On Friday 7 February 2014, the Modern Foreign Languages Department arranged a day trip for Paris for thirty Year 11 students taking GCSE French. Here is Ms Westwood’s account of the trip.
We first went to the Montmartre quarter, which was a short walk from where we arrived (the Gare du Nord). We walked up about 260 steps to the SacrÃ© Coeur de Paris and took lots of lovely photos of the stunning views, including the first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. The students then had about forty minutes free time to explore, buy souvenirs and practise their French.
Quite a few bought croissants and, indeed, communicated correctly in French with the salesmen. A few students also had cartoon portraits done, and one managed to get this for free as he attracted a lot of attention to the artist from passers-by! From there we took the tube to the Trocadero, where we had a great close-up view of the Eiffel Tower from across the river. A few students commented that they were taken aback and had no idea how big it really was. For many, this was the highlight of the day.
From there we took another trip on the Metro to the Tuileries gardens and the Louvre, which provided another memorable photo opportunity. From here we walked along the river bank (including passing the Pont des Arts loaded with padlocks) until we reached the Centre Pompidou, where students were given more free time to practise their conversational skills.
Following this, we walked to the Marais quarter where students were given the choice between a falafel and a crÃ¨pe for dinner. These were ordered by students in French, and the owner of the crÃ¨pe stand was very friendly and chatty. The students greatly enjoyed this opportunity.
Finally, it was time to head back to the Gare du Nord, where the final highlight was in store. Here, students bumped into football legend Robert Pires and several managed to get autographs and photos. For many, this was their first time in Paris, and it was great to see them so keen to practise their French with native speakers!