ferry on our journey to Caen, followed by a short bus trip to Chateau Baudonnière in Normandy.

The Chateau was in a remote but beautiful spot, surrounded by lush green fields, home to hundreds of tame rabbits. After a Soirée française to familiarise ourselves with our schedule for the next three nights, we slept like logs in our spacious dorms.

The next morning we were treated to delicious French pastries and hot chocolate before being taken to the town of Avranches for their market day, where there was an interesting selection of stalls selling fruit, vegetables, meats, cheeses and jewellery – and Some of us bought crepes which were amazing! We then had a picnic lunch in a park where we could see Mont St Michel.

The afternoon was spent at a local goat farm, where we fed, groomed and milked the goats – straight into the lucky volunteers’ mouths!! Miss Hinton will be able to tell you her experience of that!
We left with many parcels of cheese, goats milk, chocolate and apple juice which I’m sure our lucky relatives were thrilled to receive on our return.

Saturday evening was spent doing a scavenger hunt in groups with photo clues to reveal the next search location. After a supper of mince and pasta, it was off to bed again to refresh for another day of activities based at the Chateau.

I so enjoyed the trip and loved the opportunity to spend time in Normandy practising our French. Thank you to Mrs Pilkington and all the other staff for taking us and looking after us so well.

Ella, Year 8
On Sunday morning we woke up and went down to the dining hall for breakfast which was a selection of cereals, pastries, fruit and bread; my favourite pastry was the croissant because it was really soft and buttery.

We then started our rotation of the days’ activities which included; orienteering where we got into groups and competed to see who could collect the most stamps on our sheets by following a map, rock climbing where we had to climb a wall and try to ring the bell at the top, aeroball where we had to try and score in a hoop while jumping on a trampoline, and archery where we took it in turns to see how many points we could get. I found archery really challenging because the bow was almost the same size as me!

We stopped after two of these activities, had a break for a lunch of spaghetti pasta, and continued with the remaining activities in the afternoon. Each activity had a French lesson first to introduce the key vocabulary and then we filled in our workbooks.

We then had some free time where we could see the rabbits that were kept at the chateau, play football and other ball games or hang out in the games room with our friends.

It was then our last dinner at the chateau, which began with salami salad, followed by a main course of couscous, roast vegetables and meatballs, with a delicious crème caramel for dessert.
After dinner we took part in the last activity of the day, the talent show! Lots of people performed songs and dances, and there was even a speech and a Rubik’s cube solving. At the end everybody stayed and there was a dance party which we all enjoyed.

It was then time for bed, so back to our dormitories to get a good night’s sleep ahead of the journey home the following day.

On Monday morning we took all of our luggage down to the coach and then went to eat our last French breakfast. Our first stop on the journey back was the D-Day Arromanches Museum in Normandy where we watched a film about the landings in a 360 degree cinema. It was a reflective experience and I learnt a lot.

Next stop – Le Supermarché! It was enormous, and we all had fun looking at the different French sweets and deciding what to buy for the journey home.

The ferry back was a bumpy ride and we were all very happy to get off on the other side! The coach journey was very peaceful where most of us slept and we arrived back at school at 2.00am.

I really enjoyed my French trip and I’m sure the next year to go will enjoy it just as much. The staff at the chateau were amazing and encouraged us to speak French as often as possible because they only spoke to us in French.

I’d like to say a big thank you to Mrs Pilkington for organizing the trip and to all the teachers who spent their weekend with us.

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