11 October, 2021

News from the Principal | October 2021 #1

Principal's Update | La Côte International School Aubonne - principals-update
News from the Principal | October 2021 #1 Read our Principal's news and updates here.

by Andy Puttock, Principal

I never cease to be amazed by the pace of life in schools, and this term has been no exception. It hardly seems like yesterday when we came back after the summer, and now we are nearly at the mid-term holiday, already thinking about our first ski trips of the season, working with our senior students on the last six months before their examinations, and discussing end of winter term celebrations with our PTA.

I’m delighted to report that, thanks to your excellent support and the great commitment of our staff and students, we have already had to focus less on coronavirus than last year. We have stayed very careful, and of course have been sad that some events have still been cancelled, especially sports tournaments. But so much now has a greater feel of normality about it than we feared a few months ago. Inter-school sport is now slowly starting again - it was quite a moment to see the bus leaving for a football tournament for the first time in 18 months last Thursday and then hear the news of our teams’ outstanding performances, with both boys and girls coming second. I have had the immense privilege of sitting in on a number of rehearsals for our upcoming show, Mamma Mia, and the energy, dedication and sheer quality of our students is genuinely awe-inspiring. I’m also delighted to confirm that the PTA Halloween and winter events are now planned – please refer to our LCIS Weekly Bulletin for further details. 

I wrote previously about the excellent STEAM week in Primary, and it has been great to see this coming full circle with our students who received a presentation from EPFL now sending their work back to EPFL so they can see the value of their input. 

One of my ‘moments of the week’ however, has been visiting the chess club run by students from the secondary school for students in Year 5 and 6 in the mornings. The enthusiasm for the game amongst our younger students is infectious, and the true leadership demonstrated by the students from the Year 10 International Award group is genuinely inspirational (it was their idea to set it up – all we had to do was provide the time and the space!). But this is only part of a bigger picture as both our primary and secondary students demonstrate leadership in such a variety of ways, from running clubs and activities, to reading with the younger ones, to student voice and council. One of the things that we have missed over the past year is this interaction between our students of all ages, the role modelling this provides, and the sense of family that this builds. We are proud to be a school where all our students see themselves as one community and benefit from this, and we look forward to many more student-led initiatives of this kind. 

Little by little, as the year has progressed, we have also been able to welcome prospective parents and families to school, whilst ensuring that contact with students is minimized for everyone’s wellbeing. As you know, I always feel that we thrive on feedback, whether that be positive or constructively critical, but it has been lovely to be reminded of the things that we try to make our school stand for – the passion and commitment of our teachers, students fully engaged in their learning and always wanting to do better (something I get to see every day) but also, as one parent put it much better than I could, they felt ‘the warmth coming out of the walls’. That is without doubt one of the best compliments I believe we could have received.

In the first paragraph of this introduction, I did mention that examinations for our senior students are beginning to come more clearly onto the horizon. We certainly do not want to cause anxiety to our students – we know that examinations can be stressful – and there is still plenty of time to prepare and achieve great outcomes. But I do think that the October break – as well as definitely having an excellent holiday, resting and recuperating – is always the perfect moment for students just to spend a little time reviewing where they are, the progress they have made in their studies so far, and any adjustments to study practices that might be needed to be the very best that they can be. Our examination results were outstanding last year, but we already know that this year’s graduating class are shaping up to do even better.

I wish everyone an excellent October holiday at the end of the week.

Andy Puttock