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A boarding-school offers facilities for lodging and feeding pupils and provides them with a structure designed for community life (bedrooms, refectory, study, leisure, relaxation and activities, etc.). Sainte Croix des Neiges offers full-time boarding, accommodating pupils throughout the week and weekends. This option enables children who live abroad or a long way from Abondance to live in a stable, balanced environment during the school term and to return home during the holidays.
Sainte Croix des Neiges also offers weekly boarding (from Monday to Friday) for pupils who live in the region and whose travel time makes it feasible to return home at the weekends (less than three hours). This is mainly designed for youngsters who live in the Rhône-Alpes region or Switzerland. Parents who live further afield are not advised to enrol their children for weekly boarding due to the strain caused by long trips to and from school at the weekend.
Boys and girls are together during the school day (lessons, study sessions) and for activities (sport, leisure, outings, etc.). They have separate boarding facilities, two for the boys (collège and lycée) and one for the girls.
The activities and outings organised outside the school are always supervised by a staff member or external service provider. The pupils are permitted to go to Abondance village on Wednesday afternoons and Sundays, accompanied by a school educator.
Life as a boarder is balanced between sport, excursions and various cultural activities. Our aim is to broaden the students’ outlook on culture and develop in them the sense of effort. Many sports are available and are naturally associated with a wide range of mountain activities (skiing, snowboarding, rafting, canyoning, hiking, mountain biking, etc.).
Other activities such as football, basketball, table tennis, billiards, table football and fitness, are also available. Cultural outings are organised to places with rich cultural heritages: Egyptian museum in Turin, Gruyère valley, Bern, etc. A different programme is organised for boarders each weekend.
The use of mobile phones is forbidden during school time, mealtimes and study time. For any exceptional need to use a mobile phone, authorisation must be requested from the school supervisor. Pupils are permitted to use their phones during specific times set by the boarding supervisors.
All pupils are welcome, whatever their religion or conviction, Catholic or otherwise. All pupils’ questions and doubts will be heard, via group discussions or individual meetings.
All Sainte Croix des Neiges pupils are asked to get involved in the school’s pastoral life, including attending the masses held each term.
Sainte Croix des Neiges has welcomed young people from around the world for decades. Some speak little or no French when they arrive. Considering their young age and immersion as a boarder (classes, activities, leisure time, etc.), they learn the language amazingly quickly. In addition to the academic programme they follow with others of their age, foreign pupils take a FLE course (learning French as a foreign language) in small groups, helping them to learn the language more quickly.
Some are able to take the end-of-year brevet or BAC exam, even though they started the year with little command of French.
On average, there are 23 pupils per class in the collège and 25 in the lycée. This low student-teacher ratio allows the teachers to get to know each pupil well and provide individual attention.
Studying in a small class is much appreciated by the pupils themselves who feel that they receive more support and assistance with any problems they might have.
Arrangements can be made for special diets upon presentation of a duly justified doctor’s prescription. The nurse will be informed of any children who have allergies or require a special diet and she will take the necessary measures with the relevant departments.
The uniform must be worn throughout the school day and for all outings. The uniform provided by the school comprises a blazer, white shirt, sweater, tie and a Sainte Croix des Neiges jacket. Only navy blue pressed cloth trousers or dark blue or black jeans are authorised. Shoes must be dark or black.
The school sports kit must be worn for all sports activities.
While pupils are free to wear their own clothing in the evening and at weekends inside the boarding house, it must be appropriate.
Only lycée students are authorised to smoke by their parents. Smoking is only tolerated during the times and in the places indicated outdoors. Any violation of this rule will be sanctioned.
Consuming or possessing alcoholic drinks or drugs is strictly forbidden throughout the school. Pupils and families are made well aware that this rule will be strictly enforced and in the event of any violation, will lead to reporting the matter to the public prosecutor and sanctions ranging from a temporary suspension to permanent expulsion.
A reduction is available depending on the number of children enrolled at the school. There are exceptional cases where financial aid may also be available depending on the family situation and the parents’ means. These are studied on a case by case basis upon written request to the Headmaster.
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