Half-Term French Exchange
Six pupils in the Hundred spent 10 days staying with French families in the Val-d’Oise département to the north-west of Paris.
The students had met their partners when the French contingent came to Marlborough at the end of the summer term, so there were great reunions at the train station when we arrived. The first weekend was spent with the families and the following week the Marlburians went to the Lycée Notre Dame de Bury, attending lessons and seeing how different everyday life in a French school can be.
The biggest differences remarked on were the lack of uniform and large class sizes compared to Marlborough. The English students also spent a day in central Paris visiting the Musée d’Orsay, known for its large collection of Impressionist art as well as many works dating from other periods, a cruise along the Seine offering the chance to see many of Paris’ famous sites while relaxing in the late autumn sunshine, and wandering around Notre Dame cathedral with its magnificent stained glass windows. In the shadow of its 90m spire, the boys even found some pigeons so tame they would sit on their heads and outstretched arms, but encouraging them to fly away proved more of a challenge.
Another highlight was the trip to the battlefields of the Somme, including the Péronne Museum and the Thiepval Memorial with a chance to see the names of Old Marlburians honoured there. The final weekend gave an extended chance to enjoy time with host families before a happy return to the UK and much deserved rest in the second half of half-term.
Modern Languages Technician