35th anniversary of the French Exchange to Collège Denecourt 2024


In June 26 Year 9 and 10 pupils returned to Collège Denecourt in Bois-Le-Rois, a small town lying in an idyllic situation between the River Seine and the Forest of Fontainebleau. Any apprehension the KLB students had about meeting with their exchange partners was soon dispelled by the friendly faces that greeted us.

We spent Wednesday morning in school which gave us a glimpse of life in a French school.  Our partner school organised breakfast for us and Madame Mendes, the headteacher, welcomed us.  Throughout the morning, we enjoyed the many different activities our partners had organised for us: a virtual escape game to learn about Collège Denecourt, a tour of the school and grounds, visits to lessons or the opportunity to play basketball and football with our partners.  We had a great morning and didn’t want to go home at 11.40!  We would like to thank Madame Bélières and Madame Perrin for organising the programme.

On Thursday we took the train and metro into Paris. We walked past the Hôtel de Ville and many pupils were in awe of this wonderful 14th century building, decorated for the 2024 Paris Olympics.  We strolled on to Notre Dame Cathedral, and spent some time buying souvenirs in the boutiques.  The weather was glorious – blue skies all around – and the sun shone during a ride on the Bateau Mouche along the River Seine. From the water, we enjoyed the sights of Paris: the Grand Palais, the Musée d’Orsay, the beautiful bridges, Notre Dame, the Conciergerie and the Eiffel Tower.  After, we walked along the Seine to the Louvre and picnicked in the Jardin des Tuileries.  After lunch, we visited the Arc de Triomphe on the anniversary of D-Day.  The breath taking views across the city of Paris enabled us to identify the wonderful Parisian landmarks.  From up high, we could appreciate the size and scale of the city, as well as flagship stores on the Champs Elysées.  We then took the metro to the Eiffel tower, which looked very impressive as we approached it from Trocadéro.  Paris has never looked so magnificent!

A short bus ride from the school is the town of Fontainebleau, where, on Friday we enjoyed a visit to the busy market and the beautiful Château de Fontainebleau.  Students put their French to use, buying souvenirs in the market and completing the photo challenge set by Madame Bradford.  Later in the day, students enjoyed some free time in the pretty town.

Saturday was spent with partners and their families – some went to Fontainebleau forest and did Accrobranche activites, others visited Paris again, going up the Eiffel tower and the Sacré Cœur.

After a tearful goodbye on Sunday morning, with firm friendships now in place, we set off home and arrived in Paris in good time for our Eurostar journey to St Pancras.  We had a wonderful 4 days in Bois-le-Rois and are grateful for Madame Belières, Madame Langer and Madame Perrin, teachers from the French exchange school, for organising such a wonderful stay in France.

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