Year 6

France 2019

Keep coming back here to see what we are up to in France! It’s no more sleeps away… we’re here!  Hooray!


It was a very early start for some and a very long journey but the coach is fantastic and Paolo our driver is great!

Traffic on the way to the Channel Tunnel meant we were straight onto the train with no time for a snack and so that was enjoyed in the train and before many of us had finished we were driving off and into France!

Lunch seemed an age away until at last it came and then another long old trek to Grandcamp-Maisy and the Centre. we only had time to find our rooms before dinner. You would have loved to have seen their eyes light up as the bread was never ending and then out came chicken and chips as well as salad. All followed by cheese and then an ice cream. The children act as waitors on their own tables and there are some budding silver servers out there!

After dinner it was finishing bed making, a fire drill and a quick walk through the village to the sports field for a quick run around before walking back along the front, watching the fishing fleet set out for the night and back to the Centre for bed.

Tired but very happy!


Tuesday and showers! Not rain but actual washing and with minimum complaints!

Breakfast of hot chocolate in bowls, cereals, juice, bread and jams and then off to Avranches and then on to the magnificent Mont St Michel, now one of my favourite places in the world! Ice cream was consumed and the children used their French to great effect – proven by the fact that they all got what they thought they were asking for!

A beautiful sunny day and lots of fun.

Back to the Centre for dinner (couscous starter with bread followed by Lasagne and green salad and pastries). The children are eating incredibly well – the speed of trips to fill the table bread platters is something to behold!

It was Miss Botham’s birthday today – what better way to celebrate than with 61 friends on holiday in France!

Everyone is down to the field again for rounders… and extra photos will appear before breakfast subject to IT cooperation!

Sleep tight – I know that we will!


IT is being very temperamental – sorry! On n ow and so here’s a quick round up of today with lots of new photos below…

Some of the children were delighted to be awoken by Mr Lewin’s dulcet tones accompanied by the ukelele. Most were not…

Breakfast was more of the same but very much appreciated by beautifully clean children who are getting to use their shower gel, soap and shampoo… much to everyone’s relief! This was followed by a brief historical context timeline involving Dan as a caveman at one end with Adam a second world war soldier at the other to try to explain the significance in time of all the history we are seeing this week.

We were then off in the coach heading for Bayeux. Amazing! The tapestry is simply incredible and the commentary really brings home the events of 1066. We went from the tapestry to the local market where the children had the time to practise their French and spend some of their pocket money. Some of you are in for a genuine treat!

Then it was lunch and a visit to the cathedral church of Notre Dame at Bayeaux followed by an obligatory ice cream where the children just had to use their French and the ice cream was paid for! They all managed it extremely well!

We then moved forward almost 900 years and visited the Allied war Cemetery at Bayeux where Sam and Laurel laid a wreath on behalf of the school. We then had a chance to walk around the cemetery, looking out for familiar names, different regiments, the different ages of the soldiers and the different nationalities. Of the 4,500 graves over 400 are of German troops and we took the chance to talk about the importance of reconciliation, of respecting your enemy and the equality of all in the eyes of God. The children were impeccable and a huge credit.

From there it was to Point du Hoc, a crucial part of the D-Day story and a fantastic place for youngsters of all ages to explore, learn and enjoy.

Back to the Centre to reflect on what we have seen, heard, experienced and learned before dinner of fish and rice and chocolate mousse (and another bread mountain).

Most of the children are back up to the field for games now or practising for tomorrow’s gala performance with some children choosing to stay at the Centre to practise. Then it will be bed, sleep and up for tomorrow’s exciting activities.

Do checkout last night’s sunset… beautiful!

Missing you all but having a wonderful time!


It’s been another busy and beautiful day with visits to the American Cemetery, Arromanches and the Mulberry harbour and to the German cemetery too. Lots to take in and a rather more sombre day than the others.
Unfortunately there was a lot at the American Cemetery that we couldn’t access due to the preparations being made for 6th June when Presidents Trump and Macron will be visiting. However, as you can see from the photos it is an impressive and moving place. The families of the fallen were able to choose whether their loved ones’ remains were buried here or repatriated to the states. Roosevelt’s sons are both buried here. The children saw how families can pay respects to their loved ones, filling the name on the stone with wet sand from Omaha Beach and placing the American and French flags on the grave, the US to the beach and the French inland.
From here we went into Arromanches and experienced the very moving film footage of the battle of Normandy that raged for 100 days after the D-Day landings. We looked at the Mulberry Harbour, remains of which still sit in the sea today and then it was  a little light relief with ice-creams and shopping in Arromanches itself.
Last stop was the German cemetery. The smallest of the three cemeteries we have visited with the most fallen. A very different experience. Oliver and Lara laid our wreath.
Dinner back at the Centre was steak haiche and apple tart and then it was time for the talent show and quiz; a little abbreviated as everyone is so tired (but enough time for Mr Lewin to bring tears to everyone’s eyes with his ukelele!)
All fast asleep now.
Beds stripped and bags packed and after breakfast it’s goodbye to the Centre as we look around Grandcamp-Maisy and take the opportunity for sketching of the harbour and a survey of local shops and businesses. This includes a fascinating trip to the fish market to see last night’s catch. We finish in the Parish church with its fishing theme and then it’s on the coach… next stop Guildford (via a few service station toilet stops, lunch and the Channel Tunnel!).
A great, busy, exciting and fun-packed week – thank you to everyone who was a part of it!

