Normandy 2023

Y10-11 History Trip to Normandy

Last week, 29 Y10 and Y11 historians travelled to Normandy. Students arrived at school at 4.15am on Tuesday to make the journey across the Channel to France, and our first visit of the trip was to Ranville, the first village liberated by the Allies at 2.30am on D Day, 6th June 1944.


We began Wednesday by going to visit the Bayeux Tapestry, bringing to life what we have seen in one of our GCSE units. Staying in Bayeux, we then visited the Bayeux Cemetery, the largest British Second World War cemetery in France, and the Bayeux Memorial Museum, which tells the story of events between D-Day and August 1944. In the afternoon, we visited Pegasus Bridge, a key strategic target of the Airborne divisions, to ensure the capture of Caen Canal thereby enabling the British troops to be able to exit eastwards from Sword Beach (one of the 5 D-Day Landing beaches).

Thursday was another full day of historical sites, visiting two very different cemeteries – La Cambe (German) and Colleville (American), as well as Pointe Du Hoc, a key German defensive fortification overlooking Omaha and Utah beaches. We finished Thursday with a trip to the Musee Du Debarquement, which overlooks the remains of the Mulberry Harbour. These were two artificial harbours that were built specifically for the D-Day landings and were handling up to 18,000 tonnes of goods per day during the Allied liberation of occupied France.

We finished our trip on Friday with a visit to the Caen museum, before beginning our long journey home and finally arriving back to school for just before 9pm. At all points on the trip, students were fabulous. Their conduct and the level of respect shown at the sites that we visited was exemplary, and they were a pleasure to take away. This is the first residential trip the History Department has run since Covid, and it will be a hard one to beat!