Year Six pupils from Danetree Primary in West Ewell did their bit for international relations recently when they went on the school’s annual residential trip to northern France.
A group of 45 children and teachers stayed at a chateau in the town of Rue and got their chance to test their language skills and their sense of adventure – both by taking part in outward bound activities and also sampling some of the more traditional French food such as snails.
As well as being full of fun activities, such as zip wires and fencing, the trip also had a serious tone to it, as the youngsters got to tour the World War One battle fields of the Somme.
There they learnt about the soldiers’ living conditions, saw the bomb craters which still scar the landscape more than a century later, and also visited the Thiepval Memorial, which contains the names of more than 72,000 servicemen lost at the Somme, with many of the children finding their own family names on the walls.
“The trip was an amazing opportunity for the children,” said Year Six teacher Clair Swan, who led the group.
“Some had never stayed away from home before, let alone visited sights of such historical significance or pushed themselves to take on challenges they had never tried before. They learned a lot about themselves and really bonded as a group. It was a pleasure to take them.”
The trip was the highpoint so far of what has already been a busy term at Danetree, a member of the GLF Schools multi-academy trust. In September, the school opened its doors to an additional reception class and a new nursery, as well as extra members of staff as it expanded to become one of the biggest primary schools in the area.
“The feedback we’ve had from the children and their parents has been superb,” added Miss Swan. “One mother said how her daughter had been talking about what an incredible experience they’d had and how she would always remember it. I’m delighted to hear it – that’s exactly why, as a school, we encourage the children to take part in these trips.”
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