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On 6 July 2017, Mr Freeman-Myers, Mr Armstrong, Mrs Phillips and Mrs Lamb took 35 Year 7 pupils to Chateau Beaumont in Normandy, France for 'Le Grand Weekend', a weekend full of exciting excursions and activities for pupils to enjoy. Whilst away, pupils visited many significant monuments including Mont Saint Michel, Bayeux Tapestry, Arromanches and its 360 Cinema, where we watched a film playing tribute to the D-Day landing events. Truly inspirational! Pupils also visited other places of interest including an animal refuge and a chocolate factory. Evening entertainment ensured that pupils went to bed sufficiently tired. The favourite night being the 'Talent Show and French Evening' – fancy dress was the order of the day and special mention has to go to Mrs Lamb for her interpretation of the Tour de France.
Pupils were able to try some French delicacies, in the shape of frog's legs and snails – not everyone was keen on them, however.
The highlight of the journey home has to be Mr Freeman-Myers taking part in the on-board limbo competition and coming second. Honourable mentions for Mr Armstrong and Mrs Phillips, but neither of them could compete with Mr P F-M.
The pupils behaved impeccably on the trip and were a credit to the school.
Account by Ava Morris, Year 7
Amazing, phenomenal, truly magnificent, these are only some the words I can think of that describe my experience in France. When the opportunity arose to be able to go to France I grasped it and now, I’m so glad I did because it was one of the most amazing experience I’ve had in my life.
Excitement filled the cool, breezy air as we waited for the bus to come and pick us up from the school and drive us away to paradise. When the bus finally arrived there was a sudden surge of people towards it, goodbyes and farewells were shouted before boarding the bus.
The bus ride to the ferry, which we had to take in order to get to France, was a pleasant one. I was pleased with the partner I got to sit next to, all thanks to the schools planning out of the trip. They had been planning out months before the actual event, such as ordering ferry meals, organizing dorm rooms, and sorting out money, but because they did the trip went on without a hitch.
The bus ride was an overnight one and everyone was waking up just as we were arriving at the ferry dock. The ferry itself was very fancy, with great facilities and various events, which we could enjoy. Our whole year got its own private lounge!
After the ferry ride we were boarded back onto the bus, which had been stored in cargo. We were driven all the way to the Château Beaumont where we were to be staying during the trip.
Our tour guide welcomed us with open arms and gave us a tour of the whole expansive grounds. We were left to unpack our cases in our dorm rooms after that. My dorm consisted of all my friends (once again due to the planning of the school).
Dinner was in a large hall that actually used to be a wine cellar. The food there was delicious and was served by a cheerful group of teens.
After such an exhilarating day everyone pretty much collapsed into bed after a warm cup of hot chocolate.
The next day the fun events just kept coming. First we went to a French market, which filled the air with an amazing savory smell. I was able to buy a few things there as well as learn a couple more French phrases.
Then there was a hypermarket, which we were able to visit after that which was pretty much like a shopping center except everything was in French. I didn’t buy anything there but I was happy enough to wander up and down the aisles of stationary.
And after that we were driven to an Animal Refuge. That was brilliant as there were so many different kinds of animals that we could snap pictures of. It was all outdoors and so everyone got quite hot but I think we all cooled down after an ice-lolly.
That evening’s final event took place in a mouth watering chocolate factory. Were we drooled over chocolaty creations and practically passed out when we saw the size of the gift shop. I of course got something there to nibble on on the way back to the Château Beaumont.
That evening was pretty much a repeat of yesterday we all filled up on some more delicious food and then passed out on our beds.
The next day was absolutely amazing. After filling up on some croissants for breakfast we headed out on the bus to a Bayeux Tapestry and then an island, Mont St. Michel. As we turned a corner towards the island the bus was filled with gasps. It was a like a hill in the middle of the ocean and built up on it was a beautifully made castle as well as a picturesque village.
My group of friends and I plowed up and down the small street where J.K Rowling got the inspiration of Diagon Alley and most of my storage was taken up when we got a tour of the castle as I took so many pictures!
We got back worn out after another exciting day. We had dinner and after a few more games that had had been set up for us in the hall, we were all sent to bed.
On final day at the Château we stayed there to do some activities. First we fenced in the hall which so fun to do and watch. Then we went out onto the big field where we were put into groups to do team building games. Our final event was, my personal favorite, the Nightline. Everyone had to put on a pair of black goggles and was lead around an obstacle course.
I didn’t do it however instead I got to pour buckets of water over everyone and tickle them with leaves. It was a great last day.
The next day everyone was boarded back onto the bus to be driven back home. It was sad that everything had ended so quickly but our memories reminded us that it had been a truly amazing experience, not one to miss.