Issue: 12 | Friday 2nd December 2022

Message from the Head

Dear Parents and Students,

The countdown to Christmas has begun. The lights are up. The tree is out and there are carols being rehearsed across the school. The Early Years children in particular are taking their practice very seriously – I have been hearing carols for quite some time now through our shared wall at Primary!

As Christmas comes with the cold, Ms Fortune would like to remind parents that the children should have appropriate clothing in school for the cold weather, in particular warm coats that can be fastened please.

We are excited to welcome you to all the upcoming events and activities taking place over the next few weeks – for parents, all the details can be found in the school calendars, and with activities planned for everyone from 3 to 18 years olds there is a lot going on. Adwoa and Meera will be happy to help with any questions about Primary or Secondary activities respectively, and our first event this weekend is Escalade on Sunday: I look forward to cheering everyone on and enjoying the festivities in Geneva.

As well as saying thank you and goodbye to Ms Fortune at the end of this term, I would like to share with you the news that Mr Irmiger, Ms Zahrobsky and Mrs Sloan will be leaving to take on new roles after the holidays. I want to take this opportunity to thank each of them individually for their contributions while working at GES. Mr Irmiger and Mrs Sloane’s roles will be taken on by existing members of the team, and Mrs Carr will gain responsibility for Ms Zahrobsky’s role as lead of After School Care at Primary.

A big thank you to everyone who grew a moustache for Movember. We are 600 CHF away from our fundraising target and also have the proceeds from the KS3 disco to add to your generous donations. Click here if you would still like to donate. GES will take part in Movember again in two years time so please do give generously as we will be raising money for another worthy cause next year.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the Christmas markets.

Matt Williams

From the French Department

1er Podcast des ambassadeurs de français

Les ambassadeurs de Français du primaire sont fiers de vous présenter leur premier podcast réalisé avec l’aide de Mme Bongioanni et Mme Durey.

Restez à l’écoute – notre prochain podcast traitera de l’Escalade.

Escalade celebrations next Friday 9 December

Next Friday 9 December, the Secondary students will learn about the history of Escalade and its traditions in French lessons and there will be exciting opportunities and competitions to get involved in throughout the week.

At Primary, we invite all students to dress up in their pyjamas on the day. As a tradition, we will also commemorate this event in French by breaking a traditional chocolate ‘marmite’ and sharing this in class.

Although the school follows a nut-free policy, the chocolate may contain traces of nuts. We kindly request that parents of children allergic to nuts provide an alternative treat for their children.

You can read more details about the Escalade celebration here.

Nous avons hâte de partager cette journée de célébration avec les enfants, en français bien évidemment!

From your teachers

Primary December's Library theme and reading challenge, from Mrs Vavrecka

Ho! Ho! Ho! We hope you will enjoy this month’s reading challenge ‘The 12 challenges of Christmas’.

Participants can complete the ticklist and hand in to their class teacher once completed. 

We would also love to see some photos of the children completing these challenges, so please feel free to share them with us via [email protected].

All participants will receive points for their house and a reading challenge certificate. 

Happy reading and Merry Christmas!

Upcoming Secondary MFL activities

Our Secondary MFL Team has planned some exciting activities during the last weeks of term to develop linguistic and cultural awareness and to celebrate the successes of the Autumn term:

  • Christmas Market Trip to Biel / Bienne next Monday 5 December
  • German and Spanish festive cultural activities next Wednesday 7 December 15:30-16:30: please note that there are still 4 places left for the Traditional Christmas baking and decorating, with Mrs McKee. The children don’t have to be learning German to take part.
  • Enrichment Days: Languages, Art, Music & Drama next Monday 12 and Tuesday 13 December

Stay tuned for some festive-themed learning photos.

Happening at GES Secondary recently

KS3 Disco last Friday 25 November, from Marisa (Member of the organising committee)

Friday night, after school, all of Key Stage 3 returned to school after a long week of assessments to enjoy themselves at our student-led, Hawaiian themed disco.

