We think students always learn best when they’re having fun, which is why all our activities are designed to give your students a really good time. Our activities are all based at the château and run by our superbly popular animateurs. They are specially trained and experienced in creating an environment, where pupils feel comfortable speaking French and making mistakes - they make sure your pupils enjoy themselves so much, the don't even realise they're learning! Instructions for each activity are given in French (but safety instructions can always be repeated in English) and the pupils are encouraged to speak French at all times. Our own château workbooks reinforce the French they’ve learned by providing them with key phrases, vocab, exercises and puzzles to complete at the end of each activity.
Below is a list of activities and outdoor sessions available at the Château. They all provide the perfect environment for students to feel at ease using French, and include the learning/practice of verbs, actions, directions, instructions and vocabulary relevant to the immediate environment.
On our own purpose built wall, pupils take it in turns to climb whilst those not climbing take on the role of instructor, or guide. The ‘guide’ directs their partner in French using the appropriate constructions and vocabulary for directions and body movements/parts. At the end of the session, your animateur will help your pupils to fill in their workbooks, revising sentence constructions and vocabulary used during the activity. Harnesses, helmets and other necessary safety equipment is supplied by the château.
The château grounds provide the perfect base from which to run these team building and problem-solving exercises. Animateurs will set your pupils up with various challenging tasks to be carried out in the forest. Pupils are encouraged to speak to each other in French (as much as possible!) as they work as a team to overcome the challenges that have been set.
Kayaking on our own small lake, gives pupils the opportunity to learn various new skills in a safe, but fun environment. The lake is big enough for your students to have fun, but small enough for our animateurs to maintain our high safety standards. After kayaking, pupils work in teams to build rafts using ropes, barrels and… plenty of patience! As usual, French is the order of the day. Students should be confident in water, but they do not need to be excellent swimmers.
Students will be taught map reading in French using orienteering games and courses in The Chateau grounds. As well as using French language for features, directions and map symbols the team orienteering challenges will involve other French language quizzes as well as finding the control markers.
The obstacle course is quickly becoming the château’s most popular activity. Instructions, as usual, are given in French and pupils are asked to repeat ‘action’ statements before tackling each obstacle. It is an ideal activity for practising popular verbs and prepositions. Everyone love parcours de santé because the session is usually finished off with a race against the clock and a dip in the lake, giving them the chance to get rather wet and muddy!
After the obligatory safety talk, pupils learn how to shoot arrows in our purpose built archery arena. The session is finished off with a balloon shooting competition. The activity provides the perfect environment for practising French numbers (scores) and directions.
Vélo Tout Terrain (VTT) is excellent for the use of directions; tout droit, tourne à gauche etc. After the obligatory safety talk and issue of equipment, the students participate in a biking session involving a country route to a local café. Here they get the opportunity to practise their French by ordering and paying for a drink. Parts of the bike are explained in French as well as commands, directions, road safety etc.
As with everything we do, in our fencing sessions safety is our number one priority. So, only after the equipment has been issued and the safety brief has been fully understood, do pupils get down to practising their fencing moves. Your animateur will teach the basics of the sport in French and pupils will repeat actions whilst practising their new French phrases.
Everyone loves making things they can enjoy and eat later, and even more so at the château because we combine bread baking with singing French songs! Primary school pupils love getting covered in flour, kneading their dough and enjoying their tasty treats later with their evening meal. A hands-down favourite.
With almost 100 acres of outstanding natural woodland and its very own river, this activity provides an unspoiled insight into French wild life and small creatures, within the safety of the Chateau grounds. From dipping into the river to laying a white blanket under a bush and shaking the branches and searching through the meadows with a magnifying glass. With the use of specially designed identification cards this activity gives students of all ages and abilities, the opportunity to learn about the countryside as well as the French names of different animals and creatures. No creatures are hurt during this activity and they are all returned to their natural habitat.
In conjunction with our Mini-Beast Safari, this activity is designed to enhance the students knowledge of French whilst also enabling them to capture an image from their activity, be it a leaf or a flower or their very own design. With our own dark room, we can transport the image onto paper for the students to take away with them.
Brilliant for learning a whole variety of French vocabulary and phrases, from the names of circus tools to the actions themselves, as well as more basic things such as colours, numbers and prepositions. Your animatuer will teach the technique alongside the art of circus skills.
Aéroballe is probably our most popular activity among teachers and pupils alike – it is a totally unique trampoline-basketball-volleyball game, suitable for all ages. It is played by two teams of two, who are guided by their friends in French.
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Le Château de la Baudonnière: an alternative to a French exchangePublished in the SATIPS Language Broadsheet"For many years, I organised exchange trips to many different areas of France. The trips lasted between three days and two weeks and I took both boys and girls aged between nine and thirteen. The children were all paired with French children of the same age and interests and were given a real insight into French family life. I organised outings during the day, some of them for the English and French children together, others just for the English children. Each year some of the families decided to continue the exchanges and that first school trip was just the beginning of long and very happy friendships, not just between the children, but also between whole families. At my present school there is no history of French exchanges but the Year 7 pupils have the chance to go to an activity centre in France. As these trips have been heavily subsidised by the sch...