Year 8 French Trip to the Opal Coast

After 3 years of not being able to participate in school trips, 100 Year 8 pupils and 12 members of staff took part in a very successful and extremely enjoyable four-day French Trip to the Opal Coast.

Two coaches of pupils and teachers left Presdales School early on Monday morning and, after taking the ferry from Dover to Calais, arrived safely at their destination in Boulogne-sur-mer. They made their first visit of the trip to ‘Nausicaa’, which is the largest aquarium in Europe specialising in scientific discovery of the marine environment. Students enjoyed taking selfies next to the sharks and rays and they were also inspired by Mrs Harmer to create a photographic alphabet spelling the word “FRANCE”.

We then made our way to our accommodation and it was already time for dinner. We shared the large dining hall with a group of older French tourists who were keen to stop me and comment on several occasions on our students’ excellent manners at the table. Later in the evening, the students grouped together to do some language work in preparation for the next day’s activities.

They were very excited about the planned activities for the second day which began with a trip to the sophisticated coastal town of Le Touquet. After spending some time running down the sandy dunes of the beautiful beach, we all enjoyed wandering around the town. Students could finally put all their classroom role-play activities into practice ordering food and doing a bit of shopping. I was so impressed with the positive and enthusiastic attitude of so many of them and I thoroughly enjoyed walking around town meeting students who would ask me: “Miss, how do you say…?” and who would then go on to tell me in great details everything they had just said in French!

The afternoon entailed a visit to ‘Les Escargots du Bocage’, a snail farm, situated in the nearby countryside. Students were firstly given a presentation followed by a tour of the farm and were then invited to sit and taste snails prepared in garlic butter in a pastry shell as well as a homemade jam, made from a variety of fruit grown on the farm. Despite initial reservations, many tasted the snails and most were pleasantly surprised, with some even going back for seconds!

On the third day, students enjoyed swimming and going down the huge slide at the Hélicéa aquatic centre before an afternoon visit to ‘Auchan’, a hypermarket and shopping arcade, where they were each given some Euros to complete a shopping task. This involved buying something typically French to take home and share with their families. That evening, students were keen to take part in a ‘show and tell’ about their shopping task purchases and finish completing their trip booklets.

The staff at the accommodation commented on our students’ excellent behaviour and their efforts to ask questions in French. They were particularly impressed with their pronunciation!

Such a successful trip would not be possible without the proactive and positive attitude of a dream team of school staff and the meticulous organisation of Mme Rowe. As well as a fantastic eye opener for the 100 Year 8 students, it was also a unique opportunity for them to shine outside of the classroom.

A l’année prochaine!

Mme Ainge

Some feedback from parents and students regarding the Year 8 Opal Coast French trip 2023

Lovely trip, she really enjoyed the experience and it has given her confidence with her studies, especially speaking French. Thanks so much to all the staff who made this such an enjoyable trip.

The trip was well planned and there was a good balance of work, free time and activities.

The preparation was very good. All of the information on the slide presentation was excellent. If we couldn’t have come in to the school, it would still have contained everything needed. The trip itself was well organised and all of the arranged excursions were very enjoyable. The hotel was nice. The food, on the whole was good, but the options for vegetarians were quite limited. Overall a very good trip and would definitely recommend it to next years’ Year 8.

The best part of the trip was water park visit. Snail farm was an interesting experience. Accommodation was all right. Food was good.

Opal coast was a great trip. It was an amazing chance for me to discover the French speaking world and participate by speaking to shop assistants/workers when shopping. The accommodation was really nice and I enjoyed the activities we did.

Thank you to all of the staff that organised and went on the trip – it was well organised before and during the trip with good communication. We are glad that these experiences are now available again. R reported back that she liked the accommodation, although she wished she had taken a full sized pillow from home! She enjoyed the activities also – and she had a good amount of free time. She can’t think of anything that could be improved (except perhaps the meal on the last day!). Thank you once again.

