Year 8 Paris Trip
A group of Year 8s voyaged to France on Monday 10th July to Friday 14th July for an exciting itinerary of sightseeing in Paris and the local area whilst absorbing the French culture and language.
The trip began with an early start from school on Monday when over 150 students and staff set off on coaches to Dover to catch the ferry to Calais. The trip was led by Head of Modern Foreign Languages, Madame Smales, who was accompanied by a host of teaching staff including Mr Toop, Miss Djelladj, Miss Patel, Miss Baker, Mr Deacon, Mr Collinson, Mrs C Scott, Mrs Cudlip, Mr Gunn, Mr Pizzey, Mr Usherwood, Mrs Curt, Mrs Gates and Mr Tingle. After a few hours’ drive, the group arrived at their hotel for the week, The Grand Magic Hotel, situated outside the city near Euro Disney.
After enjoying a traditional French breakfast of fresh crêpes, croissants and a whole lot more the group headed into the city centre on Tuesday for their first day of sightseeing. They first enjoyed a trip on the Bateaux Mouches on the River Seine to take in the famous historic sights and the Parisian culture. The group then walked across to the Eiffel Tower. It was a glorious day with clear blue skies, but the temperature was hot! It was then time to ascend the iconic Eiffel Tower and the group climbed to the summit, taking in the breathtaking views over the city. It couldn’t have been a better vista on such a clear day, although it took a lot of courage and commitment given the soaring temperatures. Bravo tout le monde - we are very proud of your achievement!
On Wednesday, the group travelled to the historic Palace of Versailles, approximately 50km from Paris city centre. The stunning palace’s origins date back to the seventeenth century when it began as a hunting lodge, then a seat of power and, from the nineteenth century onwards, a museum of the history of France. The Palace is a listed World Heritage site, and a succession of kings embellished the palace until the French Revolution. Today, the palace contains 2,300 rooms spread over 63,000m2 on a huge 800-hectare site of parkland – home to beautifully manicured gardens to match the grandeur of the opulent palace. The students had an amazing time and were so patient when we got stuck in a traffic jam on our way back. They were tired but so excited about the final activity the following day.
Thursday took in an altogether different aspect of Paris with a trip to Euro Disney. Seeing the iconic turrets of the fairytale Sleeping Beauty Caste and epitome of dreams as students strolled down Main Street USA, inspired by the childhood home of Walt Disney, started the students’ fairy tale that day. Meeting Mickey, Minnie and the host of Disney characters on the legendary star-studded parade was a highlight for most as the characters danced and sang to some of Disney’s toe-tapping classics. Students got to experience the five enchanted lands in the park packed full of rides, attractions and encounters, including Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the big thrills of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril and Big Thunder Mountain.
Finally, it was sadly time to return to England early on Friday morning. The coach journey was certainly more sedate than on the way with the students exhausted yet exhilarated after their varied and action-packed itinerary where culture met with fantasy and dreams!
I had a great time in Paris and have learnt lots of new things and discovered new sights in a different country. The hotel was my favourite part, and it was nice coming back to it to relax and do activities after a full day of trips. I loved the food too and trying new foods that I have never tried before. Disneyland was a real highlight because I got to see all my favourite childhood characters. I would love to return one day and thank you to Madame Smales and the other teachers for the opportunity.
Zainab O, Year 8 Student