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Taste of France lives long in the memory

 Based at the Priory Federation’s Centre des Étoiles, the academy’s recent visit to Normandy was designed to give Year 9 and 10 students a genuine French experience, including language, history, culture and gastronomy.

Courseulles-sur-Mer market was our first visit where students had the opportunity to experience a real, bustling market and practice their French. Following lunch on Juno Beach, one of the D-Day landing beaches, we visited the Canadian Museum to learn about life as a Canadian soldier during the D-Day landings and the role of Canada in the Second World War.
Click here to see a gallery of photos.

On the second day, students visited Caen Castle, built by William the Conqueror.  Here, we explored the battlements and visited the Museum of Normandy Life, looking at the development of the town of Caen since Roman times. Students then had free time in Caen town centre, which has been completely rebuilt following near total destruction during the Second World War. The afternoon was spent at Jurques Zoo, discovering the numerous animal conservation projects the zoo supports. The evening was spent in a small sea-side town, Port-en-Bessin, that played a key role in the delivery of fuel to the allied forces during the D-Day landings. It is now a pretty town and fishing harbour and gave the students another opportunity to practise their French!

 On the last day, students learned about a French culinary treat – oysters – a speciality in France at Christmas and New Year! We discovered how they were farmed, harvested and prepared for eating. We were also given the opportunity to eat fresh oysters, a few hundred yards from where they’d been grown … and the majority of students embraced this opportunity! Following lunch at Arromanches, where the Mulberry harbour played a key role in D-Day, we went on to an outward-bound centre, where the students were given instruction in “accrobranching”. Here, students followed routes of their choice (various heights) above ground through the trees, using rope walks, swings, ladders and zip wires – an exhilarating (and scary in places!) experience.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable visit. The students embraced all the elements of French culture that were offered to them (including oysters and snails!). They took every opportunity to practise the language they’d learnt in the classroom, to put it to practical use. They approached all visits with enthusiasm and they were respectful and polite to people they met when they were out and about and to each other.  It was a real privilege to lead the group and plans are already afoot for the 2014 visit.

Mrs Bevan
Head of Modern Foreign Languages

    The Priory Federation of Academies, Lincoln