Issue: 21 | Friday 16th February 2024

Message from Mr Williams, Head

Dear Parents,

As our half-term break is almost upon us, I thought I would use my last newsletter before the holiday to remind you of things that are coming up after the break and some deadlines that are approaching.

Earlier in the week, you will have received a link to the parent survey for the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) inspection that will take place in the last week before we break up for Easter. This is a confidential survey that asks you to share with the inspection team your thoughts on GES. We at school will not see individual responses. Please do spend 5 minutes completing this questionnaire. As a reminder, to access the survey, you will need a special code that was shared in the email on 12th February, and we ask you to complete the survey by 23:59 UK time on Friday 23rd February. Responses will not be accepted after that time. Students in Years 5 and above have completed their surveys this week and staff have a separate survey to complete, too. Thank you in advance for the time you will devote to this important project.

We have had lots and lots of prospective families visiting us across the school this week for places in Primary and Secondary. Thank you for your kind words about GES and all the recommendations that you make to friends and family. On a related note, it is always really useful for us to know your plans as early as possible as it allows us to organise classes and staffing for next year. If you already know you will be moving on, it would be great if you could let us know. If you are not sure and are still awaiting confirmation about a move, then just a reminder that the terms and conditions of the school require you to advise us of an intended departure in the summer by midnight of the first day after the Easter holidays. This year, that is midnight on Monday 15th April. After that date, the next date by which you can withdraw your child(ren) without incurring fees is December 2024.

After the half-term holidays, there are a number of ski races and practice events, as well as parents’ evenings, coffee mornings and, at Secondary, mock exams. All of these dates are shared on our Primary Parent and Secondary Parent calendars. If you click on those links, you should then be subscribed to the calendars. You can also see live versions of the calendars and detailed instructions by clicking here.

I hope whether you are skiing, searching for some winter sun or staying more local, you have a good half-term holiday.

Best wishes,

Matt Williams

From the Primary School

Finding The Right Words

Our Year 4 and 5 students have been busy working with Editing Stations this week. 

In Year 4, our writers put their editing skills to the test by focusing on the impact they wish to have on their readers.

Year 5 students discussed how conscious choice of vocabulary can convey character and atmosphere.

We look forward to reading their written productions!

See here for photos

Reminder | Visit from Author David Bedford

A brief 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 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.

From the School Nurse

Dear Parents,

It has become evident that some Primary year groups are having recurring head lice and I ask you to take the half term break as an opportunity to check all your children’s heads. I also suggest you check your child’s head regularly, as this helps to detect the lice early and reduce spread amongst the children.

If you find head lice or nits (the empty egg shells) please do go to the pharmacy and seek further advice regarding products to use.

Please also ensure that children with long hair have it tied back for school.

Thank you in advance for all your efforts with checking and getting rid of any head lice.

Polly Pupulin
School Nurse

What's up in After School Care?

Our After School Care students shared the love this week for Valentine’s Day, decorating the school with lovely, hand-made hearts.

They also busied themselves in the kitchen, preparing and carefully folding cheese croissants. A scrumptious treat for the end of the day!

See the photos here

L'interdisciplinarité au service de l'apprentissage

Les élèves de Key Stage 1 ont travaillé sur l’album La chasse au caribou de Céline Claire et Sébastien Chebret. 

Mme Briand a partagé avec le reste de l’équipe de français cette belle idée qu’elle avait déjà mise en place au premier trimestre avec son groupe avancé et qui consiste à travailler sur une histoire, réfléchir aux inférences (pouvoir dire ce qu’on ne voit pas, imaginer ce qui va se passer après, ce qui s’est passé entre deux, ce que pensent les personnages) et raconter cette histoire en utilisant des petites marionnettes et un paysage fabriqué par les enfants.

