Aiglon welcomed a record number of students to begin the 2021-2022 academic year.
This year we are pleased to open the school with 417 students. This is a record for the school both in terms of our new and total student populations. A full school comes with lots of energy and excitement for the beginning of the academic year, especially after last year’s welcome programme was limited due to the pandemic.
Last week we invited our 140+ new students and their families to campus for a weekend of moving in, uniform shopping, meeting new friends, getting to know their house, connecting with teachers and houseparents and socialising with one another. Beginning at a new boarding school is a big change for many families and we always want to ensure that students (and parents) experience a smooth transition into boarding life.
Whether it’s getting luggage up the imposing Alpina hill or trying on a uniform blazer at the almost overwhelming uniform fair, our welcome day is always full of energy. It was especially important to be able to meet many families for the very first time since so much of the admissions process had been conducted virtually. Parents enjoyed the chance to go on campus tours or attend a series of presentations from our senior leadership team about all the various aspects of life at Aiglon that are important to know from day one.
We welcomed each family to their new boarding house with a special house cocktail event. With the sun setting behind our magnificent view of the Dents du Midi, families stood outside on our boarding houses’ terraces taking in the view and meeting other students and parents. Each houseparent made a short speech of welcome and let parents know that their son or daughter would be in good hands.
A Day of Adventure
The next morning our parents were invited to ride our local mountain train up the mountain for a special brunch event. Whilst they experienced some of the variable alpine weather that their children soon would on expedition, the sun eventually broke through the clouds for a lovely afternoon and walk back down (for those who wished). Meanwhile, new students woke up in their boarding houses for the first time to then set out on a village scavenger hunt. By way of introduction to our local resort town, students were split in small groups to gather photos in front of key items (and teachers!) that they had to locate around town. Throughout the afternoon, they participated in various team-building activities on the campus.
We gathered everyone together for a final school barbecue in the centre of campus to taste the many flavours our chefs had specially prepared for this grand barbecue event. Yes, this final event might have included a few tears, but often this farewell is harder for the parents than the students. Before long, no matter the emotions, we all settle into the long-familiar routines. The Aiglon experience has been tried and tested by many generations –we know it works. Besides, the first term break is not too far away!
Ready for the Year Ahead
New and returning parents also had the chance to attend a special jazz evening at the local jazz club, a new tradition that we think has lots of potential. As our returning students continued to arrive throughout the weekend they were able to meet their new friends, but also get prepared for the first school week ahead. New students had individual interviews with our Studies Office to finalise their courses and a few student groups even got to explore our mountain on their first expedition.
We hope that everyone enjoyed our arrival weekend, and whether new or returning, it’s great to have our community back on the mountain. The new year has begun and we are all looking forward to what lies ahead.