SCHOOLCHILDREN from both Bicester and France have been building bridges by taking part in a special school visit.

Students from the town of Les Essarts in France, which is twinned with the Oxfordshire town, hopped on a plane to visit The Bicester Technology Studio.

The visit for about 50 guest children was staged by the Bicester and District Town Twinning Association who hosted a day of team building activities.

Pupils from Clemenceau College made the trip from the French town, which is in the west of the country near Nantes.

Bicester Technology Studio vice principal Dean Woodham said: "We were delighted to meet the students and staff from Clemenceau College.

"It was a good chance to develop local and international partnerships and our students thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

"They are looking forward to being able to make a return visit to the students in Les Essarts."

It is hoped the activity day will help create ties between schools in the twinned town and create those experiences for both parties to get an insight into different cultures and countries.

The youngsters enjoyed a jam-packed day in Bicester with groups alternating between bowling and building the strongest bridge made out of straws - the winning team being the bridge which could hold the most textbooks.

Bicester village also supported the event with a host of activities including arts and crafts and the popular photo booth.

Clemenceau College English teacher Laetitia Bourcier said: “Our pupils really enjoyed their visit to the UK and most of them commented that the day spent at Bicester Technology Studio was their favourite part of the trip.

"Several have asked me if they can correspond in English with the students, and we are looking forward to welcoming them to our college in return."

The college have since invited the studio school in Queens Avenue to visit Les Essarts, which has been twinned with Bicester since 1992, and this will again be supported by the twinning association.

Bicester Town councillor Richard Mould said: "The Bicester and District Twinning Association are immensely grateful for the reception given to the school students from Clemenceau College from Les Essarts, Bicester's twin town in the Vendee France.

"The visit was an overwhelming success with the French students saying it was the best day of their trip to the UK and Bicester students also asking questions about twinning."