— 5 Jul 2021 09:57:42 by Kate Moore
While we've been unable to host British school trips to the Château we have transformed the centre into an 'English Manor' where French school children can enjoy an immersive English language and British cultural experience without crossing La Manche!
We were aware that international travel restrictions meant that English learners in the EU had little opportunity to practise their language in a real life setting.
So the creative Château team developed a fantastic English language programme, called the English Manor, for French and other EU school groups who aren't able to travel to the UK.
Using our long experience of hosting language learners from the UK, the English Manor programme makes full use of the Château's facilities and incorporates new English-themed activities such as a traditional pub quiz, scone making and learning about pounds sterling in the Château corner shop.
The innovative programme has even been featured on French TV news!
The news crew from France.tv spent a day following a school group from Collège du Sacré-Coeur, Domfront en Poiraie on the English Manor language programme at the Château. Click here to watch the Château's English Manor Programme on French TV news!
The English Manor programme is proving incredibly popular and we expect the English programme to become a permanent fixture at the Château, even after COVID travel restrictions are lifted.
This is because most EU children don’t have a passport and new post-Brexit rules will prevent school groups from entering the UK on an id card as they did before. These tougher restrictions will push up the price of school trips to the UK and leading experts predict that UK school visits from the EU could halve as a result. If so, the English Manor programme, providing an authentic slice of England in Normandy, will have lasting appeal to domestic French school groups.
By hosting French school groups, alongside groups from the UK, we can add an exciting new 'exchange' option to our language programme. As soon as British school groups return to the Château we will offer them the chance to meet their French peers and work together on an on-site activity during their stay.
The other benefit of opening our doors to French school groups is that we can be confident that we have robust COVID safety protocols that have been tried and tested with school groups. So, any group returning to the Château can be sure of our effective standards.
If you think an English teaching colleague in France might like to bring their students to the English Manor pop-up at the Château, please share these details with them. Click here to see The English Manor website for French schools.