We got back from our visit yesterday and would just like to a great big merci to all of you, but especially you for organising everything for us. we had a really lovely time. The chateau is brilliant and the staff so helpful and friendly. Everything was great and even the weather was kind despite the forecast, so thank you so much and I will be recommending it to everyone I can. what a great idea to do total immersion- it s the only way forward. Kathy Beaumont - Ashlyns School
I just wanted to thank you personally for a fantastic week in Chateau de la Baudonniere. I can honestly say that it was the best school trip I have been on. From the organisation of the booking in the UK to the warm welcome and family atmosphere we experienced at the chateau, everything was perfect. One of the strong points was the team of animateurs. Without exception, they were enthusiastic, friendly and accomplished in making all the activities fun for the children, all of whom have come home with fantastic memories and a renewed enthusiasm for speaking French.
Thank you for everything and I look forward to visiting the chateau with more groups in the future. Carolyn George - All Saints Catholic High School
Nous avons beacoup apprécié l'ambiance, la nourriture et l'aide de tous les animateurs. Merci. Merci à tout le monde - on s'est bien amusé on a bien mangé et on a beaucoup appris! Kathy Green & Liz Pribul, Forest School
Above all, the whole French experience was very much enjoyed by our children. After ten previous French trips this was the one the children have gained most in terms of language and confidence - and I think the one they have enjoyed most. Mr T Cooke, Deputy Headmaster, Clayesmore Preparatory
All our pupils had a wonderful time and are hoping to return. It has even motivated some to do 'A' Level French. Jacky Maggs, Head of French, The Coopers' Company & Coborn School
We were most impressed by the commitment, competence and enthusiasm of all your staff. Mrs J Longbourne, Head of Modern Languages, St Albans High School for Girls
In my twenty years of teaching I've done quite a number of French trips with children and can honestly say that this one has offered me by far the best formula so far. Brigitte Ainsworth, Grace Dieu
I am so pleased with the success of our week in France and the very positive effect that it has had on the examination work. Mr C John, Rugby School
It was wonderful to find out about the Chateau de la Baudonniere and I visited the centre during the Easter holidays with my colleague, Lynda Aguilar, to discover more. We realised immediately that our pupils would love the range of activities on offer and would all benefit from the experience of being in such a unique environment. We were, therefore, delighted when all 67 of our year 8 pupils decided to participate in the 5-day residential visit in October.
After a long journey to Normandy, we finally arrived and the fun began!
Despite fairly inclement weather, (typical of the region during October, unfortunately!) All the children thrived in the French-speaking environment and the Chateau staff were extremely skilled at enabling our pupils to feel comfortable and challenged in such an atmosphere.
Our days were filled with an amazing range of activities – including archery, bread – making, orienteering and a very muddy (and hugely popular!) assault course. Pupils spent their evenings singing French songs around a campfire, playing “le handball” and taking part in various quizzes.
It has to be said, too, that we were treated to a fabulous assortment of gastronomic delights, and both the staff and pupils enjoyed the local dishes that were on offer. Favourites for many seemed to be the frogs’ legs and snails, and the French chef complimented our pupils on being “exceptionally good eaters!” It must be our Brighton sea – air!
The trip was a huge success and I am very happy to have discovered a French residential centre of such quality. As a teacher, I know that I would love to have visited the Chateau myself when I was in year 8 and I could see pleasure, excitement and satisfaction etched in all our pupils’ faces. We shall be returning. A bientot! Zoë Thomas – Head of French
This is my sixth visit to the Chàteau with Royal Latin School, and whilst I have not led any of the trips, I am the only member of staff to have accompanied all six of them. For me the Chàteau goes from strength to strength, with increased levels of safety and greater consistency in delivering appropriate activities that meets the needs of our students. However, this year, I have been particularly impressed with the atmosphere around the chàteau: Colette is a fantastic asset and the presentation she gives in the morning is second to none. Wilfred leads activities with confidence and sensitivity.
I was really pleased to see Béné and Sophie looking well. This year, we have really felt part of the Chàteau family during our short stay - a feeling that i know is so important as it allows us to ensure that our students gain the maximum benefit from the experience. I am try to learn French myself and i know first hand how the total French immersion approach is so effective.
I know that the trip leader, andrea Savage, and the other staff have enjoyed the trip and that there is always an opportunity for feedback at the Chàteau and later on the telephone, however, I wanted to take this opportunity to write to you personally to express my own personal view of the Chàteau experience. Matthew Morgan, Senior Teacher, Royal Latin School
I have been on 27 outbound trips and this one was by far the best. The Chateau have a unique way of developing the children and should be really proud of this. Lynne, Party Leader, Kew College
For eight years now I have run various trips to the Château de la Baudonnière. Initially I would take up to 90 Year 7 students for a week in July and I remember fondly my first visit, and how impressed I was with all aspects of the Château and its fantastic staff team.
Every Easter I have continued to take Sixth Form students to the Château, and it remains an incredibly popular and integral part of the course. Students have undertaken visits to local lycées, les mairies, regional hospitals, the law courts, the university of Caen, radio stations and homeless centres. Whilst at these places they have had the opportunity to conduct questionnaires or ask specific questions applicable to their presentation work.
I have always set aside the last day of the trip for a full blown mock oral examination. With the help of the Château staff it is possible to devote anything up to an hour with individual candidates. Students would prepare for the exam just as they would for the oral proper, be examined for 15 minutes and then receive up to 45 minutes individual feedback. When we return after each successive trip I am constantly surprised how every aspect of my students’ understanding has improved – their confidence in oral work, their projects, their exam results. It is this level of proficiency in extending students’ performance which brings me back year after year. Conn Anson-O’Connell, Head of MFL, King Henry VIII