U4 – L5 French Exchange Trip To Toulouse

Tuesday 14th April 2015

Over the Easter break, Queen Anne’s U4 and L5 pupils travelled to Toulouse to participate in a French Exchange trip with Le Causou School in Toulouse. Below, Mrs Gemma Laundon, Head of Modern Foreign Languages, provides us with a review of the trip:

“Avec plaisir” were the standard response to any thank yous, uttered by 12 U4 and L5 pupils, during our French exchange visit to Toulouse in southwest France and really set the tone for the week. Known as ‘la ville rose’, Toulouse is a wonderful introduction to the more relaxed atmosphere of the South of France and our girls really appreciated the opportunities to get to know the people and culture of this region a little better.

Our exchange is with Le Caousou, a mixed private school of about 2,000 students, aged from 4 to 18. Upon our arrival at the school, the Queen Anne’s girls were excitedly greeted by their exchange partners and immediately inducted into the rituals of a French school day, with lunch eaten either in the school canteen or in their exchange partner’s home. Lessons of anglais, histoire/géo and français immediately followed and our girls were intrigued by the different style and routine of the French education system.

Whilst in Toulouse, our girls visited the medieval walled city of Carcassonne and discovered that France had been two different nations at one time with the south speaking a completely different language from that of the north. This ‘Occitan’ tongue can still be heard and is noted on the street signs all around the region. We were also treated to guided tours of Albi, the birthplace of the painter Toulouse-Lautrec, as well as the city of Toulouse itself.

One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to ‘Cité de l’Espace’ where the girls showed off their knowledge of the solar system and gravity whilst exploring a replica Mir space station and learning about how the shuttle Atlantis repaired the Hubble telescope. Toulouse is the centre of the European aerospace industry and many large companies are based in the city, including the world headquarters of Airbus.

Evenings and weekends were spent with the girls’ exchange partners and their families. Many of the Le Caousou students are keen musicians, dancers and sportswomen and so our girls experienced volleyball practice, violin recitals and ‘Step’ rehearsals amongst many other activities. They were also able to view films in French and practise their conversational skills whilst visiting the excellent shops in the city centre.

Overall, this was a fantastic opportunity for the Queen Anne’s girls to make new friends and improve their French and they took full advantage of this. We now look forward to welcoming the students from Le Caousou when they visit Queen Anne’s from Wednesday 13 to Wednesday 20 May.”

Please find below for a slideshow of photographs from the trip:

Created with flickr slideshow.

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