Year 9 student Eren from The Royal Liberty School in Romford reports back from a memorable French trip which linked to their history and science studies.
We set off at 7.30am for Dover to catch the ferry to Calais and the crossing of the Channel was smooth. We arrived in Calais around 2pm and drove to our accommodation in Normandy.
The place we stayed in was beautiful, surrounded by fields and old listed buildings; it was similar to a film set, there was even a paddock with horses! We had our evening meal and then played various sports outside which was great fun.
We departed early to visit Pointe du Hoc the following morning which was a breathtaking sight - the winds were high and the climb to the summit was interesting. To see the scale of the cliffs and remember what the soldiers had to endure during World War Two was astonishing.
We even got to see inside the bunkers that German soldiers had created. These were small yet incredibly intricate. We then moved on to Omaha beach which stretched for miles. The golden sand was smooth and the tide was out which allowed us to walk along it.
We then visited the American cemetery which was a magnificent, beautiful expanse of land filled with flowers to remember those that lost their lives in World War Two.
From here we moved on to Arromanches 360 cinema and museum, in which we watched a documentary that detailed the exact plan and collaboration of the British, American and Canadian troops during D-Day. Following an extremely busy day we got back to our accommodation around 7.30pm for a hearty dinner and more sports.
Day three was just as busy! Our first stop was the Pegasus Bridge Memorial where we got to see a range of artefacts and the bridge itself. From here we visited the Souterroscope des Ardoisières slate and mineral mine - this was brilliant!
The tour took us deep inside the mine where we saw the most amazing natural waterfall and other caves and caverns deep within the mine. We had lunch outside and drove on to Bayeux and visited the Chocolaterie du Drakkar where we learned how chocolate was made and then got to explore the gift shop.
Our next stop was the Bayeux tapestry, this was incredible to see and was accompanied by an audio guide that spoke through each part of the battle scene.
Our last day was just as busy, we left our accommodation and headed to Nausicaá, the largest aquarium in Europe. This hosted three huge suites including a penguin cave, dolphin show and a huge array of fish.
This really was a sight to behold and the expanse was enormous. After exploring the aquarium we drove to Calais to catch the ferry home. We were lucky enough to visit so many significant sights in France and everyone had a great time.
Teacher Adam Higgins said: “It was a trip of firsts for many of the students, from the first residential trip for some year seven students to the first time abroad for others.
“My personal highlight of the trip was seeing the students take part and enjoy these new experiences, from traveling deep underground at the former slate mine of Souterroscope to seeing the pure scale of the D-Day landings, seeing the real locations that they had previously only seen on TV and in film.
“They were also amazed at the pure scale of the Nausicaá aquarium, seeing giant Manta rays as well as a plethora of other marine life! I know that this has whet the appetite for students to travel even more in the future and hopefully, we can continue to provide these opportunities for them.”