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France 2015

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Thursday 02/07/15

Another fabulous day. Just to let you know your children have been stars. It was a very early this morning with breakfast at 7.20 am. Dawn calls were done by Mr Leonard and Mrs Edwards however all the knocking in the world couldn’t wake their sleepy heads. So, with key cards at the ready all were roused from their sleepy slumber. Bags packed, white t-shirts to the ready and baseball caps, we headed down to breakfast. Today Mr Leonard stood guard to make sure ALL had made their lunch and put it in their bags. Breakfast demolished we headed onto the coach.

A quiet bunch they were until…the Disney quiz began! Well if you ever need to know the name of Cinderella’s cat or the surname of Peter and Jane (Darling), Maddie and George are the ones to ask. After the quiz it was Disney music all the way….until Mrs Edwards decided that she was all ‘Disneyed’ out.

Once we arrived at in Paris it we could see there were some stunning sights to behold. From observing the pea factory to the various padlocked bridges and then we pulled up outside the Eiffel Tower. Excitement levels went to an all time high and the teachers as well as the children were eager to savour every moment of this wonderful experience.

Now just to let you all know, Matt had been preparing us all for the steps at the tower and me being well…me, I was confident that this would not be a problem for the children never mind the staff. So after about 30 steps or so my mouth was well and truly sealed! There were muscles used in the legs that have never worked so hard or climbed that many steps. However, my gripes aside the children were fabulous about it all. They gave more than 100% and some were seen running up those stairs as though it was nothing.

Grateful. That was the word that could be used to describe the feeling of arriving at the 1st floor. Hearts racing and legs trembling we all took a moment or 2 to enjoy the views. Once we had had a drink and caught our breath some of us were blown away by the sheer height of it all and unsure as to whether or not they would get to the 2nd floor.

Resilience. That was the 2nd word of the day. Here the children had to push through and conquer their fears ALL of St Christophers would climb to the 2nd floor and All they did. Well done to Alfie and George who were unsure about it all. Mr Leonard and I braved the glass floor on the 1st floor helped by Charlotte, Georgina and Malin. I could just about stomach the tiny figures way below until Jack started to cut shapes...then I was off! Sasha and Charlotte who kept on keeping on and to Matthew who had the epiphany on the 2nd floor that he had definitely accomplished something big here. Mum you would be very proud!

Lunches eaten on the 2nd floor and photos taken we were all able to explore and even ventured to the second floor plus where there was no wire to obstruct the views. Splitting into groups to enjoy the views, we all explored the boutiques where mementoes were purchased and the moment sealed in our memory banks forever.  

After a quick toilet break we were on a mission. I had failed to hear my phone ( which was buried deeply in my bag to avoid the hands of pickpockets), I did not realise that I had 5 missed calls from our PGL rep. We needed to be down from the tower at 12:45 by that time it was after 1! I am sure that we set a record for the fastest ever descent from the tower, it was left right left with Matt commenting on great dismounts from steps (I think it was Louix who did an impressive jump at one point) Mrs Horne and Mrs Edwards counting as they descended into a line . This was followed by a brisk walk to the boat. In the line the children engaged in conversation with some young French students, even discussing favourite football teamsJ

The boat ride down the Seine was very relaxing and some even managed a little snooze. Great views of Paris were seen and it was perfect to take the weight off and chill on the river. Boat ride over, we enjoyed a drive around the city, taking in the Arc De triomphe, the Champs-Elysees. We saw the blue line where insurance is no longer valid and I’m pleased to say thanks to our driver no accidents occurred!

Naps on the coach back to the chateau we were all refreshed. Quick room inspections and dinner was had Coq au vin, goats cheese tartlet and snails! Well some of us demolished these Corey and some of us girls declined the linger of garlic on the breath. Swimming was next and it was a joy to watch. Splashing, laughing and having fun. Corey has learnt to swim, Hasan relaxed and sun bathed with the noodles. Maisie and Leah enjoyed swimming under water, Harrison was determined to be the fastest swimmer and Scott and Jaden looked very much like children on their way to high school.

