We are very fortunate to have the use of Le Château de Sauveterre (which is part of The Cothill Educational Trust). Situated about an hour from Toulouse in the south west of France and with access to the ski slopes of the Pyrennees, this is a wonderful opportunity for all our children and we are proud to be associated with this educational experience of a lifetime. It is run by Neal and Nicki Bailey who taught at Cothill House before taking over the helm at the Chateau de Sauveterre.
Pupils in Year 7 (the 2s) are offered a unique opportunity to improve their written and oral French, as well as to develop personally and socially whilst living in France for either the Autumn or Lent Term. The fine weather, delicious food and small numbers ensure that each individual is able to grow academically and socially. The term at Sauveterre is generally regarded to be the high point of a pupil's prep school life, giving each one the self-assurance to approach the final year with a maximum of confidence. A member of the Ashdown staff accompanies them out to France and makes sure they are settled before returning and the Headmaster and his wife visit at least once during the term – as well, of course, as keeping in daily contact.
All lessons are taught in French by local teachers and the children are expected to speak French when there is a native speaker present. French is taught in structured classes by teachers who are experts at teaching French as a second language to beginners or competent linguists alike and the level of French acquired by children who join us in the 2s with no knowledge of the language gives them a perfect springboard for CE work on their return. Children who need extra help are supported by Nicki Bailey who is qualified in this field of expertise. Music, sport, drama and art are all part of the curriculum. Children from local schools join the Sauveterre children for lessons as well as for sport, and exchanges at weekends with local families are encouraged – and indeed forges friendships that endure beyond the term in France.
Boarding life at Sauveterre is organised by English staff, who tend to all the pastoral, health and welfare issues of the children. The food is prepared by an excellent team of French cooks, who introduce French cuisine to the children in a friendly but interesting manner.
Each term at Sauveterre, stimulating activities are provided outside class time, for children to explore the region and to meet local French people. Weekly visits to a local school, participation in local sports clubs and excursions to places of interest occur every week. The fine weather enables plenty of outdoor activity and in February all the pupils benefit from a full week's skiing in the nearby Pyrenees. The Château has its own swimming pool, games fields, tennis courts and woods. There are extensive indoor facilities and completely modernised bedroom, washing and showering facilities.
Every day, fresh news photos are posted on the Château de Sauveterre www.sauveterre.netwebsite, which enable parents and friends to keep in touch with the children's progress – and the website will also give you further understanding of all that the term in France will give your son or daughter.
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