Twelve Fifth Form pupils and three members of staff excitedly boarded a plane to Nice for a week in the sun, ready to be immersed in French culture, food and, of course, the language. 

Pupils were initially daunted by the prospect of staying with families who, in some cases, couldn’t speak a word of English, but they quickly realised that they were so much better at French than they thought. 

Mornings were spent at the language school, where the focus was on speaking skills for their mock exams, and they weren’t allowed to speak any English at all. This was tough at first, but it got easier very quickly. During their free time, we were lucky to see some of the most exclusive properties in the world on Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, eat delicious Corsican ice cream in Villefranche-sur-Mer, and admire the extravagant yachts and cars in Monte Carlo. 

They stopped off at the beautiful medieval village of Eze, for a tour of a parfumerie, before having a go at making our own – with mixed results. 

The week was topped off with a guided tour of old Nice, where pupils successfully understood over three hours of spoken French, and were rewarded with crêpes and a trip to a confiserie at the end. 

A week is certainly not enough to become fluent, but it gave pupils a huge confidence boost, and they had a lot of fun, too.