Very nearly and almost time to go!

Into the train... quite surreal for first time Channel Tunnelers!

... and then suddenly we're off and away!

Just to prove it's really France!

Snack break

It's even possible to look like we're having fun on the coach as well!

The long awaited (and in some cases, huge) lunch...

Ducks and fish at lunch (not for lunch!)

Guess who was meant to be looking after the camera!

Hurrah, Grandcamp-Maisy at last!

We are all here, promise...

That's better

What happened to the joy?

Hurrah, it's back with jazz hands too!

and even more

Fire drill was a success - all present and accounted for!

Time to chill out on the Village sports field...

Briefing on field parameters

Few more tips...

Full focus

Good pair of knees ready for action

Anyone for tennis?


Can we have our ball back please...?

Skipping competition - Mr Jones high impact, low effort

Fiorella - full effort

Fun, chat, games, chat

Walking back along the front to the Centre

Happy campers!

A last pose against the horizon on the front before it's time for bed (at last!)

Tuesday and a visit to the museum in Avranches all about the importance of Mont St Michel

Lots to see and lots of opportunity to practise our French!

Art appreciation - Mrs Clarke will be pleased

Mr Kitcatt in full translation

Where's Mr Kitcatt when we need him!

Not a birthday cake but a model of Mont St Michel

From skin to paper

Lunch with a view...

There's the view... the majestic Mont St Michel

And there we are to make a beautiful foreground!

with jazz hands...

Back on the bus via Mrs Foster's bank ready for ice cream purchases...


The view around the island

Still getting there...



tantalisingly close

... and in!

First stop - ice cream, armed with their class-made phrase booklets the children all asked for, thanked for and paid for in immaculate French!

The narrow street leading up to the Abbey

Joys of ice cream...


Resting from the climb to the top

The view from the monastery entrance

And we're in but there are more steps...

and more steps...

Mr Jones, our guide and leader!

The abbey with St Michael aloft

Mr Jones does seem to know a lot...

A brief rest, a prayer for you all and a chance to take in the abbey...

The monks view from the cloisters to the sea

In the refectory

Still listening...

Still talking...

The wonderfully simple ceiling



Listening (and talking from behind the pillar!)

St Michael makes his point to inspire the building of the Monastery

In the huge fireplaces of the kitchens

The amazing sledge, wheel and pulley system to get stores (and building materials) to the top of the Mont

The wheel part... powered by man

A remaining sledge for pulling up the near vertical ramp

A view from one of the smaller chapels

In the Knights' chamber

And to the descent...

The best group, Team name name (slight bias from the Headteacher!)

Mandy's seal... spotted in the sea as we crossed the bridge to return to the coach...

Tuesday night's sunset from the front door of the Centre...

Sam the Caveman

through time to Adam the World War II soldier!

Captivated audience

At Bayeux

Obligatory jazz hands!

and more sombre mood shot!

In the market...

Bearing purchases - cool shades!

The Cathedral Church of Notre Dame

The ice cream...

Showing our respect... we will remember them

Sombre time

Point du Hoc

Back at base in reflective mood...

Thursday... looking over Omaha Beach at the American Cemetery

The central Chapel

Marking the name on the headtsone with wet sand from Omaha beach as a mark of respect and remembrance

Inside the Chapel

The lines of headstones - named and known only to God

A map of the landings

A time warp on our journey

At Arromanches

The remains of the Mulberry Harbour in the bay at Arromanches

Ice cream stop

At the very different German Cemetery

Back to the Centre for the Talent Show - Dan does Pam Ayers (with accent too!)

Hannah sings

Alex and Kamala amuse

Mr Lewin... well, maybe next year

Brandon's very own blackout room

Friday... In and around Grandcamp-Maisy, the children had the camera...

And so to home. Thank you to everyone on the trip for making it so much fun!