Once every two years, during the Spring Term, Year 5 and 6 pupils have the opportunity to take part in a residential visit to a French language and activity centre, Maison Claire Fontaine, in Méluzien. This hamlet, some two hours south of Paris, is in the beautiful Burgundian countryside.
Departing on a Sunday, we arrive in time for a welcoming French supper and a relaxing evening. During the four days that follow, pupils have a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in French language and culture whilst completing lessons and activities led by French native teachers; supported throughout by our own Airthrie staff. The programme is tried and tested, tailored specifically to the needs of our pupils, offering an engaging and energetic focus on language and personal development in a very safe and special environment.
Each morning pupils take part in a language lesson, followed by on-site activities including cookery, circus skills and mosaic making. Off-site activities include a visit to a local historic town and basilica, a chateau with a maze, a market visit where pupils purchase food to prepare a picnic, a visit to a hypermarket and dinner out in a local restaurant.
Squeezed in between the many activities are delicious meals (prepared by the full-time chef) and many short bursts of outdoor activity including a walk in the locality, a game of pétanque, plus time to play together freely on the swings or at table tennis.
The group returns to Cheltenham on a Friday afternoon, allowing plenty of time to tell their families all about their amazing experience, as well as sleep and relax over the weekend.
Comment left by an Airthrie pupil in
the visitors' book:
I really enjoyed staying here. It was amazing! My favourite part was EVERYTHING! I can’t choose. I wish I could come again! Thank you to all the staff and a huge thank you for all the great meals.
Comment from parents after the
Our daughter hasn’t stopped telling us all about it since she got home. She has obviously had the best time...just going through 300 photos… a HUGE thank you!
Pupils leave Airthrie at the end of Year 6 to move on to their secondary education. This is a big moment in their lives, particularly as a large number of our Year 6 pupils have been with us since they were 3 years old. During the summer term of their final year at Airthrie, and to mark this milestone, pupils take part in a long weekend of activities at the PGL site in Osmington Bay, Dorset.
We have been running this residential visit for over 20 years and it has become an important part of a child’s progress through our school. In fact, their time at Airthrie is often spoken of as “x years until I can go to Osmington”. The children depart from Airthrie (accompanied for many years by Mr Richard Wright, Mrs Carol Wright, Mrs Sarah Harrison and Ms Lisa Jackson) on a Friday morning in early July and return during the evening of the following Monday.
Our first port of call is the picturesque village of Lulworth Cove where we eat a picnic lunch and then set off to walk the coastal path to Durdle Door. The children are guided through the many fascinating aspects of coastal formation on show during this walk by Mr Wright and Mrs Wright and then we meet up with our coach driver to continue our journey to Osmington Bay.
The rest of the weekend is spent enjoying activities such as abseiling, rock-pooling, climbing, zip-wire, leap of faith, trapeze, archery, wide games and much, much more. Most of the activities take place on the Osmington site but we also take advantage of its close proximity to Weymouth where pupils experience the magnificent facilities built for the water sports events of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
At the end of the weekend the children return with happy memories of experiencing such a wide range of activities, as well as of the wonderful choice of food in the cafeteria and the delight of sharing a chalet and spending uninterrupted days with their friends.
A very fitting ‘end of an era’ for all!