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Surval End of Year Celebrations

Posted on: 10th July 2018

For the last two weeks, summer thunderstorms have been drenching the shores of Lac Léman, rendering the forests lushly green, but making it risky to head outside sans umbrella! However, this weekend the weather decided to be a little more temperate, and Monday dawned still and sunny, a pale blue sky clear above the shimmering lake – a picture-perfect day for Surval’s traditional end of year family BBQ. Monday morning was a buzz of preparation: in the garden, our stylish teacher of Etiquette, Madame Wahli, arranged vases of vibrant gerberas to decorate tables; in the kitchen, François and his team concocted equally colourful kebabs and petites brochettes; and, in the bright art classroom, Survalienne and talented jewellery designer Amalia Lopez laid out a gleaming selection of necklaces, bracelets and earrings created by both herself and Surval students, on show and for sale throughout the afternoon with the proceeds of those which were sold going to the Guatemala Volcano Relief Fund.

From eleven o’clock, excited girls waited in the hall to greet their families and whisk them out to the garden for fizz in the sun. The chefs soon had the BBQ sizzling, and students, parents, teachers and boarding staff all sat together enjoying the delicious food under the shade of large parasols. Mrs Woodhouse gave a toast celebrating our Surval family and thanked everyone for being a part of another successful year, before encouraging us to try the array of delectable-looking desserts…and we were only too happy to oblige! It was a lovely relaxing gettogether before the formal celebrations of Graduation the following day.

Graduation Day itself dawned sunny and bright. The event at the Royal Plaza hotel in downtown Montreux was a fitting and fabulous end to what has been a busy but brilliant year at Surval.

It was such a joy to see the girls, decked in their finest outfits, being celebrated for their achievements both inside and outside the classroom by school friends, the wider Surval family and some of their own family members. As Mrs Woodhouse said in her end of year speech, there had been so many successes this year that it was impossible to speak of them all. We were fortunate to welcome Mr Mark Malley, CEO of Bellevue Education, the leading education group Surval belongs to, to present the prizes to the girls and to offer his words of wisdom, encouraging all the girls to be the best versions of themselves. 

Liberal Arts student Sakhi enthralled us all with a dazzling solo, singing a beautiful version of Sam Smith’s ‘Too Good at Goodbyes’: there was scarcely a dry eye in the house, by the time Surval’s Student of the Year Anastasiia, had given her speech. She delivered it fluently and with such poise, having committed all the words to heart, despite the fact that when she first arrived at school she did not speak any English. If anything speaks to the heart of Surval, it is these stunning words from her speech.

“Living far from home, learning in new languages and being part of an international family lets us build bridges between our different countries. This has inspired me with hope for our future. I am no longer afraid to go to a place that I have not been to before; I want to return what I have been given by Surval to the world: to respect and help every human being in need. As Jane Austen once said: “There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.”

“Surval opens doors for its girls to meet new people and visit new places, and, through our classes, to acquire knowledge. But, it also opens a door to ourselves. The experience of being educated here has given me the opportunity to explore myself: to discover what I am truly interested in; to see the world from another perspective; and to become confident in who I am.”

After the formal proceedings were over, the girls, staff and parents, moved to the lakeside where they carried on the celebrations overlooking the dazzling waters of Lac Leman. From there, they enjoyed a fabulous meal, with entertainment provided by our very own bagpipe playing Mr Watson. And with that, the school year was over, and the next adventure ready to begin.

As the girls embark on their next chapter, it’s worth remembering the end of Mrs Woodhouse’s graduation speech and to leave, as she did, the last words to Winnie the Pooh:

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together…
There is something you must always remember.
You are braver than you believe,
Stronger than you seem
And smarter than you think.
But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart…
I’ll always be with you”

View more photos from the event here.


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