1. Our Ethos
We believe that school French trips are not only about visiting France and experiencing its rich culture, but most importantly about giving young people the chance to get inside that culture by making friends with French people of their own age. With this in mind, our tailor-made French Immersion Trip to Le Touquet in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region is a perfect combination of cultural, linguistic and inspiring excursions and activities which take place with a group of enthusiastic French students.
2. Why run a school French trip?
A well run and enjoyable school trip is often the most significant memory that a student takes with them from their time at school. It is often a first time experience of being away from home and away from parents. Students develop a vast range of skills beyond those of linguistic and cultural knowledge. They learn to be more responsible, organised and communicative while learning to be a respected member of a team and helping others to work well in that team. They develop a curious and respectful nature about the world around them and become inspired to learn and be more. Our school trips are for students aged 12 – 18 and we would suggest that the optimum age for the Immersion Trip would be Years 9 and 10. The trip often encourages students to choose French at GCSE and helps Year 10 students to see the point of their Key Stage 4 studies. The interaction with the Spanish students also helps their confidence in preparation for Oral Assessments. Exciting school trips are also viewed very favourably by parents when deciding which school to send their child to and also by OFSTED, ‘Such hands-on activities led to improved outcomes for pupils and students, including better achievement, standards, motivation, personal development and behaviour.’ From an OFSTED report entitled ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’ 2008.
3. Location – Le Touquet – ideal location for school groups
Le Touquet –Paris-Plage (commonly referred to as Le Touquet) is situated in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France only one hour from Calais where the ferry and Channel Tunnel ports are and is a pretty seaside town which is large enough to be interesting yet still small enough to feel at home there very quickly. There are many interesting and historical attractions in and around Le Touquet such as La Coupole, World War 2 Battle grounds and cemeteries, Boulogne Aquarium and the Battleground of Agincourt. Le Touquet is also only 30 minutes drive from Berck where many relaxing forms of entertainment can be found such as bowling and a comprehensive swimming complex.
4. Interaction with French teenagers – including the day in the school
There are numerous schools in and around Le Touquet that are interested in receiving a British school group. On every school trip, the group would usually spend a whole day in the French school working with a group of French students of a similar age. The usual format is a selection of bilingual getting to know you games followed by bilingual project work where students work in mixed groups and then have to present their findings to the rest of the group. The French students also participate in a lot of the other activities including the Treasure Trail, Quiz night, Bowling and final evening Disco. Even within a fairly short space of time, students get to know each other well and create friendships that last far longer than the trip itself. Nothing is more motivating when learning a language than wanting to be able to talk to your peers.
5. Excursions Programme
Below is a copy of an example programme. We have a detailed knowledge of Le Touquet and the surrounding area so if you would like to change one of the activities for something else, please ask and we will let you know of all the other possibilities.
Most school groups prefer to travel by coach and Channel Tunnel but it is possible to go by ferry or to fly if you are coming from further North in England. As your Immersion Trip is all inclusive, your group will be collected from your school (or other preferred pick up point) and taken by coach to the Channel Tunnel. Your coach driver will stay with you for the duration of the trip. All coaches are of a high standard, have seatbelts and are operated by County Council Approved companies. There is no official limit to luggage size but it would be sensible to limit it to 20kgs per person to allow enough space for everything in the coach hold.
The group stays together in a small hotel within walking distance of the centre of Le Touquet. Students have rooms of either 3, 4 or 5 beds and teachers usually share a a twin room (single rooms are available for a small supplement). The rooms are very comfortable and all have their own en suite bathroom. The staff at the hotel are very welcoming and there is a well sized dining space that can be used for diaries and project work. All meals are provided and the main evening meal is 3 courses.
All the activities have been carefully planned so that students get the most possible cultural and linguistic benefit from them. A lot is included within a relatively short space of time; students visit a ‘boulangerie’ and learn to make croissants and pains au chocolat, watch a chocolate making demonstration at a nearby chocolate factory as well as visits to ‘Nausicaa’ one of the largest aquariums in Europe, and a morning at La Coupole, a second world war bunker with a fascinating museum explaining the dark side of the war. We suggest an activity every morning, afternoon and evening so that there is no time to get bored! Students also have some time to write a diary in French about their trip. The bilingual activities with the French students are carefully designed to ensure that all students have to use their linguistic skills – small groups are strategically organised and most activities involve a competitive element, encouraging teams to work together. This really is the best way to learn a language – by having fun with French teenagers!
Don’t just take our word for how great the Immersion Trip is! Below are some comments from students who recently took part in a French Immersion Trip;
‘The snail farm was tasty, fun and interesting.’
‘I loved seeing the animals at the Sea Life Centre.’
‘The disco with the French students was absolutely incredible, loved every second.’
‘The best thing about the trip was meeting the French students as it challenged my French skills.’
‘The trip helped with my French loads and I made new friends.’
‘The best thing about the trip was the day with the family as I really got to know them better and I have made an amazing new friend.’
‘The best thing about the trip was the day with my pen pal because I experienced lots of French things.’
‘The disco was so much fun especially with the pen pals!’
‘The quiz was great as we bonded well with our French friends.’
10. Administration – letters, medical forms, code of conduct, kit list, insurance (please see separate documents)
As experienced teachers, we know that even the keenest of teachers can get somewhat overwhelmed with how much there is to do to organise a successful school trip, which is why we will provide everything for you; letters to parents, medical forms, code of conduct, kit list and risk assessments. All you will need to do is to get approval from your Head Teacher, School Governors and Local Council. You would also need to promote the trip in school, organise the list of students and collect the medical forms from students and staff. We work on a ratio of one free teacher place per 10 students. Most schools usually have insurance for their students when taking part in an overseas visit, but we can also advise with this if necessary. Also, for your peace of mind, we are ATOL protected.
11. Prices and what it includes (absolutely everything!)
Your students and teachers do not need to pay for anything apart from maybe some souvenirs or the occasional ice cream! We have ensured that everything has been included to save you the worry of additional budgeting. We even provide an end of trip certificate. We want you to enjoy this trip as much as your students, so let us do the hard work for you!
And finally, we are passionate about providing affordable French school trips with a difference. We have seen first-hand how exciting and motivating it is for students to mix with French teenagers of the same age and we would love to look after your school trip to Le Touquet-Paris-Plage in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais.
For more information please contact Suzie Comben
Tel: 07974 563137