French Exchange Trip

This week we have arrived back from our return leg of the French Exchange trip. The week has been absolutely packed full of amazing activities, so I will try and be as brief as possible! 

We arrived at the school in Marcq-en-Baroeul (near Lille) on Tuesday to be welcomed with the Union flag flying alongside the Tricolore outside the school – a thoughtful touch and a nod to our well-established friendship.

After settling in with our partners and spending the evening catching up, we arrived in school the next morning to be greeted by the Headteacher Monsieur Le Diagon, who gave us a warm welcome and brief history of the school before we made our way to the sports field for a World Cup Quarter-Final re-match England vs France (which we won!).

We spent Thursday with our partners at a fantastic zoo in Belgium called Pairi Daiza, where Mrs Ramsumair made a friend (!) and everyone was delighted by the wonderful array of well-cared-for animals from all over the world.

Friday was spent discovering the town of nearby Arras, and the War Memorial site of Notre Dame de Lorette, where our students learnt about the sacrifices that so many people made during the First World War. We visited the Anneau de la Mémoire, where many of us found our own surnames amongst the 600,000 names; a sobering and emotional moment despite the pouring rain.

The weekend began with our students learning the harsh reality of the difference between English schools and French schools: Saturday school! Whilst Wellington pupils were less than delighted to be waking up early on Saturday morning for lessons, I think it has made them appreciate the British system a little more!

On Monday we made our way to Belgium again for a canal boat ride (soggy but beautiful) and a chocolate museum tour (yummy and interesting) in Bruges. 

Before our departure on Tuesday, we were able to visit the school’s museum (yes, the school has its own museum!) and chapel, as well as attending some final lessons with partners.

The group of students we took have experienced so much and shown resilience, respect for different cultures, language skills and an interest in discovering more about the world. I am so proud of them and I know they have been excellent ambassadors for our school and country! Well done! To quote one of our participants: “I have made memories I will keep forever”.

Mrs Ramsumair