For the fourth and final Case Study I want to share one of our family courses. Family courses are a relatively new thing for us here at Fleetham Lodge with the first one taking place in 2013.
Fleetham Lodge is a perfect venue for a family group as all the student bedrooms are located on one floor and so the family can have this whole floor to themselves giving them complete privacy. There are 4 rooms, three have double/king-size beds and one has twin beds which means that a combination of different family groups – a couple and their children or two families (we have had two mothers who were friends with their respective children) etc. can easily be accommodated with up to 5 or 6 people.
There is also access to the laundry room for those more mundane tasks, if required.
The family I want to feature in this post came from Japan and consisted of mother and two children aged 13 and 9. The 13 year old was already studying at an international boarding school and his sister was going to follow him there in time. The children had been to a summer camp in the US and wanted a more focused course to improve their English skills before returning to school.
All three wanted to have lessons but they all had different needs. Wakaba the 9 year old had some English and was rather shy and didn’t like to speak much, Ghota her brother spoke well and quite fluently but wanted help with grammar and writing for school and their mother wanted to brush up on her skills and improve her fluency. We organised for two teachers with experience of teaching children to share the classes. Ghota had 3 hours each morning, the mother two hours and Wakaba an hour and a half after which she would play with one of my two daughters who were here at the time. This worked out very well for all concerned.
In the afternoons we went out on visits. The family, especially the mother, were interested in history and culture so we visited castles, gardens and had a tour of a country mansion. They also wanted to swim and enjoyed playing with our dogs in the garden as well as games such as croquet and tennis.
When the family arrived they were very pleasantly surprised to see lots of green fields, sheep and small, pretty villages. They had understood that the north of England was all industrialised! A good lesson for us to learn for our marketing as actually North Yorkshire is not only the largest county in the whole country, but also one without any cities (York is not part of the county) making it one of the most rural areas in the UK.
The freedom for the children to run around in the garden freely and safely, being able to travel around to various places without experiencing any traffic jams or delays (our commute to our daughter’s school 35 miles away takes 90 minutes there and back home – this would be impossible in many southern parts of the country) means more time spent at the venue and also a chance to run off steam. Our local lanes are great for a bike ride (and walking too) they are quite flat, very quiet and safe and we have cycles and helmets for everyone.
Ghota and Wakaba also enjoyed a cooking session with one of the teachers and lots of games and craft sessions. For Mum the most enjoyable thing was to sit in the evenings with us while the children engaged in movies, games or craft before bed and just have some adult time over a glass of wine or a cup of tea. This was great for her English but also a chance to unwind and enjoy the peace and quiet of this beautiful rural setting.
If you would like to study English as a family then this is a really perfect venue, lots of space, dedicated teachers for the adults and children, great new venues to visit and explore away from the busy city. Fresh air, good, fresh,local food, people to socialise with, the space to relax and unwind as you learn. And not forgetting, a chance to have fun as a family without worrying about food, shopping or what to do tomorrow!!!