Issue: 22 | Friday 1st March 2024

Message from Mr Williams, Head

Dear Parents,

Half term seems a long time ago but I hope that you had a relaxing break either here or further afield. It has been a busy week in school with Book Looks, parents’ evenings and sporting fixtures taking place across both Primary and Secondary schools. Whilst this half term is very short, there are still loads of great activities coming up, with World Book Day being one of the highlights of next week. Primary and Secondary students are encouraged to dress up as their favourite book or character and also to take part in all the activities that will take place across the day, Thursday 7 March.

Congratulations to the sporting teams that have gone out this week. We are immensely proud of the excellent results coming out of the SGIS ski races, which saw students from both Primary and Secondary competing against other schools in Switzerland. In addition to bringing home a number of individual gold, silver and bronze medals, our skiers also worked together beautifully to produce great team results. This week also saw our Year 3 and 4 students compete in an indoor football tournament, proudly defending their school colours (and our WRS sponsors) and being rewarded for their commitment to fair play.

During the break, all parents will have received an email with the registration forms and information for the French lessons for parents which we are organising in collaboration with ASC Languages. We are delighted to be able to propose this service to our families and encourage you to register as soon as possible to guarantee your place (the deadline to do so is Sunday 10 March). Please see further down in this newsletter for more details.

Finally, we kindly remind you that our beautiful Primary campus in Genthod will be hosting exciting sports camps for children aged 4 to 11 during the Easter break, in the week of 8-12 April, and also throughout the month of July. Delivered in partnership with Key English School, these camps are ideal for your child to make new friends whilst enjoying action-packed, fun-filled days of sports activities. You can register for these camps at the following link.

Have a great weekend,

Matt Williams

From the Primary School

Year 1 Architects in Action

The creative juices were flowing in Year 1 this week as our young architects worked on building the tallest, sturdiest tower. Using a wide assortment of materials, including straws, pipe cleaners, modelling clay, recycled items, cocktail sticks, cups and plates, they had an hour to construct their structures.

Click here to see them building away

Reminder | Visit from Author David Bedford

A final reminder to our Primary parents that author David Bedford will be coming to Primary for a visit in Key Stage 1 to Year 6 classes on Tuesday 5 March as part of our celebrations for World Book week.

If you would like to buy a book for David Bedford to autograph and personalise on the day of his visit, please pre-order and pay for your book by the latest on Monday 4 March. All pre-orders and payments can be made at the school office in cash only (please provide the exact amount in an envelope labelled with the name of your child and the book title(s) selected). Please note that we will not be able to sell any books after 4 March.

For your information, Roo the Roaring Dinosaur (9 CHF) and Ella’s Games (10 CHF) are most suitable for Reception and Key Stage 1 children, while Top of the League (8 CHF) and Banned (8 CHF) are suitable for Key Stage 2.

A Great Look for Our Footballers

Looking sharp in their WRS-sponsored professional attire, our Year 3 and 4 students took part in the Category F ADISR indoor five-a-side football tournament.

Both teams played fantastically well, with our girls coming in 3rd position and our boys finishing 4th. We are proud that their behaviour and attitude also won them the fair play award!

Click here for photos

Swimming Lessons at Red Whale

During 10 weeks, our Key Stage 1 students all receive bespoke swimming lessons delivered by the wonderful instructors of the Red Whale Swim School.

With the upcoming Easter break, we are pleased to share Red Whale’s Easter Intensive Swimming Lessons, which will take place from 1 to 12 April. Open to children aged 4 months to 13 years, these lessons are designed to provide a unique and enriching experience during the holiday break, promote water safety skills and enhance swimming abilities.

Visit for more information

A Vanillicious Day at After School Care

Our After School Care club enjoyed making vanilla cupcakes this week. Taking it in turns to measure out the ingredients, add them to the bowl and mix them in properly, our little chefs enjoyed a delicious sweet treat for their first week back after half-term!

See the photos here

News from Secondary

News from our Secondary Houses

We had a number of House results come in just before half term break.

Our House Chess competition grand finale drew a small crowd to watch Year 12 student Omar pitting against Year 11 student George. Bringing together 29 chess players from across Secondary, this competition saw our students strategise to win the cup in this problem-solving bonanza. Congratulations to George, who won the competition for his house, Léman!

Well done to Dôle, who beat Rhône in the Junior House Football match, and to Jura for beating Léman in the Senior match.

On the Secondary Class Charts competition, special shout out goes to Rhône, for coming in first.

Learning with Peers

Students in the German department are really enjoying weekly conversation classes with Eva and Yannick in Year 12, who are both native level German speakers. We are very grateful to them for sharing not only their language skills but also their experience of German culture with younger students.

