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We are twinned with 3 schools internationally: Junshan Primary School, China; Zululu Primary School, Kenya; l'ecole de Marie Curie, France.

 

We have hosted visits from teachers and children from all these countries and sent deputations of teachers to them all too.

 

Each year our Year 6 children have a very exciting residential experience in France to visit our twin school in Normandy!  

Year 6 Visit to Notre-Dame-De-Gravenchon, 2019

 

Day 5

This morning was a more leisurely affair – we woke at 07:30 for breakfast at just after 08:00. The children brought their suitcases down (having packed yesterday afternoon) and put them in a side room. We then headed off for the market. To be honest, this was a little disappointing, since the heavy rain had forced many of the stalls to close. However, this presented us with a new opportunity – French supermarket! Many of the children had never been into the supermarket in another country and this was an exciting foray into the strangely familiar, and yet very different world! 

 

After our experiences in the supermarket, we went to the boulangerie where we met the baker and descended into his underground kitchen. Here we saw him and his crew making baguettes (by the dozen!) as well as croissants, pain au chocolat, tartes, and even the legendary choucettes! 

 

Once we had completed making our purchases in the bakers (and consuming them!) we walked back to the foyer and had our lunch. 

 

After lunch, we brought our suitcases out to the coach, which had arrived whilst we were eating. We loaded it up and then set off back to Ouistream. The ferry port was quite slow to get everyone loaded and we set off from France about 30 minutes late. 

 

The children are now sitting in the entertainment lounge listening to a talk all about orcas, having completed a child-friendly quiz. 

 

We are all looking forward to being home now, but it has been an amazing week full of inspiration and discovery. 

Year 6 Visit to Notre-Dame-De-Gravenchon, 2019

Day 5

This morning was a more leisurely affair – we woke at 07:30 for breakfast at just after 08:00. The children brought their suitcases down (having packed yesterday afternoon) and put them in a side room. We then headed off for the market. To be honest, this was a little disappointing, since the heavy rain had forced many of the stalls to close. However, this presented us with a new opportunity – French supermarket! Many of the children had never been into the supermarket in another country and this was an exciting foray into the strangely familiar, and yet very different world! 

 

After our experiences in the supermarket, we went to the boulangerie where we met the baker and descended into his underground kitchen. Here we saw him and his crew making baguettes (by the dozen!) as well as croissants, pain au chocolat, tartes, and even the legendary choucettes! 

 

Once we had completed making our purchases in the bakers (and consuming them!) we walked back to the foyer and had our lunch. 

 

After lunch, we brought our suitcases out to the coach, which had arrived whilst we were eating. We loaded it up and then set off back to Ouistream. The ferry port was quite slow to get everyone loaded and we set off from France about 30 minutes late. 

 

The children are now sitting in the entertainment lounge listening to a talk all about orcas, having completed a child-friendly quiz. 

 

We are all looking forward to being home now, but it has been an amazing week full of inspiration and discovery. 

Year 6 Visit to Notre-Dame-De-Gravenchon, 2019

Day 4

 

We woke this morning a little later than the previous mornings, at around 07:45 and came down for breakfast at 08:00. 

 

Our French friends joined us at 09:15 and we set off for the Vallee du Telhuet – a park on the outskirts of the town. It took us around 15 minutes to walk there. When we arrived, Antoine explained the game to us. It was orienteering; each pair of children (one French, one English) had a map of the park, a set of controls to locate and a pencil to record the ‘rune’ found on the back of the control. 

 

The children ran off, and completed the course, returning in pairs to have their efforts judged. After a short break, in which we had an apple and a choucette, (a sugar-coated-doughnut-of-wonder), the children had a second game. 

 

Once completed, we walked back to l’ecole de Marie Curie, where we were split into 4 groups (theatre skills, word games, board games and (*^(^*). The children whiled away three quarters of an hour engaged in their activities – although hangman in French is quite difficult… 

 

At 13:00 we headed up to the other school for lunch, which was not chips today! Today it was a cous cous salad, followed by roasted chicken and green beans and then a banana, followed by cheese. 

 

Once we had finished lunch, we went back to l’ecole de Marie Curie where our French partner class paired up with another class in the school. All the children were then split into 3 groups . One group went to play Uno, another to play guess who and the third group played lynx (a game where you have to find hidden objects on a board).  We rotated through 2 of these activities before heading back to the Foyer at around 15:00 for goûter and to pack our bags ready for leaving tomorrow. 

 

We are just about to go off to the boules tournament and the town’s boule pit! 

Year 6 Visit to Notre-Dame-De-Gravenchon, 2019

Day 3

Today has been another busy day! We woke up at around 06:15, got up, got dressed and came down for breakfast at 06:30.  After this, we readied ourselves then walked out the front of the Foyer to meet our French friends. We boarded a coach and set off for Bayeux. 

 

We arrived after a clear journey to the town of Bayeux, and the coach set us down very close to the museum of the Bayeux Tapestry. There was a lot of police and army activity in and around Bayeux because tomorrow is the 75thAnniversary of D-Day. 

 

We walked to the tapestry museum and got audio tours, then entered in to see the world famous tapestry. It is a truly amazing article and not hard to see why it is so famous. The tapestry shows all of the lead up to the Battle of Hastings and the devastating defeat of the Anglo-Saxons by their Norman rivals. 

 

In a break from past tradition, we walked back to our coach after a short look around the museum, and headed for the 360 cinema at Arromaches. 

 

Arromanches was busier than ever, with lots of historical vehicles and people milling about. The coach dropped us off at the cinema and we then went along and got booked in. The film was as moving as ever, and in a way more so because of the significance of the date – tomorrow will be D-Day! 

