Thursday at Ecole du lac

Just a short blog post before our final dinner here at the centre.

It has been a great day at Ecole du lac, with a superb selection of activities and as always great hospitality.

The day started with some Coherance Cardiaque to clear our minds, then we split into 3 groups to take part in a rotation of 3 ‘ateliers’. These were themed around Yoga, a visual arts project and cooperative games.

During the day, the children also had lunch in school with their pen pals.

After the workshops, everyone took part in a Kahoot quiz in Anglo-French teams. The questions were wide ranging between maths and knowledge of each other’s countries.

At the end of the afternoon, everyone enjoyed snack time with a range of local produce, as is often the case with this, it’s surprising what some children find that they like (no escargot this year though!).

Also during the morning we were joined by a news team from France 3 television, who interviewed some of the adults and children about our joint project and what they have been doing together.

The pictures below are a bit of a random selection, but hopefully they convey some of the spirit of the day. See Twitter for more.

We’ll be off from the Centre quite early tomorrow morning, so look out for Twitter updates as we progress.


Futuroscope – between the showers

It’s always hard to sum up Futuroscope, especially as we’re inside on experiences a good part of the time and photos cannot easily be taken.

However, being inside was a benefit this year as the morning was marked by heavy rain showers and a thunderstorm – see the Twitter feed for more on this and pictures of the activities.

Below a few more pictures. As you can see, when the sun came out later in the afternoon it looked lovely. One plus of weekday in term time and bad weather, no queues for anything!

Tuesday – a game of two halves – and then another bit

We expected that Tuesday would be split down the middle, with a visit to Ecole du lac in the morning and to Poitiers in the afternoon, but the weather also played a part.

We woke to heavy rain, which had eased a little as we walked to the school, but those rain macs WERE needed.

The welcome was as warm as ever from the school, with a selection of croissants, pain au raisin, pain au chocolat and chausson.

The Locals were friendly!

The children re-made acquaintances with their pen pals, then there was a 3 minute session of coherence cardiaque to relax and focus ourselves. After that we split into 2 groups, one to explore the school, the other to learn some songs together. Then the roles were reversed.

We returned to the centre for lunch, expecting the worst for the weather in the afternoon as the forecast was not encouraging. However, as we arrived in Poitiers it brightened up and stayed good for the rest of the afternoon.

We navigated our way to the famous macaron and chocolate shop, where purchases were made by some children. Then on to the square in front of the Hotel de Ville (town hall).

There we installed ourselves in seats outside a cafe and ordered various soft drinks from a range of flavours – the short list was, fraise, menthe, peche and citron. The children asked for their drinks in French.

On our return we paid a visit to a fine medieval church, Notre-Dame La Grande, before boarding the coach for the third half of our day, the visit to the Auchan hypermarket.

Here the children were allowed to buy what they liked, with certain caveats. It was a useful lesson in budgeting for some and required some patience from the checkout staff, but everyone got through unscathed. You may even see some of the purchases when they get home!

This evening, dinner was a very nice pasta meal, with omelette as an alternative where appropriate.

All in all, a long and demanding day, so they are having a bit of down time and me time this evening.

We’re at Futuroscope tomorrow, but it’s a slightly later start than today. Weather forecast for tomorrow a mixed, but we’re indoors a lot of the time and based on today’s experience we might get lucky!


Monday in La Rochelle

This was our third visit to La Rochelle and it never disappoints.

The sun was out all day, with a light breeze. Although it was a Bank Holiday in France, it wasn’t too busy, with just bit of delay on the road on our return.

The Aquarium was recommendable as ever (and the tourist office didn’t pay us to say that). After a good look round we moved to a grassy area near to the entrance to the fortified port for lunch.

Then round the harbour to Ernest le Glacier, where the children ordered their ice-creams – more pictures to follow.

A quick stroll round the battlements to walk  off about 5% of the calories, then a visit to a shop for post cards and little treats. Finally we had a short walk around the back streets of this historic town, which is all pedestrianised, before returning to the coach and the centre.

Back at base there was time for a bit of a chill before dinner, then journal writing before getting ready for bed and room inspection.

You will hear more of this from the children I’m sure, but suffice to say, owing the the innovative and idiosyncratic way that the points are awarded, positions can vary across the week.

On Monday night the children had answer previously posed questions about the journey down and impress the judges with both tidiness and entertaining topic touches.

The video below will give you a flavour, but should not be regarded as definitive in any way!

Sunday’s Journey

Yes it was a bleary, early morning start, but we were at St Pancras by 8.45 and checked and ready to board the train by about 9.20.

As last year, our journey was accompanied by many small Disney characters because the train was continuing direct to Disneyland, but we resisted the temptation and got off at Lille for pic-nic lunch and then to the TGV heading ultimately to Bordeaux.

The journey throughout was good and the children, likewise (maybe the two things are connected?), even SNCF didn’t manage to throw in a curve ball this year, just 5 minutes late at Poitiers.

Many of our friends were at the centre to make us welcome, and after a quick talk from Mr Drury it was in for a meal.

The children entered the dining hall to applause from a group of French adults from a walking club, who are staying here tonight (I hope it doesn’t go to their heads) but the centre is going to be pretty quiet for the rest of the week, which will give us a bit more flexibility.

An early start is in prospect for La Rochelle tomorrow, but I can already hear the call of ‘deux boules de glace’ at Ernest Le Glacier.

Here’s a few pictures from today that didn’t make it onto Twitter.


It’s nearly time to go!

Lots of packing is going on as everyone gets ready for the departure.

Don’t forget that we need to be ready to go on Sunday morning at 6.30. The school gates will be open at 6.15.

It’s an early start, but it means we can get earlier connections all the way down the line, so we should be at the centre in St Cyr in time for an evening meal at a comfortable time, then get a good night’s sleep.

The weather outlook for the week is not as hot as previous years, highs around 18-21C, comfortable for the activities, but with showers likely on several days, so lightweight waterproofs and suitable footwear will be essential.

Instant updates on progress and activities will be on the school Twitter: @WPrimary

See you on Sunday!