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Old 13.11.2007, 20:26
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Arrow SCHOOLS in VEVEY: Haut-Lac or St Georges?

Hi. We'll be moving from Amsterdam to Vevey in a few weeks time and I wonder if anyone could recommend the Haut-Lac International Bilingual School or St George International School. These are the 2 international schools we've heard of in Vevey (near Lausanne) but we just don't know anyone who actually send their kids there so we would like to hear from parents who know these schools. Our son is 5 years old and already goes to an international school here in the Netherlands. Thanks for your help!
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Old 16.11.2007, 10:57
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Re: SCHOOLS in VEVEY: Haut-Lac or St Georges?

Hi,
I know children who go to both schools. Are you staying here long term? I do not think that St Georges teaches in French whereas Haut Lac has a bilingual programm. I know kids who go to St Georges and speak very little French. I think St Georges only follows the English curriculum whereas haut lac offers the Swiss mat and International Bacc exam.
I have sent my kids to local state school who are giving my kids individual french lessons. Both girls very happy so far ( only been here 2 months) and have made friends despite not speaking French yet.
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Old 16.11.2007, 20:31
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Re: SCHOOLS in VEVEY: Haut-Lac or St Georges?

There is one other school in the Vevey area which I would far rather recommend over St. Georges and Haut-lac. It is ISM at Les Monts-de-Corsier just above Vevey. There web address is
http://www.international-school.org/page.php?pid=1010

I have a few friends with children there and have heard good things about it. Have heard of it being a very nurturing school which is wholey focused on the children and there growth and development in more ways than just academically.

Obviously there are those who have children on here that go to both St. Georges and Haut-lac so i dont want to say anything negative about them. My children, like Jo's, go to the local school and are VERY happy. I had the choose of the international schools with my hubbys company paying for them but choose not to go with them as from what I could tell after visiting them, you paid alot of money for shoddy education, lack of facilities, transiant communities, pretentious parents and badly behaved spoilt expat children. Of course I am not at all referring to any particular school here before anyone flames me for saying all this.

My hubbys company is of course very happy with this decision.
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Old 20.11.2007, 11:14
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Re: SCHOOLS in VEVEY: Haut-Lac or St Georges?

Hi there. Thanks for your input, I really appreciate it. Someone recommended the Ecole Vevey Montessori. As far as I know they're a bilingual school. Does anyone know anything about this school?
I know that state schools in Switzerland are generally of a very high standard, but we don't know the duration of my husband's contract. I think most people go with a long time contract signed or they go transfered as permanent employees which makes decision making much easier. I wonder for how long the families which have kids in Swiss state schools are going to stay there? My husband's contract is for 9 months to start with and after that they will discuss an extension. If we're staying in Switzerland for only 9 months, I don't think it is worth putting my son in a state school where he would be forced to learn french quickly and follow the swiss system. Nothing against him learning french quickly, he already speaks 3 languages quite well and is learning another 2 . He started his school life in the UK, now we're in Amsterdam since last December and he goes to an international school where he still follows the british system and the biggest probability is that after Switzerland we'll return to the UK, for good. Unless we love Switzerland to bits and decide staying there and find jobs which will allow us to. Anyway, it's quite hard making decisions as if we really have to go back to the UK and my son is following the swiss system, I'm scared there will be a gap between him and other kids of the same age and that will delay him, or put him back a year or something like that which I really don't want to let happen. I'd rather him to be in a local school, to know local people, but I can't critisize transiant communities as at this very moment I am part of it. Sorry about ranting, but I'm very confused and worried about this subject.
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Old 25.11.2007, 21:45
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Re: SCHOOLS in VEVEY: Haut-Lac or St Georges?

Hello Quinallex,
I think it would be wise for you to come visit the schools and get a feel for them before you make any decisions. With a day trip you could easily manage to see all the schools mentioned: St. George's, Haut Lac, and ISM, as they are all relatively close by one another. It is really the only the way you can make an informed decision for your child. Visiting the schools when they are in session is the best way to see not only the school in working mode, but also how the children feel in that environment. Once you visit these schools, preferably with your son, you will know which one is right for him.

