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Year 6 French Trip

Updates from the Year 6 French Trip

Day One

After a sleepy start and a 90-minute drive to Folkestone, in remarkably light traffic, the boys had a little time off the coach to stretch their legs before boarding the Eurostar. The boys who had not travelled in the Euro Tunnel before found it hard to grasp how the coach would be boarding a train, but everything was soon revealed as we drove aboard.

A little light lunch on the coach on the way was needed, but it was not long until we reached our first stop...the sweet factory! The boys were enthralled listening to the demonstration on how both hard boiled sweets and jelly-based sweets were made. The smell was divine, and mouths were salivating.  Staff had to hold a few individuals back from licking the glass windows when the sweet maker explained how it can be used on film sets to act as fake glass and joked that the panes there were replaced every Wednesday! A few boys had the opportunity to pour the mixture into the moulds and cast the first batch before the mixture cooled and solidified. The next demonstration saw the whole mixture poured over the metal table, which was specially designed with cold water pipes running under the surface to aid the cooling process.  After the first opportunity to spend some euros in the shop on other products made at the factory, including chocolate and marshmallows, the coach awaited once more to take us on to our accommodation.

After the boys settled into their rooms, they had the chance for a much-needed rest and some downtime before dinner. The meal itself consisted of sausages with a choice of potato dishes and veg, with peaches and cream for pudding. The evening activity of crêpe making will provide a lovely activity to end a very exciting, and tiring day. There are a few sleepy faces on show. Some of the boys look tired too!

Click here to go to the photos from the French Trip.

Day Two

The boys had a really good night and recharged their batteries with some much-needed sleep. A continental breakfast greeted us all at 7.30 am before we headed off for our first full day out.

The weather has once again been glorious, although unsurprisingly chilly at the beginning of the day. The first stop was to a bee farm, where the boys had a fascinating talk from the guide about the significance and importance of bees. The boys impressed with their existing knowledge, first studied in the Year 5 science curriculum, about pollination and how bees interact with the environment. We were given an insight into the three types of bee - the worker, drone and queen bee - how they live together in the hive, and the different lifespans which ranged from 21 days for the worker bee, up to 4 years for the queen bee! An absolutely fascinating discussion and insight into the world of these very important creatures. The boys then went on and explored the outside gardens and maze before settling down for some lunch.

Following another coach ride, we descended on to the town of Le Touquet to tour around with each group leader to undertake the town trail. Everyone was impressed with the beautiful beach and the general surroundings whilst getting to practise some of their French vocabulary and recognise common items studied in class.

The boys have just finished dinner and are currently getting ready to embark on a scavenger hunt around the dormitory before turning in after another tiring day.

Click here to go to the photos from the French Trip.

Day Three

Although the boys had another good night, there were a few more tired faces presenting themselves this morning. The first destination for the day was to visit the seals which were lounging on their towels, soaking up the sun in their natural habitat on the beach. We were unable to get too close due to the passage of water between us and them, but it was still an amazing scene.

We then departed towards a town market in Boulogne sur mer. The boys had the opportunity to walk around in their groups and try and use some French phrases with the market traders in order to purchase some souvenirs. Whilst many finally settled upon items readily available in the North Street Pound shop, the market traders rubbed their hands and revelled in the fact that their return journey would be vastly lighter without many of the New York labelled caps and model Eiffel Towers they had come with. 

A brief walk to a local park for lunch in the sunshine preceded a slightly longer walk to the afternoon activity, to visit the aquarium. One of the largest collections of sea life awaited in addition to a wonderful opportunity to view the feeding and exercise regime of the resident seal-lions at the afternoon display.

With Mr Moore's choice of Star Wars, the viewing chosen for the the outgoing coach journey, not as appreciated by the 48 juniors as it was the 5 seniors, the majority vote won on the return journey where the boys tucked into the film 'Turbo'...about a snail who has dreams of becoming a speedy racing driver.

For supper, the boys have just had a substantial spaghetti bolognaise and those brave enough had the opportunity to taste some of Turbo's distant cousins, coated in a large supply of butter and garlic. Some strong stomachs prevailed, others wavered in the aftermath and the majority went running scared at the mere sight of them...including Mr. Williams!

Whilst the weather has once again been amazing today, the forecast is not so good tomorrow as we look forward to our trip to Belgium.

Apologies that the photos may not be updated into the gallery until tomorrow, but the wifi here is exceptionally poor and is inhibiting the transfer of the files from our devices.

Day 4

It's been a long, sombre day for all the boys and staff, but a very worthwhile one. It has been our historical day spent visiting numerous sites of historic importance.

The day began with a trip to Talbot House. This was a place of respite for men who had come off the front line for some rest and recuperation. It became famous for its unique way of treating the soldiers who came through its doors. Every man was treated the same, no matter their rank or position. 'Abandon rank when ye enter here', was the sign placed over the front door.

Just a short walk away in the town centre were the cells and shooting post. The cells held the men who were considered deserters, for 24-48 hours in solitary confinement before being led outside to face the firing squad. The British Forces needed every man they could get to help fight the war, so this was an especially harsh punishment for those who tried to leave their posts. However, the British Government has recently pardoned these men and they are now honoured appropriately.

We then departed towards Essex Farm cemetery and Dressing Station. This cemetery is one of the many final resting places for British Soldiers in Europe. We continued on to Tyne Cot cemetery, which is the largest Commonwealth War Graves cemetery in the world. Almost 12,000 British soldiers from WW1 are buried there. Over 8000 of these graves are unidentified.

Our afternoon was spent in the town of Ypres. We visited the Cloth Hall with its impressive bell-tower. We also spent some time at St George's church which was built as a memorial to fallen WW1 British and Commonwealth soldiers. We even located the RGS plaque commemorating all the ex-RGS boys who lost their lives in WW1.

We stayed in town and had dinner locally before attending the daily commemorative playing of the last post performed at the Menin Gate Memorial - a truly moving moment to what has been a very thought-provoking day.

Lights are out and bags are packed ready for another early start tomorrow. Everyone is looking forward to visits to the boulangerie and chocolaterie.

Day 5

Our final day began with a visit to one of the only 5 bakeries in northern France who still used traditional methods of making bread for the locals. It was another absolutely fascinating insight into some of the local cultures, and the smell coming from the ovens was absolutely amazing. After listening attentively to the methods that go into making the loaves of bread, all the boys had the opportunity to taste some of the fresh produce straight from the shelves.

On the way back to the train, our last stop was at the chocolate factory. Many of the boys and staff had been looking forward to this part of the trip. We were given an informative demonstration of how different types of chocolates were made before having the chance to decorate our own bars to take home. Any left of money was spent in the shop purchasing some of the many varieties of chocolates on offer.

It was a wonderful week. The boys have been brilliant and represented the school in true Lanesborough fashion.

 

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