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Exchange Visits with Lycee Georges Pompidou

The last two weeks of May were an opportunity for the MFL Department to organise the now traditional exchange visits between a selection of Y6 DESS students and an equivalent age group from Lycée Pompidou, Academic City. The aims of this exchange are to give our English-speaking students exposure to a francophone environment and to introduce French students to DESS irresistible learning methods.


DESS started the visits first, and after ice-breaking activities in the gym around personal information vocabulary, children moved on to the ‘cantine’ (dining hall) to enjoy a French breakfast. Children had to order in French of course, and pay for their bill in (fake) Euros. The French students were briefed to make mistakes in the bills, so that DESS students could use their French number (and complaining!) skills.

Our children were then challenged to a treasure hunt which required them to ask for items in French in different classes of the School (one of the items was even hidden in the Headteacher’s office!). The day finished with a debrief, where children really got to exchange with their partners and know them better.


The week after, it was Pompidou’s turn to come and visit DESS. We couldn’t help but introduce them to the School’s legendary ‘4-square’ ball game as a starter, which went down a storm! There is a good chance that the game will become a common activity in the Pompidou playground!

The next activity emphasised problem solving, critical thinking, creativity and collaboration, the famous DESS ‘4Cs’. With limited materials, children had to create a landcraft able to travel and compete in a 10 metre race. Beautiful collaboration took place and the final races in Latifa were really thrilling (and rather noisy)! Children from both schools formed lovely friendships and really discovered each other’s cultures during these events.

Au revoir Pompidou, see you again next year!


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