On this eve of the big Pentecost weekend (Editor’s Note: Friday, June 3)the Château de Sallay, in Saincaize-Meauce, almost resembles a holiday camp.
It is a day off for the students of the Le Sallay International Academy.
Arriving just a few days ago, the 27 students of this college-level session are there for three weeks of class. This is followed by two months of online research.
This is their fourth and final period of face-to-face classes for this somewhat unusual school year. In small groups, some play rugby, others try to zipline in the park, the elderly lounge behind their computers. They are between 10 and 15 years old. Most speak in English. The laugh melts together. There is an immediate good-natured atmosphere in this rural and historic place.
“He would like to spend my life on this campus?! (I would like to spend my whole life on this campus)”.
Yana, originally from Spain, says very happily to us: “He would like to spend my life on this campus?! (I would like to spend my whole life on this campus)”.
Max, from Boston, one of the students of high intellectual potential, uses this spare time to feed the Le Sallay Times student journal.
There is no doubt that this Le Sallay International Academy is much more than a school.
Director Anna Kadieva sums up in a few words the state of mind of this international school where command of English is required: “You see, our students know how to be independent. Why do you want to do education if you can’t adapt to young people? We see the Academy as an innovative educational institution that emphasizes personalized and inclusive learning. This provides a high level of motivation and therefore makes it possible to make rapid progress. †
The Le Sallay Academy is based on a blended learning model. Each term begins with three weeks of in-person classes, followed by two months of interactive online study. This way the wire is never cut between the students and the teachers.
Students are divided into small classes according to level: the guarantee of emotional comfort and total immersion. The teacher-student relationship (online or face-to-face) varies. It ranges from individual lessons to small groups, up to six students.
Here each student has the opportunity to learn according to their speed, skills and difficulties.
The school curriculum includes various subjects such as Mathematics, Physics; chemistry ; biology?; History and Geography?; literature and English?; French and Spanish.
Olga Baley, a Spanish teacher and originally from Russia, has been teaching at the Academy since its opening. The teacher, with perfect French, gives us one of the keys to the way of teaching in this school: “Here every student has the opportunity to learn according to their speed, their abilities and their difficulties. We do lessons from the language level. This has the great advantage of not being limited to formal classes. †
New owners and new direction for the Château-Hôtel Le Sallay
According to her, there is no “bad student”: “Everyone learns in a different way. Small groups allow us to better understand how students progress. Since January there is a student whom I go to class alone. He is no longer stressed in relation to the class at all. With suitable media, such as videos, success is there?! †
Special courses are devised that mix two subjects, such as ?; history and language, science and literature…
She also points to a perfect combination of courses and interdisciplinary links, ‘co-teaching’. Special courses are devised that mix two subjects, such as ?; history and language, science and literature… “To give you a concrete example, we worked on science in Spain during the period of the Inquisition. They learn everything in Spanish. It was a fairly high level class. The little ones asked me to do the same course. There is great stimulation between them?! We also did theater with the English teacher, in Spanish and in English. †
For the teacher, this inclusion makes it possible to have a wonderful contact with the students. The afternoons are devoted to workshops.
“I have a porcelain painting workshop. It is important for the students not to see us just as teachers. This particular model is very transversal. We take the students as a whole with us…”, concludes Olga Baley.
Budget. As for the budget to enroll your child for the year, it will cost about 35,000 euros. “80% of our students benefit from scholarships. Some even have a 100% grant and therefore do not have to pay anything. If a child wants to come along, please contact us. We will do everything we can to find a solution,” said the director of the academy. A private school without a contract in France.