Issue: 8 | Friday 3rd November 2023

Message from Mr Williams, Head

Dear Families,

Half term seems a distant memory, but I hope that you managed to have a relaxing time as a family and escape some of the rain that seems to have hung over Switzerland for the past few weeks. Thank goodness we managed to find the only dry spell this week for the whole-school cross country event! It really was brilliant to see all of the students together at Primary warming up, cheering each other on and coming together as a GES family. A massive thank you to all the staff for helping out, and especially to Mr Sheppard-Burgess, Miss Shibil, Miss Brewin and Miss Bugeja for organising the event.

You will have heard that Ecolint was closed on Monday due to a hoax bomb scare and there have been other incidents reported in the local press about schools receiving similar threats. Internally, the leadership teams on both campuses have been reviewing different scenarios and our responses to them, and we have been in touch with local police to confirm optimal plans. Following on from those exercises, next week we will be running a very low-key AMOK (emergency lockdown procedure) with the children across Primary and Secondary. We normally do this each year, so it is nothing new. We have decided to manage this on a class-by-class basis and will focus on explaining to the children what they need to do in an emergency situation, ensuring that we do not make them unnecessarily anxious.

A number of our senior staff and I have had to lead schools through emergency lockdowns and so we are experienced in handling such situations to ensure that the children in our care and, indeed, the whole school community remain safe. We take this part of our work incredibly seriously and are constantly refining our knowledge and practice in the background. If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact one of the senior team or me.

Thank you to Year 7 parents who signed up for and used the new online Parents Evening System. Feedback from staff and parents has been positive. All Primary parents will be using this system for the forthcoming parent evenings. The key thing to remember is that you must access the system through the Google Chrome browser as the system is based on the Google Hangouts architecture.

Finally, a big thank you to everyone that made the Halloween bake sales at Primary and Secondary such a delicious success. The costumes and cakes were brilliant, and the Chaplin classroom at our Secondary campus was decorated beautifully (I think that is the right word!) for the lunchtime disco.

We have a busy half term coming up and so just a few reminders of the larger, whole-school events.

  • Sunday 3 December – Escalade races in Geneva.
  • Friday 8 December – Christmas Fair and Quiz at GES Primary.
  • Friday 15 December – Autumn term ends at the times indicated on the calendar.

Have a great weekend,

Matt Williams

Secondary Maths Successes

Swiss National Mathematics Olympiad

On 29 September, 17 of our students (from Year 8 to Year 13) participated in the first round of the Swiss National Mathematics Olympiad in which young people from all over Switzerland who are enthusiastic about mathematics can exchange ideas and compete against each other. The competition consists of several rounds as well as numerous preparatory meetings and a week-long camp for the finalists.

Well done to Noah Sheikh, Jun King, Griffin Edwards, Iskander Boutel and Aeden Casimiro who qualified for the second round.

They have been invited to three Saturday sessions in Lausanne, which are designed to prepare them for the second round test taking place on 16 December.

UK Maths Challenge

On 3 October, our senior students participated in the Senior Mathematical Challenge.

Fifteen of them earned a certificate, putting them in the top 25% of all entries.

Three students earned gold certificates: Karlis, Iskander and Harry.

Well done, everyone!

From your Primary Teachers

House Singing Competition

Before the holiday, all Key Stages 1 and 2 sang beautifully at the House Singing Competition.

Our judges, Kirby Bivan and Lucie Goater, had a tough decision to make, but congratulations go to Dôle who walked away with the trophy this year.

November Reading Challenge

For November’s reading challenge, we would like you to research a famous French landmark or person and create a fact page about it/them.

Fact files can be presented on one side of A4 paper and please be as creative and illustrative as you like!

In order to complete this challenge, we hope you will enjoy reading and researching lots of books about France and famous French people.

Please submit your completed fact files to your class teacher by the end of the month. Participants will receive 5 stars for their house and a reading challenge certificate. Good luck and happy reading!

Secondary Arts & Music

News from Cíara

Cíara woke this morning to the wonderful news that she has come 1st in the East Coast International Competition in America.

She is invited to play as a soloist on 23 January at Carnegie Hall in New York.

This will be her 3rd time playing as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, and the piece she will play is Spanish Symphony.

From your teachers – and parents – Bravo Cíara, we are so proud of you.


LAMDA Reminder

Following the tremendous success achieved by our students in 2023, GES is once again pairing with Switzerland’s premier English speaking performing arts training school, Simply Theatre, to offer LAMDA exams in Acting.

Candidates will have to learn either one, two or three monologues depending on their level of entry. Students will initially choose pieces to perform with the help of their coach.

All details on the application process can be found here. Please note the deadline has been slightly extended, but Thursday lunchtime sessions will start on 16 November. Ms Empson remains available if you have any questions ([email protected]).

Save the date: Wednesday 13 December at 18:00

All parents are welcome to join us for our Secondary Winter Arts & Music Showcase and some Christmas music, followed by refreshments in the Grand Café.

The Arts & Music Showcase will take place in Chaplin and feature:

  • Past GCSE and A Level artworks
  • A Level music performances
  • GCSE (Year 10 and 11) drama performances
  • Addams Family show teaser
  • Street Dance Club performance

From the School Office

School Photos

On 23 October, we sent an email entitled “School Photos ready to order” to all families, containing one or several links to your private galleries with individual, class and sibling photos.

A reminder that if you cannot retrieve the email in your inbox, we invite you to visit My School Portal. Under your main homepage, you can see all your latest messages.

Please not that the deadline for ordering with the option of free delivery to school is Monday 13 November 2023 (just in time for Christmas gifts).

Please note that late orders will be either sent to school or posted directly to your home for a nominal fee, but we CANNOT guarantee that these will be received on time for Christmas.

The photographers advised us that there was an issue with online payments via their website but this has now been resolved.

If you have any queries, please feel free to contact them directly at [email protected] or on +44 1869 328200.

ISP Magazine Article on A Levels

Readers of International School Parent magazine will find in the Autumn/Winter edition, just published, the article Your Guide to A Levels featuring GES!

In this article, which appears on page 62, Mr Williams explains, along with representatives of a handful of other British schools in Switzerland, the relative advantages of A Levels in working to the strengths and passions of our older students, and helping them gain access to top universities worldwide.

Our thanks go to the Publishing Director of the magazine, Nick Gilbert, who invited us to take part in this project as the top-performing A Levels school in Geneva.