As I type the children have and a quick costume change and they are now crepe making. Hopefully saving a tasty one for me too!

Your children have been a pleasure to take abroad. They have caused me to laugh until my belly hurts, smile from ear to ear and burst with pride. There have been many firsts on this trip, Daniel has learnt to swim, Matt has taught Samuel, Owen Christien and Hasan how to fold t-shirts. Sasha has had a go with theme parks, Matthew has realised that sun tan lotion may not be needed in South Africa but it is needed here. Maddie has made her own bed and we have all shared a wonderful experience. Some of us may never see Paris again, some of us will never climb to the top of tree and swing through the trees. But, we will all be able to say with the fondest of memories that I remember when I did that at St Christophers Academy.

Thank you to all who have attended the meetings and put up with my chasing for passports, health cards and school t-shirts. I can honestly say that out of the many trips I have done to France this has been the best by far. Your children are a credit to you and the school and I pleased you had the trust to take your children…our children on this journey of a lifetime.

Thank you to the staff here and at school, and governors…Mrs Edwards especially who gave up their time and some of their sleep to make it all happen. You have all been fabulous. So now I shall sign off, enjoy the evening and we shall see you all tomorrow. A bientot bisous!

 

Miss Ferdinand

 

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Wednesday 01/07/15

 

Wow Disneyland was fabulous! The weather was comparable to the tropics but the children were superb with it all. Red hats and t shirts to the ready we were off. The drive to the park wasn’t bad and it wasn’t long before the castle was before us. Tickets in hand we made our way to the front of the castle.

This was the hottest day by far! Don’t panic though we looked after them and made sure that they were covered in sun tan lotion, wore their hats at all times and were constantly hydrated. (Mrs Tootell and Mrs Jones…I spent a lot of money at Disney but it was on water and it was for a good cause!)

All over the park the red hats and red t shirt wearing children could be seen. There were many compliments about how smart they looked and there were no complaints from the children. The greatest rides were those with air con and the scariest ride was the haunted house. Although they said it wasn’t that scary.

Gifts purchased and rides completed we headed back to the coach albeit a little late. Sleepy heads on the coach they soon regained their strength at the prospect of swimming. In the pool went Matt and I with Mr Leonard laughing from the side. Splashing and soaking in the cool waters was very pleasant. Jago’s laughter could be heard and the non confident swimmers had grown a foot taller and were eager to practise their new found skills.

Bed time came around quickly and they were quick to sleep. Professor Jaden even told us we were too loud outside his door whilst we were waiting for them to go to bed! The cheeky little smile on his face softened it otherwise we might have been in trouble when we got back!

A great day 

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Tuesday 30th June 2015

Well what a glorious day we’ve had today! I definitely cannot complain about the weather, not a jacket in sight….actually Jaden has been reminded to take his off. Although, I am certain his wearing it is not about being cold but more about looking goodJ

Early starts were had this morning due to the other school on our floor being woken for their early breakfast. As we headed down to breakfast the sun was already shining. There was a quick pit stop where they all had to make their lunch; various interesting combinations were made. Louix decided to try tuna and saucisson? I’ll have to ask him how that tasted lol.

Lots of excitement at breakfast where the children filled themselves with cereal, fruit, yoghurts, croissants and juice or hot chocolate. They really ate well and it was a step up from the pre SATs breakfast that some of them had, especially for Malin.

 

The end of breakfast saw a little bit of free time where some sprinted upstairs to the boutique, others outside to search for the missing ball and others to ply themselves with more sun tan lotion, brush their teeth or hang out.

With hats on, bags too and water to the ready we headed onto the coach accompanied by our driver Pete and tour guide Will. Would Brie Comte Robert be ready for us? What a beautiful town with really stunning scenery, some of you may have seen the photos tweeted by Mrs Horne if not have a look above where I will add them. This town trail involved putting our French into action…Madame Gilder they tried really hard! Venturing down cobbled streets and across the moat we had the chance to experience real French life.

