D Block trip to Paris

Although the Parisian weather was uncharacteristically mild for April, we were not deterred from seeing a wide variety of outdoor sights.

The boys immediately warmed to their young, energetic teacher, Xavier. He was able to push the boys, yet maintained a classroom atmosphere that kept them entertained whilst focusing on oral communication. The result was that the boys felt much more confident in their oral French in the crucial period leading up to the oral exam.

The new cultural additions to our trip were very pleasing: we were given an informative tour on the history of the Opéra Garnier and an enthusiastic expert on modern art kept the boys interested for a whole afternoon at the Pompidou centre. We were also lucky to be a given a local view of Paris by two OEs – Will Tyte and Qaleem Ainuddin – who are on their year abroad in Paris, who managed to get us into the Sorbonne and who showed us some lesser-known Parisian sights on the south bank, including the Mosque and the Arabic Institute.

The boys’ schedules once again rivaled their school timetables and they were amazed that we managed to fit in so many varied and enjoyable activities and that we saw such a range of different sites and museums. Although there were times when adverse weather posed a problem, we still ensured that we covered a lot of ground outdoors through a combination of boat and bus tours.

I believe they will appreciate this in the future, especially if they return to it as a familiar place where they have some bearings. They were a delight to accompany throughout the trip and were a credit to the school.