Monday 17 June, 4.30am. The moment Year 6 had been waiting for with bated breath had finally arrived: the French residential trip!
After years of learning French at The Manor, including French breakfasts, assemblies, songs, poems and much more, the children were at last able to put all their learning into practice during this trip! The ferry journey from Portsmouth to Caen-Ouistream was smooth and at 3pm we set foot on ‘le sol français’ before making our way to the PGL centre buried deep into the forest of rural Mayenne. The setting was idyllic: acres of land surrounded the nineteenth century Château du Tertre, our home for the next five days.
On the first evening, after a copious meal, we had our evening activity (Mini-Olympics) before retiring off to bed for a well-deserved restorative night’s sleep. On Tuesday morning, regenerated and ready for adventure, we had our first taste of raft building, tree climbing and team challenges. The children were amazing at building their raft using all their construction skills and courage: everyone ended up in the water after a while but we all loved it! Meanwhile, the children doing the tree climbing proved to be incredibly brave going up a very tall tree and the team challenges required logic skills, balance and quick-thinking from everybody to complete the tasks. In the afternoon, the visit to the medieval town of Fougères and its amazingly well-preserved castle was breath-taking. In the evening, we went out after dinner to a local Crêperie and the children practised their French to buy a crêpe. C’était délicieux!
On Wednesday, we drove back to the coast and had our ‘History Day’, learning about the Mulberry Harbour, standing right on the spot of the D-Day landing beaches of WWII, emotionally admiring the new memorial garden made in Chelsea this year and transported to Arromanches for the 75th commemorative ceremonies. We also learnt about the involvement of Canada when we visited their base on Juno Beach.
On Thursday, the market visit at Evron provided an exciting French shopping spree for the children who spent all their euros buying lovely souvenirs for themselves and their families. They then danced their last evening away at the disco!
On Friday, on our way to the ferry port, we made one last stop: the Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the 1066 Battle of Hastings. Merci les filles pour ce merveilleux voyage!