A few days ago I arrived at the Zürich airport and made my way to the train station for the trip to Berne, Switzerland’s federal city, where I would be assisting the staff and students of the International School of Berne in creating various social media initiatives to chronicle the student experience at this established learning institution. The train ride through the Swiss countryside is picturesque enough as is, but an early snowfall made the scene even more like a postcard image. It was the way people around the world picture Switzerland…snow-covered pines and peaks, and charming alpine-style architecture.
The first thing that you notice when you arrive at the school’s cozy campus is how engaged the students are. At each stage of education, ISBerne uses programmes to guide maturity, growth and ownership. The teachers create a learning experience that encourages students to become active participants, as well as to assume more responsibility for their education. The school also offers its students the opportunity to pursue an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma. The International Baccalaureate has established itself as a model curriculum for international schools around the world. Since 1991, ISBerne has been committed to and guided by the tenets of the IB Learner Profile and the organizations mission:
“The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.”
The day started with an assembly where I discovered that it was “pajama day.” The school does a lot of things to make campus life more lively, including a student effort to support “Mary’s Meals,” an established food programme for Africa (more about that in coming blog posts). The assembly featured updates about the school’s sports teams and a presentation on student council activities. There was a real community feeling to the proceedings. In the afternoon, I met with three seniors to discuss the process of creating content for this blog. I’ll be introducing you to this group in the next few days. I think we’ll see a lot of creative blog posts from ISBerne’s students as this project develops.
We hope that you’ll follow, share, and comment on this forum that will give a voice to the international group of students at ISBerne.