During the Easter holidays a group of 19 pupils from Year 7 and 8 stayed for a week in the Château de la Baudonnière, a centre situated south of Cherbourg. This centre has been running for around twenty years and offers children a French language immersion experience. This was our third visit to the Centre. Mme Haddow led the group with the help of Señora Fleck.
Each group had a French native-speaking member of staff (an animateur) who ensured that all activities (including meals) were undertaken using spoken French, and pupils were encouraged to use the language to express themselves as much as possible. In fact, the animateurs never spoke English to them! The pupils spent some of their time at the Château learning archery, fencing, climbing, and bread-making. They also experienced an assault course through the countryside which involved a lot of mud, but which was probably the most popular activity! Cultural visits included Mont St Michel and the Bayeux Tapestry, a local market and a goat farm, where they were encouraged to feed, milk and handle the goats.
The weather was good and for pupils and staff alike it was a most enjoyable and worthwhile experience.