I found that it was a good trip, very windy though, the aquarium was really interesting seeing all the different types of fish and the coral too. The snails were really tasty and the shopping centres were fun. The accommodation was very nice too and the meals there were very nice from the breakfast to the packed lunch to the dinner.

The French trip was an amazing experience that I loved. I especially liked the aquarium.

I really liked all the activities, especially the waterpark, aquarium and visiting the town. I like getting to use French. Sometimes I didn’t like the food at the house but it was OK. I really liked the whole trip, it was a great experience. Thank you to all the teachers who gave up their time! It was a brilliant way to end the year! Thank you!

Final House Points 2022-2023!

Year 10 History Trip to Berlin

We left school for Berlin at 2pm on Wednesday and arrived at our hotel at midnight.

Our trip began with a tour around some of Berlin’s most famous sights, led by Mr Spurgeon. We visited the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, Night of the Long Knives Memorial, the Roma Sinti memorial, the Holocaust memorial, Hitler’s bunker and the Topography of Terror. These are all things that we learnt about during our history lessons and in Holocaust memorial assemblies, but visiting the memorials and the Topography of Terror really instilled it in me how the Nazis believed that they were a superior race and what they were doing was justified. Seeing the memorials and about how many different groups were persecuted reminded me how this happened in the not-so-distant past, and the risks of it happening again. Our day continued with a tour by TCBC guides, we visited more places including the Tiergarten to see the T4 and homosexual memorials, Gendarmenmarkt, Bebelplatz, Lustgarten, and the reconstructed palace. We had an amazing tour guide who taught about us lots of different aspects of Germany in the 20th Century e.g., the book burning that took place at Bebelplatz in 1933 where Nazi students burnt around 20,000 books by authors that the Nazis didn’t like. We finished the day with a trip to a lovely Italian restaurant and a round of bowling.

On Friday, we went to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, Plötzensee Prison, and had a tour around the Jewish quarters of Berlin. These were all led by the TCBC guides, who were very highly knowledgeable about everything that we visited. At Sachsenhausen, we saw the rooms where prisoners would have to stay, learnt about the jobs they had to do and the different methods the Nazis had for killing people, not just the gas chambers. In our tour of the Jewish Quarters with visited the Hackeschen Höfe and saw the workshop owned by Otto Weidt, who mainly employed deaf and blind Jews and did everything he could to protect them against the anti-Jewish measures. One of my highlights from the tour were the Stumbling Stones, they are all around Europe and they are to remember people who were persecuted by the Nazis. The stones have the person’s name, birth year, what happened to them e.g., deportation to Theresienstadt, and when they died. I had heard of them before but never realised how many they were. Although there are lots of memorials to the groups persecuted, I like the Stumbling Stones as although they are little, they tell the stories of thousands of people. In the evening, we had time to go shopping and then went to see the new Spiderman film – Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse.

On Saturday, we finished our trip by visiting Hohenschönhausen which is a former Stasi-Prison so linked to our Cold War topic. We then went to Berlin Olympic Park and got a tour of the stadium. I found it interesting to see how they have removed the Nazi paraphernalia but still embrace the history of what happened in the 1936 Olympics. They have done this by having the Jesse Owens Lounge and the coloured stones that were Swastikas have been rotated to create different patterns; they are still shadows of what was there. After this we headed to deportation track 17, which has stone slabs to commemorate how many Jews were deported each day.

It was an amazing trip and will be very helpful as we continue our studies on Weimar and Nazi Germany and then move onto the Cold War. The thing I found most interesting was how they have embraced the history without making memorial sights neo-Nazi pilgrimages or completely ignoring the horrific events that happened in Germany during the 20th Century.

Isla Threlfall

PE Trip to Wimbledon

What an amazing experience at Wimbledon Court 1 tickets watching Skupski (GBR number 1 seed) and his partner win to make the mens doubles final, Murray mount watching Jabeur get through in the womens singles semi final, strawberries and cream, Wimbledon shop and testing how fast our serves were (Ellen scored highest with 71mph). Lots of exciting junior tennis on the outside courts too.

