Issue: 29 | Friday 3rd May 2024

Message from Mr Williams, Head

Dear Parents,

Thank you to everyone who has been setting up the International Carnival today. Parents have been working hard since the early hours to prepare for our evening, and from my window I can see stalls being set up and the rain holding off. Heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in creating yet another wonderful GES event. Our community is such a strength, and the hours that parents put into helping and supporting the school mean that we all benefit from such opportunities to share and celebrate.

One of the easiest ways for our community to communicate is through WhatsApp; it is quick, easy and instantaneous. However, the school does not endorse or recognise WhatsApp as an official communication platform. Electronically, we officially communicate with parents through regular emails, our newsletter and Classlist. I am mentioning this today as, now and again, I am made aware of inappropriate discussions on WhatsApp and asked to step in. Please can I ask that whenever you would like to communicate about topics of concern – particularly if you are concerned about anything linked with school – that you write to us directly and not deal with it through alternate channels such as WhatsApp. This will enable us to respond in a timely manner to any issues that might arise.

Our school and all its staff members operate according to a clear and comprehensive complaints policy, for the occasions when necessary. The vast majority of the time, though, discussions can remain informal – and effective when addressed openly and head-on rather than through a chat app.

With respect to WhatsApp, please regularly check the groups of which your child may be a member. We are aware of chat groups made up of children who are below the legal age for using WhatsApp in Switzerland – that is, below the age of 16 years old – and we would appreciate your support in ensuring that your child is neither using WhatsApp if they are too young, nor communicating with others who are too young.

Furthermore, GES is a harmonious community, but now and again these groups can be used to share unkind messages, and this is something that we all need to work together to prevent.

Those of you with connections to the UK may be aware of the recent report from the National Crime Agency about sextortion (where young people are blackmailed into sending compromising images of themselves over the internet). The NCA’s advice to schools about how to support children and families is certainly worth reading if you have older children. Their bulletin can be found here, and a specific website guide for parents can be found here. Uncomfortable as the topic is, it is important that we are all aware of the threats that exist and of what we can do to keep our children safe.

In more upbeat news, we break up for half term on Tuesday and return as normal on Monday 13th May. I hope you will have a great short break (apart from our most senior students who will be in school for their exams).

Mr Williams

From the Primary School

Save the Date | Beauty and the Beast

Save the date!

It is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that Year 5 and 6 invite you to their performance of Beauty and the Beast.

Join us on Thursday 23 May at 17:30 the Espace Culturel de Genthod for an evening of song and dance.

Free admission

A vos agendas !

C’est avec une profonde fierté et un immense plaisir que les classes 5 et 6 vous invitent à leur spectacle Beauty and the Beast.

Rejoignez-nous le jeudi 23 mai à 17h30 à l’Espace Culturel de Genthod pour une soirée de chant et de danse.

Entrée libre

Magical May | Primary Monthly Reading Challenge

This month in the library we are celebrating fantasy and all things magical. We want you to read and enjoy as many fantasy or fairy tales stories as you can this month. They can be in English or French. Once you’ve read a selection, choose your favourite. What was your favourite part in that story? Can you create a picture of it and write about what happened? Your picture can be a sketch, a painting, a collage…be as creative as you like. For your writing, tell us what happened in this part of the story. Use descriptive language to retell it and bring this part of the story to life.

Submit your drawing and writing to your class teacher by the end of the month to receive a reading certificate and 5 stars for your house.

A Dance Champion in our Midst

We are extremely proud of our Year 5 student Emma Graber, who, together with her group, recently won first and second prize at the Golden Bee International Dance Festival and Competition in the semi-professional street dance category.

Congratulations to them for also winning a special award for best stage presence!

Gospel Vocal Lab En Famille

Calling all gospel enthusiasts in Years 3 to 6!

We are delighted to invite you to an exciting French music workshop with local gospel singer, Amy Lanzafame.

Open to students in Years 3 to 6 and their parents, this free workshop will take place on Saturday 25 May, between 10:30 and 12:30 in the Primary Gym.

