11 July 2023



When Haut-Lac was founded thirty years ago, Switzerland was a very different place.

We were a much less technologically-savvy society, ignorant of how much and how quickly the world was set to change. The values we instill in our students have therefore had to evolve over time to compliment these constant developments.


Back in 1993, we didn't yet offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) (nor did we even know what it was!). We therefore investigated all the qualities that make up successful learners and decided to transfer these onto our students.


Haut-Lac School values open-mindednessOpen-Mindedness

Haut-Lac’s student body (if 13 students can be called such) was international even then. This encouraged us to promote open-mindedness towards one another in a way that pre-empted the incredible globalisation our world has since experienced.




Unwittingly, the respect Haut-Lac students learnt to have for their international peers has helped prepareHaut-Lac School values respect them for the very international nature of today's job market.

We asked our students then to be inquisitive and resourceful, ready to grow with the size of the school as we learnt together how to create an ideal environment for education. Eventually, these early students outgrew us and moved onto the next steps of their lives.

However, the work for us as an international, bilingual school of the modern age is never over. As we adapt ourselves to the pace of the world our students live in, we offer them new values that will help them make the most of it.



Haut-Lac School values resilienceNowadays, we promote the need for resilience. Technology has provided many answers to life’s big questions, but it has also crowded every space of our lives. The goalposts are always moving, which leads to a life that can sometimes feel like it's shifting too quickly beneath our feet.

Our students therefore need tools that will help them retain their focus and cope with these never-ending shifts. Trusting in one's own steadiness is a precious gift these days and draws in others who themselves feed off that stability – a skill not to be underestimated.


Haut-Lac School promotes a sense of belongingSense of Belonging

Modern students also find themselves constantly bombarded with ideas of how and what they should be doing to find success. These fluctuate with the times and might only add stress on top of an already burdened child.

However, there are some immutable, principal values that will give them great grounding no matter the world around them. Whether in 1993, 2003, 2013 or 2023, it has always been easier to get through life with friends who are kind, generous and respectful.


At Haut-Lac, these are the very base tenements we teach and then require of our students. These are the fundamentals taught from the very beginning upon which the IB learner profile can later build but without which, students will face a much more challenging path.

With such values, we were able to open our school thirty years ago, and with them, our students will continue to thrive thirty years from now.

Katie Harwood
Haut-Lac Alumni

Tags: international school, soft skills, values, modern learning

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