La Belle France!
We are delighted to report that the Archer Academy’s first trips abroad have been a huge success. On Friday 17th April and Friday 24th April, Year 8 students had a fantastic time visiting Boulogne-sur-Mer on the north coast of France, in the Pas-de-Calais region.Not only were students able to explore the town itself, they also visited the impressive Nausicaa Sea Life Centre and the wonderfully rural Montcavrel GoatFarm.
The morning was spent in Boulogne’s haute ville, completing the team scavenger hunt. This included simple observation tasks like spotting a French post box as well as more challenging tasks like ordering a croissant in the boulangerie – en français bien sur! Teachers were very impressed by students’ spoken French and everyone enjoyed trying the croissant, pain aux raisins or pain au chocolat.
After lunch and a spot of Frisbee in the park, we headed to Nausicaa to learn about some sea life and arrived in time for the shark feeding. We were all amazed by the size of the tanks and the huge under-water glass wall which meant we had a close up view of the sharks devouring an octopus. We saw a huge range of fish and coral in this tank and some students were convinced we were in ‘Finding Nemo’! Groups then explored the aquarium together, enjoying the surprisingly agile sea lions and the breathtakingly pungent penguin area as well as the stingray tank where students were able to feel the odd texture of these sea creatures.
We then wound our way through the French countryside, down to Montcavrel to visit the Fond des Communes dairy farm. We were welcomed to the farm by Eliane who explained to all 60 or so Archer students all about the farm. The visit was entirely in French and students did exceptionally well to participate in the translation as we went through. Eliane then took a group into the farmhouse and explained all about the process of making goats’ cheese. Some parts were advanced (did you know horse milk is low in cholesterol?) but everyone understood, “Le lait – liquide; le fromage – solide; regardez la transformation!” Students were then able to try the cheese, which received mixed reactions! The other group were in the barn with Louis, Eliane’s husband, who told us some facts about goats – did you know they don’t have a bottom row of teeth but they do have 3 stomachs?! We were then able to swap over so no one missed out.
After this we had a chance to hold the animals, including on the second visit a baby goat who was less than a day old – il était adorable! There were also some rabbits that students were able to pet while others dashed off into the farmhouse to spenda few euros on cheese to take home. The Archer students did themselves very proud indeed during this dayof discovery in France and I look forward to our next journey abroad together.