Autumn in Switzerland can be the most breathtaking time of the year. The vast array of colours running through the mountainside is spectacular. Although the weather can be more unpredictable than the summer months it is generally still nice enough to allow a varied and exciting programme of activities and excursions
Our Language programmes
Our language programmes are designed to help address individual needs. Students can choose to study English, French or German or a combination of languages i.e. the French programme for one week and the English programme in the second week.
Our language programmes are pertinent and efficient because:
An entrance test and a self assessment checklist before arrival at the Centre helps teachers to gauge the level of the students and place them in appropriate classes.
A further evaluation period on the first morning of the course to assess the difference between students’ written and spoken language makes sure that students have been placed in the appropriate level or raises doubts and necessary changes are made.
Class sizes vary from three or four to ten. The small size of the groups ensures that students feel more comfortable, get more individual attention, progress more quickly and gain confidence in all aspects of their work.
Students study Monday and Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The break on Wednesday has proven to be a beneficial change to our language programmes. Allowing students a rest period in the middle of the week ,in general, increases the focus and enthusiasm for learning.
On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday there are 5 classes per day of 40 minutes and on Friday there is a written and oral presentation/test.
The intensive language programme offers 2 extra 40 minute classes per day.
Our classes cover all aspects of language learning but focus intensely on oral work as this seems to be the common area of weakness for almost all students. Our language programme uses the Common European Framework and European Language Passport as the foundation for our lesson structure and teachers are encouraged to innovate and find new ways to motivate students to participate and develop a passion for the language.
At Haut Lac we use a continuous assessment structure to evaluate work covered by the students during their stay with us This is complemented by a formal weekly testing period.
The certificate awarded to each child contains information on the specific programme of work that they have followed, a report from their teacher on their progress, a breakdown of their language ability across the key components - speaking, listening, reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary and pronounciation and of course,the grades achieved during the testing periods. Students also fill out a new self assessment sheet in order to reflect on progress made during their stay at Haut-Lac and set themselves goals for the next step.
We consider the class teacher to be the most important element of the classroom situation. We encourage staff to give well prepared, intensive but interesting and lively lessons in order to stimulate students into taking an active part in the learning process. We encourage our staff to show the students how the language works outside of the classroom environment and to use all available mediums – video, internet, games, role play, music, theatre etc. to develop enthusiasm and participation in the lessons.
All study materials are provided, text book material, CD Roms, DVD’s, paper and files. Students need to bring only writing materials and a good bilingual dictionary. Our Camp: The Haut Lac International Autumn Camp is a smaller more intimate programme than our International Summer Camp. This allows for a more flexible programme and the students really have a feeling of being in their own camp with lots of individual attention.
What makes our Camp so successful
Our activity programme is second to none. We offer a huge range of activities for our students. On any afternoon and evening students can be presented with a choice of up to 6 different activities so there is something for everyone.
The following activities are included in our autumn programme price:
Adventure sports – Kayaking, climbing, bridge-jumping, rafting, Dirt Monster bikes, adventure park, Aquaparc, horse riding, archery, go karting, laser wars, team-building challenges, sailing
Team Sports – football, basketball, softball, volleyball, handball, soft lacrosse, beach soccer
Sports – Tennis, squash, badminton, aerobics, circuit training, fitness, cross country running, mountain bikes, table tennis, streetball, ice skating
Activities – Swimming, hiking, bowling, mini golf, art & crafts, cookery, pool, table football, air hockey, playstation games, air hockey, DVD Movies, chess, board games, pictionary, frisbee games, cinema and thermal bath
Theme Events – Fancy dress disco’s, casino nights, crazy games, silly Olympics, Haut Lac Star Academy talent show, karaoke nights, torchlight walk and campfire, treasure hunt, quiz nights, Haut-Lac cinema
Excursions - Gruyeres & it’s Cheese Factory, Broc & it’s Chocolate Factory, Gstaad, Fribourg & it’s Natural History Museum, Montreux & the Chateau de Chillon, Vevey & the Games Museum or the Alimentarium, Lausanne & the Olympic Museum, Bern & the Zoo, the Bear Pit and the Parliament, Geneva & the Red Cross Museum, the United Nations and the Water Jet, the Marecottes Zoo and Rock Pool
Since we started running our programmes we have been running house teams for our students. In recent years this has been made popular by the Harry Potter books and movies. Our House Team system is invaluable to the success of our summer programme.Each week students are assigned to the Raiders, the Eagles, the Warriors and the Sharks so that each team has an equal number of boys and girls and an equal number of age ranges. Up to 4 members of staff are assigned to each team so right from the first day the students in each team will get to know 4 members of staff very well and the staff will get to know the students in their team very well.
Also being in a team immediately creates a common bond for the students in that team and already friendships will form. The Teams help all students settle in to life at Haut Lac quickly and comfortably. In terms of organising the students the house teams enable us to get valuable information very quickly through daily house team meetings. Throughout the week each student can win points for their team by participating in the various activities and each week the wining Team receives a prize at the weekly presentation ceremony.
At Haut Lac we have a very high ratio of staff to students. At our maximium capacity we would have 1 staff member for every 5 students. Our staff are young but experienced in their field of expertise, dynamic and responsible, energetic and enthusiastic and devoted to working with young people and to providing them with a positive life experience. All staff follow a rigorous training programme before commencing their work with us. Haut Lac started as a family business and even though it has grown significantly since those early days the family atmosphere and values still drive our staff and our programmes today.