France Visit

 Dover CastleRecently, Year 6 at Bourne Abbey had an incredibly exciting experience visiting Criel-sur-Mere in France to further explore their learning about WW1 and 2.

The week began with a trip to visit Dover Castle where the pupils were able to tour the underground, secret war tunnels and take part in a cipher code-breaking experience.  After arriving at Château de Chantereine the children settled into their rooms before enjoying their first evening of French cuisine - including a locally made cheese selection!

Tuesday was a super day visiting the historic city of Rouen.  The pupils explored many regions of the town and learnt about its intricate history entwined with the impact of WW1. We visited Rouen’s cathedral and discovered the burial sites of Richard the Lionheart and Joan of Arc whilst also exploring some of the city’s architecture.  We finished the day experiencing some of the local French shops and the children used more of their French skills to buy souvenirs and ice creams to enjoy in the sunshine.  Later in the evening, we took a walk to the nearby coast and watched the sunset.

On Wednesday, we visited the coastal town of Dieppe where the children immersed themselves in the history and impact of WW2 by recreating some of the beach landings. They were also able to apply their French language skills to order their own crêpes in a local café.  Later in the day, we visited Neufchatel cheese farm where the children were given an explanation of the cheese-making procedures (completely in French!) and were then asked questions before being given the opportunity to meet the farm animals and purchase some of the uniquely, heart-shaped  Normandy cheese.

 Thursday was an incredibly moving experience when the pupils were able to walk through the trenches at Beaumont Hamel to witness the closeness of the Front lines and begin to understand the horrors of the conditions suffered by soldiers.  As well as visiting some of the cemeteries around the battlefields, the children laid a Bourne Abbey wreath at Theipval and held a minute’s silence to remember the sacrifices made.

The week ended with an opportunity to taste more French specialities including frogs’ legs and snails and our pupils relished this experience.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable week full of incredibly moving moments, French language opportunities and historic learning.  We were extremely proud of all the group who demonstrated maturity and really enjoyed showing off their French.