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French Exchange 2024

Having hosted their French Exchange partners in March, thirty-two Backwell students from Years 9 and 10 were excited to embark on their return journey to France on 10 June 2024.

Our overnight ferry journey was calm, and we stepped out of the ferry terminal to bright and sunny skies for our first day in Saint Malo. After an enjoyable walk along the ramparts of the town and an opportunity to order picnic lunches in French, we set off to the Surf School for some team games and an exciting banana boating ride! The French students were waiting for us with big smiles when we arrived at Le Collège Broussais and happily accompanied their partners home for their first evening with their families!

Over the week, we managed to fit in a range of activities providing cultural and linguistic enrichment. We were generally lucky with the weather and managed to take some good photos! Our visits to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Le Mont Saint Michel and the Château de Dinan were fascinating, and we also managed a successful oyster-tasting session at Cancale; a number of students definitely developed an appreciation of the local delicacy, nicely served with a sprinkling of lemon juice! Our ‘accrobranche’ experience was exhilarating with students crawling through barrels, zip-wiring across a lake and generally hugging a lot of trees at great height!!

It was wonderful to see our students thoroughly immerse themselves in the exchange experience and many have commented on their increased confidence and delight in being able to participate in meaningful, real-life conversations! We were impressed by the level of engagement and willingness to ‘have a go’ exhibited by our Backwell students, and we know that they will have fantastic memories of their trip for many years to come! A huge ‘merci beaucoup’ to our dear French colleagues and exchange families for having helped to make this such an enjoyable week!