Brillantmont – A traditional school with a family atmosphere, modern outlook and help for working parents

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.”

(Ed note : Lausanne  is a  30 minute train ride from Nyon, 25 minutes from Gland and 12 minutes from Morges).

Photo below: The range of publications in the school library, from The Economist to the New Scientist to L’Hebdo to Muy Interesante.

“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.

Further info 

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.

Nyon’s internet club – providing info and help to computer users.

In March 2011 the the internet club of Nyon “Club Soft” (Société pour l’Ordinateur et les Férus de Technique) will celebrate its 20th year anniversary. The club was originally founded by Jean-Paul Henet, a French expatriate now living in Nyon. Mr Henet  previously worked with IBM, Univac, Leasco, Itel, and was both European President of Greyhound Computer and CMI Corp.

Mr Jean-Paul Henet

Mr Henet says: ” The premise of Club Soft is to quite simple –  to help all users of PC and Mac computers. The club now has over 500 members to date and we organise several activities such as running courses on Windows, to the use of the Internet, how to use Word, Excel and we even give help on choosing a computer.  Club courses are usually held in Trelex. Members come not only from Nyon but from many surrounding towns and villages from Gland to Gingins to Grand Lancy.  Check out the courses they have run this year. There is one remaining  course on December 16th on “emails, trucs and astuces”.  

In addition, the club also hold mini conferences and once or twice a month invite experts to give presentations on subjects such as Windows, “cleaning your PC”, “viruses” etc. These presentations are followed by a question and answer session.

The club provides a permanent (free!) hot line for those who have a problem with their computer or an application and the club’s technicians can visit private homes  too (all at a reasonable price).  The club also has members who can provide assistance in English.

For further information check out Club Soft’s website