Our programme works best when we all work together as a team; this helps us to promote the friendly French family atmosphere which is a major objective of Château de la Baudonnière. Communication, as we are sure you would agree, is the main ingredient in helping us to achieve this.
It is our responsibility to provide a secure environment and to deliver a worthwhile educational programme in a fun and safe manner. The Château staff team is here to help in any way we can, however, we consider “loco parentis” to be the responsibility of school party leaders and their staff team.
During activities and excursions, the Château instructors (animateurs) carry first aid kits and are trained and certified by a relevant French professional organisation to deal with any accidents or incidents. If assistance is needed they will use their Château walkie-talkies to contact a senior member of staff who will then take charge of the situation with a teacher from the school in question.
A senior member of the chateau staff team is on duty 24 hours a day to deal with any accident, emergency or problem that may arise. Details relating to who this person will be, how and where he/she can be contacted will be provided on a daily basis during your stay at the Château.
In the unlikely event of an accident, emergency services respond quicker than normal due to the fact children are present on site. We have a very good relationship with local amenities such as doctors, dentists, opticians and chemists.
On the evening of your arrival we will do a “dry run” drill. The correct evacuation procedures will be explained to the children in case the alarm goes off during this first night. On the morning after your arrival we will have a full fire drill.
It is the visiting teachers responsibility to clear and search their own accommodation block/building they are occupying, making sure the children line up (in quiet, straight lines) at their respective meeting points. Fire lists are situated next to the entrance of each accommodation block to ensure the evacuation procedure is as efficient as it can possibly be. The Château staff team will be there to help with any problems you may encounter.
One of our staff will join you for all off site visits to help you generally and to provide expert local knowledge.
It can be both helpful and fun if teachers join in with the pupils on activities, but generally, this is optional. However, we would ask you to provide a member of staff, as an extra pair of hands, on all photogramme, canoeing and raft building sessions (for these last two activities, children need to know how to swim and will be provided with a life jacket.). We also ask that teachers help us get the children to all the activities on time with the correct clothing for each session so that your time can be maximised.
We are also developing a system to try to measure the French language improvement of the pupils during their stay with us in an informal and non-invasive way which is also anonymous. Your group may or may not have been selected for it. Just so you know, we won’t do it on all activities and we only do it with certain groups. This doesn’t involve any big changes to the activity itself. It is all confidential and none of the marks will be used outside of our company. If you want more information about it, don’t hesitate to ask one of us.
There are some periods of free time, generally before and after meals, and we ask the teachers to supervise this time. After dinner, evening entertainments will be supervised by Château staff e.g. quiz or campfire etc. We would ask you to provide members of your staff to help in supervising these activities.
This is an ideal opportunity for pupils to use French language in an unstructured and social environment, and we would encourage pupils to use French, not English language at mealtimes.
We would like your help in this endeavour and although it can be particularly hard for pupils at the start of the week, it gets easier as the week progresses and yields good results by the end of your stay.
It is helpful to have a member of staff on each of the pupil’s tables to “hold the line”.
These are the “little jobs” we have for the pupils after lunch time. The main jobs are; Cider Tour, watch and learn how to make cider, Animaux, feed the animals of the mini-farm and give the rabbits a cuddle, Lamas and Poneys, go say hello to the lamas and the poneys and get them some food and Info Baudo, Find out and discover information about the ay (date, season, temperature, forecast....)
We do not supervise these jobs, except for those concerning animals, so please decide if you wish to accompany your groups on these occasions.
We highly recommend that any free time during your stay at the Chateau is used as a means of ensuring your children have correctly completed their diaries and journals.
The Château staff team is briefed and trained in how to best deal with any minor disciplinary problem. However, should we perceive the disciplinary problem to be of a more serious nature then we would ask the relevant teacher/teachers to become involved.
Teachers should take responsibility for administering any medication the pupils are currently taking. Please inform us in advance if any of your pupils have unusual or severe medical problems that we need to know about. (Prepared documents for recording this information can be accessed via our internet site and are included within this information pack)
It would be a great help to us if all Teachers can encourage the pupils to keep the accommodation blocks and the grounds clean and tidy, e.g. by using bins and taking off muddy clothes and shoes. Also try to close doors and windows (especially in the winter) and switch the lights off when not in use. A daily inspection of each dormitory is conducted by the chateau cleaning team resulting in a certificate being presented to the ‘cleanest’ room of the week!
Any damage to property should be reported immediately to a member of Château staff.
The conservatory and the upstairs area in the games room are purely for the visiting teachers, and the pupils are not allowed in here. There are tea and coffee making facilities in these areas for the teacher’s convenience.
Please feel free to use these areas at any time, and let us know if there is anything else you need.
Château car – can be utilised during the day. A reservation can be made via the château office. Please try to give us as much notice as possible!
Cheese and wine evening – during your stay a cheese and wine evening will be held for all visiting and château staff after the evening entertainment has concluded.
Cleaning cupboard – cleaning materials and spare linen are available in the accommodation blocks. These can be used in case of an emergency during your stay.
Drying room – wet clothes can be dried in the drying room using clearly defined areas marked for each school. Please ensure that your children are accompanied by a member of your staff team when using this facility. We strongly advise that you check this area before departure to ensure nothing has been left behind.
Lost property – this is situated in the chateau office. Items will be kept on site for a maximum of one month after which time we will offer them to local charities.
Internet/ E-mails – There is a computer at your disposal in the mezzanine area of the games room. A small cost will be incured for this facility, details of which can be found in the office.
Office – will be open every day from 9.00AM to 5.00PM. If you need assistance at any other time, please contact the duty manager.
Phone – Teachers can use the phone in the office to contact schools and parents.
Picnic forms – need to be completed and returned to the kitchen well in advance of any excursion (1 big sandwich per person, crisps, drinks, fruits…)
Valuables – can be locked in safes situated within certain teacher’s rooms. Codes for which will be provided to individual school party leaders upon arrival.
We trust that the information we have provided to you within this document will help to ensure that an enjoyable, secure and positive experience is remembered by all.
We try to give all teachers single rooms where possible and we are generally successful in doing so, it is only in the odd week where some of the groups may bring extra adults over and above what we recommend that we may ask teachers to share a room.
There is also a Cheese and Wine evening giving Teachers from all the schools the chance to relax and have a chat together.
The Teacher’s area in the Mezzanine has tea and coffee making facilities as well as English television with SKY and a computer with Internet Access. We also have WIFI at the Château.