TAS to France 2014

French Trip 2014

Tauraroa Area School visit to France & Belgium – 2014

A group of 11 students, 2 teachers and 5 parents from Tauraroa Area School, Maungakaramea, Northland, visited France and Belgium recently. The purposes of the trip were two-fold:-

i) To visit battle sites and cemeteries from World War One as it is the centennial of its’ outbreak.

ii) To have a language and cultural experience.

Many of the students had researched their own family members’ involvement in the Great War and were able to either visit where they fought or visit the graves where they are laid to rest and leave poppies to show they are not forgotten, this was a highly emotional part of the trip. We visited 12 separate cemeteries and left poppies and took photographs to show family members on our return. We also visited the graves of many of the fallen from our community who are recorded on the war memorial in Maungakaramea village. The students laid wreaths made by year 5/6 students at TAS at Tyne Cott cemetery, the largest commonwealth war grave cemetery in the world. One of the highlights of the trip was being invited to sing the NZ national anthem as part of the nightly Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium.

The students also visited Avignon in the south of France where they were able to visit a 2000 year old Roman amphitheatre, swim in the Mediterranean Sea, use the incredible French transport systems and interact with many people from different walks of life using their French language skills. We also gave gifts to our sister school in Montauban, southern France and hope to continue to forge links with them in the future.

Going to France without visiting Paris is out of the question so we spent 4 days in the capital visiting all the famous sights as well as spending our last full day in Paris at Euro Disney, a real treat for the students after being incredible ambassadors for our school, families and NZ. The school is planning another trip to France in 3 years’ time but will visit our other sister schools in Japan and the Cook Islands over the next 2 years. Fundraising for these trips has already begun.