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Residential 2015


Monday 29th June


We had a smooth journey down to the tunnel and after a brief play in the park to stretch our legs it was time to board the shuttle. When we emerged in France, there was much excitement and the sun was shining to greet us. We drove down the A16, past Boulogne and before we knew it we were turning off for Hardelot. Luggage was unloaded and transported down the long drive through the woods to the centre, where Julien greeted us. The children were welcomed and then it was time for a picnic lunch in the sunshine. It was so warm that sun umbrellas were needed to provide some shade.

After lunch, each room had some time to unpack and make their beds – much hilarity ensued as children tried to work out how to make their beds with a flat sheet, a duvet and cover and a pillow with pillowcase! Some while later, having discovered that climbing inside the cover probably wasn’t the most efficient method and with a little help from the staff, everyone had a passably made bed to sleep in and we set out for a tour of the site.

Julien took us to the campfire circle, the games room, the football and volleyball pitches, the classroom and the challenge course.

Next stop was Hardelot, where we bought our postcards and ran the shop clean out of ‘les timbres pour Angleterre’. Sitting in the square in the sunshine, we all wrote and addressed our cards before making our way down to the beach for some fun and games on the sand.

We were back in time for tea at half past six, where everybody had a try of everything and all were well fed. We enjoyed a grated carrot salad to start, fish and rice for main course and chocolate mousse for dessert.

This evening saw all of the children taking part on the challenge course and learning to 'spot' for one another. Despite the course being very low to the ground, it required a surprisingly good degree of balance and was a good challenge for all.

Now all is quiet and the children are in bed; a great day had by all.


We hope you enjoy the photos! 


Monday 1
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Tuesday 30th June


This morning began with croissant, baguette, jus d’orange et chocolat chaud! We were most intrigued to find that our hot chocolate was to be drunk from bowls rather than mugs. Next came a quick tidy up and then room inspection. Mrs Taylor was seriously impressed with how tidy the children are; the rooms were immaculate!


By quarter to ten we were on our way, travelling south by coach to the small hilltop town of Montreuil-sur-Mer. The coach dropped us outside the town wall as the centre was full of windy cobbled streets, better navigated on foot. The children tackled their language challenges for the day with great enthusiasm, working out the translations and then hunting for clues around the town. They found many different types of shops including a boulangerie, boucherie, salon coiffeur, banque, tabac, l’office de tourisme, la poste etc. Despite drinking copious amounts of water and coating ourselves in suncream, the heat was very oppressive and we were glad to reach the cool of the café where we had our lunch.


All the children managed to interpret the menu and order their lunch in French, choosing a range of dishes, many of which included frites! We were complemented very effusively ‘en francais’ by another diner for the children’s excellent behaviour and manners in the restaurant. They could not believe there were so many children sitting so beautifully when they came through to our section. Having completed our meal with ‘deux boules de glaces’, we ventured back out into the heat to walk a section of the ramparts and consider the effect of its hilltop position on the development of the town, before heading back to the coach.


Our last visit of the day was to the war cemetery at Etaples. Mr Gaind explained to the children a little of the history of this place before we spent time looking at the different sections, reading inscriptions and reflecting on what it might have looked like and been like a century ago. It was very peaceful there and many of the children commented on being moved by reading the inscriptions on the stones.


We came back to the Hardelot site for a dinner of steak hache, pasta and tomato sauce and green beans, followed by chocolate eclairs. We discovered that in France the inside of an éclair matches the top, so ours were filled with chocolate rather than cream as they would have been in England. After a game or two of volleyball and football, we collected firewood from the woodland and settled around the campfire for a sing-song and storytelling before bed.


Another busy and very hot day, but all are well and coping brilliantly with the heat.




I know several people have expressed concern as to the effect of the MyFerries strike on our return journey. The Hardelot Centre staff have been brilliant and are talking regularly to the Eurotunnel office. The message today was that for coaches with a booking, the Eurotunnel should be fine for Thursday, albeit busier than usual. However, it is obviously a situation that could change hour by hour, so we will continue to seek updates and plan accordingly. I have been reassured that we will not be left without a place to stay, should there be a problem crossing on Thursday, however at the moment it seems that whilst we may be a little delayed, we shouldn’t have any major problems.


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Wednesday 1st July


Joyeux anniversaire Ellie!


We awoke to sunshine again and distant strains of ‘Happy Birthday to you’ from the girls’ corridor. Even at half past seven it was warm outside. We needed to be out and on our way earlier this morning, so some organizing was needed before breakfast. We went into the dining hall for baguette and cereal, orange juice and hot chocolate, before setting out down to the little local artisan bakery.

