International School of Lausanne’s New World-class Campus Helps Students Reach Their Full Potential

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Today, an inauguration ceremony took place at the International School of Lausanne (ISL), drawing more than 100 dignitaries, corporate partners, media and architects from around the commune of Vaud.

Inauguration at ISL

We thought carefully about what a world-class education would look like for our students who learn, study and who will eventually work in an ever-changing global society

Lyn Cheetham, Director and Rosalie Hoffmann, Board Chair, together with Anne-Catherine Lyon, the State Councilor, Head of the Education Department, Youth and Culture of the Canton of Vaud, and Jean-Pierre Sueur, Syndic of Le Mont-sur-Lausanne, cut the red ribbon to signal the official opening of the 42,300 metre square new campus. ISL students sang and played the piano during the ceremony.

Commitment to excellence
ISL is committed to assisting students to reach their potential in a supportive and challenging environment. ISL has had a long-standing history of academic excellence achieving International Baccalaureate (IB) scores ranked amongst the highest in the world, combined with a holistic approach to learning. The strong partnerships between students, teachers and parents are reflected in the contagious family spirit of the school. Now, ISL also boasts a world-class campus.

“We thought carefully about what a world-class education would look like for our students who learn, study and who will eventually work in an ever-changing global society,” said Lyn Cheetham, Director of ISL. “Using our Mission as the cornerstone, and after working with parents, students, staff and the Board, it became evident that in order to achieve this, we would have to broaden the curriculum and choice of subjects, improve the facilities, and increase and diversify the student cohort.”

Two years after the groundbreaking for the CHF 46 million capital expansion project, ISL started its 2015-2016 academic year with five new IB Diploma subject offerings, a brand-new world-class campus and 820 students from 66 nationalities.

“The Board’s role is to ensure that ISL fulfills its directives for continued excellence, as set out in the schools’ Mission and Aims,” said Rosalie Hoffmann, ISL Board Chair. “On behalf of the Board, I’d like to congratulate Mrs. Cheetham and her team, the team at CCHE Architecture et Design SA, and the entire staff at ISL for their collaboration over the last few years in delivering a truly world-class campus on time.

International education is popular locally    
“Switzerland is home to some of the best international schools in the world, and the International School of Lausanne’s IB results year upon year are one of many of the school’s exceptional achievements. An IB education in English language is increasingly of interest to local students who want to have the flexibility to choose to further their education in Switzerland, or abroad,” said Anne-Catherine Lyon, the State Councilor, Head of the Education Department, Youth and Culture of the Canton of Vaud.

Future of education
According to Cheetham, there has been a continued movement to an inquiry-based, constructivist education, combining interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary learning.

“We are equipping our students with the skills – such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity – needed to be happy and productive individuals who are able to flourish in a dynamic, multicultural world,” said Cheetham. “Our new campus, with its open and non-traditional new spaces, helps facilitate this type of learning that will assist our students to be highly successful.”

World-class campus
The new facilities, spread over a North and South campus, accentuate ISL’s focus on rigorous academics, a holistic approach to education beyond academics, and a strong sense of community – all in a new custom-designed space.

The South Campus includes:
Coffee bar and café dominate the entrance of the South Campus: Providing an ideal spot for students, parents and staff to congregate, the café offers Nespresso premium coffee, sandwiches, salads, pastries and healthy snacks for purchase.

A multi-purpose tiered auditorium to seat 400 people: Drama and musical performances, plays, debates and other educational and community forums will take place in this state-of-the-art hall open to students, parents and members of the community.

New technology, science and math labs: To facilitate the teaching of Computer Science, the new IB course added this year, and to offer students more choice of science classes, the labs come equipped with the latest technical equipment.

Art rooms, drama studios, sound-proofed music and practice rooms, band and orchestra rehearsal areas, and a multimedia broadcasting and recording studio using ethernet: With new equipment and studios, and Theatre and Music now offered as IB subjects, students have access to professional-caliber experiences.

Lounges and study areas for IB students: Comfortable and relaxed seating provides an atmosphere for study and socializing for our Year 13 students.

A school spirit shop and a Community Room: ISL branded hoodies, t-shirts, jackets, caps and sports bags are available for purchase, and a community room for ISL parents is available for meetings and special events.

The North Campus includes:
Early Childhood Centre (ECC): Creating opportunities for students to learn in and out of the classroom was a core consideration when ISL decided to create the ECC for the three-four year olds. The ECC provides the youngest children at ISL with range of environments – the physical, social and emotional, intellectual and temporal – in which to play and learn .The custom-built facility comes equipped with spacious airy classrooms designed with light Swedish wood to maximize the feeling of calmness, while minimizing noise. Each of the classrooms opens up to outdoor learning spaces which the teachers regularly make use of. A kitchen designed for children is used weekly during baking classes, as is the gym and multi-purpose spaces. The multi-level playground with a sandbox, playhouse, a slide built into a hill, merry go round, and other equipment welcome children multiple times throughout the day – to have fun, while getting their bodies moving. Learning through play promotes both behavioral and brain development.

Primary and Secondary libraries: New libraries for Primary and Secondary students. In the Primary library, custom-designed shelving helps students easily identify subjects and particular books.

Specialist exploratory rooms and labs: These rooms have been purposely designed in the Primary and Secondary areas for Art and Science, exhibitions and explorations.

A triple-sized Olympic gym, fitness and weights facilities: The large gymnasium enables ISL to schedule simultaneous gym classes, have students partake in After-School Activities and host visiting schools for competitive sporting tournaments. The fitness and weights facilities are available to students and staff.

An expansive playground and outdoor sports facilities: Play promotes both behavioural development and brain growth. A large outdoor playground with swings, climbing structure, small houses and huts, table tennis and foosball, and a basketball court, Astroturf all-weather football pitch and tennis courts keep students interested and active during their recesses and provide the setting for some of more than 100 After-School activities on offer at ISL, many of which are sports.

Collaborative learning areas and outside garden: These have already been added to provide teachers with the flexibility to teach their lessons in spaces that best complement the subjects and themes they are teaching.

New cafeteria featuring healthy Fourchette Vert meals: The student cafeteria offers healthy meal choices to students. Students can also bring lunches from home.

Form and function combine for a sustainable school
“The design pays particular attention to innovation and space, the pedestrian flow and student safety,” said Hannes Ehrensperger, Associate Architect, CCHE Architecture et Design SA, the architects for the expansion. “This included an adjoining esplanade between the north and south campuses campus and a spiral staircase that is suspended, rather than “sitting” on the foundation of the South Campus.

The school will be heated with wood chips, an environmentally friendly option. The floor area has doubled, from 11,300 to 23,300 metres square, and the total area of the new ISL campus is 42,300 metres square.

The International School of Lausanne in the community
“This CHF 46 million CHF project over two years has certainly been important for the economic development of Vaud, and we are excited to see the doors to this campus open for the students, parents, teachers and the local community,” said Jean-Pierre Sueur, Syndic of Le Mont-sur-Lausanne. “It’s a pleasure to be here today with our friends at ISL.”

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