Form I and II Trip: Clères, Normandy

Dates: 22 March - 29 March

Year group

Forms I and II


Normandy, France

Staff member in charge

Mrs Jacqueline Young

Our young linguists will visit the picturesque French town of Clères and stay with host families for an intensive week of French language practice and culture.


The trip also includes day trips to Paris, Bayeux and the D-Day beaches, Rouen and Disneyland Paris.

Keep an eye on this page to view our day-by-day blog and pictures from the trip!



We’ve arrived!

The group arrived safely in Clères, after a long but smooth journey on the ferry. The pupils enjoyed their meals on board, and conversed in French to buy their lunch at the Baie de Somme. As the group are taking part in a linguistic home stay with host French families, the pupils engaged in a range of evening activities, including board games, a visit to the Château de Clères and two pupils even had the chance to see the Orient Express, which stopped in Clères station

After a long day of travelling, everyone was looking forward to spending the next day in the capital city.


A day in Paris.

Everyone had a lovely (but very cold) day visiting Paris. Firstly, the group enjoyed a bus tour which drove past the main sights, followed by a cruise and picnic along the Seine. Finally, the pupils visited the Eiffel Tower, where most climbed the stairs to the top.

After everyone had taken plenty of photos, the pupils warmed up by eating some delicious crêpes, before returning to Clères where the sun was shining.


Taking in the history.

The group visited the sunny Calvados region of Normandy, to learn more about French history.

The morning was spent in the beautiful town of Bayeux, where the group explored the stunning eleventh century cathedral.

After an enjoyable picnic, the group headed north to visit two sites affected by the D-Day landings in 1944.

The first site was Pointe du Hoc, a headland situated between Utah and Omaha beaches. The pupils viewed the remnants of bunkers, artillery buildings, craters and shell-holes. The second site was an American cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer. The group were moved by the rows of white crosses, and this proved to be a sobering experience for both pupils and staff.

After a day of taking in some French history, everyone is now looking forward to tomorrow as they will explore the nearby town of Rouen.


A Relaxing Day.


Everyone met at 8.20am on a sunny, but very chilling morning (-2 degrees)! Le chauffeur, Gavin, battled rush hour to drive everyone safely to Rouen.

Throughout the morning, pupils explored the main sights on foot along narrow cobbled streets and admired the mediaeval timbered houses, the cathedral and many stunning churches. The group also learned about Joan of Arc and had the opportunity to visit the local food market.

After finishing a picnic lunch and enjoying some free time shopping, the pupils walked to the bowling alley to play a couple of games.
Everyone returned to Clères at 5pm to enjoy a relaxing evening with their host families, before the final day trip tomorrow… Disneyland!



The pupils spent their final day in France at Disneyland, which was as popular as ever. After arriving at 11.30am, the next five hours was a whirl of rides, shopping and Disney characters – all accompanied by plenty of smiles and quite a few screams!

On the return to Clères, the group met their host families for one final evening.

The pupils leave for Zeebrugge tomorrow morning at 8.30am and it is hard to believe that the trip is nearly over. Good friendships have been made, and the pupils wish to stay in contact with those they have met.

Everyone is looking forward to seeing their families at the Bronze doors on Friday.



It’s home time!

This morning, the group said goodbye to the host families, who were unanimous in their praise of the Dollar pupils and are all keen to host again next year.

Everyone then headed north-east towards Zeebrugge, passing miles of stacked lorries at the French Channel ports before crossing the Belgian border and stopping off at a chocolate factory for some last minute shopping.

The final stop was in Bruges, where pupils explored the cobbled streets of the old town, enjoyed a boat trip along the canals and spent their remaining euros on delicious waffles.

The group are now on the ferry, and looking forward to dinner and a good night’s sleep. A demain!