Issue: 13 | Friday 10th December 2021

Message from the Head

Dear Parents & Carers,

Thank you to everyone who braved the snow and ice on the way in this morning. Whilst everything has taken a lovely festive turn, the roads have been difficult to navigate and we appreciate the efforts you made to get your children into school (although for those of you used to a deep snowfall, I’m sure it was fine!). At Secondary, students are finishing off their exam week (apart from Year 11 who start on Monday) and at Primary our Escalade celebrations are in full swing! We have a combination of salopettes and pyjamas across Primary and, as I write, we are looking forward to a snow filled break!

It was good to see so many parents at the AGM on Monday evening. I was delighted to be able to share where we are and where we are going and to answer the questions about the future of the school. We have also had really busy virtual admissions talks and are looking forward to welcoming a number of new families in January across the school. 

Covid continues to be in our minds and keeping our community safe, keeping the school open and safely getting to Christmas remains our priority. Please continue to send your children in with masks and ensure that they are tested (even if they have the slightest symptoms). Later in the newsletter there is information about the different events and activities taking place across the school next week as we wind down this term before the holiday.

Like every year around this time, there are a few students moving away or returning to their home countries. Please join me in wishing them and their families the very best and we hope that you will always fondly remember your time at GES and stay in touch as our alumni. 

Just a heads up that over the Christmas break there will be no office or admissions staff on duty so we will be shutting down completely from 23 December to 3 January inclusive. Please don’t expect any responses to emails during that time.

Matt Williams

Christmas celebrations, from the GES Parent Community

Hampers & Present room at school for children

Hampers are a cherished Christmas tradition at GES – and this year, we will have three last-minute hampers for a raffle. Please look out for announcements from your Class Reps and ClassList over the weekend and get ready to participate. Who doesn’t like a  lovely Christmas Hamper?

Next week GES Parent community will be hosting a Present room during school hours:

  • Monday 13 December at Primary for EYFS and KS1
  • Tuesday 14 December at Primary for Years 3 to 6
  • Tuesday 14 December at Secondary, lunchtime 

The students are welcome to come and shop for a present for their parents or other loved ones. All gifts will be priced at either CHF 5 or 10, CASH only please.

Please make sure to send your child in on their assigned day with cash if you would like them to participate.

All gifts will be wrapped, we ask that the children bring in a shopping bag to place the wrapped gifts in.

If you have any questions please email Marybeth at [email protected].

Local alternative Christmas market

Let’s support local businesses by attending an alternative Christmas market organised by the vendors that were going to be present at the GES Christmas fair. 
You will have the chance to meet with:
  • Suzanne, an independent Usborne organizer offering a selection of books from the Usborne reading program as well as activity books, sticker books etc. You will also be able to place an order for subsequent delivery. Here is the link if you want to browse already.
  • Lindsey from The Wee Croft Candle Company makes 100% pure soy wax and essential oil candles in Lavender and Laurel perfect for your workspace or home lasting up to 22 hours. 
  • Maria from Volem Ceramics and the owner of Atelier Versoix has crafted ceramic Christmas tree decorations, candleholders, and other home decor pieces to brighten the Christmas spirit in your space. 
  • Hanne from By Thye sews cushions and Christmas decorations out of original Swiss military blankets which she finds secondhand in Switzerland. 
You will find them this Sunday 12 December at 144 Route de l’Etraz, Versoix from 14:00 to 16:00.
You may purchase directly using CHF / Twint with all vendors. 

Primary performances and Christmas quizzes/parties

Rising Stars Recording

The Primary children involved in Ballet, Street dance, Orchestra and Recorder club have had a chance to perform their routines and songs this week after all – we hope you enjoy seeing the progress they have made throughout the term as much as we do.  The smiles on their faces whilst performing seem to say it all.

Here is the link to the video.

We look forward to welcoming you in person again to our next shows and concerts in the new year.

Christmas quizzes/parties

A big thank you to everyone who participated in our fundraising Christmas House Quizzes this week. We managed to raise CHF 403 for the ConnectSwiss charity.

A reminder that at Primary, Christmas parties will take place on these days:
  • On Monday for Years 4, 5 and 6
  • On Tuesday for EYFS, KS1 and Year 3
The children will be eating as a year group in the dining room.
If your child has a packed lunch on their party day, please could you provide them with a ‘special party’ lunch.

Morning challenge & support sessions and Extra-curricular clubs

Next week's arrangements

Please note that the morning challenge & support sessions, held before school, have now finished for the term – there will be no early sessions next week. They will start again in the Spring term.

Please be reminded that all Primary and Secondary extra-curricular clubs have also finished and there will be no extra-curricular clubs next week (as is usual during the last week of term). This includes the Wednesday afternoon academies.

We are currently putting the final touches to the list of Primary extra-curricular activities for next term. This will be finalised and communicated next week, so you can discuss options with your children and sign them up during the Christmas holiday.

Secondary students will sign up themselves during the first week of term as usual.

Spring Term: New Rugby ECA for Secondary

We will be offering a NEW Rugby session to Year 7, 8 and 9 students in the Spring term on a Monday after school 15:45- 16:45.

This will be held at GES Primary and transport will be provided after school to get there.

Students will need to be collected from GES Primary at 16:45.

Please email Miss Shibil ([email protected]) to sign up.

From the Office Team

End of term and holiday hours

A reminder that Autumn term finishes next Friday at 12:00 for Secondary and 12:20 for Primary. 

There will be no hot lunches provided, no After-School Care and no return buses.

Both School Offices will be closed from 23 December to 3 January included. Emails will be answered again as of 4 January.

Please note that Spring term starts on Tuesday, 11 January (Monday, 10 January being a staff training day, the school will be closed for students).

We wish you all a very nice and relaxing Christmas holiday with your beloved ones.

Students' last days / Notice of withdrawal

This is the time of the year when we have to say “goodbye” to some of our students.

We wish them and their families all the best for the future. Please remember that GES will always be here for you. So come back for a visit anytime!

Parents are kindly reminded that notice of withdrawal of a pupil from the School must be received in writing by the Head before the first day of next term (11 January 2022).

From Mrs Ball, Head of Drama and Performing Arts

For all of our theatre and performance lovers, here are Mrs Ball’s last 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 Social de Genève

Last chance and last weekend to retrieve any jeans/trousers (age 4 to 18) that are no longer worn from your wardrobes.

Drop off until Monday 10 December – at Primary (drop-off/pick up) or to Secondary Reception.

Thank you again to those who have already participated in this new initiative from le Don du Choeur. This will help many families in Geneva, who are less fortunate than ourselves.