Issue: 20 | Friday 9th February 2024

Message from Mr Williams, Head

Dear Parents,

Earlier this week Miss Parker, Ms Peart and I met with the parent representatives at each of the Primary and Secondary campuses. I was once told early in my teaching career that ‘feedback is a gift’, and that is certainly how I view opportunities to hear from the parent community about both the things that are going well, as well as some areas in which we may need to do a little better.

One of the key topics discussed was assessment and reporting. We look forward to sharing a more detailed communication with you next week about how a range of indicators, from external test results to pastoral information, such as attendance and behaviour, are monitored by the leadership team and used to benchmark progress in school. In the meantime, please do have a look at our assessment, feedback and marking policy which was updated last summer and will answer many questions you may have.

Car Park at Primary

Primary parent reps have asked me to pass on a request for more considerate driving in the Primary car park and to remind everyone that, at drop-off, everyone should only be letting children out of cars in the designated areas. Some of our older children in Years 5 and 6 are being allowed to get out of cars earlier than the designated areas and are then walking across the car park when cars are coming quickly around the corners. If you are parking in the designated bays, please ensure you park as close to the hedge as possible to leave enough space for cars to drive down the middle and remember, no parking at all along the bays nearest to the drop-off zone.

Please can we also be careful during pick-up after clubs as children walk across the car park when cars are moving quickly. Thank you for your support in this very important matter.

French Lessons for Parents

Thank you to our 66 parents who answered positively to our survey stating they would be interested in taking French lessons just before pick-up one day per week. This is a brand new initiative at GES and, as it hasn’t been tried before, we genuinely didn’t know what take-up to expect. We are happy to facilitate such opportunities for parents, particularly in areas where interest is so keen.

For these lessons, we will be hosting teachers from ASC Languages, a provider of high-quality language lessons in Geneva for over 50 years. Please note that, while we are providing space and a warm welcome for these lessons, all administrative aspects, such as registration and invoicing, will be conducted through ASC Languages.

Full details, including enrolment information, will be shared via a separate email very shortly.

Holiday Camps

We are delighted to announce that, starting this Easter holiday, our partner Key English School, will once more be running camps on our beautiful Primary campus. Making the most of our indoor and outdoor facilities, the camps in April and during the four weeks of the month of July, will feature a sports theme.

These camps will be open to children in the wider community, not exclusive to GES students, so if you would like to secure places for one or more weeks, do get in touch with Key English School via their website without delay.

Changes in the Finance Department

Finally, I wanted to let you know that Mr Le Roy, our Finance and Business Development Director will be leaving GES today (Friday 9 February). Mr Le Roy was offered an exciting role and in light of his years of service to GES we have allowed him to take up this opportunity. I am sure you will join me in thanking Mr Le Roy for his tireless work at GES over his time here. Mr Le Roy leaves with our thanks and best wishes.

The Finance function for the school will be led by Mr Boyd-Harte, who will be supported by Miss Garnier. In addition to their current functions, Mrs Matillon will assume responsibility for Business Development and Mrs Nussbaum will pick up internal aspects of Mr Le Roy’s role.

Those students who participate in the cross-fit extra-curricular activity with Mr Le Roy will be informed early next week of arrangements moving forward for this popular club.

Have a great weekend,

Matt Williams

From the Primary School

Vive les crêpes !

Les élèves du primaire ont eu la chance de célébrer la fête de la Chandeleur la semaine dernière. Les petits des classes de pré-primaire ont fait la pâte à crêpe en découvrant les ingrédients et se sont régalés avec des bonnes crêpes.

De leur côté, les élèves des Key Stage 1 et Key Stage 2 ont discuté des origines de la Chandeleur, des ingrédients, des étapes pour faire la pâte à crêpe et, tout comme au restaurant, ont demandé en français ce qu’ils souhaitaient comme garniture sur leur crêpe. 

Toute l’école sentait bon et tous les membres de la communauté ont apprécié de pouvoir, eux aussi, déguster une bonne crêpe faite maison.

Cliquez ici pour voir les photos

Visit from Author David Bedford

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.

David Bedford trained as a biologist and was a scientific researcher until his love of reading, then writing, set him along the path to becoming an author. David has published over 80 books, which have been translated into more than 30 languages. They include the much-loved bestselling picture-book Big Bear Little Bear, and The Team series of football fiction for juniors.

He will lead exciting workshops and talks for our students, with a strong focus on writing and what it takes to become an author.

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 before 1st 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 1st 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.

Cooking with Gas in Science

Year 4 students have begun investigating gases this week. Learning that gas has a mass and that carbon dioxide (CO2) extinguishes fire, they carried out an experiment in which they mixed acid (vinegar) with alkalis (bicarbonate of soda, calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate) to create CO2.

What a great way to explore the properties of this gas which our own bodies can produce!