I must correct JoJo with the assumptions made about St.George's. Although I am sorry to hear that children he/she knows do not speak French very well it has nothing to do with the School as French is certainly taught at St.George's and at a high standard starting at pre-reception level, although it is not a bi-lingual school. At the senior highschool level St. George's follows the intensive IB Program (International Baccalaureate), like Haut-Lac, but until then it follows the British IGSCE system. Haut-Lac follows the IB-MYP for it's middle years and a combination of the French and British system in the junior years. St. George's Junior School closely follows the British system. So if you are planning to go back to the UK in the future and would like your son to have some continuity, you might want to to see for yourself which school offers the best British slant.

Unfortunately neither school offers the IB-PYP system for their primary years which in my humble opinion is one of the best learning opportunities a young mind could possible have.

Vevey-Montreux area is lucky to have these three schools as part of their community; all are good schools, and all have their positive and less positive aspects. Again,as I said earlier, only by visiting in person will you find the best fit for your son.
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Old 24.01.2008, 08:50
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Re: SCHOOLS in VEVEY: Haut-Lac or St Georges?

St George's is very old school british, i don't know how to describe haut lac, more down to earth and progressive. I would look for a school that offers IB programmes if the kids are at the high school level, so the credits would be transferable if the contract isn't very long.if you want a posh school go for st.geotge's, more relaxed go haut lac
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Old 17.06.2008, 18:08
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Re: SCHOOLS in VEVEY: Haut-Lac or St Georges?

hi. i have actually just graduated from st georges and have many friends at haut lac aswell. St georges is incredibly small, and all of the students are really close to the teachers which is unique and benificial. however it is their first year Baccaluareate and depending on how old your children are, i would recommend that you leave it a few years and perhaps choose a school with more experience. Having said that, i have no regrets going there. Haut lac is less academic and i would say that they are less studious. Although having french/english as a solid 2nd language which your children will have within a year or so is a fantastic qualification.
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Old 27.06.2008, 19:14
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Re: SCHOOLS in VEVEY: Haut-Lac or St Georges?

Hello Sophie. Great to hear a bit of first hand knowledge of St Georges...we are moving in Switzerland in 2009, and are possibly going to choose St Georges for our 5 and 6 year olds. We would really appreciate if you could tell us more about the school, the good and bad, what you thought of the education, teachers, social life, sports and so on.Thanks.
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Old 27.06.2008, 22:45
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Smile Re: SCHOOLS in VEVEY: Haut-Lac or St Georges?

Hello , haut-lac is definately more academic than s.g.! I have three children in HL and have many friends with kids in SG, when we compare their academic levels (as well as general knowledge and ability to think out of the box) ...I have to say HL wins hands down!!! HL has a refreshing, developing and innovative outlook on learning. My children have been in HL for 7 years and not once have they not wanted to go to school they are motivated and interested in learning and life.
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Old 27.06.2008, 22:46
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Re: SCHOOLS in VEVEY: Haut-Lac or St Georges?

p.s. HL has more than 600 students and is moving to a new campus within the next few years! waiting lists are long and money can't buy you a place!!
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Old 28.06.2008, 18:25
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Re: SCHOOLS in VEVEY: Haut-Lac or St Georges?

Thanks Mim for taking the time to reply. We actually went to look at SG, HL and M de C a few months ago - and in different ways, for different reasons liked all 3. Our eldest daughter (61/2) is very bright & loves her school in Norwich, so we want to make the transition as smooth and painless as possible. Our immediate reaction was that HL was more suited to her, but were a bit concerned about the lack of space and facilities - are we are wrong / misguided to think that? Our son (5) is much more practical / hands on, so we thought SG might be better for him. Again any thoughts on that? Also, just how difficult to get into?? Our youngest daughter is only 1, so thats no worries yet......

