On Tuesday 28th February the French department at Sarah Bonnell took 54 year 10 students to the Institut Français in South Kensington. The aim of the trip was to develop and improve students’ knowledge of both French language and culture through film. As year 10 are currently studying the topic of school we chose to watch the film ‘Les Héritiers’ which tells the story of a teacher working in the suburbs of Paris struggling to educate a group of disillusioned secondary school pupils, many of whom are second generation immigrants. In order to unite and motivate her students she sets them a collaborative project to learn about the Holocaust. Prior to watching the film students completed a language based activity which introduced both new vocabulary relevant to the film and the French education system. One of the key differences that we were introduced to was the idea of secularism in schools and the social issues that may arise from this. Year 10 students were a credit to the school as they approached this topic in a mature manner, participating fully in all activities and demonstrating enthusiasm and interest throughout the day. The trip has led to some interesting and thought provoking discussions in lessons since, and students thoroughly enjoyed the day!
"It was eye opening to learn more about schools in France, in particular the fact that France is a secular state. This means that education and religion are separated. I really enjoyed learning about this as I found it very interesting and now feel confident in talking about this topic."(Khadeja Shebani 10S)
"The trip to the Institut Français was amazing as the activities were really interactive, and I learnt lots of new things about the education system in France. I also learnt some new vocabulary which will help me to improve my writing." (Kausar Nawab 10E)
"On the trip I learnt a lot about French schools and how they have a very different education system to ours. Namely, their view on religion is very different as they do not allow students to show their religion in school. They do this because they believe that everyone should feel equal in school. I really enjoyed the trip as I improved my knowledge of both vocabulary and culture." (Chiles Whyte 10R)
"The trip to the French Institute was very informative, fun and engaging. I learnt a lot about French culture and education, and now understand the difference between the French and British education systems. The film that we watched focussed on the Holocaust, and was a real eye-opener to the struggles of Jews and Gypsies in that period. It also highlighted the role of France in the war. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and would love to go again."(Hannah Dale, 10S)