Click here to see the photos

A Trip in Time to 886

In History, Year 5 students were transported back to the year 886, when a crime was committed in the small village of Njàlfstadir.

Overnight, Olaf’s sheep was stolen. Villagers were called to an assembly to decide who out of the accused was guilty. Reenacting these mysterious events, the class split into the witnesses, the accused and community members to plan their statements, alibis and questions.

The law-speaker opened with a speech and led the assembly. After hearing from the witnesses and the accused, the community voted and Ivor was found guilty of theft. He was made an outlaw and ordered to replace the missing sheep.

There is no better way to learn about history than by bringing it to life!

See the photos here

News from Secondary

Celebrating our Outstanding Learners

We had a special visitor this week at Secondary! Pearson’s Regional Development Manager, Nicola Fox, was on site to hand over the Outstanding Pearson Learner Awards certificates and medals to our award-winners.

Congratulations to Kate, who had the highest mark in Europe for IGCSE Geography and the highest mark in Switzerland for IGCSE History, and Sasha, who had the highest mark in the world for GCSE Russian, in the 2022-2023 examinations.

Our third laureate, Aneesh, had the highest mark in Switzerland for IAL History and is now away studying at university. His award was also delivered to us, and we look forward to handing it over to him in the near future.

Read on about their accomplishments

Double Gold for GES Secondary Skiers

With all the details now in from the SGIS ski race in Verbier, we are excited to share that two of our Secondary skiers produced smashing results.

Congratulations both to Callum and Jonathan for bringing home the gold in their respective categories, and a heartfelt bravo to Jonathan who, at 53.63 seconds, held the fastest time in the whole competition!

An Uphill Challenge

As part of the Secondary ski day in Morgins this week, seven intrepid students decided to forego the ski lifts and take on the challenge of climbing to the top of La Foilleuse peak on touring skis. Encouraging each other throughout their ascent, they displayed a great attitude, even when falling into bushes or sliding back down steep slopes.

In the words of Year 10 student, Felix, it “was a great experience”, and excellent preparation for future wilderness adventures!

View the photos here

School news

Book your Spring and Summer Camps

Our spring and summer camps are open for registration! This year we have partnered up with Key English School again to organise exciting sports camps on our Primary campus in Genthod. Open to children aged 4 to 11, these holidays camps are ideal for your child to make new friendships while enjoying action-packed, fun-filled weeks of sports activities.

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.

Coming Soon: French Lessons for Adults

We are delighted to have heard back from so many of you on our survey about our French lessons for adults. Thank you to everyone who answered.

We have selected ASC Languages, a provider of high-quality language lessons in Geneva for over 50 years, to organise and deliver these lessons.

Client Managers at ASC Languages are currently working on developing this offer and full details, including enrolment information, will be shared via a separate email very shortly.

Faces of GES

No day is ever the same for Jodie Noble, our Director of Inclusion, on whom this week’s spotlight falls. Originally trained as a Secondary German teacher, Jodie is our in-house expert on Special Education Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND).

Working closely with colleagues in both Primary and Secondary, as well as with families from across our school, Jodie draws inspiration from the children and young people with whom she works. Setting striking examples of resilience and determination, they are what drives Jodie in her day-to-day efforts to make their learning experience as smooth, productive and successful as possible. In fact, she cherishes powerful memories of her work in SEND at GES, including watching a former GES student who had a physical disability run the 100m sprint during Sports Day and seeing the entire school cheer him on and beam with pride at his achievement.

A keen swimmer (5km every week!), runner, hiker, skier and cyclist, Jodie can also often be found nose-deep in a book. If asked what author J.R.R. Tolkien, musician Zack de la Rocha and mathematician Ada Lovelace have in common, she would reply that they are the top three people from the past and present whom she would want to meet, both for their knowledge in their specific fields and for their perspectives on life. It comes as little surprise therefore that her favourite book and film are Lord of the Rings, for their reflective and charming exploration of the human condition and our moral decisions.

Two Successful Ski Outings for GES Students

Students in Secondary and in Years 5 and 6 enjoyed two wonderful ski outings this week. With sunny conditions on both days, our skiers had a fantastic time working on their skills and burning off all that extra energy!

Click here for the photos

Reminder: Raiffeisen Drawing Competition

What does “sustainability” mean to you? What is essential to ensure that the Earth continues to remain habitable? What can we do together to keep the world safe for future generations?

Share your ideas through painting, drawing or by making a collage!

Join the 54th International Raiffeisen art competition for children and young people. Structured around the theme of sustainability (“Donner un avenir à la terre”), this is a wonderfulxa opportunity for our artists in both Primary and Secondary to share their message for the preservation of the planet. 

In addition to various travel and cash prizes, winners will have their work celebrated during the closing ceremony of the competition in June.

Please hand in Primary submissions to Ms Marceau, and Secondary submissions to Ms Hopley. Deadline for submissions is Monday 26th February.

Click here for full information on how to participate (in French)