There are limited places available and we therefore kindly ask you to register your interest by email to [email protected].

Walking the Talk of the SDGs

Preparations are well under way for next week’s UN Children’s Walk at Primary! Our young activists have been learning all about the Sustainable Development Goals, exploring such themes as pollution and climate change, and their effects on different ecosystems. Looking at actions they can take on a personal level and at the level of their household, school and local community, our students were inspired to design artwork as a tool for advocating the SDGs and resolved to redouble their efforts to recycle, reuse, conserve energy and reduce their carbon footprint.

In Year 5, students welcomed a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement for an exchange about SDG 16 “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions” and the importance of collaboration between organisations that work on the SDGs. Delving into the topic of forced migration, students divided into six groups, each corresponding to a refugee family fleeing an area of conflict. Together, they considered a list of items of which they could only take six on their refugee journey and learned about the challenges they might face along the way.

Ahead of the UN Children’s Walk ceremony on 16 May, our learners have also been learning songs in French about saving the planet, which they will perform together at the Palais des Nations.

Click here for photos

Les prépartions pour la UN Children’s Walk au Primaire avancent bien ! Nos jeunes activistes se sont plongés dans le monde des Objectifs de développement durable, explorant des thématiques telles que la pollution et le changement climatique et leurs effets sur différents écosystèmes. Considérant des actions qu’ils peuvent prendre à l’échelle individuelle, familiale, scolaire et locale, nos élèves se sont tournés vers l’art comme outil de sensibilisation aux ODDs tout en s’engageant à redoubler leurs efforts pour recycler, conserver l’énergie et réduire leur empreinte carbone.

En classe 5, nos élèves ont accueilli un membre de l’Organisation Mondiale du Mouvement Scout pour un échange autour de l’ODD #16 “Paix, justice et institutions efficaces” et l’importance de la collaboration entre organisations oeuvrant sur les ODDs. Regardant de près la thématique de la migration forcée, les enfants se sont divisés en six groupes, chacun correspondant à une famille réfugiée fuyant une zone de conflit. Ensemble, ils ont examiné une liste d’objets, desquels ils ne pouvaient qu’en emporter six pour leur voyage en tant que réfugiés, et ont découvert les défis auxquels ils pourraient être confrontés au cours du trajet.

En anticipation de la cérémonie qui aura lieu le 16 mai pour la UN Children’s Walk, nos apprenants ont commencé à apprendre des chansons en français sur la préservation de la planète, qu’ils chanteront ensemble au Palais des Nations.

Cliquez ici pour voir les photos

Joining Forces Through Science

After all the enthusiasm generated during last term’s Science Week, it is nearly time for our students to showcase their science skills once more. This time, they will dive into the CENTURY + COBIS Science Explorers Challenge! Running from 16 to 23 May, this event is a fantastic opportunity for our students to further their science exploration, both at school and home. Promoting science through teamwork, this challenge is a wonderful occasion to showcase the GES school spirit through our shared love of science.

Here’s what you need to know to maximise performance and enjoyment of the competition:

Active participation: All students are encouraged to engage actively with the science-based “nuggets” on the CENTURY platform. These nuggets are interactive modules designed to challenge and expand our students’ scientific knowledge.
Rules for completion: Students can complete nuggets both at home and at school. For competition purposes, only the first three attempts at each nugget will be counted towards our school’s score. This ensures that our students focus on mastering the material rather than repetitive answering.
Team effort: Every correct answer contributes to our overall score. This event is a collective effort, where each student’s participation can help elevate our school on the competition leaderboard.

News from ASC

Our After School Care students have been busy as bees these past two weeks, designing their new seasonal display and learning all kinds of delicious recipes. On the menu: cheese and tomato toasties and scrumptious jam biscuits.

On milder days when ASC sessions were held outside, they turned to nature for inspiration and created some lovely floral headdresses!

Click here for photos

Celebrating Diversity at School

It’s International Day at GES and our community has dressed to impress!

