Spotlight on Schools 1 – Living in Nyon goes behind the scenes of the three schools that are currently advertised on the site. We begin with Brillantmont International School in Lausanne.
Hung in the entrance hall of this school is an electronic board that gently reminds pupils that the mid year exams are not far away; just one example of the school using modern technology combined with traditional teaching values to help its students. Pupils who attend Brillantmont not only get to learn in classrooms in the school’s elegant buildings (with sweeping views over Lausanne, the Alps and lake), but they also become part of a warm friendly atmosphere at a school that has been in the same family for five generations.
The school was founded in 1882 (it began as girls boarding school), but it is has definitely moved with the times as it is now a mixed school for both day and boarders and takes in pupils from over 35 different nationalities. Living in Nyon went to visit the school in February and spoke to Sarah Frei, the school’s head of marketing.
She says: “We use modern technology for our teaching methods and our small class sizes mean that we can give maximum attention to each student. We also lay emphasis on critical thinking rather than rote learning and we encourage students to express their own judgement”.
A help for working parents
“We have also adapted to the needs of modern society by offering a service for busy working professional parents who have children in our day school. If parents need to work late, we will happily let the pupil work quietly in a supervised study hall from 17:00 to 18:30 and if necessary, they can eat dinner at the school. Should the parents need to be out of the country for any reason, the pupil can also be accommodated within the boarding school. We can also collect pupils from Lausanne train station each morning.”
“Whether the child is a day pupil or a boarder, we take great care to ensure that the family atmosphere that has prevailed since the school began, still remains. We have a house system in the school for day students and boarders, run by elected student leaders. The aim is to help students feel part of a group (the names of houses are named after famous Swiss such as Piccard, Anker, Rousseau), to provide peer mentoring for new students and to organise different events within the house or between houses to create a sense of belonging and help everyone feel part of the school community.”
The traditional building (tennis courts and grounds behind) set in 13,000 sq m of parkland.
“We pride ourselves in our multicultural outlook, students come to us from all backgrounds and countries, however we also try to restrict our numbers so we have no more that 10% of any nationality to ensure that the school doesn’t become dominated by one particular culture or language. The teaching is in English in the school, but we actively encourage students to learn French and to discover Switzerland. We organise social and sporting events outside the school such as skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking etc. We also arrange cultural visits for pupils, they can visit Swiss destinations and further afield, and locally they can go to theatrical or ballet performances in Lausanne and we take part in the Model United Nations programme.
The elegant school interior
One of the the boarder’s bedrooms
Preparing for university
The school is currently in the process of building a multi purpose hall in the heart of the Brillantmont campus which will be used for all sorts of events: sporting and cultural. The hall will be built underground to maintain the beautiful gardens in front of the existing historically protected buldings.
Brillantmont offers the following programmes to boys and girls aged 11-18
British programme Years 7-13 IGCSE, AS and A level examinations)
American programme Grades 6-12 (High School Graduation Diploma)
Language programme – officially recognized language examinations
Winter Course short stay language and ski programme (January and February)
Summer courses in July and August for 12-17 year old boys and girls who come for a flexible stay of two to six weeks.
Brillantmont is a member of Swiss Learning – an organisation committed to the excellence of Swiss education.
Click on the ad on the sidebar to go to the school’s website or click here.