Alastair Nicholls and Peter Sherlock of 5P
On 19 and 20 September, the boys in Year 5 participated in some most enjoyable and educational French breakfasts. This was a very worthwhile event which brought language-learning to life and was the most authentic experience possible for the boys to enjoy a slice of French life while living so far away in Australia.
Chantal Herlihy transformed the After-School-Care Cottage into a French café with checkered table cloths and posters of France and French gourmet foods all around. A most delightful combination of Edith Piaf and other famous French songs was played in the background which greatly added to the atmosphere. Chantal combined a delicious French breakfast with valuable and interesting cultural information, delivered between the courses! The boys were able to try traditional French baguettes served with butter and jam, croissants and ‘pain au chocolat’ and they were served several steaming hot cups of chocolate to drink. It was wonderful to see the boys’ enthusiasm and to hear them confidently asking for the various foods in their best French accents!
Chantal spoke about famous Paris monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe with its Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. She showed her large map of France and pointed out the regions where snails, a fish soup called ‘bouillabaisse’ and pâté de foie gras are sourced. There were some gory stories about the preparation of snails and pâté de foie gras for the table and most of the boys were relieved that it was breakfast that was being served on this occasion!
There were also interesting stories about the last French king, Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette as well as the great French hero, Napoleon. Apparently, when Louis XVI was about to be executed in the guillotine, he asked about his old friend, the Comte de La Pérouse. This gave the boys a valuable introduction to another fascinating subject, the French Explorers who came to Australia. La Pérouse arrived only one day after Captain Arthur Phillip and the boys realised that the history of France could have been very different! Australia could have just as easily been French and we could have been eating baguette and croissants every day instead of just on special occasions!
Vive la France!
Ann Louise Cameron, French teacher