Over Long Leave 40 very excited and slightly nervous pupils, along with four equally excited members of staff, flew from Heathrow to Nice for a five-day study trip. On arrival at Nice airport in the evening the pupils were whisked off by their host families for their first challenge – supper and conversation en français. We reconvened the next morning at a local French language school, where the pupils were taught lessons in French from 9.30am to 12pm each day, focusing particularly on their speaking and listening skills.
The afternoons were filled with guided excursions to local places of interest. On the first day we were driven to the stunning hill-top village of Eze, where we wandered up and down the tiny lanes and were given a tour (en français bien sûr!) of the Fragonard perfumery. On the second day we stayed in Nice to look at the carnival celebrations and visit the old town. After climbing to the top of the old castle hill, breaking the journey w ith a well-earned ice-cream along the way, the pupils looked around the Musée d‘Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, and then spent a happy hour relaxing on the beach. Our final excursion was to Monaco, where we walked up to Monte Carlo to see how the other half lives and then across to Monaco town, taking in some strange-looking fish in the Musée Océanographique and Prince Albert’s highly pristine palace along the way, and finishing off with an enormous pizza back in Nice.
Each evening, the pupils returned to their host families for supper and conversation and by the end of the trip their confidence levels, vocabulary and understanding had noticeably improved.