Year 6 embraced a whole range of challenges, as they were given the opportunity to “go native” in Burgundy for a week of French immersion at Maison Claire Fontaine!

Their daily lessons with native teachers prepared them for each afternoon’s activities which included archery, kayaking, sculptures, mosaics, circus skills, cookery and fine dining in a local restaurant. They even interviewed tourists in the breathtaking Vezelay.

Learning phrases and vocabulary in the context of these activities boosted their enthusiasm, their retention and recall of language and, most importantly, their enjoyment and confidence!

The immersive nature of the week enabled even the least confident children to lose their inhibitions and join in with the spoken French. By the end of the trip all of the children were greeting their peers and the staff in French.

Highlights included children buying their own lunch from the local market, conversing with stallholders and then presenting their meals to the rest of us in almost flawless French. Many children also sampled ‘les escargots’ and were surprised to discover they enjoyed it! There was a moment of peaceful reflection in the Basilica at Vezelay, where the Year 6s imagined the stonemason who had carved his initial into the flagstone over 900 years ago.

Language development aside, the week in Burgundy gave the pupils the opportunity to ‘fledge’. They were able to forge new friendships, strengthen existing ones, and grow in independence and self-belief, whilst representing school and their families beautifully.

This was without a doubt a week that they will always remember, preparing them perfectly to reflect on the end of their time at the Prep School.

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