Normandy Trip 2023
Thursday 27th April
After a smooth overnight journey, 86 Year 8 pupils, 7 KS4 Young Leaders and 12 staff visited the beautiful harbour town of Honfleur (a favourite destination for artists such as Monet). Pupils enjoyed walking around the port and practising their French in one of the many ice-cream shops.
Friday 28th April
A day at Mont St. Michel.
Pupils had a guided walk across the bay, experienced the quick-sands, learnt about the history, the tides and the wildlife of this popular tourist destination. After this, they explored the tiny alleys and shops of the village and took in the breathtaking views.
In the evening, after dinner, the egg protection competition was in full flow!
Saturday 29th April
First stop – Merville Franchville a formidable Batterie German army fortification.
Pupils explored the bunkers and learnt about the importance of the neutralisation of the Battery as part of the D-Day landing operation. Each bunker houses an exhibition with a different theme. One even simulates the attack by British Paratroopers on the German position, so it feels like you’re in the middle of the battle.
Next stop- Pegasus Bridge
The group visited this famous bridge dedicated to the 6th British Airbourne Division. This bridge was captured as part of a mission to take two bridges after landing Horsa Gliders nearby.
On June 26th 1944, this bridge (the Caen Canal bridge) was baptised Pegasus Bridge as a tribute to the British troops. Pegasus (the winged horse) was the emblem worn on the sleeves of the men of the airborne division.
The bridge is original, although it has been repainted to help preserve it. We could see the bullet holes and other marks made during the fighting. It was an impressive sight and, in fact, the whole museum impressed us with the sheer quantity of exhibits to see.
One of the highlights of the day was undoubtedly the 360° cinema overlooking Arromanches. The film shown here lasts around 20 minutes and is entitled “100 days”. It uses archive footage and state-of-the-art animation to detail the story of the D-Day landings and also serves as an emotional tribute to the 20,000 civilians killed during one of the most ambitious military actions of the 20th century.
Next stop- we travelled to Bayeux (and back in time by over 900 years) to see the world-famous Bayeux Tapestry – referred to by the staff in the museum simply as “the masterpiece”.
The final visit of the day was the British cemetery in Bayeux. Here the group paid their respects to the soldiers who gave their lives for our freedom.
After dinner, pupils and staff enjoyed playing football, tennis, rounders and badminton outside in the beautiful chateau grounds followed by Karaoke.
Sunday was the journey home via the tunnel. All went smoothly and the group arrived safely back at school tired but grateful for the incredible experience.