SEK Les Alpes - boarding school in the French Alps

29.11.22

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SEK Les Alpes is a cozy school of the SEK group of international schools, offering the same program as all schools of the group, but exclusively for students of 13-15 years old. The school is located 1000 meters above sea level in a small French mountain village of Saint Nicolas, next to the famous ski resort town Megeve.

The very location of the school is its main highlight, giving students a great opportunity to practice many kinds of active sports and attracting ski lovers. Since the opening of the winter season, students go 3 times a week (Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) to various mountain resorts in the region, which includes 1200 km of ski slopes. At the same time, the school accepts students even with zero level of skiing, as 2 times a week for 2 hours a day they are engaged in ski school instructors, and 3 times a week students ski under the supervision of school staff. Before the start of the official season, students go to the glacier, where the ski slopes remain open for almost the whole year.

But skiing is not the only active sport that SEK Les Alpes school offers its students. One of the criteria for admission to the school is students' passion for sports and desire to live a very active life. Only such children will feel happy here, because all free time from classes is devoted to active recreation: climbing, canoeing, rafting, orienteering, water skiing - all these activities alternate depending on weather conditions.

If we are talking about the school, the first thing to say is that although SEK Les Alpes follows the Spanish state secondary school curriculum, all lessons are taught in English. Since only students aged 13-15 study here, they follow the 8th and 9th grade curriculum, which includes the following subjects taught in English, Science (Physics, Chemistry and Biology), Social Studies (Geography and History), Mathematics, and Fine Arts. In addition to this, all students deeply study two European languages: French and Spanish. And, if Spanish is given only 4 hours a week, then with French in 1-2 years each student reaches perfection, because every week the program contains 10 hours of French language and literature plus 2 hours of French culture, which is also taught in French.

As with skiing, the school accepts students with any knowledge of French and Spanish, even zero, as classes are organized by levels. At the same time, the second important criterion for admission to the school is a good command of English, for 14-15 year olds B2 level is required, while 13 year olds can be accepted with high B1.

All students of the school manage to maintain high academic performance in academic subjects and languages, as there is a strict rule - if you do not have time in school - you can not go skiing. Therefore, of course, all future students need to show a good academic transcript from the previous school.

I really liked the atmosphere at the school. There are few students here, teachers and the school director live on the territory, and from the first days they turn into one friendly family. It is felt in everything: in team sports, in lessons, in homework and school projects - everywhere "we" comes first, not "I". This is a school where children feel comfortable, there is no place for bullying and any teenage problems that other schools periodically face.

The school is located in 2 chalets, one of which is a residence, a multifunctional gym, 4 rest rooms and a school canteen. In the second chalet there are classrooms, administration and a floor with residences for students of short programs. Short programs include "white weeks" - when other SEK schools bring their students to the Alps for one week to ski. As well as "green weeks" programs, which are open to groups of students from all over the world who come outside the ski season and spend a week in the Alps doing active sports offered in the region.

Finally, I want to say that during my acquaintance with the SEK group of schools, I met and talked to two former students of the school in the Alps, already adults who are now working in the group, and they convinced me that they remember the time spent in this school as the brightest years of their lives.

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