Activities at The Château

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French school trip

Below is a list of activities and outdoor sessions available at the Château. They all provide a perfect situation for students to feel at ease using the French language, and include the learning/practice of verbs, actions, directions, instructions and vocabulary relevant to the immediate environment. They enjoy the activities so much they do not realise just how much they are learning.

As far as possible all sessions are conducted in French, unless otherwise requested and depending on the age and French level of the student. All safety points will also be covered in English if necessary. Most sessions are followed up with a worksheet applicable to the students’ level. All safety equipment is supplied by the centre (e.g. helmets, harness) and sessions are run by our fully qualified and experienced staff.

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La Haye-Pesnel, France

Our activities

Map of the Château de la Baudonnière grounds

Map of the grounds

Here is a map of the grounds at le Château de la Baudonnière where our activities take place.

Activities at The Château - Archery

Tir a l'arc (Archery)

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.

Climbing at French education chateau in Normandy

Escalade (climbing)

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.

Initiative Exercises normandy

Exercises d'initiative (Initiative Exercises)

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.

Raft building at French language immersion school centre

Kayak

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.

Raftbuilding

Radeaux (Raftbuilding)

What could be better for team work and learning French at the same time than building a raft. Its great fun and usually (possibly as a result of some secret help from our animateur), the raft actually floats! The activity follows our normal format with some workbook work to start off with to learn the vocab, the fun bit in the middle and then another classroom session to consolidate what they have learnt.

Orienteering

Course d’Orientation (Orienteering)

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.

Activities at The Château - Assault Course

Parcours de Sante (Assault Course)

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!

Escrime Fencing

Escrime (Fencing)

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.

Fabrication du Pain Bread Making

Fabrication du Pain (Bread Making)

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.

Photography

Photography (Development)

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.

Circus skills

Circus skills

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.

Activities at The Château - Aeroball

Aéroballe (Aeroball)

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.

Nature Trail

Mini beast Safari (Nature Trail)

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.

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