With a lovely spacious coach, there was plenty of room to spread out and we had a remarkably quiet drive to Dover, considering the levels of excitement fizzing and bubbling. Once at Dover, we checked in and after just a very short wait found ourselves boarding the P&O ferry to Calais. All the children settled down in the lounge area, and had a great view of the white cliffs as we departed and headed out to sea. Shopping trips for cameras were completed without incident and before we knew it we were disembarking at the French port where the sun was shining to greet us. It’s amazing how different the landscape is such a short distance away across the channel, but we watched as open fields, the coast and even a viaduct passed by.
It was a very warm day, so we headed straight to Opalaventure where we found a lovely shady spot to have our lunch. Despite the time difference meaning that it was actually an hour earlier than normal, everyone was extremely hungry and full lunchboxes were soon devoured.
With stomachs filled, it was time to get harnesses on before a briefing from our French instructors (whose English was excellent). They showed the children how to use the equipment and navigate the continuous security loop system. After a short test run on a low version of the ropes, to check that they had all understood, it was time to hit the treetops. Every single child went up, climbing up and travelling along a range of different obstacles. The children’s interaction were wonderful as they supported, reassured and encouraged one another. We were so proud of all of them, in some cases for overcoming fears and others for their excellent teamwork. We completed three courses with a range of different challenges and many zipwires.
After a well-earned rest and water stop, we made our way back to the coach and on to the Hardelot centre. Luggage was unloaded and transported down the long drive through the woods to the centre, where Camille greeted us. The children were welcomed with a cold drink in the shade, before being shown where they were to sleep.
Each room had some time to unpack and make their beds – normally at this point much hilarity ensues as children try to work out how to make their beds with a flat sheet, a duvet and cover and a pillow with pillowcase, however in view of the heat they quickly worked out that the duvet was surplus to requirements!
The children enjoyed exploring the site with its woodland, play areas, football and volleyball pitches and games rooms, before returning for fire drill and then dinner. Camille introduced them to the menu in French and all the children learnt some useful vocabulary which they have collected in their project books to use during their stay. We had a hearty meal of vegetable soup, fish with rice and ratatouille and chocolate mousse.
The evening saw all of the children settling down for some quiet time, with diary entries to write and project books to look through, before heading out for our games time. It has been a busy and energetic day and, despite the excitement, there are some tired children who may (?!) be glad of their sleep – here’s hoping!
It was quite an early start this morning; having had a good night’s sleep, the children were up with the larks!
Breakfast was a French affair of croissant, baguette, chocolat-chaud et jus d’orange. The children were superb: polite, calm and working hard on their French speaking when asking for more. After breakfast, we had a room inspection and packed our bags for the busy day ahead. First stop was La Ferme at Clenleu, where we were introduced to the four key ingredients for bread making:
In four groups, the children mixed and kneaded their dough, before shaping it into loaves of their choice. They were asked to be creative and we soon had a wide range of different loaf designs ready for the oven. Whilst the bread was taken off for baking, we moved through into an adjoining barn where we were taught the ancient skill of corn-weaving. Each child made their own woven heart using 10 ears of corn and a special method of French plaiting. This was quite a challenge for most of us, but we persevered and with a little help we soon managed some very acceptable first attempts. By this time, we had worked up quite an appetite and were very grateful to be taken through to the restaurant where we were given a delicious meal of cheese and ham pancakes. For those with room to spare, French toast with sugar and homemade chocolate sauce made a lovely desert to follow.
Having waited a short while for our bread to cool so we could pack it up, we then set off on the coach with Gideon (our lovely coach driver). Before long, we pulled up outside the walls of Montreuil-sur-mer, a historic French town which was one of the places chosen as a setting for the famous Les Miserables. It was extremely hot, but everyone was in good spirits as we headed out to answer the questions in our quiz, buy postcards and stamps and seek areas of shade where we could cool down again. One group was very excited to be shown a ‘secret passage’ linking different areas of the town, which provided both a respite from the heat and a useful short cut to their destination! After much searching and looking for clues and information, we all felt we had earnt an ice cream. The children chose between an ice cream shop and a small café. I was very impressed with the children’s growing confidence today and willingness to speak French in a variety of situations, ranging from asking for directions, requesting a stamp, asking for the bill in a café and seeking answers to their quiz questions.