From the brilliantly arranged tuck shop, the Polaroid photo station where students could take photos with their friends to the fantastically decked out disco hall where we all enjoyed ourselves dancing to our favorite music, “weeks of planning from our student disco committee paid off!”- to quote a student.

With all the parents upstairs, everybody had enjoyable, exciting experiences, so much so that students want another disco! One person has said “Everybody had an amazing time with all the drinks and snacks we had”. Another reported “The atmosphere outside was amazing and the second half was when the dancing was really at its peak!”. Others commented on the “brilliant decor” and others celebrated the wonderful DJing from DJ Stefan. 

A highlight for a lot of us students was watching the England VS U.S.A World Cup match, with people having fun supporting their favorite teams with their peers – and a bit of friendly rivalry – we are told there was even a signed balloon showing support for England and commemorating the event.

Overall, everyone had lots of fun and people are looking forward to the possibility of their wishes of other events like this one coming to fruition!

Year 8 English lessons, from Ms Newbury (Assistant Headteacher Key Stage 3)

Year 8 students have been engaging with a variety of texts exploring the genre of war and conflict.

In today’s lesson we celebrated the role of poetry as something that lives and breathes beyond the page by staging a class recital of Wilfred’s Owen poem Dulce et Decorum Est. We had previously analysed the meaning of the poem and its emotional impact on the reader or listener and today we felt the power of the poem by hearing it come alive.

Each student was assigned a line which they memorised and, after listening to other performances, we recited the poem collectively from memory. The students requested that we film it to share with the wider school community because they were really proud of their efforts and how the performance made them feel; we hope you enjoy it.

From our Parent Committee

Christmas Fair - Saturday 10 December 12:00 - 15:00


Ho ho ho!

The Parent Committee is getting busy preparing a magical Christmas experience for the whole GES community next Saturday 10 December, from 12:00 to 15:00 at the Primary campus in Genthod.

SANTA’S Grotto, Christmas games & Scavenger hunt, Chocolate & Bottle Tombola, disco party, market stalls, Pizza Matta & Happy Days food trucks, GES bar & café and the traditional hampers will be part of the festive fun, for all ages!

Keep an eye out for the communication from your Class Reps asking for help, as we would not be able to run the Christmas Fair without your support. So please consider volunteering for a small amount of time. Any help is very much appreciated.

We look forward to seeing everyone there!

From Mrs Ball (Head of Drama and Performing Arts)

Theatre recommendations

For all of our theatre and performance lovers, here are Mrs Ball’s latest recommendations for local theatre productions.
If you would like further information about any of these, you are welcome to email Mrs Ball at [email protected].

Much Ado About Nothing

Set in 1950s mafia Italy, where women’s tongues are faster than bullets, the coffee is strong, and the policemen are asleep. A play about honour, hearsay and horns.

  • Hoops of Iron
  • Théâtre Les 50, Grand Rue, Ferney Voltaire
  • 16 – 18 December
  • Details and booking here

Hansel and Gretel

Deep in an enchanted forest, everybody’s looking for something to eat. A tasty treat, a sticky sweet or maybe some children’s feet?!

  • Simply Theatre Studios, Versoix
  • This weekend and until 18 December
  • Details and booking here

Grand Gala Tchaikovski

A fantastic show featuring the 3 best ballet peaces from Tchaïkovski “Nutcracker”, “Swan Lake”, and “Sleeping Beauty”.
  • Ukrainian Classical Ballet
  • Bâtiment des Forces Motrices, 2 Place des Volontaires, Genève
  • 18 December 20:00
  • Details and booking here


Laissez-vous transporter par les aventures extraordinaires du mythique pantin dans un univers d’espiègleries et de rires.

  • Théâtre du Léman
  • Quai du Mont-Blanc 19, 1201 Genève
  • 17 December 14:00 & 17:00
  • Details and booking here