French school - Activities
The course of Anglo-French affairs never did run smooth: the Norman Conquest; the Battles of Agincourt, Trafalgar and Waterloo; ‘Allo, ‘Allo; and of course, most recently, Brexit. Yet never has the future of relations between these two great nations looked so bright.
It was an early start this morning as we headed off to visit a local primary school. Having negotiated the narrow streets in our sizeable coach, ably assisted and directed by Mr Samuel in his best hands-on-hips pose (see pictures), we arrived at the school to be greeted by the headteacher, M. Baffogne. Thoughts of the UK’s impending exit from the EU were swiftly cast aside as the children engaged with their French counterparts in a true spirit of concord, locating their ‘pen pals’ from our recent exchange of letters, tackling bilingual logic and maths problems and trying their hand at tongue-twisters in the opposite language.
The entente cordiale thus reborn for the 21st century, the children headed outside for a snack and then the main event – an exchange of anthems: the singing of God Save the Queen by the French pupils and La Marseillaise by Queen’s finest. In what has been described as the greatest show of European hope and optimism since Neville Chamberlain returned from Munich with a signed piece of paper and proclaimed ‘peace for our time’, both sets of children sang with gusto; there was barely a dry eye in the house as we witnessed a level of cross-border camaraderie reminiscent of the 1914 Christmas Truce. Both literally and metaphorically, this was pan-European harmony incarnate. Following an extended swimming session and dinner, the children took part in one final evening games session before heading off to bed, liberated once and for all from their insularity.