The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

French Diplomatic Visit

In November of 2018, the three Scotch College Junior School Year 5 classes sent a package of around 70 letters to French servicemen serving in Jordan. The French soldiers (mostly pilots) were engaged in airstrikes in Syria. The letters, written entirely in French, were part of the "Who We Are" Exhibition topic, and allowed the boys to introduce themselves using a collection of sentence starters, such as "I am, I like and I have…" to reach out to the soldiers and share some friendship. The letters were transferred through a diplomatic contact at the embassy in Canberra and travelled to France and on to Jordan and finally to the military base, where their arrival amazed and delighted the French soldiers.

The French government were so touched that they asked us this year, if their Defence Attaché, Captain Philippe Petitdidier, could come to Scotch and personally thank the boys. A reception was held for Captain Petitdidier in the Memorial Hall in May, where he spoke of how our letters had meant a great deal to the French soldiers, and how he felt that they honoured a long-standing relationship between our soldiers, linking back to World War 1.

A fortnight after the visit, a package of replies from the French soldiers was received. The letters were warm, heartfelt and appreciative. They included photos, thank you mementos and the soldiers even answered many of the questions the boys had asked in their own letters. It was a wonderful conclusion to a very enjoyable project.

What we particularly like is that the French project provided our boys with a very tangible element of "Action" – a big part of being an IB school. We are so proud of last year's Year 5s and can't wait to continue this special relationship by completing the project again with the current classes of 5C, 5L and 5W.

letters.jpg soldierreply3.jpg unknown-3.jpeg unknown-4.jpeg unknown-5.jpeg

Madame Vinton
French Specialist