Avec les groupes intermédiaires de Mme Binnie et Mme Durey, les élèves se sont concentrés sur la possibilité d’apprendre des phrases simples et répétitives pour raconter cette histoire. En associant un geste à chaque phrase importante, les enfants ont pu répèter les phrases en suivant chaque geste. Ainsi, ils ont pu redire l’histoire avec confiance et plaisir à la maison.

Pour la réalisation du paysage, nos départements de français et d’anglais ont collaboré pour guider les enfants dans l’utilisation de compétences acquises en art, qui en ce moment portent sur la technique de la peinture à l’eau. Sous les conseils de Mrs Marceau, les enfants ont découvert l’artiste suisse Ferdinand Hodler, connu pour ses représentations des lacs et paysages de montagnes suisses. Ceci a été une grande source d’inspiration pour les élèves dans leur réalisation à la peinture à l’eau du paysage de l’histoire.

L’apprentissage interdisciplinaire est très important et permet aux enfants de faire des liens entre toutes les matières. Ce beau travail issu de cette fructueuse collaboration interdépartementale a également permis aux élèves de participer au Reading Challenge du mois organisé par Mrs. Vavrecka, qui a pour thème “We are storytellers!”.

Cliquez ici pour voir les photos et vidéos

Wishing You Happiness and Prosperity

Make way for the dragon! Celebrating Lunar New Year today, our youngest students joined hands to take the shape of a magnificent red dragon.

Ushering in prosperous times for all, they marched across campus singing the traditional “Gōngxǐ gōngxǐ” to all who stopped to hear them.

Click here for the photos

News from Secondary

Top Scorers Rewarded in the Intermediate Maths Challenge

Students received their Intermediate Maths Challenge Certificates from the UK Maths Trust this week! Well done to all our mathematicians for their efforts and enthusiasm in this competition which encourages mathematical reasoning as well as precision and fluency of thought.

Special congratulations go to our top scorers, Jun King (Year 9), George Markoff (Year 7) and Karen King (Year 11).

Adventures in the Great Outdoors

Our Year 7-13 students had a busy weekend during their Outdoor Club trips in the mountains.

Walking from the Col du Marchairuz to the Cabane du Cunay in the Jura for an overnight stay, Year 7-9 hikers had great fun while fine-tuning their organisational skills (and experiencing how blissful an evening with no mobile network can be!).

Staying overnight in Leukerbad’s Gemmi Lodge, Year 10-13 students spent two action-packed days hiking, snowshoeing and sledging during which they developed their skills in orienteering and collaboration.

Click here for photos of their adventures

School news

Reminder | 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.

Recommendations for Bookworms

At GES, we are proud to have members of staff who are all passionate lovers of reading and literature. Wishing to share with our school community some of the titles which have informed, inspired and enlightened them over the years, our Secondary team has created a resource with recommended texts for Key Stage 5 students, but which may also be of interest for keen readers in the wider community.

Click here to see their recommendations

Faces of GES

Our spotlight is back in Primary today as we take a close look at what makes our Head of Primary Maths and Phase Lead for Key Stage 2, Matt Vavrecka, tick.

Matt comes to us from Wales, by way of Collège du Léman. Having experienced a wonderful Primary education himself and inspired by his father’s achievements (his father won a national teaching award in 2002!), Matt chose to become a teacher after realising just how big an influence a good teacher can have on a student. In fact, his students’ sense of fun, desire to learn and brutal honesty are what he loves most about his job. Determined to make learning a lifelong pursuit and pleasure for all students, Matt is driven by the conviction that if a teacher is not enjoying teaching something, children are not enjoying learning it. This is why he strives to make his lessons as exciting and fun as possible, a successful endeavour which sees his students at GES come to school every day with a spring in their step.

Beyond education, Matt enjoys outdoor activities no matter the weather. His favourite memory of GES? A Year 6 graduation disco in the rain!

Childnet Online Safety Information Session | Recording and Resources

We are pleased to share with you the recording of the online safety information session delivered by Childnet this week, as well as useful websites and resources which go further in depth on topics presented during the session.

Please visit My School Portal to access the recording and resources.