International School Parent Magazine - Spring 2022

Create successful ePaper yourself

Turn your PDF publications into a flip-book with our unique Google optimized e-Paper software.

Collège<br />

du Léman<br />

Shaping generations,<br />

aiming for excellence<br />

The Hills<br />

are Alive!<br />

at Ecole d’Humanité<br />

with Ecole Sounds<br />

The PYP &<br />

MYP Programs<br />

Insights from<br />

the experts

A personal education<br />

in London’s heart<br />

■ 11 acres of private grounds, minutes from central<br />

London<br />

■ An intimate, nurturing and tight-knit learning community<br />

– small classes and a strong support network<br />

■ Gated access and a 24/7 security presence<br />

■ Personal support to identify the skills your child needs<br />

■ A global network of industry experts and masterclasses<br />

■ No deadlines to meet – with year-round applications<br />

we’re ready when you are<br />

Claim your free<br />

guide to studying in<br />

the UK, designed for<br />

parents & guardians<br />


Welcome to the <strong>Spring</strong><br />

edition of <strong>International</strong><br />

<strong>School</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> magazine<br />

As we roll into <strong>Spring</strong>, I am feeling joyous having spent many<br />

hours on the slopes watching my children improve their skiing<br />

– now we are turning our attention towards more, but warmer<br />

outdoor activities. <strong>Spring</strong> terms, <strong>Spring</strong> weather and then<br />

further summer holidays and warm summer socialising.<br />

Contents<br />

06 Meet The Principal – Andrew Wulfers, Sis Swiss<br />

<strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> Basel<br />

10 London – The Best City In The World To Be A<br />

University Student?<br />

13 Supporting Students With Learning Differences: The<br />

Secondary Years & Beyond<br />

16 The New World Of Work: Rising Importance Of Data<br />

18 Collège Du Léman<br />

20 Meet The Headteacher – George Walsh, Institut<br />

<strong>International</strong> De Lancy, Geneva<br />

24 Why <strong>Parent</strong>s Are Top Influencers In Education<br />

28 Sightseeing Switzerland – At The Swiss Open-Air<br />

Museum<br />

30 Family & Cities<br />

34 Ecole.sounds: Innovative Learning Via Music<br />

38 A Need For Change: Addressing Adolescent Mental<br />

Health In Switzerland.<br />

40 Book Club – A Guide To The Swiss Educational System<br />

42 Let’s Talk Consent<br />

44 Revision – A How To Guide For <strong>Parent</strong>s<br />

46 The Ins And Outs Of The Pyp And Myp<br />

50 In Praise Of (Early) Flowers<br />

54 Moving To Zurich?<br />

56 Permah Pups!<br />

60 Educational Therapy, The Missing Gap Between <strong>School</strong><br />

And Psychological Therapy<br />

62 Education News<br />

64 Six Steps In Changing A <strong>School</strong>’s Culture<br />

We are proud to bring you our <strong>Spring</strong> edition. We have fantastic<br />

ideas from Switzerland Tourism on family outings in Major Swiss<br />

Cities, as well as a feature on the Ballenberg Open Air Museum<br />

in canton Bern. Ballenberg is an open-air museum in Switzerland<br />

that displays traditional buildings and architecture from all over<br />

the country. Some of these buildings still operate and you can<br />

watch demonstrations of traditional rural crafts, old techniques,<br />

and cheesemaking. Tourism in Switzerland has so much to offer<br />

and <strong>Spring</strong> is a great time to start exploring.<br />

Also in this edition, we have two interesting and contrasting<br />

interviews with international school leaders in Andrew Wulfers<br />

from Swiss <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> Basel, and from Institut<br />

<strong>International</strong> de Lacy in Geneva, George Walsh. They talk us<br />

through all their education journeys, their inspirations and<br />

education philosophies. A particular highlight was hearing<br />

Andrew’s background in extreme sports and how it shapes<br />

his view on life and school leadership. Both these interviews<br />

provide really interesting behind the scenes insights about how<br />

your child’s schools are being run, so be sure to check them out.<br />

As usual we also hear from a range of schools with their news,<br />

we have articles and interviews from experts and organisations<br />

all dedicated to helping you get the most out of your family’s<br />

journey through international schooling.<br />

I wish you a pleasant second half of the <strong>Spring</strong> term and we will<br />

be back in the summer with another edition of <strong>International</strong><br />

