14 Aug 2019

Félications to all of the 66 children and 7 staff who enjoyed a wonderful and educational trip to Normandy. Year 6 learned about the Norman Invasion by looking at the amazingly well-preserved Bayeux Tapestry, discovered the beauty and history of Mont St Michel and challenged themselves with an arduous but rewarding walk across its bay.  They have also participated archery, bread-making and aeroball with instructions in French.  Most showed tremendous Growth Mindset in trying snails!  More widely, the children have visibly grown, in confidence, independence and maturity.  It was delightful to receive warm commendations from numerous strangers about their behaviour and manner; no mean feat for a group of this size.

We are extremely fortunate to make this trip in the week of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.  We visited the town of Arromanches and Mulberry Harbour on Tuesday and followed this with a visit to the British Cemetery at Bayeux.  At the 360° cinema at Arromanches, we saw images of the D-Day landings and the construction of the harbour.  We saw black and white images of young men fighting on the beaches.  We saw the harsh and brutal reality of war.  At the cemetery, we respectfully walked around the 4,600 graves.  We had a group photograph in front of the Bayeux Memorial which commemorates more than 1,800 casualties of the Commonwealth forces who died in Normandy and have no known grave.  We also saw some Veterans travelling on the ferry; indeed, these heroes could well have been the young men in black and white in the film.  They were perhaps fortunate to not be one of the 1,800. There is always something very special about the year 6 French trip, this year more than ever it has been a privilege to incorporate real life learning alongside cultural visits and language immersion at the Château de la Baudonnière.

Merci to all of year 6 for their willingness to try new things, take risks, consolidate friends and make memories.