On a different note, whilst we are very much looking to moving to Switzerland, also a bit nervous - especially my wife as she has a good network of friends/fellow mums here. Will she find it easy to meet others, make a new social life etc? Shes pretty friendly herself...but I am byast of course! Thanks & look fwd to hearing any knowledge you can impart with!
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Old 28.06.2008, 20:04
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Re: SCHOOLS in VEVEY: Haut-Lac or St Georges?

Hello again!

HL is actually on three campuses at the moment! in vevey by the lake and also near corseux ( a littlevillage touching vevey) and then in St. Legier , the school uses the local gyms and playing fields for those activities and the year 4 primary classes and up go to the local big park by the lake for playtime so the little playground you saw is used over staggered time periods for only rec-y3! the school puts on at least three dramatic and musical productions a year and the children rehearse and perform in the vevey theatre! so yes, the grounds are not as big but HL has ample alternative space for the various activities. Aew massive campus (including woodland and science park is in the process of being built and should be ready by 2010).THe school population has grown tremendously over the past 7 years, when we joined there were just under 100 pupils- it now stands at over 600! What is great is that the family atmosphere is still a definate feature of HL life, the parents are offered once a week coffee and cake french conversation get togethers, and there are countless family outings (bicycle rides, treasure hunts, nature - reserve cleanups, BBQs, night skiing, fancydress parties, bowling competitions... to name just a few!) all organised by the school and there to help everyone feel as if they belong to something special! Obviously when you come to a new place you will feel a little lost but don't worry 99% of the people in HL know exactly what you are going through..on the first or second week of the school year there is a new comers coffee morning and this is a great opportunity to meet everyone in the same boat as you! Outside school there is the riviera playgroup for your little one, it is a mummy and baby playgroup that gets together twice a week in the mornings, also lovely and mainly english speaking, there is also the little arrows playgroup - same sort of thing! So there you go ...lots of opportunities to make new friends! A smile goes a long way!!! RE waiting lists...I know they exsist but depends on the year group and whether you prefer the bilingual section in HL or the all English section (usually more places availabe in this section). I wish you all alot of luck, if you have any more questions...I am here !
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Old 28.06.2008, 20:20
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Re: SCHOOLS in VEVEY: Haut-Lac or St Georges?

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On a different note, whilst we are very much looking to moving to Switzerland, also a bit nervous - especially my wife as she has a good network of friends/fellow mums here. Will she find it easy to meet others, make a new social life etc? Shes pretty friendly herself...but I am byast of course! Thanks & look fwd to hearing any knowledge you can impart with!
As MIM says, there are plenty of ex-pats in Vevey. If you are churchgoers contact All Saints Church which has a very active social programme. In fact, it's so popular that they now have to have two services on Sunday mornings. Just complete their welcome card.
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Old 03.07.2008, 17:04
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Re: SCHOOLS in VEVEY: Haut-Lac or St Georges?

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Hello Sophie. Great to hear a bit of first hand knowledge of St Georges...we are moving in Switzerland in 2009, and are possibly going to choose St Georges for our 5 and 6 year olds. We would really appreciate if you could tell us more about the school, the good and bad, what you thought of the education, teachers, social life, sports and so on.Thanks.
It is probably fair to say that both st g and hl have not the best facilities. obviously im not an expert on hl but i have heard that hl do not have their own facilities and they use facilities out side of school.. st georges have their own facilties and are looking to build more ie) astro turf.
Im english and i found the transission quite easy as most of the teachers are english and there are lots of english students. hl has a lot more amercian students who tend to be nestle or phillip morris, despite this, the school is french/english speaking which is a huge advantage not only living here but also in later life. i am writing my cv at the moment and i have just realised how much employees value a second language, so if you have the opportunity for your children to be speaking french everyday there is nothing better than that!!
Teachers at st georges dont get any better, they are fantastic, however there is a new head of school who i havent met but you will have the oppurtunity to do this so you can decide!
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Old 09.07.2008, 21:11
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Re: SCHOOLS in VEVEY: Haut-Lac or St Georges?