<strong>School</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong>.<br />

Work hard and be the best!<br />

Nick<br />

Nick Gilbert<br />

Editor & Publishing Director<br />

<strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong><br />

Mobile + 41 787 10 80 91<br />

Email nick@internationalschoolparent.com<br />

Website www.internationalschoolparent.com<br />

Facebook facebook.com/internationalschoolparent<br />


I’VE FOUND<br />

MY SPARK.<br />

Arrange a visit and find<br />

out how ISZN can help<br />

your child unlock their<br />

full potential.<br />

ISZN is an international school combining the best of the<br />

<strong>International</strong> Baccalaureate and the English National<br />

Curriculum. Studying at ISZN is your child’s path to leading<br />

universities in Switzerland and around the world.<br />

Email admissions@iszn.ch or call +41 (0) 44 830 70 07<br />

to find out more.<br />




Andrew Wulfers, SIS Swiss <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> Basel<br />

With forty plus nationalities represented in the flagship SIS Swiss <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> located in Basel, the<br />

school has an unparalleled reputation as the ideal learning establishment for children and young adults who<br />

have big plans in a globalised world.<br />

Andrew Wulfers utilises all his<br />

experiences in education, his<br />

personal life, and his position as<br />

the Principal of SIS Basel, to work with<br />

other Head Teachers in the SIS group to<br />

foster a sense of community, oversee the<br />

continual development of the bilingual<br />

learning environment, and encourage a<br />

desire for success and a healthy competitive<br />

spirit within his students.<br />

What made you choose Education as a<br />

career?<br />

I was born in Canada but both my parents<br />

were Dutch which informed an important<br />

part of my upbringing.<br />

We moved around quite a bit and I had<br />

the opportunity to attend a few schools at<br />

a young age including the <strong>International</strong><br />

<strong>School</strong> in Antwerp. I eventually moved to<br />

the United States and attended a college<br />

preparatory boarding school on the east<br />

coast. It really opened my eyes - not just to<br />

the importance of a good education, but to<br />

the impact that great teachers can have on<br />

one’s life.<br />

I went to the University of Oregon, and<br />

got my Bachelor’s degree in Planning &<br />

Management and thereafter, I went on<br />

to complete my teaching credentials and<br />

Master’s degree in English.<br />

I am now married to a Swiss national<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SPRING <strong>2022</strong> | 6<br />

who is also a teacher, and have two<br />

children. I speak English with them at<br />

home, and my wife speaks German – so<br />

we embody a very balanced bilingual<br />

environment.<br />

How do your experiences and<br />

philosophies inform your approach as<br />

the Principal of SIS Basel?<br />

When I came to Switzerland back in 2000,<br />

I started teaching in another private school<br />

and was just getting my footing – I wasn’t<br />

sure if I was going to stay in Switzerland for<br />

the long-term.<br />

Before I began at SIS Basel, I hadn’t yet<br />

found my true niche; the place where I

felt most comfortable. When I first came<br />

to SIS, it was quite a small and intimate<br />

environment. I was immediately attracted<br />

to the international-mindedness of the staff<br />

and the strong network of schools that were<br />

growing under the SIS flag.<br />

I began as the Head of the College so<br />

had always been part of the management<br />

team and was fortunate to have a say in the<br />

direction that the school was headed. It’s<br />

really been an incredible experience to be<br />

part of the growth of the SIS and to see<br />

the continuity from kindergarten to college<br />

evolve and take shape.<br />

Seeing the true potential of bilingual<br />

education was my catalyst and inspiration<br />

for wanting to become the Principal at<br />

the school. The concept of international<br />

education through local insight became<br />

even more important as I realized that I<br />

was going to stay in Switzerland and raise<br />

my children here. It is certainly a wonderful<br />

place to live, grow, learn and mature, all<br />

attributes that I enjoy sharing with our<br />

school community.<br />

What have you learnt from your time as<br />

the Principal of an <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong>?<br />

