Thursday: Futuroscope – A Game of Two Halves

Thursday morning dawned bright and sunny and we were at the gates of Futuroscope bang on time for opening.

Off immediately to “La Vienne Dynamique” a simulator ride that involves a man over-sleeping on a train and going to miss his wedding, but he jumps off the train and is helped by a woodland troll who sneezes a lolt, soaking the audience… You really had to be there!

Then on to another four rides before lunch.

After lunch, Etincelle – le malediction de l’opale noir (French superhereos), The Tornado Hunters, Arthur and the Minimoys and the famous (infamous) Danse avec les Robots. While we were inside for the latter, the heavens opened with a massive thunderstorm. We promised the children that could get wet in the water area, but this wasn’t quite the idea.

A bit of dodging the showers took us to another ride, then the central refreshment area, where we took the group photo for the trip and said our goodbye to our correspondents.

It’s been a packed and highly successful trip, which I’m sure the children will remember for years to come.

Many thanks to all the team at Ecole du Lac and at Ethic Etapes – Archipel Saint Cyr for going above and beyond with enthusiasm and support throughout the week.

It’s an early start on Friday morning – looking forward to seeing everyone at home!

Wednesday: La Rochelle

Wednesday’s visit to La Rochelle was made all the more enjoyable by the refreshing sea breeze.

Below, a selection of pictures from The Aquarium, The Big Wheel, Ernest le Glacier, The Stade Rochelais Rugby shop and our cafe stop.

Tuesday: At School

Baking, Litter Picking, Quizzes, Lunch and Music, all in a day at Ecole du lac.

After walking to school, our first task was to divide the pre-prepared dough for brioche into 50 gramme balls and knead them before setting aside to rise for later.

Then we set off for a litter picking walk around the village and it’s environs. Like Wanborough, St Cyr is on the side of a hill, so quite a bit of climbing up, before returning to school.

A picture for the local press:

Before lunch we took part in two Kahoot online bilingual quizzes, one about environmental issues and one maths and numeracy quiz.

Then it was lunch time in the canteen, with the French correspondents, then a good break.

The prepared brioche had been taken to the Le Four à Pain. This is an old bread oven in the village, which in past times would have been used by all the residents for baking. It was rediscovered when a farm was being re-developed for housing and a group of locals got together to resore it as a project.

It takes a long time to build up the heat in the oven, which is fired with wood, so it’s only used for special occasions, we were honored that they prepared it for our use.

The brioche were glazed with egg yolk, then put in a 500o oven for 30 minutes.

While the brioche were cooking, we returned to school to put together illustrated bilingual recipe instructions for the making them.

So where does the music come in? The class are performing a show at the end of term and gave us a preview of some of the songs and choreography.

Finally, time to try those brioche. We thought that we did a pretty good job!

Before leaving for the Centre, we gave our correspondents some smart bookmarks purchased by Wanborough School PTA. They were much appreciated.

Back to the Centre for a bit of down time after a packed day. Dinner this evening rumoured is to be fish and chips!

Tomorrow: La Rochelle!

A very busy two days

Sunday 11th: Our journey was uneventful as far as transport was concerned (how often can you say that?). We arrived at Poitiers on time, and arrived at the Centre in St Cyr just before 10pm local time.

Our break between trains in Paris was filled very well, with a coach ride past some of the sights: Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées, Place de la Concorde and of course The Eiffel Tower.

We opted to walk up to the second level of The Tower, as the queues were not too long. Our leg muscles definitely got a good work out, but it was worth it for the view. We were lucky with weather too. There were thunderstorms around Paris, but we were in the coach both times when the rain came down.

On the way to Poitiers, Mrs Taylor-Brant set the children the challenge of beating last year’s class record of 20 minutes silence on the train. They smashed it with 35 minutes – it could have been longer had the train not arrived at the station at this point. Amazing!

Monday morning was bright and clear, although some of us could have done without some very loud sheep outside the window giving us an alaaaaarm call at about 7am.

We got into the Centre’s routine for meals with a good breakfast, then walked to Ecole du Lac… for more breakfast! This was followed by two activities, the children working well with their penpals to loate different parts of the school and name them in French and English, then after break, they used bilingual sign boards made by the children on last summer’s visit, to locate environmentally friendly plants and other features in the school’s garden area.

After lunch at the Centre (4 courses), we rolled onto the bus for trip in the historic city of Poitiers, where we visited the thousand year old Eglise Notra-Dame-la Grande. Then we walked to the main square in front of the Hôtel de Ville to take a little refreshment. The children ordered (in French) their choice of Diablo (fizzy flavoured drink): fraise, pêche, framboise, abricot or menthe.

Final stop of the day: Auchan Hypermarket was visited, where purchases were made (no more details available). Important life skills on budgeting priorities were learned (at least that’s the claim we’ll make).

Back to the centre for a light (three course) meal, followed by a gentle stroll to the lake to chill out as much as the warm temperatures allowed and then back to rooms for lights out at 10pm.

Tuesday is all day at the school, with a full programme of activities planned: making of brioche is rumoured to be one.

This is a very demanding trip, particularly in such high temperatures, but so far the children have really excelled themselves with their enthusiasm and engagement. We’re looking forward to the rest of the week.

A Message from Eurostar


We hope you’re looking forward to your upcoming journey with us.

You may have seen that the weather forecast predicts high temperatures the day you are travelling.

Because your comfort is important to us, we encourage you to bring plenty of fluids. It’s fine to carry bottled drinks or cans, as long as they’re sealed during security checks. There are no 100ml restrictions when travelling with us.

Thanks for choosing Eurostar and have a great journey.

Here’s the latest from Meteo France:

Nearly Time to Go!

Depart Wanborough School at 06:40.

Please ensure you are at school at 6:30am to give us time to load the coach.

Please be considerate of our neighbours early on a Sunday morning!

The forecast for the weather is hot and mostly dry – possibly showers on Monday afternoon, so lightweight waterproofs would be useful. Otherwise, plenty of sun protector and lightweight layers, sun hats etc.

Here’s the latest forecast from Meteo France: