Year 6 visit to France – October 2014

Watch out her for our blog and pictures of Buckden’s first residential trip to Normandy, France. We are setting off at 6.30am on Monday 20th October 2014 and we hope to share lots of our news from France here.



Buckden’s first residential trip to Normandy, France. We are setting off at 6.30am on Monday 20th October 2014 and we hope to share lots of our news from France here.

Monday: We have had a great journey down and everyone is well. We stopped at the chocolate factory and learnt all about how chocolate is made, the smell was incredible. We are know experts in the art of French chocolate eating, it was delicious.  Once we got to the Chateau and sorted out our rooms we went to play circus skills on the field, there were some fantastic skills displayed. We then went into dinner which was a great treat and everyone enjoyed the experience. After dinner we went to do some team skills and although the challenge was high, all teams achieved. We are now in our pjs and getting ourselves ready for bed, ready for an early start going to visit the WW1 battlefields.

Tuesday: we have had rain, wind and sun today. We started by visiting the WW1 museum and learnt about the conditions that the soliders lived in, it was very interesting and gave us a good understanding of the enormity of what happened. We then went to visit a cemetery of the Devonshire regiment who lost so many men during a battle on July 1st 1916. Then we went to see a crater in Lochnagar that was so enormous, that the blast was heard in London. We also went to Thiepval where 72,000 whose bodies were never recovered are commemorated by a huge monument with each and every name listed. We are now off to play some games before tea and then we have Scrapheap Challenge.



Wednesday: It has been a beautiful day today. We set off early to travel to Rouen, which is the capital of Normandy. Once there we had a tour of the Notre Dame Cathedral (inside and out) before visiting the old city and learning about evolution of the architecture from the 11th century to present day. We visited a church dedicated to Joan of Arch and even saw a hidden mummified cat in the bone yard that was there for good luck.  We then had a picnic lunch in the sunshine before embarking on a shopping trip.  Some of us sampled crepes, macaroons, and bought huge amounts of sweets, some of these treats may find their way home to England, if you are lucky! We came back and visited the Cider farm where we learnt about pollination, grafting to keep pure varieties of cider apple, how to harvest,  pruning, and the process of pressing. We then went on to find out about the healing properties of cider vinegar  and how to make brandy from cider, which now goes through a process of evaporation and condensation and is matured in oak barrels for several years. We will soon be off for our dinner and then on to archery. It has been another fun filled day.

Thursday: Today we went to Dieppe where we had an opportunity to look for similarities and difference between France and Britain and we searched for signs and logos used and found out what shops are called in French, such as the butchers or the bookshop. We then visited the beach where we saw where the first attempt in WW2 by the British to take back  Dieppe in 1942, which was unsuccessful but a lot of lessons were learnt and this helped make the D-day landings of 1944 much more successful and Dieppe was successfully taken back. We then ate our lunch on the beach before leaving to visit a cheese farm. We met the owner of the farm who told us all about the process of chees making in completely in French, it was very interesting and we got to taste some excellent cheese. Some of us purchased some to bring home.  We then went to visit the cows and some 4 day old calves who were really gorgeous. We then went back to do some fencing before dinner and some climbing after, another fun filled day.

Friday: We packed up and cleared our rooms before breakfast and then said our goodbyes to the staff at Kingswood apart from Liam and Ryan who came with us to Eu Market. Lots of us wished we had budgeted our money as there were lots of bargains to be had. Lots of purchases were made and some even tried to barter with the market traders!  We then set off for the tunnel and to make the journey home. All went well until we got to the M25 and Ian our driver was a star and we attempted several different routes as there were 12 mile tailbacks of solid non-moving traffic at the tunnel, due to an accident on the north side of the tunnel. We made an additional stop for  dinner and to allow our driver  to take his break and arrived home later than expected to be greeted by lots of happy parents.

We had a fantastic time and Mrs Loakes, Mrs Heather and Mrs Smith were very proud of us, as we were a pleasure to take away and represented the school admirably.




  1. It sounds like you are having a wonderful time in France. We would love you to bring us some chocolate back to try, we can’t wait to read about what you did the rest of the week too, we hope you are doing even more cool things. We hope you have asafe journey home and that you tell us all about it.
    From Foxes

  2. What a fantastic trip they have had. Millie went to bed talking about it and has woken up still talking about it. Thank you so much for taking such good care of them all – would highly recommend it for next years year 6. Apart from all the wonderful things they have learnt and done it has been great for them to be that little bit more independent before they move on to secondary school.

  3. To the foxes, if you would like to taste the chocolate make sure you go next year because it was so lovely it is unlikely any will find its way back to school!
    To Millie and family, we are glad you had such a great time. It really was a lot of fun and we all learnt lots and lots. We can’t wait to see all the pictures.

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