For our final meal on French soil, we had poulet-frites at a large restaurant that could accommodate all of us (but had totally insufficient toilets for our numbers!). From there, we travelled to the ferry port at Caen and boarded the ferry, but not until Mr Parker had dropped 21 systematically ordered passports and boarding cards.
Once on the ferry, we slept in the same lounge area as we had on our outward journey. Despite the fitful rest, you can see that the A-Team were always alert and ready to bring 44 children back to the UK.
Passport control in Portsmouth was a lovely welcome back to the country, and still not the final establishment we visited where staff and members of the public complimented our (your) children on their manners, behaviour and patience.
Soon after, we stopped at a McDonald's and had orange juice, a hash brown and a bacon roll for breakfast. Despite the brilliance and good-humour of the coach drivers, we had to have one hitch, which was becoming stuck in the car park near McD's. Teamwork got it sorted and, after some time, we were back on the road again. Then it was just the long journey back across Dorset and Devon to Okehampton.
Every child (and some of the adults) on the trip had obstacles and difficulties that they had to overcome, whether it was homesickness, feeling poorly, finding some activities difficult, not liking some of the food, or even feeling bored at times, they all managed to overcome these. As their teacher, I was extremely impressed with how Bridestowe (and other schools) children managed their worries, anxieties and moods, and kept on reasonably even keels. They achieved this through independent reasoning and the support of friends, new friends they made, and the fantastic staff who were unrelenting in their effort and kindness.
In every place we visited (including McDonald's in Portsmouth), staff and members of the public went out of their way to approach our staff to compliment the children on their exemplary demeanour and manners. We were all extremely proud of all of the 150 children on the trip, and hope that they had worthwhile and very memorable visit to Normandy.
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