Issue: 23 | Friday 8th March 2024

Message from Mr Williams, Head

Dear Parents,

I am writing to you from the annual conference of the Swiss Group of International Schools (SGIS) in Le Mont-sur-Lausanne. Attending this two-day conference with me, today and tomorrow, are Emma Parker, Cath Peart, Réjane Durey and Jodie Noble, and they will assist me in sharing our learning on this year’s theme, “Research and Evidence-based Practice”, with all GES teachers in the coming weeks. Already, we have attended sessions on student motivation, effective bilingual approaches to education and instructional coaching to improve classroom practice.

This week had a strong focus on reading and literature across both GES campuses, with the highlight of the week being celebrations for World Book Day on Thursday. In Primary, students learned all about what it means to be an author, receiving the visit of David Bedford for a full day of workshops and book signing sessions. Our younger students also turned to the visual arts to draw and paint scenes from their favourite stories. At Secondary, preparations for the launch of our new digital library catalogue have been ongoing for several weeks. Currently regrouping 700 English fiction texts, a non-fiction section and a range of books in other languages, this e-catalogue will have nearly 200 titles added to it in the coming weeks. World Book Day marked the culmination of the week with students and staff across both campuses dressing as their favourite characters for parades and a House competition. At Secondary, 16 students and staff took turns reciting passages from their favourite books and poems, or from their own compositions.

Our annual Summer Fair – this year on Saturday 22nd June – is less than four short months away. As always, our valiant class representatives are taking on the mammoth task of organising this wonderful event that is the highlight of many children’s year, but they can’t do it alone. Without the help of parents from across the school, the fair cannot happen. There will be lots of jobs that need to be done in the run-up to the fair and planning will start very soon. We will also need volunteers on the day to manage the various stalls and activities, for all or part of the day. If you can spare some time to help make this event another roaring success, the parents committee, school staff and, especially, the children would be very grateful. To quote our friends at Tesco, ‘every little helps’, and all volunteers are welcome. To get involved, please contact your class parent representative.

Today, I would like to wish all in the GES community a happy International Women’s Day. We are proud that, in school, we take action each day to advance IWD values, being diverse, equitable and inclusive, and driving gender parity. This week, we have celebrated women in a purposeful way. Assemblies were held with Mme Rifflard and Mme Berron, with a focus on the portrayal of women in film. Through this lens, and predominantly in French, students explored issues such as equality. Thank you to both teachers for their thoughtful planning and for making us reflect on a topic that could too easily be overlooked. IWD truly does and must belong to everyone.

Next week will be Science Week in school.  This year, our theme is “Time”. With that in mind, our goal is to encourage our students to explore scientists through time, and how science has shaped technology through time. I am looking forward to seeing what our scientists will get up to.

Finally, I wish our senior students all the best in their preparation for their upcoming mock exams. I am confident that their hard work and that of their teachers will yield the results they hope for on exam days.

Have a great weekend,

Matt Williams

From the Primary School

Bronze Medals at the Derby des Bois

Two of our runners took part in the 20th edition of the Derby des Bois, a race recently organised in the woods of Versoix.

We are proud of the fantastic results students Teo Crausaz (Year 4) and Ciara O’Reilly (Year 6) produced in this competition, which brought together no fewer than 578 runners across 22 categories.

Teo and Ciara brought home the Bronze for their U12 categories, each of them competing against 17 other runners over a 1.4km trail!

Visit of Author David Bedford

Our Primary students welcomed author David Bedford to campus this week!

Taking part in workshops all throughout the day, our bookworms learned about what it takes to be an author, the various steps that go into writing, editing and publishing a book, how to write for different ages and audiences, and how to find inspiration in the things that surround us. Brimming with excitement at hosting an author of over 85 published books, our students also had book signing sessions with David Bedford.

See the photos here

GES on the Airwaves

We were on WRS’ Breakfast Show this week! Our very own Emma Parker, Deputy Head of our Primary School, exchanged with Katt Cullen about our engaging British curriculum and how it allows for such wonderful creativity in teaching and in learning, including languages.

Presenting the advantages for children of being in a smaller school, Emma also went over the importance of student-teacher-parent relationships in our school community and our commitment to ensuring our students have happy and fulfilling learning experiences.

Listen in here

Save the Date | Back in Time

Come and join the magical adventures of Peter and Layla as they journey from the future to the past in the upcoming Year 3 and 4 show, Back in Time.

