After a lie in until 8 o’clock we were ready and raring to meet the French children at Brunschvig Rousseau, our partner school in Lille. We headed over to the school and were met with a rousing round of applause and screams of ‘hello’ and ‘bonjour’ from the French pupils.
We arrived at playtime which gave our children a chance to meet lots of Brunschvig pupils and have conversations in French and English. Immediately bonds were made, Angela and Maya were chatting away as well as Hilary who was surrounded by extremely friendly French pupils and had great fun being led around the school!
Next was a tour of the school led by the French children which took in the canteen, playground, nursery and a variety of classrooms. Some pupils enjoyed this tour so much we had to hunt them down as they had paused the tour in a classroom to share stories and even teach each other some wonderful dances! Finally it was time for our rehearsal as we had a big performance to prepare for in the evening to hundreds of French parents.
We spent 2 hours blasting out ‘Park Life’, ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ and Song 2’ as well as performing our dances. Our pupils then taught their moves to the French children and did exceptionally well. All the French children were able to perform our complex choreography within 20 MINUTES! All the teachers were stunned and extremely proud at the way the pupils handled themselves and taught this so quickly.
After a few more run-throughs the pupils joined Brunschvig Rousseau children for lunch in their canteen where they were served a delicious pasta salad and tart for dessert. Play time led to some impressive footballing skills from Antwone and more bonding between the two schools’ cohorts. Next were the final rehearsals and run-through before we headed to Flunch for dinner.
Stuffed full of food and with ice cream in our bellies it was time for the big performance. We boarded the coach and eventually reached the school where the hall was filling with many expectant French parents. Eventually the show began with a perfectly performed ‘Park Life’. Britannia Village pupils stood before the audience and spoke lines clearly in French, Brunschvig pupils reciprocated in English. After another hour of performance a standing ovation greeted the pupils as the whole crowd was amazed, ‘Don’t look back in anger’ had the audience rocking and ‘Song 2’ blew our minds.
After this we had to say our goodbyes and headed back to the hostel for bedtime. It was hard to say our goodbyes as even though the pupils had only known each other for a few hours some great friendships had begun. It is fair to say that we are extremely proud of our pupils, their behaviour for entirety of the week has been incredible but particularly today the maturity, senses of humour and stage presence they exhibited has all of us amazed! They truly are a special bunch!
Next day... We set sail for England after a final walk around Lille