 

After the film, we sat on the grass over looking the remnants of the mulberry harbor in the bay eating our picnic lunches before wandering down into the town and doing a spot of shopping. 

 

With the tide right in, there was no chance of paddling in the sea, so once our purchases were complete, we called our coach to come and collect us and we returned to Bayeux. This time the coach took us to the British cemetery. We discovered that there was a lot of activity going on here because tomorrow this will be the centre of the memorial service. The BBC was here setting up enormous cameras and rehearsing who was going to stand where. There was also a lot of seating set up for the dignitaries who will be attending and these included 4 chairs, marked up with tape which bore the words: “PM,” “Duchess of Cornwall,” “P of W,” and “Minister for Parly.” These were the seats that tomorrow will be filled with Theresa May, Camilla, Prince Charles and presumably a minister who will be representing parliament. Amazing to see exactly where they will be for the commemorations tomorrow (and easy to see how this would make a visit tomorrow impossible!). 

 

From the cemetery we returned to the museum at the tapestry so we could watch the film that we had missed earlier. This 20 minute film brings together the experiences of the Battle of Hastings and the Battle of Normandy, set 1000 years apart but significantly linked and immortalized with the words “NOS A GULIELMO VICTI VICTORIS PATRIAM LIBERAVIMUS.” The translation reads: "We, once conquered by William, have now set free the Conqueror's native land. Spine-tingling. 

 

We departed Bayeux and spent an hour-and-a-half travelling back to Gravenchon, where we said good evening to our French friends and went in for dinner. Tonight we had carrot salad, chicken and potatoes and apple tart – delicious! 

 

After dinner the children decided whether they wanted to stay in and play pool, table foosball or play other quiet games, or return to the park. There was 50-50 split, so some did one thing and the others did another. After around an hour of playing, the children came in and got ready for bed. 

 

 

Year 6 Visit to Notre-Dame-De-Gravenchon, 2019

Day 2

 

(Some of us) woke up at  07:30 – some a little earlier – and headed down for a delicious breakfast of croissants, baguette, cereals and hot chocolate. Delicious! 

 

After breakfast we got our stuff together and headed off to L’Ecole de Marie Curie, which is a 5 minute walk along the road. We met our French friends and had some ice-break activities. This involved everyone finding out each other’s names and then getting into alphabetical order. By the end of this activity some firm friendships were emerging. 

 

We then split into 4 groups based on our newly acquired friendships! We rotated around 4 different activities over the rest of the morning, completing 3 of these rotations by lunchtime. Lunchtime in France is a little odd. The school closes and the children have 2 hours of break. They can go home (and some do) whilst others stay at school and have activities. These are run by people who come to school from the Town Hall. We tagged along with one of these activity groups for the first hour, heading to the local sports hall to play some games.  

 

After these games, we went to another nearby school for lunch. Today, this consisted of a melon starter, followed by chips and roast beef and this was finished with yoghurt for pudding. It was heartily tucked into by all.

 

After lunch we completed the final activitiy, then left school and went back to the foyer to collect our swimming gear. Once we had collected our stuff, we hit the road again and walked down to the swimming pool. We enjoyed nearly 2 hours of swimming in the brilliant pools – both indoors and outdoors (until the rain forced us back inside). 

 

After swimming, we went back to the foyer, where we changed into our leavers hoodies and quickly practiced our French songs, before heading back to school to sing to the assembled French parents and children. We sang Frere Jacques and Alouette, whilst the French children sang Wheels on the Bus and Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. Our singing was rounded off with a lovely picnic of food brought and shared by the parents. 

 

We left the school at around 19:30 and went to the foyer for diary writing, then went out to the park for a final play until bed time. This evening we are hoping to get to sleep nice and early as we have a early start in the morning… 

 

Year 6 Visit to Notre-Dame-De-Gravenchon, 2019

 

Day 1

We set off from school at 04:00 and made an uneventful journey to Portsmouth, arriving at 06:30. We checked in, had breakfast and then boarded the ferry. Our seating area was located at the top of the main stairs in the Tearoom Bar and we settled into our diary writing. Mrs. Cosser found maps of the boat for everyone to stick in and we were also able to stick our boarding passes in. 

 

So our ferry journey continued happily with the water getting calmer and calmer the further towards France we got. I have never seen it so still as when we finally pulled into Ouistream and were told we could disembark. 

 

There was a lot of buzz around the ferry about the arrangements for the 75thanniversary of D-Day, including lots of veterans and people dressed up in WW2 era clothing. We also saw lots of jeeps, trucks and military motor cycles from the period getting off of the ferry. 

 

We got on to some bendy buses and went to meet the French coach driver, who was waiting for us just after passport control. We boarded his very posh coach and cruised into Gravenchon, arriving at around 17:30. 

 

The foyer had everything waiting for us – chocolate brownies and fresh apricots for ‘goûter’ and soft drinks too. The children availed themselves of these lovely refreshments before finding out the really exciting news of who was in whose room. 

 

The children spent 20 minutes or so unpacking, before Mrs. Cosser whisked them off to the park so that they could get rid of some of their excess energy before dinner time. 

Xin nian kuai le!

 

On Friday 27th January our children celebrated Chinese New Year with a cross curricular themed morning! They followed a carousel of activities from Mandarin lessons to calligraphy, from Lion dancing to animation. They had a wonderful time learning about how the Chinese celebrate New Year! 

Xin nian kuai le!

Still image for this video

Miss Lintern to travel to China! 

Miss Lintern is going to China over October half-term as part of the Somerset-Yeuyang project coordinated by Strode College. 

 

This is an exciting opportunity for Miss Lintern to immerse herself in Chinese culture and learn about our link school Junshan Primary School. When she returns she will be ready to put her new found knowledge into our curriculum as Year 3 begin their China topic in the Spring term! 

 

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