Sunday 16th June 10.30pm
Following a smooth journey to Portsmouth and a short wait at check in, we have just boarded the ferry. The children are settling down in the lounges ready for their night's sleep. They have been fantastic so far and can't wait for the trip to really get started! I will do my best to update you again in the morning. Sleep well everyone!
Monday 18th June
UPDATE: 06:10 (French time)
Bonjour! We are 30 minutes from arriving in Caen, France! The children settled very well last night and have been brilliant overnight! We are just enjoying our packed breakfasts before shortly making our way to the coaches ready for our first day to begin at Pegasus Bridge. All is well and wonderful! I will update again later today. Have a great day!
What a wonderful first day we've had here in Normandy! It's been a beautiful day and the sunny weather has got the French Trip 2019 off to a fantastic start! Our day started at 7.30am at Pegasus Bridge. The children couldn't wait to see the bridge and visit Cafe Gondree after already learning so much about it's significance and special link to our school. Today's visit was extra special for the children as Madame Gondree met and chatted with the children for some time. What a treat! Our first trip was rounded off with a visit to the Pegasus Museum.
At lunchtime we made the short journey to Bayeux and to Le Petit Normand for our delicious 3 course lunch. The children enjoyed their lunch and even practised some of their French with the kind and hard working staff of the restaurant. It was then onto the Bayeux Tapestry before one of the moments the children and members of staff had been waiting for - a chance to meet their pen pals. Following an apprehensive start, it wasn't long before the children were chatting to each other (as best they could), playing together and sharing gifts. A wonderful moment organised by the amazing Mrs Downie.
Our final visit of the day was to Bayeux Cathedral itself - such a magnificent building with a certain wow factor! The children gazed around at the grandeur of the building and it was another special moment of the day. In order to capture their first day, the children began work on their first sketch and water colour painting. Some stunning work has started to emerge and we can't wait to see the final versions.
It has been a super day! The children have, as ever, met all our expectations and are already maintaining and building on the CSPA reputation known to many on this trip.
We're already looking forward to day 2! A good night's sleep first though! Updates to follow tomorrow.
Tuesday 18th June
Bonsoir! As I write this, we are currently eating dinner after a wonderful day exploring more of Normandy. The French Trip 2019 continues to be another wonderful experience for all.
Today, the children watched an incredibly thought and emotion provoking film about
D-day and the Battle of Normandy. Many children commented on how it made them feel about that moment in history. We then walked through the beautiful town of Arromanche, passing by St Peter's Church.
The afternoon was spent in Honfleur. The beautiful harbour town looked stunning today in the sunshine and the children once again created some outstanding sketches and paintings. They also enjoyed some delicious ice-creams which they ordered themselves. Well done Year 6!
This evening we are looking forward to another tasty meal at Les Tourelles before making our way to the beach where the children will be challenged with the task of creating their own sand sculptures.
They have continued to be fantastic CSPA ambassadors and we're already looking forward to tomorrow!
Wednesday 19th June
Today has been a rather damp day but another splendid one! It has been lovely to see the children enjoy their 3rd day in France; seeing them grow in confidence and independence. They have continued to be great friends to each other and have enjoyed being together as the CSPA Year 6 family.
Today was all about Le Mont St Michel! Upon arriving at the bottom after a short shuttle bus ride, the children were not only met with the challenge of the climb but the driving rain! It didn't deter us though and we made the climb without a word of complaint - well done Year 6! At the top, 82 children and 11 adults joined a service for a few moments in the beautiful abbey. It was another 'awe and wonder' moment where the children just took a reflective and peaceful moment. The children were outstanding!
We then enjoyed another picnic lunch at the biscuit factory where the children were also able to buy some souvenirs. Another painting opportunity was also taken and the children continued to impress with their wonderful art work.
After dinner tonight, we will be making our way to the beach for some games and activities and of course to watch that gorgeous sunset once again!
I look forward to sharing our final day with you tomorrow evening (wifi permitting at the port and on the ferry).
Thursday 20th June
Good evening everyone! Just a brief update to let you know that we have safely boarded Brittany Ferries and we are on our way home. All are safe and sound and fast asleep. I will try to update again in the morning and will share Thursday's photos and news with you as soon as possible.
See you all very soon.
Friday 21st June
Today the photos below begin with our final night at Les Tourelles. We spent it on the beach enjoying various games and activities. The children showed lots of creativity and talent, but what was most lovely to see was the friendship and bond the children had further developed.
We then move onto Thursday and our final day in France. It was market day at St Mere Eglise and the children's final opportunity to spend their pocket money. The children's confidence has grown so much and they were readily conversing with the market stall holders. A highlight was when two boys told members of staff that they had chosen to spend some of their pocket money on 2 gifts for our coach drivers, Steve and Dave. An outstanding example of appreciation and kindness. Both drivers were very touched and shared that it had never happened before!
We enjoyed our final picnic lunch before then visiting the Airborne Museum. From there the children made their final stop of the entire trip to the British cemetery in Bayeux. I am always so very proud of the children's sensitivity and reflection at this point and this year was no different. The children were saddened by what they saw, but determined to respectfully remember and, as citizens of the future, encourage peace and love between all. They were fantastic!
Our final meal at Le Petit Normand was another treat and enjoyed by all. 82 weary children and 11 even wearier adults then made their way to the port for our journey home.
My final write up will be later today as an final account of the trip. The photos will be uploaded when I have a stronger signal!
In the meantime, please keep a close eye on the scrolling bar on the homepage for our ETA later on today. We are expected to be back in Chalfont St Peter at 11am, but will update on traffic etc as we go.
Looking forward to seeing you all later.
Sunday 23rd June
What an amazing trip! It was once again fantastic to share this outstanding trip and opportunity with the Year 6 children who were simply wonderful! I hope the children have created another CSPA treasured memory and will always remember the French Trip experience. It was a pleasure to watch the children grow in confidence, independence and friendship. Together, they supported and encouraged each other; it was a remarkable example of teamwork involving all 82 children and 11 adults. The CSPA family at it's very, very best!
My thanks go to Mr Leach, Mrs Sadler, Mrs Botia, Mrs Roffey, Miss Murray, Mr Underwood, Mr Briant, Miss Badrick and Mrs Nye for their endless enthusiasm, positivity and their boundless energy and commitment to the children. My extra-special thanks goes to Mrs Downie, who works incredibly hard throughout the week to help create this wonderful trip for the children.
I hope everyone involved has had a well-deserved rest and I can't wait to relive those memories with the children on our return to school on Monday.