Children return to our French school trip centre

6 Jul 2021, 15:40 by Kate Moore


French TV news report - first school groups return to Château de la Baudonnière, Normandy

In May 2021 we welcomed our first school group back to Château de la Baudonnière. It was an emotional experience to see children exploring the Château grounds after such a long absence and French TV news were there to capture it!

While we were unable to host UK school groups at our French centres we transformed Château de la Baudonnière into an English Manor for French school children. 

Like UK school children, French school groups have not been able to travel abroad during the pandemic and so children studying English have had little opportunity to practise the language in a real life setting. In response, we used our 20 years' worth of teaching experience to develop an immersive English language programme, in France, for French school groups unable to travel to the UK.

Based at Voyager School Travel's Château de la Baudonnière centre in Normandy, the English Manor programme makes full use of the Château's adventure facilities and incorporates new cultural activities, such as learning the rules of cricket, making a tradtional cream tea and using sterling at the Château's tuck shop, to create an authentic English experience.

Voyager's innovative language programme featured on French TV 

The innovative language programme caught the attention of the French media and a news crew from France.tv filmed the reopening, spending the day with a school group from Collège du Sacré-Coeur, Domfront en Poiraie on their English Manor language programme. The news report featured an interview with our Château manager Darren as well as staff and students from the school. 

The English language programme is set to become a permanent fixture at the Château

The English Manor programme has proved incredibly popular with French school groups who tell us that they intend to return even after international travel restrictions are lifted. French schools are concerned that new post-Brexit rules will prevent EU school groups from entering the UK on an id card, making school trips to the UK prohibitively expensive because, unlike British school children, most EU children don't have a passport. 

The benefits for UK school groups staying at our French centres

By hosting school groups from both the EU and the UK we can add an exciting new 'exchange' option to our language programme. So, as soon as British school groups return to the Château we hope to 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 of our tried and tested COVID protocols which means that any school trips returning to the Château can be sure of our effective standards. 

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