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Boarding - Middle School

Boarding - Middle School



Chalet Beau Site

Middle School Students Years 7-9 (MYP1-3)

To mark the important transition from Primary School, students in MYP 1, 2 and 3 move into their very own boarding house which has been designed especially to meet their needs. This age group is going through significant emotional and physical changes and it is vitally important that they are given the space, time and support from our experienced houseparents to manage what can be a challenging time. Providing a separate boarding house insulates them from the Senior School while at the same time, acknowledges that they are not young children any more.

Beau Site is a beautiful Swiss chalet with its own outdoor play and exercise equipment and spacious indoor areas where students can relax and socialise. Working in close collaboration with the students themselves, our houseparents create activities which are age appropriate but do not overload or over-stimulate them. At this age, it is all about fun, friendships and being happy. Once these are in place, the academic effort simply flows unhindered.

Students share bright, airy and comfortable rooms with up to three others. Each room has its own bathroom facilities, individual workstations and plenty of space for books, clothes and reminders of home. Girls and boys are accommodated on separate floors and access is limited by electronic keys specific to each room. We find that having young teenagers of both sexes in the same house helps to overcome awkwardness that can be found in other schools where boarding houses are either for girls or for boys. Each room has spectacular views over the surrounding mountains and Alpine pastures.

One of the key aspects of boarding life at Beau Site is the increasing amount of independence and autonomy afforded to the students. While some important measures remain in place - such as a strict policy on access to electronic devices - we start gently to relax others. So, for example, a student in MYP 3 might be allowed to visit the village for a shopping trip in the company of another student but without staff supervision. Or, depending on behaviour and academic commitments, they might be rewarded with a slightly later bedtime.

Within the boarding house, students take part in themed evenings, perhaps based on a national dish, or a shared love of a particular genre of music or film. Music and dance are well resourced and Beau Site has its own performance space known as Choucas.

Cookery club is particularly popular and students can create their own dishes to sample and share in Beau SIte’s dedicated kitchen area. At weekends, breakfast can be served in the boarding house itself, which offers a more relaxed atmosphere than the refectory where students eat during the week.

Outside the boarding house, we encourage students to plan and carry out activities for their own friendship groups. For example, the girls might come together with staff to plan a supervised trip to another European city, or elsewhere in Switzerland. Working to a budget, they might decide how the trip would unfold and which experiences they would hope to gain from it.

Beau Site houseparents are the linchpins for managing all and everything that a student might encounter. The family atmosphere upon which La Garenne International School was founded is central to everything we do. Houseparents have truly seen everything. Whether it is a missing pencil or a maths homework problem, no issue is ever deemed too small for a houseparent to step in and help. For more serious problems, Beau Site students have access to our full-time student counsellor, Maya Suter, and the wellbeing lead, Eurgain Vinatier.

All in all, Beau Site is designed to be a welcoming, safe space for our young people to find their feet as they progress through the teenage years. And by the end of MYP 3, when students have turned 14, their experiences at Beau Site will have prepared them well to graduate to the next level - boarding as a Senior School student at Le Roc.


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