School News

Paris Homestay and Study Visit

As part of their study-visit programme to Paris in early February, eleven Year 12 and 13 pupils and their accompanying teachers had the opportunity to enjoy a very informative talk at La Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et l'Antisémitisme. This is a charitable group originally set up in 1927 to combat all forms of racial discrimination.

In the wake of the recent Paris attacks, the charity has been particularly active in promoting tolerance and inter-cultural understanding as well as supporting victims of racism. In addition, Birkdale pupils were interested to hear of the group's anti-racist publicity campaign on social media and are pictured holding one of the slogans in French, along with Charlotte Lefranc, responsable du service juridique. 

This visit was just one of many experiences that the group enjoyed during a packed five days. Other highlights included a visit to the Paris headquarters of the Fondation Abbé Pierre, a charity which helps the homeless or those in inadequate accommodation; a chance to see and reflect on witness accounts, photos and video at the Mémorial de la Shoah (Holocaust Memorial); a visit to the see the splendours of the Chateau of Versailles as well as watching an intense but entertaining production of Le Mensonge, written by the much-acclaimed contemporary French playwright, Florian Zeller.

The pupils, who stayed with families in the area around Brétigny sur Orge, carried out French surveys both in their families as well as at the market in Versailles town on a variety of topics, including the migrant crisis.

Head of Modern Languages, Mrs. Kathryn Higham, who accompanied the group, along with Mrs Emily Lebon, said: 'This was an ideal opportunity for pupils to experience French family life, to visit many of the historical and cultural sights of Paris as well as discovering first-hand the issues that are currently preoccupying many French people.'

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