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The Removians French Adventure!

Posted on 11 September 2017 by Miss Amy Hinds, Communications Officer

Each year, just a week after starting their Queen’s Gate lives, our new Year 7 (Remove) intake are whisked away to Normandy for a week of fun-filled adventures. This year Head of French, Madame Collombon, and Teacher of French, Mademoiselle Leluan, tell us all about their trip day by day! Remember to keep coming back for updates!

Saturday – We have arrived!

After a pleasant journey and night on the Ferry, we arrived in Saint Malo and were on the road to the Chateau at 8:30am. The girls were in good spirits and did not even sleep on the bus! The sun was shining and we were able to see the Mont Saint Michel and the green fields of beautiful Normandy.

On arrival at the Chateau, the girls were greeted with a hot chocolate and rays of sunshine. They discovered bunnies, chickens and peacock and they were over the moon!  The girls were then ready for a tour of the property and to settle in their dorms. Lunch was served and it was glorious! Homemade bread with potato mash and grilled ham with different options for pupils for requirements. After lunch, girls changed in their outfits for the amazing activities planned for the afternoon.

Sunday – Mr Gallagher’s Group

Today, we are focusing on the group of Mr Gallagher. Each group will be featured throughout our stay.

Mr Gallagher’s group did the building raft workshop with two instructors, Sylvain and Mano, and of course Mr Gallagher! The girls had to wear wet suits, helmets and life jackets, and were very excited. They were split in two teams and started making a raft fit to float on the Chateau’s pond. They learnt how to tie planks of wood together with barrels, the activity favoured team-building and cooperation. They all took part and bonded, helping and supporting each other. Once the rafts were ready, we launched the rafts with the girls on them, they were accompanied by the instructors. The two teams paddled together to see how far they could go, chanting and playing pirates. Luckily, no one fell in but we all jumped in together afterwards, striking a pose for Madame Collombon.

Monday

Our first day with a full programme of morning and afternoon activities! All five groups were all engaged in exciting activities! Some made bread, some did archery and fencing, and others built sturdy rafts and floated them on the lake. The weather is ‘variable’ as we would say of London with heavy showers and sunny spells. What a muddy day! The girls were brilliant and kept good spirits despite being stuck in the mud on the way to their activities. Several animateurs praised our girls for being so good-mannered and enthusiastic. Today we were lucky enough to be served ‘’eclairs a la vanille’, one of the best French desserts ever invented! Oh la la! The evening was a feast of happy French songs and grilled marshmallows around the camp fire. Then all back to our dorms and lights out at 9.30pm. Tomorrow we are all horse-riding by the Mont Saint Michel bay as well as visiting the Christian Dior’s museum. Miss Spencer’s group will then be under the spotlight so watch this space!

Today we are focusing on Mrs Robertson-Glasgow’s group. They had a fabulous morning at archery. We certainly have some talented budding archers. Ines Mathais shared some of her top tips and everyone did a smashing job at hitting the targets, without hitting any of the teachers and animateurs. In the afternoon, the group became the Queen’s Gate Musketeers. Gabriella Murphy showed excellent reactions and Rada, Maya, Zoe and Clara Chadwick had fiercely fought combats. The session ended with a mini tournament culminating in a closely contested final between Claudia and Carolina Lockhart with Claudia winning by one point. Karla and Fiammetta were excellent in the French lessons helping us all to write our postcards. Lara was fabulous with the animals at the mini-farm sharing her excellent knowledge about the hens, rabbits and pigs and Susannah was our star animal handler.

Tuesday

Our programme today was a mixture of strolling in beautiful Granville, cultural visit of the pretty Christian Dior museum that used to be his family house and horse-riding in stunning countryside. We were also chased by giant waves on the sea promenade!

Horse-riding by the Mont Saint Michel Bay was the highlight of our day all the more as luckily the sun was shining! All the girls enjoyed riding the horses in the beautiful Bay of Mont Sgt Michel after having groomed them and plaited them.

Here is an account of the day written by Miss Spencer describing the activities for her group:

An exciting day visiting Granville and horse riding! We started the day by visiting the small and beautiful town of Granville where we honed our French skills shopping. Lara A, Justine and Lalin were excellent conversing with the shopkeepers and buying postcards. Then it was off to the Christian Dior museum housed in his childhood home, via the sea wall. India, Melina and Rayya, while marvelling at the wonderful waves, were drenched when some giant waves breached the wall, luckily we were wearing our waterproofs! At the museum we were treated to seeing up close some of Christian Dior’s beautiful gowns. After our picnic it was time to work with the horses. Lara Lockhart performed amazing feats in mane styling while Kitty, Maria and Rose overcame their initial nerves to enjoy an excellent ride to the Bay of the Mont Saint Michael. Melinda looked a horse riding pro, Alara was a natural and there are definite signs that Eleanor could be the next horse whisperer. After dinner we went to play a variety of sports before retiring to bed excited about the coming day.

Miss Oppong’s group

The girls had a drenching good time with General Danny on the assault course while practicing their French. They warmed up with a hilarious army style call and response and a mini mud fight as they rebelled against the General’s commands.

Jameela, Vanessa and Sana became the General’s main victims as they were chased with several buckets of water. Harriet, Jimena and Victoria were able to shine in the fencing sessions after lunch as they went toe-to-toe in the ring.

The three Sofia’s in the group enjoyed their new identities as they were renamed Soso, Fifi and Oreo by Lilly the fencing instructor. Ines and Homare were great judges for the final showdown. First time fencer, Sofia Z fenced her way to the top of the leader board in her fencing debut.

Millie won the prestigious prize for best French themed costume dressed as a chef.

Nikita impressed us with her us with her Yorkshire accent. We will be treated to Nikita’s full talent tonight at the talent show.

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