How important are one's Junior School years? For reinforcing good habits and self-discipline, they are often critical; for meeting and coming to terms with the problems of community life for the first time, they are very significant; and they are crucial for the development of confidence, an open mind and cheerful expectation. If a Junior School's family atmosphere of encouragement, sympathy and insistence on good standards is well-blended, young boys and girls will cheerfully learn and happily understand the importance of all of these things.
At Aiglon, we have more than 40 years' experience of Junior School children. Aiglon Junior School consists of three traditional Swiss chalets, set in their own grounds, on the brow of Alpina Hill and within the school campus. They provide a home away from home for our youngest international pupils. Some Junior School lessons take place within the confines of the Junior School, other lessons are taught in the Senior School, and benefit from specialist facilities and equipment, thus aiding the transition from Junior to Senior School when the time comes.
At the hub of the Juniors School campus lies La Baita, a typical Swiss Chalet. La Baita is purpose-built and run by Houseparents George and Carol Logie. It houses the classrooms and music practice rooms and a modern dining room. In addition there is a large Common Room and an indoor Playroom.
La Casa, a distinctive wooden chalet a short distance from La Baita, is home to the Junior girls and their House-Parents, Rob Scott and Sophie Bridle. A third chalet, La Dacha, is the residence of the Junior School Headmaster, Didier Boutroux. It houses a splendid dance studio. The all-weather sports pitch is situated adjacent to La Dacha.
The wide range of facilities and the small student roll have enabled us to reproduce the security and warmth of an extended family: a loving environment in which junior children can grow, learn and share together, away from the pressures of older Aiglonians. The family atmosphere is reinforced by the closeness of the Junior School's tutorial system. Each member of the school's staff, resident and non-resident, acts as an academic and pastoral adviser to a group of pupils, giving individual attention, care and advice on matters relating to work, life, organisation and their contribution to everything the school has to offer.
While encouragement, empathy and understanding are the watchwords of the school, good habits and self-discipline are important too. The children's rooms are spacious, light and welcoming, and proper care of them is a basic requirement, as is sensitivity to the needs of room-mates. Personal smartness is important, too. The Juniors are required to wear a simple, standard dress in class (the school's "No. 2" uniform) and a more formal outfit (the "No. 1" uniform - a school blazer with grey trousers or skirt) in church and at other school functions.
Intimate and caring, encouraging self-expression, yet insisting on self-discipline, the Aiglon Junior School remains committed to developing well-rounded, responsible and successful young boys and girls, ready for the next stage of their 'Aiglon journey'.