 

Swimming Gala Results 2023

Well done to all the students who participated!

Huge congratulations to Molly Seymour in Year 8 who won the 100 yard Freestyle Championship!

Philosophy PRE Header

News from Philosophy, Religion and Ethics

Year 7

In the spring term, Year 7 investigated different responses to the question, ‘What is God like?’ and learnt about the nature of God from the Christian perspective in the Parable of the Lost Son. We set the students the challenge of designing and making a board game that illustrated the story, and were hugely impressed with many of the games presented and played: well done everyone!

In the summer term, Year 7 students learned about the value of Holy Books to religious believers, and were set the task of making a model inspired by a holy book, whether it be out of junk or something more edible! Some students really excelled and showed us their creative side. Well done!

News from MFL

Spellian

Well done to the 32 students who participated in our language exchange with Spellian. This year we continued our partnership with Liceo Ancina in Italy and began new connections with students IES Severo Ochoa in Spain and Gymnasium Holzkirchen in Germany.

Spellian conversations are done from home, by video conference, using the Spellian online platform. Each conversation lasts around 30 minutes, with half of the time spent speaking in Italian and half in English. The programme provides an excellent opportunity for students to strengthen their listening and speaking skills and boost their confidence in speaking a foreign language in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Many of our students have formed real friendships with their partners and discovered lots of interesting details about life in Italy, Spain and Germany. Video calls with people we don’t know can be intimidating and we are very proud of the resilience shown by the students who took part.

We will be launching Spellian 2023-24 again in September to MFL students in Year 10 upwards and we strongly encourage students to take part (it even counts towards the Skills section for the Duke of Edinburgh Award!).

Mrs Evenden

Year 7 Textiles Club

Textiles club is a great place to learn and create new things as well as meeting new people. This term we have enjoyed making bunting for the annual swimming gala. We learnt how to use the sewing machine so that we were able to put together the bunting. To make the bunting we used scrap materials to save money and be eco friendly. We would recommend this club to anyone that likes textiles and sewing. It is a fun place to be and all of us really enjoy coming.

By Isabella Tilley, Amelie Wooding and Lily Corney

This year we have been privileged enough to be a part of the Year 7 textiles club. We have learnt many great skills and facts. From how to use a sewing machine to learning how to cut bunting and use templates.

In the first term, we used the patterned year 8 bags to make makeup bags. We cut the fabric carefully and then embroidered the outside fabrics. We then chose fabric for the inside and started to sew the bag together. We added a zip to the top and then it was done. Mine has its own proud place in my room.

At the end of the first term, we made Christmas decorations. We chose fabric and then added ribbon and accessories. Once we had sewn it, it was done. Mine was a reindeer. I hung it up on my door and it looked very christmassy.

All of the exams prevented us from making anything in term two but we came back for term three to make bunting for the swimming gala. It was very intense as the deadline was looming closer and Mrs Hayhurst had to take some home to finish. The first step was cutting all the different fabrics. We had six different colours: yellow, green,red, blue, white and purple. This is the stage where we learnt how to use the bunting.

Finally, the day before the swimming gala we began to put up the bunting. We tied it to the fence and it made this nice looking pattern. We had yellow, red, blue, purple, green and white. The wind made them descend and it looked adequate.

Sadly the swimming gala was cancelled but the bunting was still up and looking fabulous.

We would like to thank Mrs Hayhurst for her amazing work and help. This club and all we have achieved could not have been possible without her.

This is an article made by Lucille and Evie

News from Drama

Matilda the Musical Jr.

The Drama Department would like to congratulate all 110 students who auditioned for Matilda the Musical Jr. Casting involved many difficult decisions but we are pleased to announce that our double cast will feature…

Ryah Dean (Year 9) and Tayla-Mae Deane (Year 9)

who will both be performing the role of Matilda! We have decided to double cast the production to provide more casting opportunities for our students currently ranging from Year 7 through to Year 12.

We look forward to working with the full cast from September.

Miss Mack and Mrs Smith, Drama Department


Devising Drama Exams