The Manor Prep – Year 6 in France

25 Jun 2013

Day 1:
After a very early start this morning, we had a nice, quiet journey to Portsmouth. We boarded our ferry called the Mont St Michel and were shown to our own private lounge where we based ourselves. We had our packed breakfast at 6.30 am! The crossing was fantastic (one of the smoothest we have had!) and nobody was sea-sick (hurray!) The girls enjoyed going up on deck and kept themselves occupied in our lounge. Then it was time to have our second meal of the day: packed lunch! Then we arrived in France and 48 excited girls went back onto the coach to start our short journey to Les Tourelles. We drove along the coastline, already recognising the names of the famous D-Day Landing beaches and the flags of the different countries that fought in the war. We looked at the differences between the French and English houses: the girls particularly liked the shutters! We have now arrived at Les Tourelles, unpacked, gone to the beach, and eaten our first French meal: salad, chicken filets and chips, tarte aux pommes. Délicieux! Everyone is having an early night as we have a busy day tomorrow at the market. Bonne nuit!

Day 2:
Despite the rain, we were all very excited to be going to the market! The girls had a wonderful time wandering through the stalls and marvelling at the bright colours of the French fruit and veg displays! They all managed to buy little presents for friends and family, using their most confident French, and really enjoyed the delicious ‘crêpes’. We went back to Les Tourelles for our picnic lunch and by then the rain had stopped! Hurray! We then boarded the coach and set off to the 360 degree cinema at Arromanches. The film we watched was very moving and recounted some of the key events of the D-Day landings. The children then had fun in the gift shop! We returned to Les Tourelles and the sun came out just in time for us all to splash around on the beach. Sasha had bought a very special present for her 93-year old grandfather: a bottle filled with the sand from Gold beach (our beach!) on which he fought during the D-Day landing operations! It is now ‘chalet time’, showers, supper, play then bed. Encore une journée fantastique!

Day 3:
This morning, we had breakfast at 8.00am so we were able to have a bit of a lie in! After that, we all got ready for the busy day ahead. First stop was the D-Day Museum in Arromanches. The girls found the two short films very interesting and loved learning all about the clever engineering that made the D-Day landings such a success. We then went on to Bayeux where we spent some time in the Commonwealth Cemetery. A lot of girls found the place very moving and made thoughtful comments about the soldiers who have given their lives for our freedom. We came back to Les Tourelles and had our lovely picnic lunch. Then it was time to head off in our two groups for Mrs Law’s highlight of the week: the local traditional Biscuiterie! Monsieur Cormier was there to greet us and he explained in French all about his biscuit making (but refused to give us the exact recipe!) The girls loved making their own little shaped biscuits and putting them in the oven to cook. They tasted delicious! We came back to the beach and had our sand castle competition, which the girls had been looking forward to all week. They spent a happy couple of hours working in little groups, constructing amazing detailed sand creations. After supper, we all enjoyed an evening stroll along the promenade, watching the sunset. Very civilised! Bonne nuit et à demain…

Day 4:
The day started with another lovely breakfast at Les Tourelles. We then set off for our Chasse au Trésor (treasure hunt/fact finding) in Arromanches. In their day groups, the girls had to find out various pieces of information about typical French features that they observed in the town e.g. De quelle couleur sont les boites aux lettres en France? However, perhaps the favourite part of the morning was when the children had to find a pâtisserie and buy in French a new cake to try! They loved using their French, particularly as they found that it really worked! Then we moved on to Bayeux and visited the Cathedral, which greatly impressed the girls with its grandeur. They enjoyed sketching quietly in the nave of the Cathedral, which is where the Bayeux Tapestry was originally hung. After a picnic lunch in Bayeux Park, the highlight of the day was the viewing of the Tapestry. The excellent audio-guide explained every detail of each scene and the children found the depiction of the Battle of Hastings dramatic and intriguing. After an ice-lolly to cool down on this lovely warm afternoon, we headed back to the beach for an idyllic last play and splash about under a glorious blue sky. Now we are off for supper and the teachers are looking forward to being entertained by the girls on our last evening. Parfait! A demain…

Day 5:
We are on the ferry now! This morning, we got up and did our last bit of packing. Then we had our final French breakfast with freshly baked croissants as a treat. We then headed off for the chocolate factory where the girls enjoyed their tour of the museum and learnt all about how chocolate is made. The girls then spent their last euros in the gift shop. We are now sailing back to England and we are looking forward to our meal in the cafeteria at 6.00pm

Mme Spikes