Our education never stops. It’s a continuing<br />

process and we are learning all the time. I<br />

have also gained so much insight from the<br />

different nationalities and cultures present<br />

at our school. We have built our strength<br />

through our diversity and it has helped us<br />

perform and stay connected as a larger<br />

group of schools. There is definitely the<br />

feeling of being part of a team.<br />

We are continuously looking at current<br />

events and the state of the world to make<br />

decisions that are best for our community.<br />

Nothing is perhaps more prevalent than<br />

what’s happened over the last two years<br />

with COVID-19. It’s forced me into very a<br />

different understanding of what it means<br />

to be a Principal because it’s no longer just<br />

about the normal workload of a Principal,<br />

but also about becoming a facilitator of<br />

well-being to the staff and students.<br />

Do you think COVID will have a lasting<br />

impact on teaching methods?<br />

I do. We clearly see it with the inroads<br />

we’ve made with learning enhanced by<br />

technology. I never thought that we would<br />

become so reliant on technology, not just<br />

as a tool, but for traditional day to day<br />

teaching.<br />

We were forced into a position where<br />

suddenly we were facing teachers and<br />

saying, “Everything that you’ve been doing<br />

in the classroom you’re now going to do<br />

online.” It was a challenge, but I think we’ve<br />

gained a lot of know-how.<br />

Tell us a bit about the bilingual program<br />

at SIS, and the type of students you<br />

attract – what’s your typical SIS Basel<br />

student like?<br />

In the Primary school, a student is fully<br />

immersed in one language for one full day<br />

and then the other language for the next<br />

day always alternating between German<br />

and English.<br />

In the College, it’s different. Here it’s<br />

the subject that dictates the language. In<br />

other words, it might be that mathematics<br />

is taught in German in year 7 but the<br />

following year it’s taught in English. We are<br />

always seeking a balance between the two<br />

languages.<br />

Over the years, I’ve clearly seen our<br />

immersion method lead to success, not just<br />

in terms of a student’s linguistic awareness<br />

but also in their creativity and overall<br />

cognitive development.<br />

As far as our students go, it’s very difficult<br />

to pigeonhole them say, “All of our students<br />

are like this ...” They come from so many<br />

different backgrounds, and have so many<br />

different nationalities that it’s impossible to<br />

stereotype.<br />

We like to promote the IB Learner Profile<br />

at the school, though, and feel that our<br />

students embody it well: Open-minded,<br />

balanced, caring and knowledgeable to<br />

name a few of the attributes.<br />


Are your students passionate about<br />

learning? How are you developing an<br />

approach to it?<br />

If there was one word to describe our<br />

students, it would be - enthusiastic.<br />

They enjoy coming to school and this is<br />

something that you can feel when you walk<br />

through our halls. Despite challenging<br />

times, there’s joy!<br />

The entire community is on board as<br />

well. You feel the level of enthusiasm – and<br />

you can also see that the students are ready<br />

for a challenge and the teaching staff is<br />

ready to deliver it.<br />

Enthusiasm is really the tip of the<br />

iceberg; there is also a strong sense of<br />

personal responsibility and an openness<br />

to other cultures, languages and ways of<br />

thinking. It’s an independent and valuecentred<br />

approach that might be best<br />

summarised with the school’s expectations<br />

of being respectful, being responsible, being<br />

positive, being mindful and being resilient.<br />

This is our rulebook and it’s literally written<br />

all over the school.<br />

What about extracurricular activities?<br />

Are you developing any new programs or<br />

areas for extracurricular engagement?<br />

We’re always looking for new ideas! We<br />

have a solid After <strong>School</strong> Care program,<br />

special clubs on Wednesdays and an everexpanding<br />

extracurricular program. There<br />

are sports teams with a special trophy case<br />

to prove it. Our girls’ basketball team won<br />

first place in Switzerland several years<br />

ago and we were so proud. We also have<br />

activities like maths clubs, coding classes<br />

and robotics. There really is something for<br />

