Before we arrived in France Georges had spoken to Brian about visiting the newly opened school in Elven.
George knew Brian would be interested in the architecture, but also thought it would be great opportunity for the students learning English to speak with us.
We were welcomed by the English teacher Olivier Le Trocquer and a group of his students and given a tour of their school. Opened in 2017 the architecture is modern exposed concrete with loads of natural light, spacious classrooms fully Apple equipped.
This is middle school/college for students aged 11-15 years, they then progress to Lycee or high school to complete their schooling and prepare them for University.
We sat with the first group of around 25 students and Olivier for one hour and they asked questions about our political system ( I referred that one to Brian), the food we eat, our favourite National Monuments (these are French children with wonderful monuments like the Eiffel Tower). our weather, animals and most importantly to them, if we thought that Australia would beat France in the upcoming World Cup Soccer match.
After a quick visit with the Principal and a short break for coffee we headed back to the classroom to meet our second group of 25 students. This group were a little quieter than the first, but also had very well thought out questions about our culture, aboriginals, lifestyle and fashion. All answers were written down by the students to be used in an upcoming English assignment.
Olivier would love to set up some type of contact between his students and students in Australia, either by email, Skype or even a visit. So Sandra, Linda, Julie or anyone else following our blog that may be able to help make this happen, please contact me privately for Olivier’s contact details.
As I mentioned in a previous post a journalist and photographer were present and took a number of photo’s. Not sure why they choose this one for their article though, it looks like Brian is thinking ‘what on earth is Julie saying now’!
A little about Simone Veil, and why the college was named after her.
Simone was born in Nice to a Jewish family. Shortly after finishing high school she and her family were transported to Auschwitz, where all but Simone perished.
After the liberation she studied law and political science at the University of Paris. She became Minister of Justice and was very active in women’s rights, improving prision conditions, legal and adoption rights for women in France.
Later she became Minister of Health making contraception legal. But her hardest won flight was to help legalize abortion.
Until her death in June 2017 she held important political positions, and won many prestigious awards.
She was honoured with a National Ceremony with Military honours at Les Invalides in Paris, attended by President Macron, and will be buried in the Pantheon.