The Opal Coast, France
In October 2016 a group of 40 Year 8 and 9 students travelled to Northern France for a combined Geography and History trip. They visited the Opal Coast and experienced the geography on offer there, as well as experiencing the region’s deep history relating to the First and Second World Wars. This was a memorable experience for all involved and is a mark of our determination to broaden horizons and sharpen understanding of the world. This is only one of a number of school journeys that run each year. They are a key part of the Plumstead Manor experience – stretching our young people’s horizons and imaginations by experiencing the world beyond our immediate vicinity.
- Le Touquet – a beautiful tourist hot spot in northern France, where students visited Le Parc de l’Estuaire, to carry out investigations in the natural sand dunes and woodlands.
- The Accrington Pals Memorial – this memorial commemorates the best known of the Pals battalions and stands in a park dedicated to the Sheffield City Battalion which contains traces of front line trenches.
- Newfoundland Park – undoubtedly one of the largest and best-preserved trench memorials on the Western Front. Here students saw the British Front Line and across to No-Man’s Land, the German Front Line.
- Menin Gate & the Last Post Ceremony– This large and beautiful memorial holds the names of 54, 896 soldiers of the British Empire. The Menin Gate marks the starting point of one of the main roads out of Ypres towards the Front Line. Students had the opportunity to witness the moving ‘Last Post Ceremony’.
- Boulogne– this lovely town was the venue for our urban geography investigation. Designated as a City of Art and History, Boulogne also offers numerous French shops and restaurants where students also had the opportunity to experience French life and language.
- Wellington Quarry– this fascinating museum has been created within a section of tunnels dug by the British Army during WW1. We were able to visit this underground network and have a guided tour.
The group stayed at NST’s Château d’Ebblinghem; an ideal centre for school groups set in a rural location just 8km east of St Omer on the Opal Coast in Northern France, and just 45 minutes from the Channel ports.