all tastes.<br />

We’ve been working together with the<br />

PEA (<strong>Parent</strong> Eltern Association) to come<br />

up with new activities for the students and<br />

there has been a lot of energy put into<br />

this area. For example, the <strong>International</strong><br />

Community Music <strong>School</strong> comes to the SIS<br />

Basel in the afternoons and has multiple<br />

music lessons for the kids.<br />

Our choir is now almost 100 students<br />

strong, working with professional orchestras<br />

to set up concerts in the city.<br />

We try to make it as convenient as<br />

possible for parents, we realize they are<br />

busy, too. We want to make sure that our<br />

extracurricular program is constantly<br />

evolving.<br />

What’s your vision or ambition for SIS<br />

Graduates?<br />

I think first and foremost happiness<br />

and contentment. That said, the list of<br />

universities that our graduates are attending<br />

continues to grow each year with a good<br />

number staying at local institutions like<br />

the ETH and University of St. Gallen<br />

and many more going back to the UK or<br />

beyond.<br />

As a participant at our graduation<br />

ceremony each spring, I also feel such<br />

a sense of pride when it comes to the<br />

speeches made by students. They are all so<br />

thankful and appreciative of the time they<br />

spent at the SIS. The only advice I ever give<br />

them is to live their dreams, and they do!<br />

Our job is to fill their tool kits, their job is to<br />

put the tools to use.<br />

It’s always wonderful when our alumni<br />

come back to visit the school to say hello.<br />

It really enforces that feeling of community<br />

that we try to foster here. They are all busy<br />

either with school or careers, but they take<br />

the time to come back and visit their roots.<br />

It makes me happy.<br />

What do the parents of the students at<br />

SIS Basel value about the school?<br />

There are a lot of things that come to mind:<br />

bilingualism, friendships, a supportive<br />

environment, caring teachers, but perhaps<br />

most of all, a school that always tries to do<br />

the best for their students.<br />

One of the main expectations that<br />

parents have is the gift of languages. Many<br />

students will graduate not only with their<br />

native or mother-tongue intact but also with<br />

fluent English and German. French is also<br />


“The children enjoy coming to school and this is something<br />

that you can feel when you walk through our halls.”<br />

important seeing that I am currently sitting<br />

about five minutes away from the French<br />

border.<br />

We provide options to our families. With<br />

German, they unlock the key to living in<br />

Basel or the surrounding areas. It allows the<br />

families the choice to stay in Switzerland, to<br />

find work and to thrive. With English only,<br />

it can be difficult to settle down in this area<br />

and establish roots.<br />

What do you believe will be the<br />

major challenges facing students, and<br />

education as a whole, in the future?<br />

When I look at our youngest students, I ask<br />

myself “What will they need in 20 years?<br />

What are we going to need to teach them to<br />

be successful in 20 years?” What are going<br />

to be the new professions? What will they<br />

need to be equipped with?<br />

It’s not only that though, it’s also what<br />

we spoke about earlier: responsibility,<br />

understanding, empathy and resilience will<br />

be equally important than as they are now,<br />

so we’ll continue to strive to give students<br />

these tools as well as upskilling them in<br />

what we believe will be the industries of the<br />

future. Communication, digital technology,<br />

robotics, AI, etc. will certainly be part of<br />

every child’s education well into the future.<br />

What about you personally – what<br />

hobbies do you have?<br />

I came to Switzerland as an avid telemark<br />

skier and white-water kayaker and have<br />

explored the Alps extensively. I still<br />

continue to do so, but have calmed down<br />

considerably since my youth.<br />

I love Mountain biking as well, and<br />

Switzerland has worked for me because it’s<br />

been able to feed my outdoor needs!<br />

That said, time with my family is perhaps<br />

the most important thing to me now and<br />

there is no underestimating the quality time<br />

I can spend with a good book.<br />


SIS Swiss <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> operates 17 bilingual, private day schools in<br />

