Issue: 18 | Friday 3rd February 2023

Message from Mr Williams, Head

Dear Parents and Students,

It has been another busy week full of learning, gaining skills to improve our wellbeing, as well as celebrating French culture and language in school.

Yesterday was ‘time to talk day’ – a campaign led by the UK-based charity Mind to encourage everyone to make space in their day for a conversation about mental health. At Secondary, Nurse Polly ran sessions with the students on what we mean by mental health, how to recognise changes, and how to access support if needed. Mental health is an integral part of everyone’s wellbeing and it is important to open up these conversations – this work builds on our fundraising for Movember and the work we are doing across school to support everyone in our community. If you or your children would like any help or support please feel free to reach out to Nurse Polly who would be happy to arrange a time to speak. Our school counsellor Sandra Cameron is also available to work with students and here are some useful links:

Our work on reading in school is also continuing: this morning it was wonderful to see Year 4 parents who came to read and explore Greek myths with their children. You will see how much fun was had by all via the picture gallery below. For National Storytelling week, children in Key Stage 2 enjoyed a virtual storytelling event with professional storyteller Wendy Shearer, and our Year 6 librarians celebrated World Read Aloud day with Key Stage 1. There are also photos below of this.

I would also like to thank all parents who joined us on Tuesday for the information session about Read, Write Inc – our new phonics programme at Primary. The presentation is now available on My School Portal for those of you with children in Reception to Year 2, and do email Mrs Vavrecka if you have any questions.

Thank you to all teachers and staff involved in organising such important initiatives supporting students’ mental health, events and opportunities for reading, as well as celebrating French culture and traditions.

Have a lovely weekend.

Matt Williams

Article en français: La Chandeleur

Merci à Leon de Classe 8 pour sa contribution aujourd’hui.

Hier à l’école, nous avons fêté La Chandeleur – une fête que nous célébrons depuis 1500 ans! Il y a plusieurs histoires qui racontent l’origine de la fête. 

Selon une légende, le pape Gélase I a cuisiné des crêpes pour les croyants fatigués d’avoir marché en tenant des chandelles.

Une autre histoire dit que ce sont les paysans superstitieux qui cuisinaient les crêpes pour éviter la destruction de leurs champs de blé.
La dernière dit que la galette dorée et ronde représente le soleil pour la fête des lumières.
Pendant le cours, nous avons regardé une vidéo sur la Chandeleur et nous avons testé nos connaissances en faisant un Kahoot – malheureusement, je n’ai pas gagné mais c’était quand même très drôle. C’était un cours très amusant mais aussi informatif. En plus, nous avons mangé des crêpes qui étaient délicieuses – merci Mme Rifflard.

Happening at Secondary this week

Year 7 History

“What was so special about Baghdad?”

In History lessons this week, Year 7 explored how Baghdad was connected to the wider world and its unique qualities under the Abbasid caliphs during the Islamic Golden Age.

Students reflected on how scholarship from Baghdad changed the world focusing on Mathematics, Astronomy, Geography, Science and Technology and Philosophy, and created circular decorations which are now hanging in the Grand Café.

House Basketball competition

Monday lunchtime saw the first matches of this term’s Secondary House basketball tournament, with Dôle facing Jura at Key Stage 3 and Rhone taking on Léman at Key Stage 4/5.

A young Dôle side fought valiantly and with great spirit but ultimately were unable to stop the more experienced and well-organised Jura players from dominating the contest. The Rhône/Léman battle was much closer, and only a single basket separated the sides when Mr Sheppard-Burgess blew the final whistle to confirm the Rhône victory.

Next Monday the contest will continue, with younger players in Rhône and Léman taking centre stage, followed by what’s sure to be a fierce competition between the older members of Dôle and Jura.

Mathematics across the school

NSPCC Number week

As part of the NSPCC Number week, Primary children have been participating in break time challenges, competing in Maths activities in their houses and reflecting on how they use Maths in their everyday lives.

The focus has been on Maths in the real world and the children were excited to learn what exciting future careers rely on having excellent Maths skills!

Intermediate Maths Challenge & Dr Frost visit

On Wednesday, Key Stage 3 and 4 participated in the Intermediate Maths Challenge and we are looking forward to receiving the results.

Mr Pearce is also really excited about the upcoming visit of Dr Frost himself on Tuesday 28 February! 

Here you can read Mr Pearce’s blog on the positive impact Dr Frost’s online resources and tools have had on our way of teaching, especially during lockdown.

Ski season

Pupil success

Well done to Thomas (5AW) for finishing 11th out of 21 in a recent competition which took place in Rougemont. Here is a video of his slalom race.

Thomas will be participating in various competitions, such as the combi race in Schwarzee this Saturday and the Erika Hess Open in Les Diablerets on 15 February.

Good luck Thomas and keep us updated on your results!

We know we have many good skiers among our community across Primary and Secondary – if you would like to share your child’s individual success, please email Stephanie Pillot ([email protected]).

Years 5 & 6 Snow day - Friday 10 March

We are happy to be able to offer a second snow sports trip to Years 5 & 6 on Friday 10 March.

Sign up is now closed as we have reached the sign-up limit, and final details with equipment lists will be shared nearer the time to those pupils registered.

We also have a number of ski competitions in the calendar for March – look out for the dates and we hope to see a few medals coming home!


From the Performing Arts department

A call for backstage help!

Calling out for enthusiastic parents!

As theatre season is upon us once again at GES, the Performing Arts team is on the look out for eager and creative parents who would be willing to support us with our upcoming productions of ‘Bugsy’ (Years 5 and 6) and ‘Shrek’ (Secondary).

In particular, we would love a team of parents to help us out with props, scenery, costumes and backstage support during showtime.

For more information, please contact Mrs Ball ([email protected]) or Mrs Humphreys ([email protected]).

Many thanks for your ongoing support.

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].

Peter Pan

  • Simply Theatre
  • Casino Théâtre, Rue de Carouge 42, 1205 Genève
  • 4 – 12 February
  • Details and booking here

Little Nemo

  • Cie Voyages Extraordinaires
  • Théâtre de Grand-Champ, Chemin de la Serine 2, 1196 Gland
  • 4 – 5 February
  • Details and booking here