In the last few weeks, we welcomed 125 new Aiglonians and there is an overwhelming feeling of positivity across the campus. As both Head of School but also as a parent, I am very proud and feel most fortunate and blessed to be a part of the Aiglon family.
Both students and staff work hard to achieve this wonderful feeling of positivity, ambition and a “can-do-attitude” epitomises the Aiglon spirit. Indeed, Aiglon has always been much more than a school. It is an exciting, inspiring, happy, vibrant and diverse community. A supportive community that lives, works and plays together. It is a way of life!
It was as a community that we came together yesterday to enjoy the sunshine and camaraderie of the Aiglon Beckwith Challenge. Staff and students alike ran, jogged or strolled the 7.6 km course (5km for the juniors). The most competitive participants completed the alpine course in under 40 minutes and congratulations to Derin, Year 13 St Louis (the fastest male senior student), Klara, Year 12 Clairmont (the fastest female senior student), Peonie (the fastest female junior student), Aaron (the fastest male junior student) and Mr Coulson, Head of Business Studies (the first staff member to complete the full course)!
However, the good natured competitive element of the challenge is for me, not the most important aspect of the afternoon. For me, the afternoon is about personal challenge and setting very individual goals for improvement. Today, I watched all students cross both the start and finish line and was delighted to see the way students and staff encouraged others with clapping and cheering for both the front runners and (some hours later) for the tail end participants. The event is all about challenge, friendship, appreciation of the unique mountain environment and coming together as a school community. For some of our newer students, it symbolises the start of their Aiglon journey.
In 2013, I completed my first Aiglon School Challenge. I was lucky enough to be asked to walk with the new juniors, some of whom took off at speed, relishing the challenge of an invigorating mountain run. My walking partner it turned out was a Year 7 student who was 11 years old, new to Aiglon and had rarely walked outside of a city environment before.
It was a tough afternoon - he (and at times I) wanted to give up, he told me he hated the mountains, hated walking, hated sweat, hated being around so many people who loved nature, hated prep, hated early bedtimes in house, did not like the food and wanted to go home. We were the last people to cross the line that afternoon, but we did finish our first school challenge. That student is now 17 and embarking upon his final year at Aiglon. He is predicted a very promising IB score, does his prep every night (mostly), is a leading light and role model in his house, has represented the school in a number of different areas, is part of the Year 13 leadership team, had a lead role in last year’s school production and is a model expeditioner who has won many expedition awards. He finished the School Challenge today in a very respectable place.
And this is what Aiglon excels at - people! We are a school that encourages (possibly even necessitates) self development. We are a school that is highly ambitious for our students, and possibly more importantly instills in students a sense of personal ambition. We aim through our diverse programme of academic, arts, sports, expeditions and with the crucial support of our houses to help all students be the best possibly can be.
About Mrs Sparrow
Nicola is Aiglon’s Head of School and is responsible for the daily functioning of the school and oversees all educational aspects of school life - academic, pastoral and co-curricular. She joined the Aiglon community in 2012; her career in teaching and international education spans three continents featuring a wide range of both classroom and administrative experience. Nicola lives on campus with her family. Read more from her blog.