Form 6 French Trip
Form 6 left a damp and cold Solihull on Sunday morning for their French adventure. They were well looked after by Ralph their driver for the week. It was an uneventful journey to the terminal and after eating lunch we queued to board the train where problems on the line did result in delays.
Upon finally arriving in France we were greeted with very similar weather but arrived safely at the hotel and settled into our rooms. The children were well fed with chicken and chips and went for a damp evening stroll along the estuary stopping for a play at the park. They are all excited for the days ahead.
We awoke to the sound of howling wind and lashing rain, which hasn't let up all day, in fact it was probably even worse as we headed back to the hotel this afternoon.
We took an interesting tour around the old walled city of Boulogne, trying to keep indoors as much as possible. The Basillica was a welcome and beautiful retreat. We explored the Town Hall and oldest building in the town the Donjon or keep. We were lucky enough to explore up the tower, but didn't get outside due to flooding and high winds, not that we would have seen much of the city if we had. Our school Council Chairperson got the chance to sit in the Mayors place in the Council Chambers.
We ate lunch on the coach, the staff very appreciative of a hot coffee from Ralph the Driver.
The afternoon was great visiting the exotic world of the oceans in Nausicaa Sea Life Centre. The children really enjoyed seeing a huge range of sea-life from sharks to sea lions and crabs and Clown-fish to crocodiles. The highlight I am sure for many was the gift shop at the end of the tour.
Unfortunately due to the weather the outdoor mini-golf wasn't going to happen. I am sure that windmill hole would have been whizzing round far too fast. The evening was rounded off with a quiz which went down well and the scores were all very close.
Looking forward to a day locally in the market and swimming tomorrow with a promised break in the weather.
We awoke to a beautiful blue sky and sunshine, a marked contrast to yesterday. Today we stayed in the local area. Firstly we visited the local town of Etaples-sur-Mer for a typical French market. The children managed to find all the stalls selling Eiffel Towers and souvenirs, whilst the staff enjoyed the local produce and fresh fruit. It was a great opportunity for all the children to experience a real French environment.
We returned to the hotel for our lunch and then a short drive down to Le Touquet beach for some fun in the sand. Beach cricket, mass football and sandcastles were the order of the day.
We then went to Aqualud Water Park for the afternoon. The children got an extended session on the slides and in the wave pool, and it was a real effort to convince them all to leave. This was followed by an ice cream on the sea front.
The evening meal of meatballs went down very well and one child was even heard to say it was the best rice he had ever had!? The evening entertainment was laser quest and those not playing in a game fed the arcade machines and won a small variety of brightly coloured toys. A great day was had by all.
We awoke to more sunshine which was a welcome surprise. Today was our World War One history day. We had a long coach ride to the town of Arras and the Wellington Quarry, which consisted of old chalk mines that were utilised in WW1 to allow the allied and Commonwealth troops to travel around under the city and attack the enemy by surprise. It was great to tread in their footsteps and for the children to see the many artefacts that have been recovered.
Following a picnic lunch once again outside in the sunshine we headed off to the Somme. The children found out about the battle and got the chance to explore the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, with one child able to find the engraving of his great great Grandad's name. We were very pleased when the children were complimented by other visitors on the respect and high level of interest they were showing.
Following on we went to the Newfoundland Memorial site where there are some preserved trenches and areas of no mans land. We learnt about the unsuccessful battles these unfortunate soldiers were involved in. It was great to see the level of interest shown by many of the children on this day of sobering visits.
As we departed the Somme the heavens opened and once again our evening of mini-golf was cancelled. The children were treated to an impromptu evening of French language games in their pyjamas. Many tired children today so an early night was well received by all members of the group.
Another sunny day. We were off on our French day. We went to the beautiful town of Montrieul sur Mer where the group was split in to two. One group had a French lesson, learning cafe conversation, they will order for you next time you come to France! The other group got to explore the walled town and it's variety of landmarks.
Following this we visited the escargot ferme, where we learned all about snails and in particular the ones that are eaten in France. The children got to handle them and James tried for the record of how many a child could hold in their hands. It was a pretty good attempt. Then was the time to try them. They were prepared with three flavours in little pastry cases. Quite a few children tried them, some enjoyed them more than others. The owner was very impressed with the children's knowledge and enthusiasm.
Then we visited the artisan Boulangerie Le Fournil. The children got to learn how to make croissants and visited the wood burning bread oven where they made the artisan loaves. The baker was very stern with us, but I bet all the children can name the ingredients in French.
The day was rounded off with a round of ten pin bowling, with Mrs White being the victorious teacher. A great final day. Can't believe it is all finished. See you back at school.