Eventually, having had enough heat, we made our way back to the coach and subsequently the Hardelot Centre, where we could shower and cool down. Dinner was an exciting celebration of all things French, with decorations; red, white and blue outfits; snails and frogs’ legs and a main menu of traditional foods. The children were amazing at trying new things and most agreed that the snails were delicious and not that dissimilar to garlic bread!
After dinner we moved into the woods for games of ‘Predator’ and ‘Manhunt’: “this is sick, we’ve never played as a whole class before”. As I write we are having some quiet time, with some enjoying the England game and others practicing their talents. We are looking forward to our final day tomorrow when hopefully the good weather will continue with a little less heat.
mercredi 4 juillet
Clearly all our activity yesterday had taken effect; within about half an hour of bedtime there was silence everywhere broken only by gentle snoring and best of all the quiet lasted until half past seven this morning!
It was a busy start to the day as we packed up, stripped the beds and filled water bottles ready for our departure from the centre. Breakfast was lovely with Pain-au-chocolat, French bread and hot chocolate. As we finish Camille, our host at the centre, recapped all the French that the children had learnt during their stay – it’s amazing how much they had managed to pick up in a short space of time.
Soon we were waving goodbye and boarding the coach for our first stop at the bustling Boulogne market. Here the children worked as groups to buy their own lunch and learning vocabulary for cheese, ham, bread, apples, apricots, cherries, strawberries and more! Within half an hour we met back together with a veritable feast from the many stalls available. Our next stop was Becasuc, a sweet factory in Boulogne, where we were entertained by Brice, who showed the children how to make various different types of sweets. Some of the children had a chance to try filling the moulds and everyone was invited to taste! As we left we received lovely compliments about the children’s excellent behaviour and manners.
From the sweet factory, we travelled south to the British war cemetery where we found a shaded spot for lunch. Mrs Caisley spoke to the children about the cemetery and what it represented, before the children were able to go and wander between all the stones. The inscriptions were interesting and poignant, causing many of the children to return to our meeting point with questions about the First World War and the soldiers who had fought in it. There was a sombre mood as we boarded the coach but everyone agreed that it was a very worthwhile and interesting stop.
We then headed north again for a quick stop at the beach were we were able to use the toilets and have a good run around by the sea, before making our way back up to Calais to board the ferry.
It has been a fantastic trip and all the children were an absolute credit to both their school and their parents. We were bowled over by their teamwork, kindness to and support of one another, and excellent behaviour. Well done Class 6, you were a pleasure to take away!
Welcome to Class 6!
Mr Townshend (Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays)
and Mrs Robinson (Mondays, Tuesdays).
This is an exciting year in your time at Chevening with lots of unique experiences. On this page you will be able to see some of the things we have been up to and find resources to aid your learning.
As Term 3 comes to a close there are several final week highlights to share with you:
1. The Swimming Pool designs and models were (and remain) sensational - well done Year Six!
2. Castle Stories were written for and shared with Reception Buddies on the last day (to send the smaller people home excited about their Term 4 topic).
3. Pyjama Day raised just short of £200 for Great Ormond Street Hospital - a brilliant day envisioned, organised, and run by children from Year Six - a wonderful way to end the term.
As Term 4 comes to an end so does the brilliant 'Wonder'
- as well as finishing the book by presenting cases as to which characters treated Auggie with respect and which characters did not, we were then able to watch the film, comparing the two on the final day of term?
Well done and thank you to all of Year Six for helping run Stations of the Cross in the last week of term - leadership to the fore.
Congratulations to all the children for entering into the spirit of the Lion King Auditions and for 'stepping up' when singing at our final day's Easter Service - you make us proud!
Term 5 is over - where did that time go?!
Well done to Year Six for many highlights...
The Safety in Action Trip - life-long lesson in safety that will stay in the mind
The London Eye Mystery - best Power of Reading Book so far and high quality writing from it
Thy Kingdom Come - reflections that show how you took on board the big ideas
The Reform, Restore, Respect Workshop - two hours of inspirational stories
Super Hero Day - the idea from Year Six to raise money for Cancer Research - inspirational!
...and of course SATS where your hard work and discipline paid off.
Our new Power of Reading text is 'Floodland' by Marcus Sedgwick - winner of the Branford Boase Award and one of the most powerful texts so far - enjoy!