20 December 2023



Scene opens on Haut-Lac International Bilingual School’s Praz-Dagoud campus.

Lights come on stage left, where Managing Director Grainne and Primary Deputy Head Sally are waving goodbye to the last of the students heading off for the Christmas holiday.

They stop and turn to face each other.

Sally: That’s all of them safely with their families.

Grainne: Yes. Only the usual end-of-year-round-up with the team to go before we all head off too.


Cut to the Praz-Dagoud dining room, where staff are chatting excitedly about their upcoming holiday plans. Suddenly all go quiet as Managing Director Anne-Marie walks up to the front.

Anne-Marie: Well done everyone! We’ve reached the end of Haut-Lac’s 30th year. It was a busy one, starting with the…


First Boarding Winter Welcome Weekend

Rewind to the start of January. Fifteen boarders, some returning and some new, settle into the Haut-Lac Boarding House, ready for a new term and a real Swiss Winter.

And that’s what they got, or almost. The clouds could have been a bit more generous with the snow, but they had enough to hit the slopes every week and admire Switzerland’s famous glaciers in all their glory. Not to mention plenty of other seasonal trips and activities to keep them occupied when the weather wasn’t playing ball.




Speaking of trips…


International School Trips Made a Comeback

The 2-year covid-19 trip hiatus is over!

2023 saw secondary students head abroad for some real, hands-on learning experiences. First to London for its performing arts scene; then to a cold, blustery Iceland to explore the island’s impressive geography; and finally to Belgium on a historical trip to the WW1 battlefields.

Thank you to the staff who took the time to organise and run these trips. The effort was definitely worth it, with participation numbers at an all-time high and requests for more frequent.

We can’t wait to hear about the next ones in the pipeline – a diving trip to France and a maths trip to New York and a history trip to Berlin.


Haut-Lac students visit Iceland


For now though, let’s go back to 2023 and the main event that brought people from all over to Haut-Lac.


Haut-Lac’s 30th Birthday Bonanza

It was 10th of June. We woke up to rain and prepared for the worst. Luckily, the clouds parted in time to let in the sun just as we started to welcome the guests.

Students, parents, staff, alumni, partners, local dignitaries, everyone who’d ever been part of Haut-Lac, was there. The atmosphere was incredible! It was a joy to just walk around watching people challenging each other at sport, playing the House games, listening to the live music and tucking into delicious food from one of the four international buffets.

If you want to know what we mean by a family-oriented community, take a stroll through the event yourself below:



30 Years of Academic Success and Counting

On the studious side of things, 2023 gave us many reasons to celebrate.

Let’s start with our first cohort of International Baccalaureate Career-Related Programme graduates, who all passed with flying colours. Well done to them and to their teachers for getting this programme up and running so smoothly and spectacularly.

The Class of 2023, as a whole, can be proud of what they have achieved. After two tough IB years, an impressive 40% of them are now studying at Swiss universities like the EPFL and UNIGE and the remainder at top universities like the University of Cambridge and HEC Paris.

Same goes to our Primary Science Leader Arron and his team for taking our science teaching to the next level. Thanks to them we are now hold the Primary Science Quality Mark – Gilt Level!


Haut-Lac graduates at Swiss Universities


I think it’s safe to say we’re on the right track. And not just academically.


From 1 to 2 to 3 sports trophy cabinets

There’s no stopping our school sports teams and high performing student-athletes!

They train hard, play even harder and more often than not come out on top. And that’s across all disciplines, from football, basketball and tennis to swimming, gymnastics and skiing.

It makes our reaccreditation by the World Academy of Sport even more special. With it and the partnerships it creates, we can do even more to support our young athletes on their quest for sporting glory.


Haut-Lac School Sports Teams


Anne-Marie: 2023 really was a special year. It was the one to break the covid-19 hiatus and bring back the real Haut-Lac. The Haut-Lac that’s proud of its quality academics, exciting extra-curriculars and numerous student, parent and family events.

Thank you all for helping us get back on track with a new and improved Mission and Vision for student success. Here’s to many more years as a local international school community for Swiss and international students and their families.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

Emma Dowou
Haut-Lac Communications

Tags: celebration, IBCP, international school, WAoS, boarding school, 2023

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