Skip to content

Year 7 PGL Trip to France 2024

Y7 PGL France 2024

On Monday 1st July, 55 excited Year 7 girls gathered at Notre Dame at 6.30am ready to travel for many hours. The coach was really fun chatting with friends, playing with games, listening to music. As soon as we saw the White Cliffs of Dover everyone was extremely excited and the noise increased dramatically. The ferry trip was especially fun as we were able to walk around in small groups as long as we checked back every 45 minutes. Everyone enjoyed the ferry trip immensely and extremely excited to be in France!

En route to the PGL Centre we visited a traditional French chocolate factory. As we walked towards the door, this nice man greeted us and gave us some freshly made chocolate drops to taste. He explained in detail of what some of the main ingredients were and showed us some interesting illustrations of a cacao plant and how to extract them. We then all moved into this massive room full of machinery where the workers were making the chocolate. The man then showed us how he made the perfect chocolate and then we even got to try a bit (it was delicious!) It was nearly time to go so we all headed into the shop where we all got the chance to buy some chocolate treats and gifts!

When we first arrived at PGL I think it was safe to say that everyone was exhausted from the 8 hour journey to France! Firstly we found out our room arrangements and dumped our bags at our rooms and called dibs on beds and then went for our first meal at the ‘salle à manger’. Then we had a tour of the campus which included being shown: the sports facilities, the tent, the main house (from the 13th century!), the building block where we would be sleeping, the outside benches and a strictly forbidden forest. It was also Poppy H’s birthday so we celebrated with a Biscoff cake and sang Happy Birthday to her. Then we had a bit of down time: playing games, having showers and a bit of unpacking before lights were turned out at 10:30. All in all it was a productive, successful evening for our first night at PGL

The town trail in Brie de Comte Robert was really fun, we were in groups of four travelling around following the French directions to get to each place. We started off at a very beautiful chateau and ended in the market, which smelt of fish but was nice as it had some lovely and cheap souvenirs. We were given a question sheet in our booklets and at each place in the town, we would answer a question. If we needed help, the PGL guides, Leo and Maud, would direct us and make sure we didn’t get lost. There were some lovely people in the town that said ‘bonjour’ to us and were really nice.

Then we played the ‘Alan Sugar Game’, we are given a list of objects in French that we were meant to buy once we arrived in the market. The first step of the game was to translate all of the objects we needed to buy from French to English. Once everything was translated we strolled around the market with our group leader searching for the objects on are list. The main aim of the game was to buy everything on that list but spend the least money, which we were given by Mrs Robertson. By the end of game every group made their way to meeting point, where the winners would be announced, and the winners were the light pink hats, this is because they bought almost everything and spent the least amount of money.

It was lunch time and the teachers had given us some money to go and buy some food but the twist was we couldn’t buy a ready-made sandwich we could just buy the ingredients to make a sandwich. So here I was looking at a long row of baguettes. I pointed to the best looking baguette and the lady behind the counter wrapped it up for me and handed me my change. When we got back to the chateau there were chopping boards and knives waiting for us so we could prepare our lunch. After we had finished making our lunch we ate it and it was the best baguette I had ever eaten.

When we arrived to the snail farm, we entered the snail nursery where there was snails a graveyard where all the old shells were! Then we were able to hold the snails, some of them came out of their shells and others didn’t – they were very slimy! Later we we learned what part of the snails were in French and how they were reared.

Next stop was the astounding hyper market and we were escorted, eager and excited inside. It didn’t have a second floor but went round in a circle with many options of shops, clothing to every day needs, with a couple of restaurants and cafes on the side. We found a candy floss machine that produced a huge amount of candyfloss in an artistic nature, for instance someone bought it as a flower with different colours going round. Our most popular shop included ‘Normal’, an imitation of the Flying Tiger shop. It was like a maze, you had to walk through all the products to get out and pay, and everything was a very good price so it quickly brought a crowd of Year 7s! We also loved Sephora, as it sold a selection of skincare and makeup with some other products on the side like hair products and beauty equipment. It was a great time for everyone as we came home with many products that everyone was looking forward to enjoying!

After the delicious dinner and a tiring day, we sprinted through the rain. It was as if people were throwing buckets of rain down at us. Getting into the drenched tent we sat down into groups, and Victoria explained a game called money drop, we put monopoly money down and if we got the question correct we got to keep our money. It was a joint first and Mrs Robertson also announced who won the game at the market.

The next day we excitedly set off for the capital city, Paris. During the bus drive, the lovely PGL instructors explained all the landmarks throughout Paris. She began with pointing out a tall building with clouds of greyish smoke coming out and how they use it to keep the sun out which helped the UV protection. We then came across a very large building with what looked like a long, green paint stroke. She told us that it was a pea factory, the French love peas! It produced some of the best peas and any rejects were thrown in to the Seine and turned it green.

We then arrived at Montparnasse Tower, the only skyscraper in Paris. We travelled by lift up to the 56th floor where there was a magnificent view. We could see the whole of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower, Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe. There was a photo booth and a café and it was an amazing experience.

We then got on the boat for a trip along the Seine and saw so many landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, the Musee d’Orsay, Notre Dame Cathedral. We also saw the seating for the Olympics being set up. It was an amazing ride.

Afterwards our coaches dropped us off at Montmartre with Sacred Coeur towering above us. We walked the steps to the top and filed into the beautiful cathedral in respectful silence. Afterwards we enjoyed ice creams, crepes and some last minute souvenirs shopping in the Artists’ Quarter.

We then all got dressed up for the final night disco in the tent. The music was very good everybody was dancing and having fun.

Our journey home felt quick as we were all tired but happy, although we woke up for the ferry and enjoyed our free time on board.

A BIG thank you to Mrs Robertson- you did a great job organising an amazing and memorable trip. Thank you also to all the teachers who came. It was an awesome trip and we all really enjoyed it!!

A full gallery can ben seen on Firefly:

Year 7 Students