Hi, I am deciding between haut-lac and st-georges now, and one of the problems I found in St-Georges is that it is not easily accessible by foot. You have a long trek from the bus stop and the road does not have pedestrian access. With cars going both ways, I think it could be quite dangerous to walk kids in the morning. Another factor is that, since most people drop off their kids and drive away, the option of socializing with other mums is limited. After school activities are not provided(clubs only once a week), which makes it difficult for mums to work.
Academically I dont know which one is better, one of the other posts say that haut-lac is behind. If I am making a comparison to english private schools, would any of the 2 schools match their standard academically? This is because we could be moving back to England, so I want to make the transition as easy as possible.
Your inputs are highly appreciated...
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Old 09.07.2008, 21:27
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Re: SCHOOLS in VEVEY: Haut-Lac or St Georges?

My kids are 9 & 6, and have both spent their entire education so far at ISM, and I am v happy with how they are turning out. Therefore I am biased, but I have no complaints about the school, apart from I think the French teaching is a little behind the others. As Swiss Missus points out it is a very nurturing and caring environment, and is a real soft landing. Sadly I think many people see it as a stop gap before moving onto the other 2 schools (which to an extent is understandable as it only goes up to year 6) but I would not hesitate in recommending it. There are a few Dutch families there already in fact! (assuming u r also from that neck of the woods...)
PM me if you want to discuss further
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Old 10.07.2008, 05:38
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Smile Re: SCHOOLS in VEVEY: Haut-Lac or St Georges?

Hello!
Haut lac is academically stronger than the other private schools around. This is noticed in the sats (taken in Year 2,3,4,5 and 6) primary - where on average the children receive very good results, way beyond average uk results! This would be a good tool for you if you are returning to the UK. In the middle school I know of children that have moved from SG to HL and have been placed in lower groups in order to catch up to HL standards! HL has 3 different streams...French morning- Afternnon Enlisg, visa-versa and all english. The children in the bilingual system are learning two educational programmes (English and French) in the same time as kids in England (or SG!) are just following one program, so the demand on the children is high. HL has a very high expectation level of it's students and parental involvement is definately welcome. I think it is important to take into account the fact that HL has been developing its learning programmes and stuck with the same ethos since the beginning whereas SG has changed from the UK system to IB only just recently and there has also been a change of management there. What ever you decide, I wish you a very soft landing. Good luck!
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Old 10.07.2008, 11:13
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Re: SCHOOLS in VEVEY: Haut-Lac or St Georges?

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Hello!
Haut lac is academically stronger than the other private schools around. This is noticed in the sats (taken in Year 2,3,4,5 and 6) primary - where on average the children receive very good results, way beyond average uk results! This would be a good tool for you if you are returning to the UK. In the middle school I know of children that have moved from SG to HL and have been placed in lower groups in order to catch up to HL standards! HL has 3 different streams...French morning- Afternnon Enlisg, visa-versa and all english. The children in the bilingual system are learning two educational programmes (English and French) in the same time as kids in England (or SG!) are just following one program, so the demand on the children is high. HL has a very high expectation level of it's students and parental involvement is definately welcome. I think it is important to take into account the fact that HL has been developing its learning programmes and stuck with the same ethos since the beginning whereas SG has changed from the UK system to IB only just recently and there has also been a change of management there. What ever you decide, I wish you a very soft landing. Good luck!
Thanks for the info- mim, I am coming to haut-lac..
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Old 10.07.2008, 16:45
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Re: SCHOOLS in VEVEY: Haut-Lac or St Georges?

a big warm welcome and once again...good luck!
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Old 10.07.2008, 19:29
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Re: SCHOOLS in VEVEY: Haut-Lac or St Georges?

I'm not sure that I would agree that "Haut Lac is academically stronger than the other private schools around" as mim says. Perhaps it is true at the lower levels, but I know that the IB results for their senior students were not very good a few years ago. Disclaimer: I'm slightly biased because my children had extremely positive experiences at SG's. I usually advise parents to visit all of the schools in the Vevey/Montreux area, if possible, because the schools have a distinctly different "feel". For families with older students, I would enquire about where their students matriculate and the college guidance services provided by the school. Selecting a school is a very personal choice - what works for one family does not always work for another.
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