In 1993, Sunningdale bought a manoir in Normandy, about 20 minutes from Bayeux. The house had not been lived in for 25 years. It was completely restored and now comprises a large house with a converted barn and about seven acres of land.
The boys go out for a week at a time and the aim is to bring the language they learn in the classroom to life. While they are there they take part in a wide range of activities.
Each day starts with a lesson during which the boys are introduced to the language they will need during the day. They then set off for a variety of activities which includes:
- a visit to a local market
- the Bayeux Tapestry
- D-Day landing beaches and museums
- World War II cemeteries
- Local towns
- Local farms and small businesses
Lunch is usually taken as a picnic between visits. The day ends with another lesson before a trip to the beach to unwind before a more formal supper where the boys are encouraged to speak as much French as possible.
This is a fantastic opportunity for the boys to practice their French in real life situations and they see the whole thing as a bit of a holiday. They hardly realise they are learning!