We were greeted by the baker and his wife, who showed us through to the old oven room where the oven has been in situ for 98 years. He explained that the oven was 3 metres wide and 5 metres front to back and was still used today for cooking artisan bread.

Next we went through to the modern bakery room, where we were shown how to make the dough for baguettes and how to shape various other shaped loaves. Then it was on to the dough for croissant and pain au chocolat, which were passed through a machine similar to a pasta machine many times in order to mix the butter and the dough.

All the children had a go at rolling either pain au chocolat or croissant and then we were presented with our own croissants to take away.


Next we went to the swimming pool and after a brief problem solving session, we enjoy a lovely cooling hour in the pool making the most of the flumes, lazy river and jacuzzi areas. The slides were the definite favourite, especially the fast one which went through a blackout section half way down!


All too soon it was time to go and we were back to the Hardelot Centre for lunch. We had planned to spend this time on the beach, but due to the soaring temperatures we took the decision to shelter in the building back at base for our lunches.


This afternoon, we made our way down to the high ropes centre at Opalaventure. After a brief training session we ascended into the trees and worked our way around the courses clambering, swinging and climbing before whizzing down the many ziplines. We were very proud of all the children, especially those who were nervous about being so far off the ground but overcame their fears to complete the courses. They were superb at supporting each other and offering encouragement.


Throughout the day they have coped incredibly well with the heat and were really sensible about rehydrating as much as possible. Consequently we have escaped happy and in one piece, despite the temperature on the car outside the accommodation block reading 51 degrees at lunchtime!


Dinner was lovely; taboule, turkey and peppers casserole and ice cream. We have sung happy birthday in French and English and the birthday girl has had a good day!


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Wednesday 18

******STOP PRESS ******

There have been lots of sporting events taking place! For more information, see the 'trips' link and the 'interhouse football' link.


Elm class is made up of 26 year 5 and 6 students and is taught by Mrs Taylor-Hicks, with Mrs Street, Mrs Osmon and Mrs Yates supporting at different times throughout the week.

We are commited to setting a good example in our learning and behaviour habits, as we are at the top of the school. When the children reach Year 6 they take on new responsibilities, such as being a buddy to the reception children, showing them the ropes when they first start and being a friendly face they can find if they are unsure of anything. They also take on a leadership role: this may be a prefect, house captain, sports captain or head boy/girl.

Learning is fun and challening in Elm; take a look at our links below to see some of what we get up to.

This term's topic is: Allotment


In term 6, we are learning all about where our food comes from. We will be exploring farming, food origins, plants and life cycles, as well as being more creative and trying our hand at gardening and cooking local produce.


Here's a list of 'did you know?' facts based on our topic:


  1. All the councils in England and Wales (except inner London) have to provide allotments to local people. The recommended provision is 15 allotments per 1,000 households and they cost from £6 to £50 per year to rent.
  2. During the 1600s in Holland, tulip bulbs were worth more than gold!
  3. Once cut, tulips can continue to grow as much as an inch per day.
  4. Avocados, tomatoes and pumpkins are actually fruits, not vegetables, because they contain seeds. Rhubarb, on the other hand, is a vegetable!
  5. The word 'pineapple' comes from European explorers who thought the fruit looked like a pinecone with the flesh of an apple.
  6. Saffron thread, used as a flavouring and colouring in cooking, are actually the stigmas of a type of crocus: Crocus sativus. Each crocus only produces three stigmas, and it takes up to 170,000 individual flowers to make a kilo of saffron!
  7. ​Genetic testing has shown that all potatoes derive from a single source. The first potatoes were cultivated in Peru about 7,000 - 10,000 years ago.
  8. The main difference between a nectarine and a peach, is that nectarines have smooth skins while peach skins are fuzzy. However, you can graft peach branches onto a nectarine tree so that it produces both types of fruits!
  9. An individual strawberry has up to 200 seeds on its outer skin.
  10. ​Iris means 'rainbow' in Greek; Iris was the goddess of the rainbow in Greek mythology.


Have you got an interesting fact to share based on our topic? If so, post it in the 'feedback form' at the bottom of the page, so it can be added to the list. smiley





Life in Elm Class

Click the links below to see some of the things we have been getting up to!

To find photographs and information about learning within particular subject lessons, click the 'lots of learning' link below.
For information on all of the other exciting things Elm class have been enjoying - visit the links below.
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