Saturday, 28 February 2009

Residential in France

Yesterday I returned from a week in France with our Year Sixes.

This is the third year that we have enjoyed a visit to France, and I'm delighted to say that it has once again been a very successful week!

We set off from school at 6.30am on Monday and arrived at our chateau 11 hours later! Our accomodation is fantastic and the grounds in which we stayed were beautiful.

On Tuesday we toured the local town of Rue. In the afternoon we visited a nearby goat farm where the children had chance to hold some of the goats, rabbits and chicks. We also visited a delicious chocolate factory.

On Wednesday we travelled to Amiens, the nearest city, with one of the most incredible buildings I've ever seen. The cathedral takes my breath away every time I see it! We then set off for an underground city which was used by local villagers to hide during WW2.

On Thursday we travelled to Abbeville to explore the local shops and sample a French cafe. In the afternoon we learned to play petanque and braved the muddiest blind trail!

On Friday we visited Nausicaa, a fantastic aqarium before setting off home again.

It is wonderful to see how much the children gained in confidence and independence during the week. Their French skills developed well.

This year, for the first time, we created a blog which we used to communicate to parents. This was experimental, as we weren't really sure what internet facilities we could use. We used Posterous, and linked to it from our school website. We then simply used Googlemail to send an email with news about the events of the day. The feedback from parents was really positive and lots of them added comments.

Next year we plan to add photos whilst we are away by taking a laptop with us. We will use a wireless connection to upload lots of exciting news. We will also experiment with Twitter so that we can add updates via mobile phone so that little snippets can be added. Before then I want to learn to feed Twitter directly into Posterous.

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