Full of bilingual acting, singing, dancing and the beautiful stage design that has been supported by Key Stage 2 Art Club, this show is not to be missed!

Tuesday 26 March 2024 at 17:30
Espace culture de Genthod
Free admission

Rejoignez l’aventure magique de Peter et Layla! Du futur vers le passé, voyagez avec eux dans le prochain spectacle des classes 3 et 4, Back in Time.

Ne manquez pas cette production où théâtre, danse et chant bilingues s’entremêlent avec pour toile de fond la décoration produite par les enfants du club d’art de Key Stage 2.

Mardi 26 mars 2024 à 17h30
Espace culture de Genthod
Entrée libre

Science Week: Exploring 'Time'

Science Week is here and our theme is ‘Time’. Every morning next week, students will start their day with science tasks, exploring time-themed investigations during special Science lessons. Students will have an optional homework task in which they are encouraged to recreate a famous experiment. Those who wish to do so will have the opportunity to present their performance to the entire school in an assembly.

For parents: For the first time in GES history, you can earn points for your child’s House! Answer the daily science question available in the bench area (near the snake), without Internet assistance, and earn House points for your child. Your children really want those extra House points!

Watch as the children set you the challenge here

News from Secondary

Mock Exams Start Next Week

Our Year 11, 12 and 13 students will be starting their mock exams next week. Functioning as a practice test that allows students to understand their strengths, identify any areas that they need to improve and get a feel for what to expect in the official exams, “mocks” are taken under real, timed exam conditions.

We wish our examinees all the best for their mock exams and thank the remainder of our Secondary community in advance for keeping noise levels as low as possible.

Student Ciara Elliott Performs at the Victoria Hall

Another successful performance for our violin prodigy, Ciara Elliott, who performed with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande last weekend at the magnificent Victoria Hall in Geneva.

See here for some photos and a short video extract of the concert

PSHE Day on Relationships and Sex Education

Our Secondary students had their fourth Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship and Economic Education (PSHE) day this week, centred on the topic of “Relationships and Sex Education”.

Taking part in age-appropriate, PSHE Association-endorsed workshops, students in each year group explored a number of different themes, including:

  • Changes during puberty and adolescence
  • Gender and sexual identity
  • Lifestyle choices
  • Emotional and mental well-being (self-worth and confidence)
  • Different types of relationships, including romantic ones
  • Consent (communication and legal aspects)
  • Stereotypes conveyed by media
  • Risks associated with certain forms of online behaviour
  • Sexual exploitation and forms of abuse
  • Contraception, safe sex, reproductive health, families and parenting

Click here for photos of the day

School news

Celebrating World Book Day

Our school jumped into the land of fiction, fable and fantasy yesterday! For World Book Day, our school community went above and beyond in dressing to impress. Across both campuses, our students and staff stepped into the shoes of their favourite book characters in this celebration of literature, reading and the magical worlds to which only books can transport us.

Parades, performances, drawing, painting, and even an open mic session marked the day in this extravaganza of literary merriment.

See the photos here

Reminder | Spring and Summer Camps

Don’t forget to register for our spring and summer camps! Delivered by Key English School, these exciting sports camps will take place on our Primary campus in Genthod for children aged 4 to 11.

Spring camps will take place on the week of 8-12 April. Click here to register.

Summer camps will be held throughout the month of July. Book them here.

Faces of GES

Our Faces of GES spotlight falls on school nurse Polly Pupulin today! Before joining us in August 2020, Polly worked for HealthFirst, a small Swiss health promotion company, having previously travelled the world working for humanitarian organisations active in supporting refugees and internally displaced people. Her inspiration to help others came to her in 1984 after Band Aid brought out the song “Do they know it’s Christmas time” to raise funds for famine relief in Ethiopia. From that point, she decided to go into nursing, completing a midwifery degree and specialising in maternal health care.

Driven by the same convictions as Nelson Mandela, Polly also believes that “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. As a school nurse, she strives to ensure that students are physically and mentally healthy so that they can get the most of the education opportunities they are given. Inspired by the children and youngsters who surround her, Polly acts as a beacon of support for the school community, always reminding and reassuring everyone that reaching out for support and asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but one of strength.

A great believer in the healing power of laughter, an avid bookworm and a water enthusiast, Polly has the curious trait of not knowing how to ski on snow but thriving on a pair of water skis!