From Birkdale to Boulogne
On Sunday 21 May the P4 trip departed for their base at Chateau Ebblingham. Situated just a short distance from the town of St. Omar, the Chateau is an ideal base for exploring the region and experiencing the history, culture and language of France. As well as for having great fun!
The first day saw the pupils and staff travel to the Channel Tunnel and 45 minutes further on from Calais to the Chateau. The boys were given all sorts of observation challenges on the journey. After unpacking, the pupils took part in a ‘Mini-Olympics’ tournament; filled with classics such as the sack race and tug-of-war.
On day two we travelled to the Sea-life centre in Boulogne. The boys were able to see a massive number of interesting creatures and improve their understanding of how different sea habitats need mankind’s protection.
Day three was a special opportunity to test out newly acquired language skills. The boys were set the challenge of buying additional local items for their lunch. Armed with Euros (and a crib sheet for the hesitant), pupils sought out local producers to find something interesting to eat.
Day four was a reflective and thoughtful occasion with a visit to a local War Cemetery. Mr. Oakey led some discussion before giving the boys a poppy each to lay on a grave of their choice. Boys looked for familiar names or regiments, and were surprised at just how many countries and cultures were represented.
The final day saw pupils and staff leave the Chateau and journey back to Sheffield, but not before a stopover at the chocolate factory. The boys had a go at making their own chocolate designs before stocking up on essential chocolate products. After loading the coach with enough chocolate to keep an army of Oompa Loompas busy for a year, we made our way home via ‘Le Shuttle’.
The pupils behaved brilliantly throughout the trip. Many thanks to Mr Oakey Snr, Mrs Oakey, Mr Oakey Jnr, Mr Woon, James - our magnificent Centre guide - and Mr Leighton.