Year 7 enjoyed another very successful residential stay at the Château de la Baudonnière in the Manche region of Normandy, not far from the Brittany border. This is the 12th time Vinehall pupils have stayed in the verdant surroundings of this secluded château with its peacocks, little black sheep, rabbits, ponies and poultry grazing the grounds at their leisure.
For the Year 7s it was a good cultural, gastronomic and social experience, with French spoken at all times by all the staff and the expectation that the students do their best to understand and respond.
We enjoyed many sporting and physical activities, such as archery, a muddy assault course and aeroball, as well as making our own bread (the recipe for which can be found in the children’s journal). Our visits included the historical Mont Saint Michel, walking around the ramparts and back along the wooden road as the sirens were sounding behind us, warning of the fast approach of the incoming tide. Then a day trip to Bayeux, taking in the amazing and intricate tapestry, and just a few miles northwards to the coast, fast forwarding almost 1000 years to the stark and shocking reality of the recorded events on D Day, followed by the peace and reverence of the American Cemetery at Colville where the children were interested to learn that they had visited America without needing a visa!
There will be more details of the trip in the end of year magazine, but suffice it to say that I would like to extend grateful thanks to my two stalwart colleagues: Miss V-T and Mr Butcher, to all the support staff helping to make the arrangements before we left and to the lovely Year 7s, whose enthusiasm, interest in all things around them and youthful exuberance made the whole trip thoroughly worthwhile!