French Residential Trip to Chateau du Broutel – 28th/30th November

Twenty pupils from Years 4 and 5 at Avon House prep school had the opportunity of going to the Chateau du Broutel in France for three days. For many, it was their first residential trip away from home and in a foreign country. This brave little band was accompanied by Mrs Jones, Mr Hickman and Mrs Barry.

From the very start, the trip went smoothly. Everyone behaved themselves on the coach, including the staff, and no-one was sick on the ferry – thank goodness!

Our first stop was the chocolate factory, where the children not only discovered how chocolate is made, but how jewellery is made from coco flower bulbs. Needless to say, everyone was tempted by all the lovely sweets and the children were able to taste the delicious chocolates.

On arrival at the beautiful 18th century Chateau, the children were greeted by a friendly team of instructors who kept them occupied, after their meal, with the Chateau Olympics. Great fun was had by all, even though they were somewhat wet and muddy by the end of it! Bed swiftly followed with a reasonably early start the next day. The children were treated to a typical French breakfast of croissants and pains au chocolat, followed by a trip to the nearby town of Rue. This incorporated the history of the Chateau and the town, a quiz where the children had to remember the French names of the shops they had seen and culminated in a visit to one of the local cafes for hot chocolate as it was getting rather cold. Each child ordered their drink in French, and worked out how much to pay.

After lunch at the Chateau, it was time to go to the Christmas market in Amiens. It is the biggest market in northern France and the children loved it! They bought lots of lovely things for their families and several of the vendors complimented the children on their ability and willingness to communicate in French. They also had the opportunity of going on Amiens’ equivalent of the London Eye and on a couple of merry-go-rounds.

The return home was marked by a visit to the Nausicaa sea life centre, which was quite an experience, but then, regrettably, it was time to catch the ferry. Thankfully, it was an uneventful channel crossing and journey back to school with Nigel, our friendly and very capable coach driver.

This trip was a huge success. The Chateau, set in beautiful grounds, is amazing with great accommodation and the food was excellent. The children ate everything that was put in front of them, and when offered frogs legs and snails on their last night, they all gave them a try!

This trip gave the children a taster of French culture and an opportunity to speak French. The children were a pleasure to be with and a real credit to Avon House school.

Mrs Jones Head of French/Year 4 Class Teacher