Opal Coast Trip 2016

On Tuesday 30 February Mr Mandin, along with 17 students and fellow members of staff Miss McGuiggan and Mrs Grenfell had a very early start.  Leaving at 6:30am they  made their way to Folkestone to catch Le Shuttle to Calais and by mid-afternoon they had arrived at their hotel tucked away in a pine grove some 45 minutes from Calais.

They spent the rest of the day settling in and exploring the area finding a Parcours Sportif (a kind of outdoor assault course), giving everyone the perfect opportunity to get rid of the spare energy from being confined to the coach for most of the day. 


Day 2 started early with a traditional French breakfast of croissants and hot chocolate before a visit to the local Boulangerie, where the baker Monsieur Maillard, despite being awake since 11pm the previous night happily explained the secrets of his trade and gave everyone the opportunity to have a go at making their own croissants and pain au chocolats which everyone enjoyed.  Later they travelled to Boulogne to visit the Basilique Notre Dame, did some shopping and enjoyed a picnic lunch.  The day ended with a visit to the Nausicaa National Sealife Centre where they discovered hundreds of species of fish and other marine life… they even found Nemo!


On the third day the group took a trip to Paris where they began their visit at France’s national stadium, Stade de France.  The students enjoyed a tour of the stadium including a 300 step climb to the top for a breath-taking view.  During the tour the students learnt how the national stadium is used for many different sporting activities including football, rugby, athletics and motor sports as well as musical events and even a ski stadium. They also got to visit the players’ changing rooms and to walk onto the pitch.

The rest of the day was spent touring Paris and visiting some famous places including the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre,ending the day with some shopping in the in the mall below the Louvre Museum.  After such busy full on days, the evenings were spent relaxing, playing games of pool and baby foot (French equivalent of Table Football), chatting and watching films.

The return trip the following day went very smoothly, with the trip arriving over an hour earlier than expected.  Everyone had a great time as summarised by some of the many comments from the students who went:

 Trip Leader and Curriculum Area Leader of Languages, Mr Mandin commented “I really enjoyed our time in France.  It was the first time I have taken some of our younger students for a residential trip in Northern France and we will definitely do it again.  Our students behaved impeccably throughout the week and were a real pleasure to be around.The hotel staff commented on how well behaved our students were in the restaurant and the lobby where they played pool and babyfoot in their free time. I was incredibly proud of them as they all tried to speak French to the hotel staff. 

He continued to say “The highlights for me were going to a bakery and making our own croissant and visiting the Stade De France in Paris.  I cannot wait to organise this again next year!  My special thanks go to Miss McGuiggan and Mrs Grenfell who helped me all week making this a fantastic trip for all.”

Year 8 student Dylan Hollis summed up how much everyone enjoyed the trip saying “J’ai adore the trip!” and feedback from the other students was overwhelmingly positive, highlighting some of the amazing experiences they will take with them.

Please visit the Blog to find out more about the day to day adventures on the trip or to see more pictures from the trip please visit our Gallery