Since 2004 the school has owned a chalet in the French Alps. It is located in the Savoie region in the small village of Hauteville Gondon, just below the famous ski resort of Les Arcs. All children have the opportunity to visit the chalet twice during their time at Abberley Hall and experience the French way of life first hand. The groups are small which allows for a superb opportunity for learning and exploring and the time spent in the Alps is a unique experience. It gives an unrivalled opportunity for the children to broaden their outlook on life and leaves the children with lasting memories.
We take small groups from 100's and REM's (Year 5 and Year 7)each year as well as taking the scholars on an end of year trip. Children normally stay for two and a half weeks and spend their time living and learning about a different country. The trips are run during the summer and winter terms.
The chalet provides an ideal base for a multitude of different activities, lessons and language opportunities. Mornings are devoted to formal French lessons. The children are encouraged to put their language skills into practice at the table during meal times and we use a local guide or instructor when we visit the market or the town. The children have a different activity every afternoon, some cultural and some physical, but all of which relate to the Savoie and the mountains. These activities range from visiting cheese producers, local museums or fete days to the study of glaciers and a wide range of outdoor physical activities.
Living together gives the children the opportunity to learn much more about each other and also themselves. They gain respect and tolerance for others and improve their own self-esteem and independence.
The Alpine Experience
The children stay in the school’s chalet in Hauteville-Gondon, near Bourg-Saint-Maurice, in a stunning location overlooking the Tarentaise valley. They are accompanied on their journey by members of Abberley staff. The purpose of these visits is to immerse the children in the culture, language and traditions of the Alps and France as well as undertaking physical activities and adventures during their time in the chalet. Children take part in sports, bike rides, hikes up the mountains and white water rafting, taking in as many alpine experiences as possible.
The chalet is a converted former saw-mill in the heart of a quiet mountain village. The children live in a family atmosphere and experience French life, speaking as much French as possible. All children are expected to help with everyday minor chores and they take it in turns to cook during the evenings. The atmosphere and ethos is the same as when at school; warm, caring and secure.
Please click on the link below to read our Chalet Journals.Chalet News
A wide range of topics from geography, art, history, local architecture, sport and, most importantly, language will be studied, providing for a very full timetable. All studies and daily activities are conducted in French whenever possible. The Chalet should be seen as an extension to the normal life and studies at Abberley Hall. The emphasis will always be educational but this, of course, does not exclude fun. At times, local fully qualified staff will be employed for some visits and activities.
Normal lessons make up an essential core of the trip. These will be linked to local visits and practical experience of the mountains. The children are subject to exactly the same rules as at Abberley Hall, the staff being responsible for the children at all times.