French & Art Departments – Visit to Paris
French & Art Departments – Visit to Paris, July 2023
Friday 7th July saw a coach load of 51 excited new Y10, Y11 and Y13 students and six staff set off on a four day trip to the beautiful city of Paris. We were fortunate not to encounter any delays at Dover and we enjoyed a smooth crossing on the ferry to France and made our way south to the capital.
On the Saturday, we woke early and enjoyed a buffet breakfast before setting out to explore the wonderful sights of France’s capital city. We started in the impressive square outside the Louvre museum and walked through the sunshine in the Jardins des Tuileries to cross the River Seine. Students made the most of the weather and the stunning sights and monuments, the beautiful architecture and sculptures to capture some fantastic photos for the Art department’s photography competition. Our next visit was to the Musée d’Orsay, which was converted from a railway station to house paintings and sculptures from the last couple of centuries. Students enjoyed the opportunity to gaze in awe at world famous pieces of art by Picasso, Degas, Monet, Van Gogh and so many more.
In the afternoon, we travelled to the amazing and beautiful Palais de Versailles. Here, Mr Dodkin explained the historical significance of Versailles before students set off to explore the corridors and endless vast rooms of the ornate palace. Again, many students took numerous photos in a bid to win the photo competition.
Our highly experienced driver took us back into Paris via the world famous roundabout of the Arc de Triomphe, where 12 roads come into the roundabout and there are really no rules!
The lovely weather continued into the evening, which was perfect for a leisurely riverboat cruise to see the sights of Paris – the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, Notre Dame cathedral, the two islands in the middle of the River Seine and much more.
Sunday saw some dramatic weather of torrential rain and thunder and lightning after our arrival at Disneyland Paris but this quickly cleared. The students thoroughly enjoyed the rollercoasters, water rides and the famous parade of characters at Disneyland Paris as well as purchasing many souvenirs.
To conclude our short stay in Paris we went to the viewpoint on La Tour Montparnasse on the final morning. From here, you can take beautiful photos of Paris, with La Tour Eiffel in pride of place and without all the crowds and queues involved in a visit to the more famous tower.
I would like to thank the wonderful staff team of Mademoiselle Briand, Mr Dodkin, Ms Hirst, Miss Lewis and Miss Noble who gave up their weekend to accompany the trip. Thank you also to our fantastic group of students who were excellent ambassadors for Vandyke and a credit to themselves.
Students were asked to keep a diary of photographs to document their time in Paris, and this turned into a competition where students were challenged to submit their best photos! After much deliberation, Harry H in Year 11 was our winner who took an excellent range of photos that embodied his time in Paris that were carefully edited in black and white (see top of article). Jack M (below left) and Rosie M (below right) were our well-deserved runners-up.