The whole trip helped us understand our French Revolution history topic better, bringing it to life in a meaningful way.
On Thursday March 30, a group of 46 Year 12 students made their way to St Pancras station to catch the Eurostar to Paris. After a trouble-free journey, we were guided to our hostel, which was conveniently located right by the station. Having unpacked and settled into our new accommodation, we were then given a few hours of free time to explore the city and enjoy the local cuisine. This free time gave us a great chance to bond with one another and explore Paris, getting to relax into our new surroundings. After a long day of travelling and roaming, we were able to enjoy a comfortable and much needed night’s sleep!
We were woken up bright and early the next day, feeling refreshed and ready for our busy day, which started off by exploring the Palais-Royal. Here, we donned our revolutionary hats and received an appropriate rallying-cry from Mr Yates, calling for liberté, égalité and fraternité - re-enacting events which had occurred in the exact same location just over 200 years ago. We then proceeded to sing the Marseillaise, which definitely attracted the attention of some bystanders! After this, we took the train out to Versailles, where we enjoyed a 3 course meal. The starter was a traditional French soup, which those with an inclination towards cheese found particularly tasty. The main course was a more familiar plate of chicken and chips, and finally, the dessert was a delicious tarte tatin. Feeling full up and ready to get back out into the sunshine, we walked down the long road leading up to the Palace of Versailles. We were immediately greeted by a striking statue of Louis XIV on horseback, then we walked up to the grand golden gates and into the palace. The interior was amazing; everything seemed to be lined with gold, and vast numbers of statues and paintings were scattered throughout the 700 palace rooms.
The famous ‘Hall of Mirrors’ was beyond exquisite, boasting rouge de rance walls, pure gold statues, elegant paintings along the ceiling, and sparkling mirrors to reflect the flawless symmetry of the room, helping to create a unique ambience not quite like anywhere else. We then ventured into the endless gardens of Versailles, taking our time to explore. The aesthetic of the gardens was overwhelming, with fountains and statues around every corner. In amongst the beautiful fields was Marie Antoinette’s peasant village, which she created so that she could experience life as she perceived peasants did. The village caught our interest in particular, as the monarchy’s perception of how peasants lived at the time was so far from the reality.
After such a busy day, we enjoyed free time in the evening to explore Paris further, before settling down for our last night in the hostel.
On the final day, we were put into teams and given a question booklet with tasks aimed to help us discover more about the history of Paris. We progressed through the city, stopping at various sites, such as the Champ de Mars, and the Conciergerie, where we were given the opportunity to look around, gather information and then fill out the booklet, with a chance of obtaining a prize for winning the task. After this educational activity, we made our way back to the station, leaving Paris after a truly amazing trip.
Thank you very much to the teachers, Mr Gunn, Ms Spalter, Mr Wahnon, Mr Yates and Ms Gollan who helped make this trip so special for us. I’m sure we will all remember the beauty of the palace of Versailles in particular, and the whole trip helped us understand our French Revolution history topic better, bringing it to life in a meaningful way.
Matty and Sally, Y12