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Expeditions

14
October
2019

LE DEMI-TOUR DU MONT BLANC

The philosophy of La Garenne is underpinned by our holistic approach to education. We consciously aim to develop the links between all kinds of learning opportunities, both inside and outside the classroom. The piece of writing below is an English assignment by an MYP 3 student. He is reflecting on his personal experiences during a four-day mountain walk around Mont Blanc, which MYP 3 and MYP 4 students did at the start of term. This was written as part of an MYP Language and Literature unit on creative autobiography.

 

LE DEMI-TOUR DU MONT BLANC - Written by E.P.  MYP3

I enjoy hiking. I would not go so far as to say I adore it, but I enjoy it. And like most hikers, I love the sight of a mountain hut only a few minutes away, just waiting for me to arrive. Even better is the moment when I cross the threshold, remove my muddy boots and replace them with far superior footwear. Slippers - ridiculous, oversized slippers. Then comes the moment that long-distance hikers can relate to, when you walk into the refuge and behold the bed where you will spend the night. Knowing that you will be surrounded by strangers, imagining yourself during the night, unable to sneeze, cough, or fart for fear of your bedfellows’ angry stares and snorts. For a brief moment, you wish you had a bed to yourself, a bed where you could twist and turn freely, a bed where you could stretch out your limbs when you’re woken by “the early birds”, those fitness maniacs who rise before dawn to seize the day. With a sigh, you accept your fate, but as you drop your bag, you remember that not all hope is lost: there is something that could make up for a bad night. You instinctively spin around and ask if there are any showers. If you are told oui, consider yourself lucky. If you hear non, do not despair. Filth is part of the fun. Yet imagine being deprived of these pleasures upon reaching the hut after trekking for nine hours...

I experienced this modest trauma on the fifth day of Le Demi Tour du Mont Blanc. Allow me to relive my trauma for you now.

We had been tired, more worn out than usual. Earlier in the day, we had sprinted down a steep mountain road on blistered feet, hoping to catch a bus that would bring us to Courmayeur. We hoped to visit the village before our nine-hour hike. Inevitably, we missed this bus. But we were young and fit.

I can manage an extra seven kilometers, I thought. “Nineteen plus seven, twenty-six. No big deal. I can manage that.”

In fact, I was so confident in my own physical and mental prowess that I carried two packs for most of the day. Eight hours later, confidence spent, I was suffering and staring at the mountain hut like a shipwrecked sailor who has seen an island in the distance. Paradise. There it was. Only a few minutes away, just waiting for me. As I trudged up the hill I began to fantasize about those soft slippers: Would they be soft? Would they fit? Would there be any at all? Earlier in the day, I had been told there would be showers in the refuge. I could already feel the warm water trickling down my spine and how refreshed I would feel afterwards.

When you walk for hours on end with not much to talk about, you tend to zone out and slip into meditation. As I walked the last few minutes to the hut, time dissolved for me. I don’t remember how I climbed the last stretch but suddenly I was there, in paradise, surrounded by smiling friends who were dreaming of warm showers and soft slippers of their own. I turned around, exhausted but exultant, appreciating the valley and the steep path that we had ascended. The river below looked like a piece of blue string that had been laced through each crack and crevasse, weaving its way through the valley, glinting gold from the rays of the sun. Iwas so absorbed by the beauty of the landscape that I hardly noticed when someone tapped me on the back. When I turned, still in a trance, I saw the guide exit the refuge. He seemed to have a worried expression.

“There must be no space,” I joked. “We’ll have to walk back!”

The guide approached us and grimaced. “There is no space in the refuge,” he said quietly. “We’ll have to walk back.”

Was it a joke? No, it wasn’t! The refuge was overbooked. Those soft, ridiculously oversized slippers were slipping away from me. I let out a primal scream, but it came out as a whimper. Did I weep? Maybe I did. Perhaps this is why I say I enjoy hiking but don’t adore it.

