Happy motivated students learn best! Every student is a valued individual with talent! Unconventional ideas in the Europe of the 1920s.
But a handful of schools recognised their value and put them into practice. Institut Montana was one.
Back in 1926, teaching that used positive encouragement to inspire curiosity was seen as suspiciously progressive. But the founder of Institut Montana saw things differently. He was also deeply committed to the new idea that international education would help reduce conflict between nations.
He set up a school with a family-like atmosphere where students from all over the world would learn together. He adopted the best ideas from the philosophy and psychology of teaching and a forward-looking curriculum to teach the skills, attributes and clear thinking needed in a changing world.
Today, we remain a small, supportive school where these progressive traditions have defined our past and shape our forward-looking perspective on your children’s education.
Institut Montana has occupied the same site for nearly 100 years. It is a remarkable combination of connectedness and beauty. Only a short drive or train ride from the international hub of Zurich. Minutes from the small city of Zug, with its cobbled old quarter, sparkling lake and luxury shopping. And yet surrounded by meadows and forests.
Arriving at Institut Montana is a magical experience. A funicular railway climbs swiftly to a height where the air is always clean, and the view captivates. Elegant old hotel buildings supplemented by modern extensions house the school, linked by an avenue of ancient trees. It is a haven of peace and security, where young minds can focus on their studies, young people get healthy, and life is fun. Mountain bikes, hiking and climbing, skating and sledging in the winter, space to breathe. All are on the doorstep.
Children can join us from age 6 although we accept students at any stage of their educational journey. Here, they will find their path towards qualifications that prepare each student for his or her own future.
Our Elementary school nestles in a quiet corner of the campus with space to learn and to play. Nurtured by caring staff, the children learn quickly. By the time they are 12, they are confident learners and, emerging from our bi-lingual classroom, they are also proficient in English and German.
Students then follow the International or Swiss programme that will best achieve their ambitions. The International Baccalaureate Diploma or the Swiss Matura will open up doors to universities in Switzerland and all over the world.
In the international section, the early grades gain a strong foundation by following the Cambridge International programme. They go on to the IB with a wide range of language options, preparing them to live well in a multicultural world and become insightful adults with a humanitarian outlook.
Our Swiss High School accepts international as well as Swiss students. They work towards the prestigious Swiss Matura, following either the German or the bilingual (German/English) option in an international community.
Another path might be our Bilingual Secondary School, where students work intensively on their languages, following a Swiss skill-based curriculum that leads to a broad range of career options.
But school is about more than passing exams. Being ready for the future is more than career preparation. It is about developing into adults who can find their way in the world. It is about personal growth.
As they grow, an enriched curriculum helps young people find skills and discover talents; it inspires creativity, generates enthusiasm and boosts energy. It has been key to school-life at Institut Montana since its first beginnings and our students continue to try things out and follow bold ideas in the arts, in science, in technology, in business.
We keep looking forward. The digital world is changing schools. This has included, for us, adapting our gracious old buildings to instal the latest in technology. We are aware of the potential pitfalls of our internet-soaked society and promote the intelligent use of IT and digital citizenship in the interconnected world.
School is where tomorrow’s adults find their voice. We encourage our students to engage in constructive debate, maybe delivering a thoughtful argument to the Model United Nations or contributing to institutional policy through the Student Council. With guidance, they learn to exercise their voice with wisdom.
Learning to make healthy lifestyle choices is another part of growing up. School sports are no longer all about competitive games, although our tennis courts, football, volleyball and ice-hockey pitches, and athletics tracks, are well-used. We also make the most of our fantastic opportunities to get outside in the mountain air, and the magnificent sports facilities nearby, so those healthy choices are habits for life. With all this, and thoughtful emotional guidance, we help every student grow to be healthy and strong – intellectually, physically and emotionally.
Their school years remain precious to them for the rest of their lives. That is why our students call their school My Place to Grow.