Donning their national costumes or country colours, our Primary students took part in a fabulous international fashion show during assembly this morning! With this evening’s International Carnival shaping up nicely, we look forward to having our community come together for this celebration of the cultural diversity in our school.

Click here for photos

News from Secondary

A Great Team Effort by our Netballers

Last weekend, our Year 7-9 netballers took part in an exciting SGIS Netball competition hosted at La Châtaigneraie. The team showed improvement as the tournament progressed, gaining in confidence and honing their match play skills. They focused on their interceptions, strengthening their defence, which resulted in numerous turnovers.

Each player played a crucial role in the teams’ performances. Despite facing tough opponents and experiencing defeats, they never gave up and fought until the end. Some players had competed in other sports in the morning but still gave their all to the team in the afternoon, showing their dedication and resilience.

See here for photos

Save the Date | The Addams Family

Save the date for the grim, gruesome and utterly entertaining performance of The Addams Family by our Secondary students!

Coming up on Tuesday 25 June at 18:00 at the Espace Culturel de Genthod, this musical comedy will bring to life all the eccentric and ghoulish characters of the Addams Family, whose affinity for all things macabre has enchanted audiences around the world.

Free admission.

Acing Shots in Secondary

Our Secondary golf club has kicked off again for the summer! Whether complete beginners or a few years into their golfing careers, our students have been receiving expert coaching from pro golfers at the Golf de la Vieille-Bâtie.

See here for photos of them in action

School news

A Sugarfree Month

Did you know that our school is participating in the campaign MAYbe Less Sugar? Taking place across Switzerland, this initiative aims to raise awareness about added sugars, where and in what quantities these are found, and why and how to limit their consumption.

As part of this campaign and in line with our dedication to instilling healthy living habits in our students, two nutritional experts from our catering service, Novae, will be organising workshops on the theme of added sugars on both our campuses on Thursday 16 May.

Click here to find out more about this campaign

Register Now for our Little Ducklings

Little Ducklings is our free stay-and-play group for families with children aged from birth to 4 years old.

Hosted by our Early Years team, sessions will take place on Wednesday 15 May, 29 May and 12 June 2024 (from 8:40 to 9:40) and offer a wonderful opportunity to meet new families whilst enjoying the Early Years outside learning area at our Primary school campus in Genthod.

Click here to find out more and sign up

International Carnival - Today, Friday 3 May

Today is the day!

The tents and bunting have started to go up, our parent volunteers everywhere are busy cooking and the weather should stay clear!

We hope to see as many of you as possible this afternoon to celebrate all the different nationalities we are lucky to have at GES.

For parking, please use all roads around Genthod and Frank Muller have kindly agreed to allow us the use of any free spaces in their carpark.

Let’s have some food and fun!

Faces of GES

We travel to Secondary for today’s Faces of GES, with a spotlight on Rosalind McKee, lead teacher of German, who joined our school in 2022. An experienced teacher, Rosalind worked in a number of schools in England, Scotland and China before moving to Switzerland, having successively taken on the roles of Head of Languages & Humanities and IB Coordinator. Her passion for teaching came to her early in life and a year spent as a language assistant in Austria convinced her that teaching was her dream job. At GES, Rosalind has found the perfect way to combine her calling for teaching and her love of languages, and she especially appreciates not only the rich linguistic background of our students, but also how receptive they are to learning new tongues.

Theodore Roosevelt’s famous quotation “comparison is the thief of joy” is Rosalind’s chief piece of advice, which she holds true to in her teaching and in her day-to-day. In celebrating every student and colleague for who they are, Rosalind is a champion and advocate of the wonderful diversity and inclusion that permeates GES.

As many language teachers, Rosalind is a true literature and film enthusiast. Among her favourites, she has a particular soft spot for the films Casablanca (1942) and Das Leben der Anderen (2006) for their masterful retelling of historical events, and the books Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, L’Education sentimentale by Gustave Flaubert and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.