Our first school trip to France leaves on Sunday 22nd February and returns on Saturday the 28th February. 20 pupils, Mrs Westgarth, Miss Nichols and Mr Camp will be crossing the channel to stay in a Chateau for a week where they will carry out a range of outdoor activities and sample the French culture and food.
Watch this space to find out more as their trip progresses.
Sunday 22nd February 2015
10am - The lucky group leave for France!
Well, we've all arrived safe and sound and the children are all fast asleep in their beds. They enjoyed the boat trip; they watched an impressive magic show with oohs and aahs in all the right places. They were then able to practise some circus skills!
Monday 23rd February 2015
We've had a tour of the site and been introduced to all the inhabitants - not all of them human! We spent some time in the games room before a delicious lunch and are now preparing for our afternoon activities which are fencing for group N and a very muddy assault course for Group O!
The assault course was brilliant but very wet and muddy! (Rebecca S)
The assault course was very cold but we learnt lots of French words like sous, sur, travers, passé, pneu and la corde. I also learnt how 'muddy' mud is! (Abbie H)
It was such a challenge to get past the obstacles but I did it! (Nathan)
It was a bit hard at first but then I persevered and finished it! (Tommy C)
Tuesday 24th February 2015
Another peaceful night - we are really impressed with how the children have gone to bed without fuss and are getting along together in their groups and rooms. However, they are now all up and excited because today is market day! After a picnic lunch we will be setting off for Mt St Michel, the second most visited place in France, before heading back for our evening activity, 'la grande trouvaille'
We are really enjoying reading your news and seeing your photos! Glad to see lots of smiling faces regardless of all the mud and water! Did Mr Camp go round the assault course too?
We are having a French Café in school on Thursday and Friday this week as we think of you.
Sounds like you are having a brilliant time! Keep us posted with your news.
Wow, what a busy day! The market at Villedieu-les-Poêles had a variety of stalls and the children had a good look round before they bought things, asking for items and their prices in French.
'The sausages were really meaty' - Ade
'I paid in Euros and made sure I got the right change' - Connie
'I had a pork chop in a baguette and it was delicious; it tasted nicer than English meat' - Tom
After our picnic we went to Mt St Michel. The first sight of it was exciting and as we drove closer it was even more impressive, seeming to rise from the sands of the bay. Despite the weather, most of us enjoyed an ice-cream as we learnt about the fortifications on the mount and the fruitless attempts by the English to conquer it.
'It was a really interesting place with so many old buildings crowded together' - Amber
'When you're climbing the steps you don't realise how high you are but the views are amazing' - Hannah
Our last stop of the day was a French supermarket where the children spent the last of their euros before heading back to the chateau for dinner. All the children are trying every food item and some are discovering new foods that they like, which is great to see.
Some more pictures of our day...
Wednesday 25th February 2015.
It was group Ns turn to tackle the assault course today! Despite the cold wet mud there were lots of smiles and all the children completed the course.
'It was awesome!' - Max
'I did the rope swing twice!' - Shay
'I went sur and sous a rondin de bois!' - Ade
It was muddy, but worth it to hear the laughter and support that the children gave to each other. There will be some very dirty clothes coming home - even Mr Camp got one of his socks wet!
After lunch we went to feed the animals and spend some time with the baby rabbits before our afternoon activities.
All the children are using French now and picking up new words every day - nobody speaks English here so they must communicate in French to get what they need! They are really throwing themselves into the activities and, as always, they are being complimented on their excellent behaviour.
The café sounds fantastic and some of us have looked at the pictures on Facebook - the food looks delicious. 'Bonne chance' for tomorrow and Friday!
Aeroball was a great success and the children learnt how to use new phrases in their French language session.
Group O enjoyed their fencing session with a few children showing promise in this area as they were very light on their feet and precise with their epee.
Unfortunately, someone forgot to speak French and had to pay a forfeit. Can you guess who it was?
Thursday 26th February 2015
Today before lunch we have bread making and the climbing wall. We'll swap after lunch so both groups will have completed the activities by the end of the day.
At breakfast, the staff told us how much they were impressed with the language that the children are able to use now; every one of them are speaking to the animateurs with confidence.
'Bonjour, la cuisine, je voudrais encore du pain s' il vous plaît' - Grace
'Passer le chocolate chaud s' il vous plaît' - Rebecca C
'Est-ce que il y à encore du pain s'il vous plaît?' - Laura
The children are still eating very well, or as Connie put it 'They certainly do feed us well!'
After lunch today we went to the cider farm and learnt how cider is made. We then got to taste it! (Sans alcool pour les enfants!)
Enjoying lunch - vegetable soup followed by spaghetti, followed by cheese, followed by fruit. And of course, the bread that we made this morning.
The climbing wall was a little slippery but all the children in the first group made it to the top and rang the bell.
To go up I had to say 'je voudrais monter s'il vous plaît' - Eve
To come down I had to say 'je voudrais descendre s'il vous plaît' - Alex
Various shaped loaves of bread were made this afternoon. Mr Camp went for the traditional plait and is hoping for some cheese to go with it! The children measured out all the ingredients in French and sang French songs while they kneaded the dough.
This afternoon the weather was definitely wetter than this morning but this didn't dampen the children's spirits as they bravely battled a very slippery climbing wall!
There was a special surprise at dinner tonight. Connie volunteered to be blindfolded and taste something. She described it as 'garlicky, slightly salty and a bit squishy'. She was surprised to discover that she had eaten a snail but this didn't stop her from having a few more! All of the children were brave enough to try them and only 3 didn't like them - hands kept going up for more and the whole tray was finished! Some children were able to mop up the garlic butter with the bread that they made this afternoon. And Mr Camp did manage to find some cheese for his.
Our final activity of the day was the quiz and fancy dress evening. The children answered questions relating to the week so far and also completed challenges. The scores were high with the winning team earning 26 points. However, all the teams did really well and highlighted once again how much progress the children have made this week. We are very proud of them all.
Friday 27th February 2015
We woke up today to beautiful sunshine, birds singing, cockerels crowing and peacocks strutting amongst the rabbits on the lawns. We've had a good breakfast of croissant, baguette, butter, jam, cereal, hot chocolate, yogurt and fruit and the children have started their morning activities.
This morning both groups are doing circus skills and photography. After lunch they will be doing archery and orienteering. Our final activity at the Chateau will be the 'Spectacle', the talent show.
'J'aime beaucoup le cirque parce que c'est stimulant et amusant'. - Shea
After a hearty lunch of potato salad, chicken in curry sauce, rice, cheese and fruit the children were ready to complete their 'petit bulot' on the farm. Today's job was to feed the ponies and Llamas.
'Le lama a mangé de ma main!' - Harry
'Le petit cheval manger' - Abbie R
The weather couldn't have been better for this afternoon's activities - warm sunshine for the orienteering and no wind for the archery.
There were lots of high scores at the archery range - some children even managed to pop a balloon in the centre of their target!
'Je gagner 340 points dans tir l'arc et c'etait amusant'. - Maggie
I took the opportunity to take some photos of the beautiful grounds of the chateau as the children raced around searching for the check points on their maps.
There were quite a few entries into the talent show; we had an impressionist, a play, singers and even a hula hooping cha cha slide!
Saturday 28th February 2015
After a very early start we are on the boat on our way home. The boat is due in at 13:15 so we should be on time this afternoon, arriving at school at 16:30.