Today is a big day! It's the day we welcome back boys and girls from all over the world to start the new school year. The transition into a boarding school abroad can be daunting and even scary. It's normal to feel a bit anxious and apprehensive about being far from family, maybe for the first time. Here, we share some advice to help make this new stage in your lives as smooth as possible.Read More
For several years Brillantmont International School has been working in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity. Every year students do year-long fundraising activities and thanks to the generosity of our school community (who have enjoyed many bake sales, tombolas, pizza evenings and more) over CHF.4000 was raised. The highlight of the club however, is the building trip which sees students head to exotic desinations like Nepal, Vietnam and Cambodia but also closer to home. This year students returned to Portugal, a country to where BM students have been several times in the past. Too often, we associate poverty with developing countries, yet, it is prevalent in the just around the corner, as our students saw.
They headed to Braga in Northern Portugal, where they helped build a house for the Alves family. Sakura and Sofia explain; "After arriving at the site we were lead by Joaquim Alves to see the place were he is currently living. He showed us to a garage, where he lives with his wife and his 19 year old daughter. The space was really crowded, and he showed us all the pills he has to take because of his kidney problems. After seeing his current living conditions we got the motivation we needed to continue with our hard work to give Joaquim his dream house. "
Taking learning beyond the classroom is very important and at Brillantmont, the teachers like nothing better than to show new cities to our students, so they can discover them together. With that in mind, a small group of students headed to the German capital, Berlin - a city which has played a key role in modern European history.
Their busy schedule had a fun edge as they had a cross-city treasure hunt, with specific information to seek out during their week.
The students stayed in Alexanderplatz, which bears witness to Berlin's political upheavals. Since German reunification in 1990, this famous square has had a huge overhaul, bringing it in line with the modern city but there is still lots of evidence of it's chequered history.The architecture was radically modern for the time and designed to impress the world. What better place to immerse the students in this exciting city?
Accompanied by Maths Co-ordinator, Mr Kennedy (and German teacher, Mrs Kottsieper) Mathematical skills were tested, as students measured angles between monuments and over the course of the week mapped and calculated angles and distances between famous sites. A city bike tour was another great way to explore the city, as well as having fun!
The group packed it all in - Panoramapunkt, Potsdammer Platz, the Reichstag, Angela's Merkel's apartment, the Victory Column, Checkpoint Charlie, sections of the remaining Berlin Wall, Berlin TV Tower and encounters with all sorts of famous figures, including a famous mural of Brezhnev kissing Honecker.
For Valerie, one of several graduates, it was her last Brillantmont trip, so was particularly special, now that "the end is upon us!"
The Brillantmont Summer Course kicks off in a few weeks and we are very excited to welcome students from all over the world to the Brillantmont summer family. The BM summer school is well known for creating a great balance between studying and having fun. Maybe your child is considering starting boarding school and you want them to get a taste of what it is like to live away from family, or maybe your child has been going to summer school abroad for a number of years already and can’t wait to go back again. Whatever your situation, our Summer Course has something for everyone. Click below to watch the link to our Summer Course film.
A year reaching its end is a time for reflection and celebration. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to change jobs every two years, moving from one challenge to another. That is not the case for the staff at Brillantmont. The size of the school means that the range of tasks and jobs to be done is always varied and changing, as the school constantly evolves and moves forward. Consequently, several staff members have been at the school for many years, which ensures continuity and a long-term vision.
Nobody embodies this better than our Director, Mr Philippe Pasche, who this year celebrates his 40th year at Brillantmont. He began working at the school as a young accountant, also teaching commerce and sports. He has always been eager to develop students' interests beyond the classroom and, as an accomplished sportsman, to get them moving! Particularly keen on skiing, he has shared many memorable moments on the pistes and some people might not know that he is in fact a qualified ski teacher. He always looks forward to joining the students during their week long ski trip, which in February 2018, is to the village of Zinal. Working closely with the owners of the school, the Frei family, Mr Pasche's role has evolved over the years and on the retirement of Mme Frei, who had been Head for over 40 years, he stepped into the role of Director General. With the support of Deputy Director Ms Boland, he successfully leads Brillantmont forward.
As we celebrated him at a recent dinner, he reflected on his years and his journey within the Brillantmont family. The way the school has changed and developed over the years, always trying to keep excellence and the students' success and well-being at the centre of our vision, has given him immense opportunities to develop talents and competence in many domains. The demands of his role and leading a community of 200 people means that life is never dull and proves that "variety is the spice of life." Surpassing everything however, is his respect and affection for the students and the satisfaction he gains in seeing them mature and develop is the greatest reward he could wish for.
We would like to congratulate him on this milestone anniversary and thank him for his years of commitment and passion for Brillantmont.Read More
The first term at Brillantmont has whizzed by with many exciting events paving the school calendar. The first few days, when we welcomed new students, on their first experience away from home, seem a distant memory. Our students are now well and truly immersed in school life and part of the BM family. After the first weeks of hard study, the October break to Nice and Verona provided a welcome taste of European dolce vita. Back in school, the annual Reading Week celebrated the power of words and brought out our students' creative sides. The ever popular Model United Nations trip to Singapore provided unique opportunities to develop leadership and group work skills. Habitat for Humanity have worked tirelessly on fundraising events to support their upcoming building trip to Portugal and et's not forget the numerous trips, international evenings and learning projects which have also filled this term.Read More
Every year Brillantmont celebrates the written word during Reading Week. Librarian Mrs Robbins and English teacher Mrs Nikyulu , who organised it, are not alone in believing that, even in this digital, fast-paced world, nothing beats turning the printed page. As the softly falling snowflakes herald the arrival of winter, what could be better than snuggling up with a good book and being transported to another world?Read More
Through his exploits, he is keen to share his concerns about today's world - sustainable development, poverty, climate change -and in so doing, stimulate discussion and ultimately promote concrete actions leading to change. Brillantmont students were very enthusiastic about his presentation, which proved most thought-provoking.
Ben says, " He addressed the fear that you have in certain situations and explained why he has lived his life in that way. Clearly, it's important for him to live his dreams and he told us also that we should live ours." Megan added, "He got straight to the point and explained that you should be confident in your own abilities. If someone tells you something can't be done because it's never been done before, that's the worst excuse, because it means there's someone in the world who can do it. He made us realise that if we don't take affirmative action, there won't be any changes in the world."
Piccard's environmental concerns resonated with Bettina, who shares his view that " in Switzerland, we are very aware of recycling and maintaining a clean atmosphere; being able to move away from non-renewable sources of energy in the future is important. " Her feelings were echoed by Andreas, who says, "I'm going to live in the future and my children too, so the future we create is important to me." Let's hope that such an inspiring presentation will lead BM students to be engaged and committed actors in the destiny of the world around us.
Life at boarding school means you get to go on lots of fun trips and this autumn break, a group of Brillantmont students were lucky enough to go on a trip to Verona, Italy and Nice, France. Verona is of course the setting of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and no trip there would be complete without a visit to Juliet's balcony, although Brenda commented that "it was really small". (This is true!) The students had the chance to discover the charms of Verona, its historic centre, as well as letting their hair down in the Gardaland
A new school year is ready to start at Brillantmont International School. As students across the world pack their bags, ready to step into this exciting new period of their lives, many will probably feel a bit nervous. It's understandable. Leaving the security and comfort of home to go to boarding school is a huge step. "Will I fit in? Will I make friends? What happens when I get homesick" are just some of the apprehensions they may have.