French trip to Burgundy
Despite a very early start, 30 Year 7 children and three staff set off on the ten hour journey down to Burgundy on the Sunday of half term.
Arriving as darkness fell at Maison Claire Fontaine, all were thrilled to have a delicious warm supper, meet the team, let off some steam and settle down for a restorative night’s sleep.
Our week ahead was full of promise, with lots of French lessons, art, culture, sport and the obligatory shopping thrown in! With meals and the majority of the day conducted in French there was plenty of scope for the children to develop their listening and speaking skills. Each morning began with a hearty French-style breakfast and with points being awarded for manners and French conversation at the table, their French was up and running from the off each day.
With lessons and a plethora of break activities lined up all were quickly into the swing. Over the week we were treated to some delicious food as well as the local dishes of Boeuf Bourguignon and Escargots.
Walks in the woods, sculpture, mosaics and petanque competitions were the highlights of our time at base. Then there were the trips out to markets to buy lunch, to châteaux to run through mazes and to restaurants to dine in fine style (with one particular member of staff embarrassing themselves by tucking into three puddings!). The locust-like descent on the hypermarché ensured suitable presents were purchased but perhaps two activities stood out form the rest. Firstly, the visit to Vézelay entailed Cheam pupils interrogating passers-by about their hometown and unsuspecting shop-keepers about their opening hours. A tour around the beautiful Basilica followed by a snack looking out on the Burgundian countryside was a highlight for many (as was the souvenir purchasing afterwards).
Finally, the high ropes course on a frosty Thursday morning was much enjoyed. Some flew around at great pace; others took their time and eased their way; one or two adults clung on for dear life and needed a few quiet moments to recover themselves. Nonetheless, the children had a great time and some serious strides forward in their confidence with the language were made. Hopefully, 7MBS and 7AB will enjoy themselves as much as 7NK and 7MJS did.