Before long though the heat was too much so we cut short the trial and tackled the market. Now there was a real hubbub of excitement, what to buy? Decisions, decisions, would it be the Eiffel tower, the bracelet, hat or watch? What I can say is the children were very generous and did not forget those of you back home. Amazingly, staff resisted the urge to purchase these wonderful items and settled for the patisserie instead….Ooh the array of wonderfully made cakes was a sight to behold. Here Mr Leonard treated to a delicious pastry dish…I’ve forgotten the name though but it super!

Lunch by the pool led us to search for the cool spots and take a moment. That said it wasn’t long before we were on our feet again ready for the adventurous activities. Helmets and harnesses on we headed for the woods. There was plenty of bug spray, roll on about however the only one of us to be bitten seemed to be meL

Split into groups we began and what an adventure indeed. Well done to Mrs Edwards and Mrs Horne who braved the zipwire. Also Christien did himself proud by pushing his fear to the side and having a go. Harsh found the trapeze to be the cause of a ‘wedgie’ and Daniel shone with the trapeze and Mrs Horne saw Louix shoot right up to the top with no fear like a little monkey. Matt earn’t himself 5 house points we are very proud of them all. I also had myself a go at the high ropes…I’m surprised you didn’t hear me from Dunstable.

I’m sure most of you will be aware that I allowed the children to bring water pistols…what an earth was I thinking. Out of the water they got to ambush the staff, Mrs Horne did a fantastic espionage move to the other side and Mr Leonard was extremely cool managing to avoid the splashes and sprays of water jets. However there was one new ‘sir’ who was not able to avoid the delightful St Christophers water team. Soaked through to the core he was! Absolutely brilliant entertainment as I sat and dipped my toes into the water.

Swimming was followed by a dinner of stuffed peppers, chicken and a tomato and chilli sauce and other sumptuous treats. The next stop was the ‘wacky races’ …definitely wacky. Wacky races moved into a gym training with Matt. Mrs Edwards and I were absolutely great at this, we were led by Matthew, Scott, Owen, Alfie, Jaden and Samuel. The girls were not enthused by this and were off to play ping pong, play in the park and go off to their rooms.

There were no sad faces at the prospect of bedtime and off they skipped to bed. This is after they came back down for water bottles and key cards. Jack was fantastic and very kindly collected the bottles that were left on the field and popped them into the bin.

So there they lay currently, soundly sleeping and dreaming of Disney tomorrow. What adventures will we have tomorrow? Good night all, sleep well. Miss Ferdinand  

Monday 29th June 2015 Evening

 

Thanks to our driver Pete we all arrived safe and sound. After a lovely meal of beef in red wine or the tasty chick pea option, we all grabbed our cases from the coach. Rooms allocated and key cards given (watch this space to see how many we have at the end of the week), it was back downstairs to be given the tour by our reps. Welcome tour and health and safety chat over it was off to fashion school. Bin bags and toilet tissue at the ready, the children designed some stunning clothessmiley It's a good job some of the clothes were priced way out of our budgets otherwise we might have been obligated to buy them! 

 

The prize of best catwalk 'strutters' goes to Jaden, Jack, Alfie, Scott, Ben and Matthew. Who would have guessed they had moves like that! Jago thoroughly enjoyed the bin bag cape and there was a scary Malificent from Leah J. All in all lots of fun had.

 

A quick game of football  was had....the ball is now in the river! We shall retrieve it tomorrow and it was back to the rooms for showers and bedtime. It is amazing how much mess the children can make when they haven't been in their rooms for very long. If we come back with a bin bag of clothing don't be surprised. 

 

All exhausted and sleeping now. Night all smiley

 

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Photos on the coach

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Monday 29th June 2015

 

Good afternoon all, the drive down to Folkestone was very smooth and we made it in good time. One Simpsons movie down and possibly a nap from me we arrived at the Euro tunnel. After a toilet stop the children managed to have play in the playground before boarding the train. We have crossed over into France safelysmiley and now we're enjoying the drive to the Chateau. I can hear lots of camera's clicking, crisp munching and laughing. Everyone is in good spirits and enjoying the beautiful scenery. We will keep you all updatedlaugh