When we started the Haut-Lac International Bilingual School in 1993, there were already many international schools in Switzerland. However, virtually none of them offered a space where expatriate children who were primarily English-speaking could be eased into a bilingual environment. We wanted to create a school where children from all over the world could come together to live, learn, and achieve in a friendly and caring community whilst speaking two languages.
Out of that dream, the philosophy of Haut-Lac was born – “Your children, our expertise, their future”.
Our philosophy is simple. The Haut-Lac International Bilingual School educates students from around the world alongside local Swiss students. Unlike other schools that create an isolated environment, we pride ourselves on being part of the local community. Through the use of local field trips and sports, our students get the full experience of Switzerland well beyond the confines of the school campus.
Within the framework of an academically rigorous, student-centric programme, our school strives to create a stimulating bilingual environment. We take into account the diverse cultural backgrounds of over 650 children aged 18 months to 18 years, and customise our approach and methods to be age and student-appropriate.
The studies culminate in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. We are proud of our rigorous academic curriculum, and know that it forms a solid foundation for your son/daughter’s next educational steps, whether they return to their native country to continue their secondary education, or go to a university or college in Europe, Australia, or the United States.
We are about more than just formal classes and academic programmes. We believe in a holistic education, and seek to develop all of your child’s talents. A wide variety of extra-curricular activities including arts, music, and sports is a big component of every student’s life while in school. We encourage early exposure to a wide range of experiences, and nurture talent wherever we find it.
Our students are encouraged to succeed as confident individuals and empathetic team players. We work hard to foster open-mindedness and a community spirit. On our campus, Haut-Lac is one family – we care for your children as if they were our own, and encourage them to build life-long connections and bonds with each other.
Our teachers and staff are aware of the immense range of cultural heritage, customs, and traditions that the students bring to Haut-Lac. We model and teach respect for others and an understanding of their differences. Every student is motivated and inspired to achieve the best he/she possibly can. We use every interaction and every opportunity to build up our students’ self-esteem and establish a sound foundation for their future.
As students mature, they are guided to be autonomous, self-disciplined, and methodical in their work. We encourage and strengthen intellectual curiosity, analytical reflection, and the ability to communicate ideas in more than one language. We instil a desire to help others, and emphasise the importance of compassionate sharing.
We actively teach effective team-work skills, and give students an opportunity to take on leadership roles. We believe that strong leadership and contributor skills are both essential to personal, educational, and professional success.
As a community, Haut-Lac endeavours to reflect positive moral, social and educational values. We aim to develop the skills, knowledge and character required of our students in order to become responsible citizens, confident professionals, and compassionate human beings. Our expectations are high, and every student is challenged and encouraged to develop his potential to the fullest. We see the day when our students take their place in this rapidly changing, inter-dependent, and global society with pride, courage, and confidence.
At Haut-Lac International Bilingual School, we are proud of our teachers and staff. They are deeply committed to continuous development in all aspects of the education offered, and strive to become better at what they do every day. However, we cannot do this alone. We believe that only by working together with parents, as well as local and international communities, we can achieve our goal of developing independent-minded, determined and kind students.
Our philosophy is best summarised in the words of William Butler Yeats, native to Northern Ireland which was home for two of the school’s founding directors. “Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.”