French Exchange - Surgères 2015
After school on Friday 20th March we left to go on our journey to Surgères in the West of France, accompanied by Mr Pietropaoli, Mr Chemin and Ms Roberts from our school. After a 7 hour 45 minute crossing from Portsmouth to Caen-Ouistreham we arrived in France and set off immediately after the coach was repaired! We spent the whole of Saturday bonding with our exchange students in activities like: bowling, sightseeing in La Rochelle and going to the beach.
After the weekend with our host families, both Northampton High School and Northampton School for Boys students went to Brouage where we encountered breath-taking sights of the stunning French landscape. In addition to this we went shopping in the village surrounded by an ancient fortified wall and numerous archer posts. After this we visited La Cotinière to play beach football with maybe too many people participating... needless to say NHS girls deployed advanced strategies and ultimately won the match. We were blessed with continuous sunshine throughout the day.
Tuesday felt a bit more like home… wet and grey! However the scheduled bike ride carried on as planned. Around 1km into the planned route (from one point of Ile de Ré to the other) everyone stopped for a hot chocolate in one of the many cafes surrounding a small dock. Eventually, after seeing the spectacular views of the sea and other scenery, many of us were thankful we could finally start to dry off from the rain pummelling us whilst we endured the cycle.
To see a web gallery of images from the trip Click Here
On Wednesday we finally had some respite from the bad weather so we attended our exchanges’ school to participate in a few lessons with French pupils. After this we went to the centre of Surgères to shop around this lovely old town. On Wednesdays the French pupils finish school at midday so we took advantage of this and had a picnic at the beach before going roller skating.
Thursday saw us travelling to La Rochelle where we had breakfast in a local café after which we explored the aquarium situated in the city centre where we saw sharks, sting rays, turtles and starfish. We completed a tour of the town before having some last minute shopping for souvenirs and gifts for our family.
As the week came to an end we set off on our voyage back to the UK at 5.30am after saying goodbye to our host families and thanking them for their amazing hospitality over the last week.
In conclusion, the week was really enjoyable for all students from both schools and for the teachers that supervised us whilst in France.
With special thanks to all the teachers that made this trip possible and the French exchange students and host families for their welcome and kindness.
Matthew Aldridge 9K