E.P.  MYP3

LE DEMI-TOUR DU MONT BLANC

Categories: Expeditions

17
June
2018

End of Year Events

The School Year 2017-2018 has come to a close. Since September, the whole school community has moved forward, learning and experiencing many new things. The students are not the same as they were at the start of the year - the wide variety of learning opportunities and activities they have experienced has allowed them all to grow and develop. 

As is the tradition, the end of the school year was marked with two days of celebrations. On Friday the parents, students, staff and teachers were entertained by two fantastic school shows – one offered by the Cubs and Minis and the other by the Junior students. This was followed by a reception in the gardens of La Garenne for the whole school community. Congratulations to all those who performed and who were involved of the organisation of this memorable occasion. 

Saturday was a more formal event, introduced by the Director, Grégory Méan. The students of the Dance Club then provided a beautiful dance performance, which was much appreciated by the audience, particularly by the very proud parents of the dancers.  The Pastoral Head, the Head of Primary and the Head Teacher then reviewed the highlights of the year and looked forward to the year ahead in each of their domains. The highlight of the morning for many was the Awards Ceremony, celebrating the achievements of the students in the various academic subjects and other aspects of school life over the course of the school year. Congratulations all those who received awards – and hopefully those who did not win a prize this year will be inspired to greater things in 2018-2019.  

A series of speeches, sometimes quite emotional, were then delivered by some of the Year 9 students who are leaving La Garenne. We wish the whole class all the very best for the future in their new schools.  The Director closed the ceremony by looking ahead to 2018-2019, outlining the themes for the coming school year and the various trips and visits that will be taking place. 

The end-of-year celebrations are always very much a family occasion, and this was no exception. May we wish you all the very best for the summer! 

The photo gallery can be found here.

 

End of Year Events

Categories: Academic, Boarding Life, Expeditions

18
September
2017

Year 9 on Expedition to Lucerne

This weekend Year 9 went on Expedition to Lucerne, in the Swiss German part of Switzerland. Jérôme and Mylene led the trip. Derek Lineham, the Headteacher, also accompanied the group. The trip linked in well with their current IMYC unit of Community.

Switzerland is made of four linguistic communities, with the German speakers being in the majority. Lucerne lies in the heart of this community and the Year 9 students were able to appreciate many aspects of the culture of this region. They took part in an iPad-based Urban Game, in the form of a treasure hunt around the city of Lucerne. In doing so, they learnt a great deal about the city while having fun at the same time. 

On Saturday, the students went to the summit of a nearby mountain, the Rigi.  As well as going on a good mountain hike with fantastic scenery, the students were able to appreciate the transport methods that link the community together. This included a journey on a paddle steamer built in 1901 (the oldest of its kind in the world), a modern cable car and a classic Swiss mountain railway dating back to the early years of the 20th Century.  On Sunday, all of this was brought together by a visit to the Swiss Transport Museum. 

school trip y9

year9 trip 1

year9 trip 2

year9 trip 3

year9 trip 4

year9 trip 5

 

Year 9 on Expedition to Lucerne

Categories: Academic, Expeditions

11
May
2017

Weekend Expedition for the Mini students

This weekend our Mini students will be absent on Saturday and Sunday as they will be on an expedition!

Weekend Expedition for the Mini students

Categories: Expeditions

10
March
2017

Membership of The Council of International Schools (CIS).

We are delighted to inform you that La Garenne and been granted “Membership” of The Council of International Schools (CIS).

Membership of The Council of International Schools (CIS).

We are delighted to inform you that La Garenne and been granted “Membership” of
The Council of International Schools (CIS).

Thank you to all staff for their contributions and efforts to maintain and promote our school values.  The CIS is a global non-profit membership organisation working collaboratively to shape international education.
The CIS vision is to inspire the development of global citizens through high quality international education: connecting ideas, cultures and educators from every corner of the world.  
 

Categories: Academic, Expeditions


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