September 20th 2018
Its just over a week since our residential trip to Normandie in the North of France.
The trip was a fantastic opportunity for our year 9 students to exercise their spoken French, whilst engaging with the history of the region where, during the Second World War, Allied forces began the liberation of France.
Over their three day visit, students stopped at various sites along Omaha Beach, one of the five strategic zones designated during Operation Overlord and the D-day landings. At the Omaha Beach cemetery we walked around the memorial gardens, where gravestones mark the sacrifice of almost 10,000 American troops, and visited the cemetery museum.
In the small town of Sainte-Mère-Église students learned about the dramatic events in the run-up to the D-day landings, as paratroopers were deployed inland. At the Airborne museum, students were able to see vehicles and equipment used during the war, including the WACO GG-4 glider, and Douglas C-47 Aircraft, which were used to transport paratroopers, and later foot soldiers, across the channel.
A further stop at Longues-sur-Mer allowed an insight into the extent of the coastal defenses which were in place at the time of the Allied invasion. Here our students were able to walk around the remains of an artillery battery consisting of four large navy guns and several smaller bunkers.
With the weather on our side, students were able to enjoy the beach close to the port of Ouistreham on arrival and again before departing. The extensive grounds of our accommodation (a youth hostel situated in a beautiful Chateau) offered plenty of space to fit in games of cricket, football and frisbee after dinner each evening.
A fantastic experience for all involved - feeling proud of our year 9's who were a credit to the school throughout.