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Smithdon High School

Our students enjoy French adventure

Students swapped our classrooms for a French chateau when they headed to the continent for a cultural adventure.

A group of 40 from our school and 30 Year 8 students from Springwood High School, in King’s Lynn, travelled to Chateau de Warsy in Northern France, near Paris, where they stayed in luxury camping pods in the castle grounds.

Accompanying the group from Smithdon were Head of French Judith France and French teacher Di Prestidge, along with fellow members of staff Amanda Wright, Mark Birks and John Croft, while staff from Springwood included French teacher Elodie Favris, Pupil Premium Manager Luke Thurlow, and Head of RE Alison Dennis, plus trip organiser Charlotte Hannah, who is Head of Modern Foreign Languages and Internationalism at the school.

“I have been running the trip for about six years,” she said. “I first went on the trip in my first year of teaching and then took over the organisation the year after that, but we have been visiting the same location for even longer and have also visited Chateau de Broutel, their partner accommodation, in the past as well.

“We travel by coach and ferry to stay at the Chateau and to travel around, for example to visit Paris.”

In the city, the group was able to take in the historic sights of the famous capital, spending time at the Sacre Coeur in Montmatre, as well as visiting the  souvenir shops and seeing the street artists.

“We also visited Tour Montparnasse, where we had a panoramic view of the city – a great opportunity for photos,” added Mrs Hannah. “In the afternoon we took a boat ride on the Seine.”

Among other highlights of the three-day trip was an expedition to the nearby town of Montidier, where the visitors completed a trail to learn about the area's history, and honed their French skills in the local shops and patisseries. In addition, there was a visit to a World War One cemetery, which related to the students’ humanities studies in school.

Further activities enjoyed by the group included an ‘accrobranche’ high-wire experience and a tour of a traditional French chocolate factory, while there was also time to relax at the beach at Berck-sur-Mer and enjoy the local shops and cafes.