This exchange is typical of the sense of community and enthusiasm for languages at GES. A big thank you also goes to Nikko in Year 12 and to Tara and Clara in Year 13 who did so much to help last year.

Gut gemacht, Leute!

Click here for photos

News from Our Violin Prodigy

Our very own Cíara Elliott (Year 11) has been selected to play with the Orchestre de la Suisse romande at the fabulous Victoria Hall this weekend, a real honour given that only Masters’ students are usually offered this opportunity.

The concert will be on Saturday 2 March. Tickets are available here.

Cíara will also be performing on:

We are also pleased to share the news that Cíara won first prize at the East Coast International Music Competition!

School news

World Book Day

On Thursday 7 March, our school will be celebrating World Book Day. As part of this, we invite all students, across Primary and Secondary, to come to school dressed as their favourite book character. We look forward to seeing our learners get creative with their costumes and dress to impress!

At Secondary, our English Department will also be organising book-related activities, including:

  • A book-themed quiz
  • An open mic reading event in Chaplin

House points and prizes will be awarded to participants!

We will also be officially relaunching phase 1 of our Secondary Library regeneration on this day. Watch this space for regular updates on its progress.

Reminder | French Lessons for Parents

Registration for our French lessons for parents, delivered by ASC Languages, is still possible!

Click here to access the enrolment form

A provider of high-quality language lessons in Geneva for over 50 years, ASC Languages will organise and lead these lessons on our Primary campus in Genthod.

Lessons are planned by language level, as follows:

  • Beginner (Tuesdays from 14h30 to 15h30)
  • Elementary (Thursdays from 14h30 to 15h30)
  • Intermediate (Tuesdays from 14h30 to 15h30)
  • Advanced (Thursdays from 14h30 to 15h30)

Tuesday lessons will take place from 19 March to 25 May 2024. Thursday lessons will be held from 14 March to 27 May 2024. Please note that there will be no lessons during the Easter holidays (29 March to 14 April) and on Ascension (Thursday 9 May).

The price for these language lessons is CHF 489, and includes 13 lessons of 60 minutes as well as enrolment fees and all learning materials. Payment must be made to ASC Languages before the start of the course.

Once you have registered, ASC Languages will conduct a personalised assessment by phone to confirm your language level. Groups will be confirmed when a minimum of four participants have registered.

Please note that the deadline for registration is Sunday 10 March 2024.

Faces of GES

Karen Empson, our Head of Performing Arts and Drama, is in the limelight of our Faces of GES series this week! Prior to coming to Geneva, Karen was a dance and drama teacher in the UK, as well as a lifelong performer. As a teacher of drama, she is thrilled to be able to spend her entire days immersed in her passion. Teaching across all age groups, Karen holds the same wise advice for all her thespians to help them connect not only with their audiences but in all their interactions with people: “Make eye-contact with the person you are speaking to – and smile!”

Karen’s recipe for relaxation? To plan another show! Her contagious excitement for anything theatrical certainly does not go unnoticed by her students, many of whom draw inspiration from her energy. In fact, she fondly remembers a spontaneous talent show organised in the Primary playground during a camping sleepover on campus!

For Karen, the community spirit and the feeling of being part of a family is what she loves most about our school, and what better way to express that than through the countless shows she has organised through the years.

GES' Got Talent

We were thrilled to receive news from music producer and alumnus James Allen, whose work with British artist Fran Lusty has been featured on World Radio Switzerland!

After finishing school in Switzerland, James went on to study music at Edinburgh University and is now back in the area and putting his wonderful talents to the service of musicians from Switzerland and the UK.

Tune in to WRS to discover his work

Smashing Ski Results from Across the School

We have some new sensational results from the SGIS ski races in Morgins this week!

Congratulations to our athletes for their wins and for displaying such excellent sportsmanship:

  • From Primary, our boys placed first in Category E, while the girls’ team came in third place in Category F.
  • Our very own Bram Halestrap (Year 6) came in first and Kai Schmidt (Year 5) third in the Category E Boys. 
  • Year 3 student Danny Halestrap brought home the silver medal in Category F Boys, and Alice Caulton in Year 3 won Bronze in the Category F Girls. Danny also held the best times for the day!
  • Year 7 student Callum Henderson-Ross came first in his category and was in the top 5 best times of the competition. Year 7 student Caoimhe McGarry arrived in second place in her category.
  • In Year 9, Jonathan Ahrendsen took first place in his category and, at 52.94, held the best time in the entire competition! Blaithin McGarry, also in Year 9, arrived in a superb fourth position in the girls’ category.
  • Last and certainly not least, our Category C Boys came in third place as a team.

Well done to all our competitors!

Click here for photos and videos of their performance