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Posted on April 1st 2015
French escapades and escargots!
We left the Academy early and travelled down to Dover where we caught the ferry across the Channel. After leaving Calais, our first stop in France was a Chocolate Factory to see how the cocoa beans were transformed into luxury chocolate products that are sold in the shops. We had a presentation in French about how chocolate is made, saw various Easter goodies being made and decorated. We were then lucky enough to sample the finished chocolate, which was delicious!
We arrived at a grand Château in Warsy in the afternoon where we would be staying.
A Château is a large country house and we stayed in the beautiful gardens of this impressive building; in our own area of modern cabins, to fully experience the fresh outdoors!
After our delicious evening meal, the girls all took part in outdoor activities and team games, preparing themselves for the next few days of adventure!
Our tasty breakfast included croissants and pain au chocolate, of course! We then travelled to a local French marketplace in the town of Amiens, and the girls were set their first Market Challenge. This involved finding the French/English names of various items as well as asking for prices and translating questions. The girls were very impressive using lots of French to communicate with the locals. Special prizes were awarded to Olivia Benson, Lola Stagg, Vincentia Donkoh and Mathilda Schira for completing the activities to an excellent standard. As well as this, some of the girls used their French to buy local products such as cheese and even snails!
After lunch, the girls had a unique experience to follow French instructions and make mayonnaise. Mayonnaise was popularised by the French as a sauce and condiment in the 19th century, made from egg yolks, oil, vinegar and mustard. Impressively, the girls all attempted to make their own mayonnaise with some very successful outcomes – often better than the French chef’s!
During the rest of the day, the girls took part in a variety of fantastic outdoor activities which included Archery, Obstacle Course, Crate Stacking, and Blind Trail.
Mr Harvie, whose group was praised for their team spirit, congratulated the girls for their optimism. He said, “Everyone was cheering and it encouraged all the girls to have a go and push themselves outside their comfort zone.” Particularly impressive on the obstacle course were Felicity Gregson and Nia Morgan (Year 7), they showed positivity and outstanding peer support
We visited another local town called Amiens for the Sunday market. Here, the girls completed a challenge to interview the local people about their jobs and the things they liked. Everyone made a very impressive effort to speak in French and there were some excellent conversations between the girls and the locals. A special prize was awarded at the market to Mathilda Schira and Vincentia Donkoh (Year 7) for their confidence and proficiency speaking French.
For the rest of the day, the girls completed more outdoor challenges, including a Scavenger Hunt. The girls were especially resilient in the muddy conditions and showed that nothing could dampen their spirits or achievements! Embracing the muddy conditions, Shannel (Year 7) confirmed, “It’s better to get dirty because you’re having fun and overcoming challenges.
To reward the girls for their hard day’s work, a special treat of snails was on the menu for dinner! Not everyone enjoyed eating these, but well done to everyone who tried them! Julia Alegre and Spendilove Donkoh (Year 8) were very adventurous trying out the new food!
After leaving the Château, we made a quick stop at a French hypermarket to see how French products differed to English ones. We then travelled to a farm in a rural village, which specialised in making goats’ cheese. At the farm we saw huge work horses, cows, chickens, and goats. We also had the opportunity to hold some of the animals, including rabbits, chicks, and kids which were only two days old!
The farmers spoke in French to the girls, who made a notable effort to understand everything about the farm animals. We then learned how to make goats’ cheese and sampled some fresh and more matured cheeses which were delicious!
After leaving the farm we made our way back to Calais for the Channel crossing back to England.
Mr Foot summarised his experience of the trip saying, “It has been great to see the girls throwing themselves into all of the activities, working together and building their confidence in French. Well done to everyone on the trip – vous étiez fantastiques! “
|For the full article and students comments, please view the Spring 2015 Issue 10 Insight magazine!|