Issue: 12 | Friday 3rd December 2021

Message from the Head

Dear Parents & Carers,

I had really hoped that we would have the chance to get together as a community at a number of events in this pre-Christmas period, but unfortunately the situation won’t allow us to do so. In case you haven’t had a chance to read them yet, I refer you to my two update letters – one from last night and one earlier today – about changes we had to make around events and activities to ensure we keep the school community safe.

While all the latest developments are going on around us, I want to reassure you that we are doing everything in our power to make sure your children are well looked after from a well-being perspective, a pastoral point of view and of course, academically. 

Our newest Secondary students, Year 7, have sat their first ever full set of exams, so I want to particularly congratulate them on getting so well accustomed to their new environment and pace at the Secondary campus. The other Secondary year groups are now getting ready to start their exams or GCSE mock exams – all of this makes for the typically very focused and studious atmosphere at Secondary around this time of year.

While we had to change and cancel some events, the students will still be able to celebrate plenty of festive moments over the next two weeks.  The class or year group Christmas celebrations will still go ahead in Primary. At Secondary, our trips for a part of the Secondary students to Château de Chillon and Montreux as well as the traditional Christmas walk in the Jura for the younger Outdoor Club members are planned to go ahead in the last week of term.

As we enter the last two weeks of term we will make sure that our students have as much festive fun as we can. I hope you have a restful weekend.

Matt Williams

Primary Shows and Performances

Rising Stars Recording

We are delighted to confirm that we will record the Rising Stars show at the Salle de Genthod next Tuesday 7 December.

This also creates an opportunity for all Key Stage 1 children to come to the theatre and watch the show. Therefore all KS1 and KS2 children should be dropped at the Salle de Genthod between 8:15 – 8:30 on Tuesday where their teachers will be waiting.

Further instructions for children in the show are:

  • All Key Stage 2 Children, plus Key Stage 1 Street Dancers and Choir children

Arrive at the Salle ready for the show by wearing a plain red, green, white or black t-shirt and plain black bottoms/skirt.

  • All Ballet Dancers

Bring ballet costumes ready to change at the Salle. Have hair and make up performance-ready as instructed by Miss Fiona.

  • Orchestra

Ensure that children bring their instruments to the Salle.

GES teachers will be walking the children back to school after the recording where they will continue their school day.

We very much look forward to sharing the show with you all!

Please don’t hesitate if you have further questions.

Siân Humphreys and Karen Ball

Primary Carousel lessons: Y4 to 6 Showcase Video

As promised last week, here is the showcase video for Year 4 to Year 6.

The showcases cover a selection of what your children learned over the last 11 weeks but by no means all they have explored. Do encourage your children to explain at home all the other different elements they experienced.

Art and Music for example were run by the incredibly talented Secondary Heads of Art and Music, Ms Hopley and Ms Colwill – great drawing techniques, artist explorations as well as various music and instrument lessons. The video has a few interesting process insights as well as final pieces and songs for you.

In Robotics, programming of Halocode devices and face recognition techniques were some of the exciting things the students got to experience and develop and code themselves.

A joint Film & Drama project brings you a news documentary which our own students starred in, filmed and edited themselves. Some future filmmakers are certainly in the making there.

And to top it all off, cool, energetic Street Dance which allowed students to express a multitude of emotions and quite a bit of spooky Halloween themes.

We are very proud of the pupils’ achievements and hope you can see in their own expressions how proud they are of themselves. A huge thank you to all the teachers involved in making the carousels creative, fun and innovative learning experiences.

Nicky Fortune, Primary Deputy Head

From the teachers

Primary Fundraising Christmas quizzes - Next week

The GES House Captains have organised fundraising Christmas quizzes next week for each key stage group at Primary.

The local charity we are raising money for is Connect Swiss, who runs various projects in rural Kenya.

Back in 2013, GES contributed to raise over CHF 100,000 for their projects by performing in a concert at Victoria Hall with over 400 school children. In the meantime, one of their projects, the International Village School, has been particularly hard hit given the pandemic and is now struggling to continue providing the education for Primary and Secondary students that is so desperately needed.

We would love to help the International Village School again and therefore ask that the children donate CHF 3 (or more if you would like) to participate in their house quiz on the dates below:

  • Years 5 and 6 – Tuesday, 7 December
  • Key Stage 1 – Tuesday, 7 December
  • Years 3 and 4 – Friday, 10 December

Money can be brought into school on the day of the quiz and given to class teachers.

Escalade celebration

We will be celebrating the Escalade next Friday 10 December. For those of you new to the area, the Escalade is a Genevan festival celebrated every December to commemorate Geneva’s victory against the Duke of Savoy’s troops in 1602. It is a key celebration in Geneva with many schools marking the event and therefore, an important link to our local community.  You can read more about the celebration here

At Secondary, the 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 students to dress up in their pyjamas on 10 December. Please do remember warm layers under the pyjamas!

As a tradition, our Primary children will also commemorate this event in French by breaking a traditional chocolate ‘marmite’ and sharing this in class.

Covid measures will be strictly followed: the teacher will break the marmite wearing catering gloves and will distribute individual portions. 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.

Escalade is a great opportunity for us to also celebrate the French language and everyone at GES will be encouraged to speak as much French as possible throughout the day.

From Mrs Ball, Head of Drama and Performing Arts

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

Laisse ton jeans au vestiaire

Thank you already to those who have dropped off some jeans and trousers for the Don du Choeur’s new project “Laisse ton jeans au Vestiaire”.

The initiative aims to distribute 2021 pairs of jeans and trousers to the Vestiaire Social de Genève for children and young people between the ages of 4 and 18.

You can drop off jeans/trousers which are no longer needed to Ms Fortune at Primary (drop-off/pick up) and to Secondary Reception until 10 December.

We thank you again for helping try to meet this ambitious challenge which will help many families in Geneva, who are less fortunate than ourselves, at this special time.