Click HERE for Gallery
Update Friday 20th June @ 12.30pm
We returned back to school following our McDonald’s breakfast in Winchester to a warm welcome from parents, staff and children of the school. It is always a relief to turn that final corner in the coaches towards the playgrounds!
It has been a hugely successful trip, thanks to the superb team of adults accompanying the trip who enjoyed great camaraderie, and not least to the wonderful children who excelled in their behaviour, manners and engagement. They were great fun to be with and made us all proud.
I hope all members of the party are able to enjoy a well-earned rest after such a busy week of activity from dawn till dark each day – you all deserve it! Thank you for everything.
Lastly, thank you to parents for ‘lending’ us your children for a week – they are a credit to you, our school and themselves.
I can’t wait until next year, already!
Update Friday 20th June @ 7.00am
We docked at Portsmouth at 6.45am. The children were superb last night, settling quickly to sleep and everyone has a very restful and quiet night.
Disembarking at 6.45am, we shall be making our way to Winchester for a much anticipated McDonald’s breakfast before continuing home to Chalfont St Peter.
We expect to be at school by 9.45am depending on traffic. We will keep you updated accordingly with our progress and estimated arrival time.
We have received so many wonderful comments during the week about the excellent behaviour of our children that I feel it is important to share these with you. The feedback began with the centre staff on our arrival at Les Tourelles who commented how easily so many children had disembarked from the coaches and made their way to 30+ different rooms. Other comments included one from a gentleman at one of the museums who had witnessed the children investigating the exhibitions and watching the 25min film. He said how well the children had behaved and how quiet they had been in the film – he commented, “In fact, it makes me proud to be British!” Another visitor commented to one of the children how impressed they were with the group. My personal highlight was taking such a large group into the Abbey at Mont St Michel during a service being held by the monks. As choral Latin verses echoed through the building and signs of “Silence” glared at the doorways, our 85 children removed their caps and entered, sitting in pews to experience this special event. Not a whisper was uttered and just as silently as we had entered, several minutes later we left before the formal mass would begin.
Being a somewhat distinctive spectacle throughout the week in their red hats and red sweatshirts we stood out from the crowd which was important for identification purposes, but once again Chalfont St Peter CE Academy children shone in their performance and conduct.
Well done everyone! I feel immensely proud of the whole party.
Update Thursday 8.30pm
The museum in Bayeux proved to be an interesting and successful visit, with children really engaged with the exhibits and displays. Just over the road, we walked to Bayeux Cemetery – the largest Commonwealth war graves cemetery in Normandy. Laying a wreath on behalf of all at Chalfont St Peter CE Academy, we prayed for those who lost their lives during the war.
Following a superb meal at Le Petit Normand, we have just checked in at the ferry port and will be boarding at 9pm (English time). All children and staff are well and looking forward to the return journey.
We will keep parents updated with our progress tomorrow via the website. Looking forward to seeing you all!
Update Thursday 2.30pm (English time)
The children thoroughly enjoyed their visit to the market this morning, using their pocket money and French language to buy gifts and souvenirs. The church was a special addition to the morning, where children learned about the impact of D-Day on the town and the parachutist who became entangled on the tower. Our visit to the Farm Museum gave us all a chance to find out more about French culture and rural French life.
Feedback from the children was exceptionally positive. We are now making our way to Bayeux for two more visits to conclude our trip before dinner at Le Petit Normand.
Update Thursday 8.30am (English time)
We have all packed, loaded onto the coach and departed Les Tourelles. The weather is warm and sunny once again and we are now making our way to St Mère Église to visit the church and market. Later: Normandy Farm museum, Bayeux “Battle of Normandy” Museum, Bayeux Cemetery, Le Petit Normand restaurant.
Another busy day!
Update 8.30pm (English time)
We have had sunshine all day today for our visit to Mont St Michel and the biscuit factory. A magical moment was shared when we were able to trust 85 children to walk silently to pews inside the abbey during a service being held by the monks and listen to the singing of verses in Latin.
Later, the children enjoyed the opportunity to use some of their pocket money to buy souvenirs in turn, taking a break from concentrated focus on their artwork, drawing and painting a picture of Mont St Michel. We look forward to the celebration of their work in the art exhibition in July.
Celebrations continued at dinner time with birthday cake for Edward’s birthday today and Joshua’s birthday tomorrow.
Talent show is next on the agenda. It’s non-stop!
Update Tuesday 10pm (English time)
We had a well-received dinner of soup & French bread, shepherds pie followed by profiteroles on our return from Honfleur. Clean plates all round! Later only CSPA could design, produce, and so eloquently present in such detail their sandcastles based on the theme of “A summer of sport”. Fabulous!
We are all wind-blown and ready for our beds!
Update Tuesday 5pm (English time)
We have had a lovely afternoon in Honfleur. A hazy sun came out for our picnic lunch in the park and remained whilst we sat by the harbour for sketching and painting of the harbour-side buildings. Having looked forward to requesting their own ice creams in a wide variety of flavours, the children were not disappointed with their purchases! Passers-by commented on the behaviour of the children and their focused concentration. Well done CSPA!
Update Tuesday 11am (English time)
The children slept really soundly last night after the long day yesterday! This morning, we have visited Arromanches to learn about the Mulberry Harbour and see a spectacular film in a 3600 cinema. A lovely walk through the town brought us to St Peter’s church where we were able to make comparisons with our own church of St Peter at home.
Next we are settling into the coach to make the journey to Honfleur this afternoon.
Update Monday 9.30pm (English time)
What a busy day! The children have been amazing. They have all eaten well this evening and following an evening walk up and down Gold Beach, besides the Atlantic Wall. We investigated a gun battery and imagined the scene of D-Day 70 years ago.
With the tide right out as far as the remnants of the Mulberry Harbour, we devised safety rules for being on the beach as part of a group of 85 children.
Exhausted from the day’s numerous activities, all are now tucked up in bed and settling down for the night.
Update: Monday 4pm.
We have had a really full day of visits today. Leaving Pegasus Bridge, we made our way to Bayeux where we enjoyed a delightful lunch at the Petit Normand. The children displayed excellent manners and tried all of the food they were offered.
Our tour of the Bayeux Tapestry proved an interesting one for the group before we had to move on to meet our PenPals next to the cathedral. We were very impressed with the children’s confidence to try and communicate and everyone really enjoyed the experience!
Inside the cathedral next for a breath-taking view of the beautiful interior. Lighting a candle one group decided to recite the school prayer, whilst another devised their own prayer about friendship and bravery being away from home.
Everywhere we have been, admiring tourists have commented about the excellent behaviour and the red hats and hoodies have certainly attracted attention.
Now back on the coach, the children are enjoying a well-earned rest on the way to Les Tourelles, our residential centre.
Update Monday 6.15am
Leaving the playground just before 6.30pm, we had a comfortable journey down to Portsmouth. Check in with Brittany Ferries was quick and efficient and we boarded the ferry at about 9.20pm. Children settled quickly into the allocated areas, with most sleeping on the floor with their blankets and pillows. By 11.10pm the lights were out and all was quiet! (It's true!) Such is the behaviour of Chalfont St Peter CE Academy children! We are on our way to Pegasus Bridge to see the monuments of the places where the gliders landed on D-Day before we move on to visit the cafe Gondree to meet Arlette Gondree.