At the start of the Easter holidays, 44 students in Years 9 to 13 and 5 staff set off for a 5-day trip to France. Following a long and tiring, slightly extended journey, the group arrived on Friday at their destination – Château Beaumont, an education and activity centre in Mayenne, Pays de la Loire. On Saturday, the students had the opportunity to practise their French at the local market in the town of Laval, where students sampled crêpes and found out about the many things available to buy at the market. They then had the opportunity to visit a Hypermarket, before returning to the Château for an afternoon of activities, including Zip Wire, Archery and Fencing.
On the Saturday evening, students and staff enjoyed a ‘French’ evening where they dressed up and had the chance to sample frog’s legs and snails before taking part in a French themed quiz. On Sunday, the group travelled to the magnificent Mont Saint Michel, a UNESCO world heritage site on the Normandy coastline, where they had a tour of the Abbey and free time to visit the main street which was the inspiration for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter. After this, they visited the walled seaside city of Saint Malo in Brittany, before returning to the Château for a fun farewell party. After an early start on Monday, the group travelled to the capital city of Paris where they had the chance to see the major sites, including a river cruise along the Seine, taking the lift to the top floor of the Montparnasse Tower for views over Paris, and the opportunity to walk up the Champs-Elysées from Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe (with time for shopping!). Following a meal and an overnight stay in a hotel on the outskirts of Paris, the group returned to Sunderland on Tuesday. The students and staff had an absolutely amazing time, seeing so much over the 5-days, and gaining memories to last a lifetime!