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Year 10 Trip to Paris

Some of the Year 10 students studying French GCSE went to Paris on a four days visit at the end of last half term (8-11 February). They were accompanied by Daniella and Caroline.

It was a very cultural and fun school trip.We left school on Friday lunch time and made our way to St Pancras station to take the Eurostar. We arrived in Paris late afternoon, we made our way to the hostel which was situated in the heart of Paris, a few minutes walk from Notre – Dame and L’Ile Saint Louis. The hostel was in a stunning historical building, dating back the 17th Century. We took time to unpack our bags, had dinner and then went on Le Métro to the Champs-Élysées. We walked up… and down the Champs Élysées, ending our tour with a cup of hot chocolate as it was very cold outside.

Next morning, we went to Le Louvre. The students had a map of the museum. In their folder, they had extract/ samples of five famous paintings displayed in Le Louvre. So they had to go around one of the aisle of the museum, trying to match the extract of paintings in their folder with the paintings on display. The five paintings were: off course: La Mona Lisa by Da Vinci; Les noces de Cana by Veronese; L’hiver by Arcimboldo; Le radeau de la Méduse by Géricault; and finally Le jeune pouilleux by Murillo. We then gave the students a short presentation, explanation of these paintings.

In the afternoon, we crossed the river Seine and went on to discover the disctrict of Saint Germain des Prés. The students had a map of Saint Germain des Prés and had the opportunity to walk around this part of Paris famous for ‘Le jardin du Luxembourg’ and the Brasserie and Cafés were writers such as Jean Paul Sartre use to socialise. This sort of treasure hunt gave the students the opportunity to find where Oscar Wilde stayed, to look at the famous cafés: Les deux Magots et Le café de Flore; they tried to find ‘Le Méridien’ in L’Église Saint Sulpice (made famous by the Da Vinci Code of Dan Brown).

Late afternoon, we went to La Tour Eiffel to watch the sun set. We returned to the hostel to warm up, had our dinner then went out once again to experience some French cuisine. We found Une Crêperie on L’Ile Saint Louis. We ate delicious pancakes. Les crêpes au Nutella were very popular among the students!

Sunday morning,we went to visit Le Palais de Versailles where we had a guided tour. We saw the private apartments of Louis XV and the Opera House which is incredible. In the afternoon, as the weather turned to the worse, we stopped in a Brasserie for lunch in Versailles before we got on the train to Paris. Visiting Montmartre under sleet did not appeal to anyone, so we returned to the hostel, warmed up, had an early dinner and got ready for an evening out. We went to a Club close to La Bastille where a couple of live bands played some Jazz Manouche (Jazz in the style of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli). It gave the students an opportunity to see another side of French culture and they really enjoyed the Mocktails the Club was offering.

Monday morning: we took time to pack up our suitcase, then we went to visit Notre-Dame de Paris. After the visit, we crossed the River Seine and spent some free time in Le Marais for a last minute shopping. The students also had a questionnaire to fill in by asking people on the street questions about Paris, its past, its culture and its landmarks. Then it was back to London in the afternoon. We arrived in St Pancras early evening.

We all had a fantastic time. the variety of activities allowed the students to discover Paris and its culture. The year 10 also had several opportunity to put into practice the French they have been learning in class. We all returned to London tired… but enriched by this visit.