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!
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!