Academic Blogs Boarding Life Clubs and Activities Trips and Excursions Winter Term

Principal's Blog: Winter-Term 2018 at Surval

28 February 2019

As I sit down to write the second blog of our winter term, the strains of music drift in through the open window of my study – the popular Zumba club is having its weekly Zumba session outside in the garden under a golden afternoon sun. The photographs from the excursion to the beautiful Blausee at the weekend show sparkling turquoise water and girls with their jackets open against the unseasonal warmth. Spring is in the air, and its energy infuses the building. It has been another month packed full of learning and adventure, both inside and outside the classroom – a memorable Ski Week in Anzère; a prosperous fundraising event for Habitat for Humanity; and more tales of student success in their individual subjects. It is fitting, then, with the ever-increasing range of experiences available to our students, that we are about to launch our new Surval website and prospectus. The school has spread its wings in so many ways since our last website was created, and there is now so much more to share with those that have an interest in the wealth of opportunities that we have to offer. For me, in my third year as Principal here, the preparation has given me the opportunity to reflect on what makes the Surval experience so special.

Surval’s attractions go beyond our broad and innovative curriculum programmes, our exceptional enrichment opportunities and our home from home boarding experience. We are committed at Surval to providing a modern, forward-thinking and bespoke education built around a foundation of championing social enterprise, fostering global perspectives and celebrating language and culture; and these are the focus of the life we live out here every day – as exemplified by the content of this newsletter. Our student-led charity committee raised over CHF1500 with their Valentine’s Day “Valentine Brownie” event, organised and enacted by the girls themselves; and, as Mariia writes in her article on the event, not only did they support the Habitat for Humanity charity, but also put “smiles on the faces of all the students and staff”. In Monday’s assembly, Liza and Nastya launched the upcoming Daffodil Challenge, a further charity fundraising event which they have been planning through their Social Enterprise classes. Charity and Sustainability merged in the visit from Protect our Winters Switzerland, organised by the Sustainability club, but with a strong charitable focus – this organisation relies on donations and sale of its merchandise to be able to continue its important work raising awareness and fighting climate change; and so, we were pleased to see students, inspired by POW’s powerful presentation, queuing up afterwards to buy POW T-shirts and water bottles, or simply to give them a donation. Rubi writes about the impact of the POW trip on the students later in this newsletter.

Meanwhile, the Model United Nations club, an invaluable link with our Global Perspectives course, continues in its goal of educating young women to be skilled and passionate leaders of the future; five of the girls travelled to Amsterdam for a MUN conference earlier in the month, and we were proud on their return to hear that three of the students had received sought-after Honourable Mentions – for Best Judge, Best Advocate Defendant and, to Gimena, the impressive Second Best Delegate of the conference. For such a small school at an event with over two hundred students attending, this was exceptional recognition for our Surval girls. However, it is not only the MUN students that show an interest in world issues; I have been impressed by the quality of Foundation Year’s persuasive speeches on a range of important topics – from Iya’s speech urging her audience to stop plastic pollution, and Ana Fer’s on the need to fight climate change, to Raquel’s on the importance of teenagers looking after their mental health, and Lupita’s, on the need to stay safe on the internet.

As always, I am proud to be the Principal of a school with so many students that care about not just making the most of what Surval has to offer, but also doing their utmost to give back – to the school, the wider community and to the world as a whole. I am immensely looking forward to all of this being highlighted in our new website and prospectus.

Patricia Woodhouse


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