TRIP REPORT BY SAM HIRSCH FROM YEAR 7
Day 1: Le Grand Départ (the bus ride)
We met up at 5am, with four teachers and 30 children, and dragged our luggage to the coach. We waved goodbye to our parents and found our seats. The bus started and we were off!
We drove for a long time, and made our way to Dover. We got on the Eurostar to get into France, then went shopping as a break, as we were very hot and lethargic from sitting on a coach.
Eventually, after a long ride on the coach, we got to the Château de Chantereine. It was a very nice place with two huge lawns and comfy beds in the rooms. We relaxed for a while and played a game. Then, much to the delight of the exhausted teachers, we went to sleep.
Day 2: The Tour Begins
Everyone was bleary as we stumbled out of bed, half asleep because of the early start and the several-hour coach journey the day before. We had breakfast and got ready, then we started our sightseeing tour, alongside a chance to practice our French and speak to actual French people.
First stop was a local produce market, which had a range of things from umbrella hats to typical French produce and everything in-between. While there, we saw a large cathedral, which was beautifully intricate, then we moved on.
Next was the ‘hypermarket’. A huge shop with the item range of everything under the sun, under one roof. We wandered around, found more awesome shops, and drove to Dieppe.
Dieppe is a beautiful place, filled with churches, sweetshops, and oddly panto-esque slanted buildings. We got a guided tour of the whole place, courtesy of Michael, Jake and Harley, which included a good long walk and a fish market. By the end, we were very hungry, so we went to the beach to eat our prepacked lunch.
The beach was a lovely pebbled coast. We all sat in a row and ate our lunches, chatting and flicking stones happily. There were several photos taken. Next on our list, Rouen. A lovely town with several cathedrals and the Church of Saint Joan of Arc. We heard a French choir sing, visited shops, got a tour, and went to the coach as we were exhausted. We couldn’t keep our eyes open as we collapsed into bed. The evening meal was an al fresco BBQ followed by a mini-Olympics event and water fight to cool us down in the blistering heatwave sweeping across Europe.
Day 3: The Tour Continues
It felt like an earlier start than Saturday this morning. We jumped out of bed, put some clothes on, grabbed some sunscreen and boarded the coach.
The WW1 memorial was incredibly spotless, cared for by the local French people. There were a variety of religions and nationalities on the immaculate graves. There was a book in the middle with all the names in the graveyard, along with dates of death, causes, and addresses. On the subject of World Wars, we went next to an ex-hotel called Trianon, which was in Le Tréport. The hotel was blown up by the Germans in WW2 – they claimed it was a landmark. The shop sold amazing ice creams, which we had to buy in French.
The cliff railway, which came through a hole in the cliff, was spectacular. It was almost entirely made of glass, so it gave a tremendous view of the cliff and the beautiful coastline. Speaking of the coastline, next came a beach. Another pebble beach, but this one had a boardwalk and interesting stones. Michael, Jake and Harley hosted games as we ate our lunches and ran around, being children. We took the cliff railway back up and drove to the Château.
This night was ‘game night’, with archery, rock climbing, water fights, and crêpe-making. We also played tag and manhunt, while soaked, and generally had a good time. All of us attempted both the climbing wall and the archery, some with more success than others but all with enthusiasm.
Day 4: Time to go home
We hopped onto the coach after saying our goodbyes to the leaders. They waved us off and we waved back.
We stopped off at a French chocolate factory, where they kindly gave us a tour, showed us how they made the chocolate and even gave us free samples! We visited the shop, which was full of beautifully designed chocolates. There were a lot of purchases made.
It was super late when we got back to school, but we managed to thank our teachers, see our parents and go home.
Huge thank yous go to Mrs Sheffield, Mrs Wedgebury, Mr Butler and Mr Nicholls, as well as Michael, Jake and Harley, and also Mario, our coach driver.
“The trip was a marvellous success. The students represented the school splendidly and their conduct was commented on by the staff as commendable. They took several opportunities to practice their French and did so with enthusiasm and aplomb. The weather was glorious and the choir performance in the Joan of Arc church, we happened across, was beautiful. Thank you to all the staff for their hard work and well done to the children for representing the school so well.” – Mr Butler, Head of English and Languages