Welcome to our France 2016 blog.
Our new blog will be updated regularly with information about our trip and pictures of what we have got up to.
As always our blogs provide our children with a real audience and purpose for writing. Please feel free to comment and give us feedback on any of our posts. Your comments will be monitored before going live and then will be shared with the children.
Sorry to all who have been following this blog for tonight’s late post but we have been waiting for good signal.
Once again we were up early for breakfast and on the road towards the town of Lisieux to visit the the Basilica of St Teresa as part f our #France2016 pilgrimage.
The early start was definitely worth it as we arrived all the staff and children were in awe of the Basilica – the sheer size was breathtaking. This did not end when we entered the door of mercy as we were met with beautiful mosiacs adorning the walls and stain glasses Windows depicting scenes from the Bible. We took our time exploring, taking a few moments to light candle by the relics of St Teresa and then visiting the crypt to write a prayer beside the relics of St Teresa’s parents.
We then took a short walk towards the Carmel where St Teresa studied and spent much of her time. Here now stood the remains of her body, where once again we took time to reflect on our pilgrimage.
Soon it was time to get back on the road and off towards the ferry, our journey was nearly at an end, arriving at the port we waved farewell to France and started the crossing under blue skies and calm seas towards England.
We have enjoyed our trip immensely and will take many memories with us that will last a lifetime. The children have been a credit to themselves, thier families and to the school – well done and we will see you all soon!
The days seem to be whizzing by now especially as we are having so much fun.
Today we had a later breakfast (lie in) and off to the town of Ambrieries where we visited a local bakery (boulangerie) and spoke to the baker who showed us how to make our own croissants and pain au chocolate. After rolling our own croissants that were to be baked and sold in the shop later that day, we tasted some ready made samples and had a chance to sample to buy something from he shop – lots of lovely patisserie!
Then it was time to explore the town, where we had a town trail to complete- once agin using our French speaking skills. Mrs Martin’s group were the first back and won the challenge!
Then back on the coach and off to the snail farm, Christine – one of the owners – gave us a tour of her farm explaining lots about how they farm snails. We looked at some of the products they make from the snails which even included anti-aging face cream! Then came the tasting… Christine brought out a plate of snail volovonts – garlic and herbs, basil and tomatoe and lastly cheese. They were surprisingly nice, if not a bit chewy – with some children eating five or six!!!
We bade farewell to the snail farm, and back on the coach for a short drive to the town of Mayen where we had our picnic lunch by the river.
Time to return to the centre where we had an afternoon of activities planned – zip line and team problem solving.
Day 3 and another early start and breakfast to get us on the road. Our first stop today being the town of Fleur where we visited the local market. We split into two groups with each given a budget of 20 Euros to buy produce to eat at lunchtime. Everyone had an opportunity to speak French within the stall vendors, buying strawberries, raspberries, grapes, French cheese, cookies, local jam and baguettes – yum!!!
We then made our way back to the coach and back on the road to Mont St Michel. This medieval town, is cut off from the land, situated on a causeway which floods daily and has at the very top an abbey still used by monks today.
After stopping for lunch, where we tucked into our fresh produce bought at the market, we caught a shuttle bus to the island town and explored the narrow streets as we made our way up to the abbey. After a steep climb – w had a well deserved breather before entering the abbey.
We explored the abbey, taking in grand halls steeped in history, the cloisters where monks used to reflect in prayer and small chapels where we stopped to say a prayer aswell as leaving a prayer in the abbey’s own book of prayers from Sacred Heart.
After leaving the abbey we made our way down the streets stopping at souvenir shops for a spot of shopping.
Time was ticking on so we waved farewell to Mont St Michel and boarded the coach back to Chateau de Tertre where we are going to be making crepes as part of our evening entertainment.
Well, we were all up bright and early for breakfast this morning (6:30am) so we could make a good start for today’s activities. After filling our stomachs with croissants, cereals, pain au chocolates, fruit and yogurt we were ready to board our coach towards the coastal town of Arromanche.
As we made good time, we managed to stop off at Long Sur Mer where we visited some German gun emplacements that were destroyed and captured during the D-Day landings.
Once at Arromanche we made our way to the D-Day landings 360 degree cinema. There we watched a film telling the courageous story of the Allied soldiers fight to liberate France and what was eventually the beginning of the end of the war in Europe.
We then walked into the town of Arrromanche and towards the sea where we could really take in the artificial harbour that was built be the Allied expeditionary force that is still partially intact out to sea.
We then had our lunch and then made our way to the town of Bayeux, there we visited the world famous Bayeux Tapestry. There we studied the famous artifact and tried to work out the story of Harold and William the Conqueror. A quick stop at the shop and then to order some ice creams – using our French language skills.
Our last stop for the day was a short drive away at the British war cemetery also at Bayeux. Once there we were overawed at the sacrifice the soldiers gave for the freedoms we take for granted today. The children had prepared some poppie prayers for soldiers buried at the cemetary. The children laid these prayers at the soldiers graves and took a moment to remember their sacrifice. Before we left we all took a moment to say a special prayer for all the soldiers and to remember the importance of peace – ending with sharing the sign of peace with each other.
Back on the coach and off to Chateau de Tertre, where we were straight into dinner. Not long after we had an evening activity of campfire and survival skills.
All in all a busy and fun filled day… Day 2 done… Can’t wait for day 3!
On our way to Our base we stopped off at a local supermarket to stock up on supplies, investigate local produce and practice our French speaking.
After a short stop we were back on the road, through beautiful rolling French countryside.
We arrived at Chateau de Terte just before 7pm French time. We were soon shown our rooms and then off on a short tour before dinner.
After dinner we were straight onto an activity – countries around the world – a Geography/French speaking activity.
We are all looking forward to a fun packed day tomorrow, investigating the WWII beaches and harbour at Arromanche and 360 degree cinema, as well as visiting the British cemetery and the famous Bayeux Tapestry. So we are planning an early night for all.
Keep updated with our blog tomorrow for updates when we can. #France2016
It’s nearly 5am as we have arrive safely in Portsmouth. The coach is full of weary but very excited children as the coach pulls up at the harbour waiting to board our ferry.