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  • Our School

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The Camp Experience - What, When, Where

12 September 2014

At La Côte International School we offer a holistic residential camp program for students, which both extends and enriches their school based learning. Kim van Helvoort explains the schools philosophy and outlines the schools camps program.

At La Côte International School we offer a holistic residential camp program for students, which both extends and enriches their school based learning. The program supports the school curriculum by offering a wide variety of different experiences in a safe and secure environment.  Over the course of a child’s education at LCIS they could potentially attend eleven different camps.

We aim to provide a camp program that

·         has a variety of different locations both in Switzerland and other countries

·         covers different curriculum topics

·         evolves with the capability of the students

·         provides value  for money

·         is a positive experience for the students.

Primary Camps

In addition to developing specific skills and knowledge linked to school topics, our primary camps also encourage a wide range of personal skills, such as independence, curiosity, risk-taking and well-being, all within a secure and supportive environment. Our highly experienced staff ensure that children have positive experiences, and we provide individual and personalised support to, for example those children who may never have been away from home before, or who may have dietary or other specific needs.

At LCIS we use experienced and highly reputed camp providers, and we work closely with them to ensure the camps are tailor made to our school and student requirements.

During the camps, alongside the daily activities organised by the camp provider, our staff also design a program which encourages team-building, collaboration and positive relationships.

Primary camps are scheduled for the Summer Term in three different Swiss locations.

Below  we detail the different types of activities students are involved in during the camps. They offer the opportunity for children to experience different ecosystems but also to participate in ever more challenging physical activities as they progress through the Primary years.

Year 1  Activities  

Activities focusing on plants include

If I were a plant where/how would I live?

A forest to discover

A forest to see,  touch, smell and taste”

Life Cycle, soil types, parts of the plant, coniferous/deciduous trees, toxic plants

Full day forest walk and picnic – weather permitting

Planting a tree

Year 2 Activities

 Activities focusing on animals include

“If I were an animal living in a mountain forest…”

Life cycle, food chain, anatomy, mammals, amphibians, insects

In the forest searching for tracks and signs of animals. ‘Being in the skin of an animal…

Full day forest walk and picnic – weather permitting

‘Making an animal’

Year 3 Activities

Introduction to river ecosystem with a focus on insects.

River Gorge Walk

Visits to local cheese factory and chocolate factory


Year 4 Activities


Hiking and Campfire

Beginning Bush craft

Ropes Course

Evening Program and Disco

Year 5 Activities

River System investigation  - with UK Field study teacher

Map reading and orienteering

Inspirational Hike

Train trip


Year 6 Activities

Indoor Climbing

Rock climbing and abseiling

Bush craft survival skills


Team building activities


Secondary Camp experience

The secondary student’s camp experience aims to build on the positive camp experiences they had as primary students. These camps are scheduled early in the Autumn Term to ensure that students who have only recently joined LCIS are able to integrate quickly into the school community and feel a sense of belonging in the school. All trips are accompanied by at least two members of school staff.

Locations vary from year to year but have included city-based as well as mountain-based camps in addition to camps in neighboring countries. As with the primary school, we make use of reputable agencies to allow us to provide as rich and varied an experience as is possible for students.

Strong curriculum links are a key element of our secondary camps, with some incorporating a focus on interdisciplinary units. Students delve deeper into Swiss history, geography, political structures and culture.

The camps are designed to develop students’ skills in independent living through involvement in meal planning and production, use of public transport and organization of personal effects.

Certain activities challenge our students’ physical and mental capacities through well planned and supervised outdoor activities and it is often these challenges that have the most memorable and long lasting positive impact on our students.

Our Diploma Program (DP) students have participated in program preparation workshops as part of their camp.  The aim of these workshops are to provide students with the skills and information they need to have successful and effective access to the diploma program.

We are very proud of the depth and scope of our camp program and hope that all our students enjoy the opportunities provided to them as part of the program.