Le Chateau de Sauveterre
The Château de Sauveterre provides the opportunity for children in Years 6, 7 and 8 to spend a term boarding in the South of France. The purpose of Sauveterre is to immerse the children in French language and culture, and for many children it is the highlight of their school life.
Numbers range between 55 and 75 children per term, and whilst a large proportion of our children come from schools within the Cothill Trust, Sauveterre is available to everybody. The school is Co-Ed in the Autumn and Spring terms, whilst in the Summer term the school becomes single sex, welcoming girls predominantly from schools outside of the Trust.
The school is run by Simon and Fabienne Bird, who live on the top floor of the school with their two children. Simon previously worked at Brambletye, a prep school in East Sussex, as Assistant Head, Head of Modern Foreign Languages and a Boys' Boarding Houseparent. Fabienne is a French national and runs the boarding house and pastoral care for the school.
A school day at Sauveterre is entirely in French. The children follow a normal curriculum with all subjects taught in the target language. Lunchtimes are also fully in French, and the progress we witness over the course of the term is remarkable. We do, however, appreciate the need to keep up core subjects in English and in order to do so the children receive two English preps a week, as well as one prep and a Maths lesson taught in English. Reading is popular at Sauveterre as no electronics are allowed on site. Parents can keep in touch with their children's progress through emails and the daily photos posted on the website.
The benefits of being in the South of France are considerable. Longer days in the winter allow us to play Sports most days and our proximity to Toulouse, the Pyrenees (where we go skiing in February half term) and both the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts mean that there are endless opportunities for trips out for the children to discover the region. In addition every pupil has a correspondent in a local French school that they spend time with every week, and there is the opportunity to spend a weekend with a French family in Toulouse.