On Wednesday 17 July 38 students, led by Miss David, set off from Axminster Train Station bound for London and the Eurostar train to Paris. In what seemed no time at all, the group were stepping out from the Gare Du Nord on route to their quaint French hotel just south of the station. Within a few minutes the students had their eyes opened by the colourful sites of inner city Paris. Dodging pick pockets, they made their way to the hotel to settle in to their rooms before leaving on foot for their first French restaurant experience. To finish the evening Mr Vine led the group to the famous Sacre Couer Church, high on a hill above Paris, with a view across the city. On entry to the building the students were overawed by the beauty of the interior. Equally they were stunned by all that lay before them across the city as they viewed it from the steps of the Church.

Thursday was to be a whistle stop tour of the famous galleries and cultural sites of Paris. First stop was the Museum d`Orsay where the group had the privilege of seeing works of Art by Van Gogh, Renoir, Cezanne Gauguin and Seurat to name but a few. The group took time to sketch and photograph all that they could. It was then on to the Musee de l`Orangerie where, in two huge rooms, they witnessed the wonderful work of Claude Monet and work by all of France`s major artists. Lunch was consumed in 33 degree heat before moving on to Sainte Chapelle with its amazing stain glassed windows. Next the group visited the Georges Pompidou Centre and a fantastic vista over the city. Having walked five miles in the searing heat the 38 very satisfied but tired students retired to a Pizza restaurant with unlimited drinks and a wide choice of tasty toppings to feed their hunger. The final visit of the day was a cruise along the Seine before returning back to the hotel after a fantastic and full day.

On Friday a coach took the group away from the heat of the city to Giverny, 60 miles north of Paris where Claude Monet lived and painted some of his most famous scenes. Such was the beauty of the main garden, the house and Monet’s Water Garden, that the group spent the majority of the day sketching and painting, trying to recreate some Monet master pieces. All the students were really engrossed in this and some fantastic work was completed.

Mr Brown, Head of Year 9, said “Personally I left this place stunned by the beauty and colour that we had witnessed. Incredible.”

Back into the city centre and a traditional French Restaurant which was followed by a stroll along the Champs-Elysees, past some very expensive shops and on to the Arc De Triomphe. Everybody wearily climbed the steps to the top and were rewarded with the most incredible views across the city. At 9pm and with temperatures still above 30 degrees the breeze was a welcome relief as the group watched the preparations for the end of the Tour de France that were going on below.

On Saturday morning the group packed up before making the return journey back to Axminster.

Mr Brown said “I was both delighted and proud of the efforts and the quality of work produced by everyone over the four days. Sketch books have been packed with some fantastic work and the behaviour meant staff never needed to reprimand, just enjoy some lovely company. On behalf of the then Year 8, my sincere thanks to Miss David, Mr Vine and Mrs Bowskill for their expertise and enthusiasm for what really is an Educational and cultural experience never to be forgotten.”


Art Inspired by Claude Monet

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