8th December 2000 at 00:00
(Photograph) - Forty GCSE students at this independent day school spent their half-term sketching Paris street life and looking at works of art in the city's museums. Places they visited included the Louvre, the Rodin and Picasso museums, the Pompidou centre and the Cimeti re du P re Lachaise. On the return journey they stopped at the First World War battle site, Vimy Ridge. Head of art Carolyn Blake says the pupils worked long days, starting after breakfast at 7.30am and carrying on until suppertime. "One girl said she went because she was keen to see Paris but thought the art might be boring. When she came back, she said she had been inspired," says Miss Blake. The annual visits have been such a success that next Easter she hopes to start trips to Venice for her A-level class. The music department also travels regularly, with the choir and orchestra going to Tuscany last summer. Hockey and netball teams have been to Australia. In addition, the school as exchange visits with a school in the Belgian town of de Panne. Edgbaston is Birmingham's oldest independent day school for girls (founded 1876) and, despite being called a high school, takes pupils from the age of two, with a total roll of 940.

Snaps by Carolyn Blake

A week in the life of Edgbaston high school for girls, Birmingham

Grave expressions: entrance to the Cimeti re du Pre Lachaise. Among the tombs are those of Oscar Wilde, Isadora Duncan, Edith Piaf and Chopin

Close up: Becky Hemus sketches a Joan Miro painting at the Pompidou centre Emily Hamnett draws John the Baptist in the Musee Rodin.

Below: on the River Seine.

Deathwatch: at the grave of 19th century journalist Victor Noir. Parisians rioted when he was shot.. Look and see: Sara Aboutorabi, Rachel Stacey and Claire Blizzard at the Louvre.

Light fantastic: 'Composition aux deux perroquets' by Leger, at the Pompidou. Snaps by Carolyn Blake.

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