SMCS Latest News 13 – Students studying French in Paris

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French option students in Paris

Appreciating the architecture of Valletta

Prior to the Paris trip, French students visited Valletta as part of the preparation program 'Urbanization and Architectural Art'. The team walked around the capital city documenting and taking photos of the architecture of various parts of the city. The material collected on this trip, together with the one on the Paris trip was displayed on a SWAY website.

On this occasion, students walked around the following places:

Sally Port
Valletta Design Cluster
Archbishop's Palace
St Paul's Basilica
President's Palace
St. John's Cathedral
Auberge de Castille
Upper Barrakka - Break
St James Cavalier
Victoria Gate
Lower Barrakka


25th April- Departure

As one might expect, the boys were excited about the prospect of spending some days in Paris. They had been preparing for this occasion in their French lessons. In spite of their excitement, they were relatively calm and relaxed and some even made good use of the waiting gallery resources to play a light tune to fellow passengers.

Needless to say...the educators were as excited (if not more) as the boys.


The boys soon made themselves at home in the youth hostel where they were staying. Upon arrival they set about playing table soccer, taking a look at the sports facilities the place offered, and of course partaking of a much needed snack. Rooms were soon allocated as students rushed to find themselves a bunk where to sleep.


Day 1

A busy day for the team as they moved around some of the most famous landmarks in Paris. The tour started with an initial stop at the Arc De Triomphe to study its architecture and significance, the monument of the unknown soldier and the list of names adorning the internal arch of the monument. The arc's classic architecture and its surrounding buildings would later be contrasted to the modern architecture and dynamic setting of the Arc De La Defense. The structure and design of the modern arc, some kilometers away, came as a powerful realization to the team how modern and classic architecture can fit side by side, even if one may not initially appreciate the contrast they create. Another interesting aspect was the functionality of the Arc De La Defense (which is populated by offices) when compared to the ornate role of the Arc De Triomphe, which is symbolic but not functional.

Along the way, students could admire various other examples of modern architecture and landscaping, including monuments of thumbs, scrap metal and, at one point, a large shoe box lying in the middle of the boulevard.

The evening offered another glimpse of the majesty and inventiveness of the Parisian architecture, as seen from the Seine. From the perspective of a boat tour moving down the river, students were free to admire the design of Eiffel Tower, the grandiosity (although under repair) of the Notre Damme cathedral and other important domestic and industrial buildings long the way.


Day 2

The theme of 'Urbanization and Architectural Art' was explored through a tour of some of Paris' famous streets, buildings, museums and gardens. Once again, the contrast between modern and classic was evident at the Louvre, the Louis Vuitton building and the Pompidou centre. Ms Dominique drew attention to the layout of the main and secondary streets on either side of the Seine and to the layout of Paris in general.

At the Pompidou centre, students were also encouraged to appreciate different art forms and to give their opinions on whether they felt a work of art was effective or not at capturing their interest. The Pompidou centre was also an opportunity for boys to  familiarize themselves with different techniques, materials and art epochs. From the centre's roof area, the boys could also take a good look at the layout of Paris and to get a better sense of the size of Paris.

After a spot of lunch, students enjoyed a 'peaceful' hour in one of the several gardens adorning Paris. Tiredness soon gave way to activity as soon as the boys spotted a climbing frame. They soon made the area theirs as they scrambled and cavorted until it was time to return to the hostel.

Throughout the day, the boys were encouraged to take photos of the places they walked through. These photos would serve as their 'evidence' when creating their Sway website.  

Upon returning to the hostel, the team celebrated Thomas' birthday with a cake and a gift.