Switzerland, Germany and Brazil. More than 3.800 students attend our classes from<br />

kindergarten through to college. They come from local as well as from international<br />

families and learn in German (or Portuguese) and in English.<br />

www.swissinternationalschool.ch<br />



London<br />

The best city in<br />

the world to be a<br />

university student?<br />

Regent’s University London thinks so!<br />

Choosing a university can be a<br />

daunting time for young people<br />

and parents alike. It marks their<br />

first step into adulthood – with all the<br />

excitement and challenges that come with<br />

it.<br />

But for a city on such a small island,<br />

London punches well above its weight for<br />

university students – with the chance to<br />

gain valuable work experiences, build a<br />

network of contacts, make friends from all<br />

over the world and enjoy a thriving social<br />

life. No wonder it’s been named as the best<br />

city in the world to be a university student<br />

[QS World University Rankings].<br />

Opportunities at university and beyond<br />

With such a strong reputation and influence<br />

worldwide, studying in the city will be<br />



sure to get your loved ones noticed. With<br />

a variety of placements and internship<br />

opportunities on their doorstep, it’s the<br />

place to be to see their career soar – setting<br />

them apart from others when it’s time to<br />

apply for jobs.<br />

They’ll be close to business and financial<br />

districts, creative hubs and entertainment<br />

venues making it easy to attend events and<br />

workshops on the go – as well as taking<br />

advantage of world-renowned resources<br />

including libraries, archives, and museums,<br />

most of them free to enter.<br />

Regent’s University London is proud<br />

to be connected to some of the city’s<br />

most influential leaders, including CEOs<br />

and MDs of luxury brands (Harrods,<br />

McLaren, Dunhill). This offers unparalleled<br />

opportunities to build industry contacts,<br />

“With a variety of placements and internship<br />

opportunities on their doorstep, it’s the place to be<br />

to see their career soar – setting them apart from<br />

others when it’s time to apply for jobs.”<br />

gain practical experiences and join<br />

exclusive internships. We even host<br />

industry events on campus that students<br />

are welcome to join – from the London<br />

Screenwriting Festival to London Fashion<br />

Week shows.<br />

Iconic landmarks – on your doorstep.<br />

Studying in London means students are<br />

surrounded by world-famous sights every<br />

day – from iconic landmarks like Big Ben,<br />

Buckingham Palace and London Bridge to<br />

unique architecture, sleepy parks, bustling<br />

shopping streets, theatres, museums,<br />

galleries and more.<br />

When they aren’t studying, they’ll be able<br />

to eat in celebrated restaurants, explore<br />

hidden food and flower markets, shop<br />

in independent retailers, and unwind in<br />

some of the UK’s most beautiful parks<br />

and gardens – some overlooking London’s<br />

incredible skyline.<br />

If your child chooses to study at Regent’s,<br />

they’ll be in the heart of the city, just<br />


Digital Marketing for your<br />

<strong>School</strong>... Made Easy<br />

Digital marketing might seem easy at first, but to<br />

really get results, you need proper training and<br />

support.<br />

Many schools just don’t have the budget for<br />

expensive training or consultants. This results in<br />

a confusion of digital marketing tools and<br />

activities without any real strategy or goals in<br />

place; leading to wasted time and budget. When<br />

new leads do not come, schools are often left<br />

wondering what went wrong.<br />

Education Marketing Collective was<br />

created to solve this problem<br />

The Education Marketing Collective (EMC) is an<br />

international membership platform, giving<br />

schools and education organisations access to<br />

expert, education-specific digital marketing<br />

training, resources, and support… for less than<br />

the cost of a cup of coffee a day.<br />

EMC gives members:<br />

Live monthly training via a masterclass<br />

taught by one of the EMC partner<br />

(professional) members<br />

Access to the recordings of all past trainings<br />

Supporting resources<br />

A monthly newsletter where all the latest<br />

digital marketing news is broken down into<br />

plain English and explained in relation to<br />

international education<br />

Other benefits such as resources, networking<br />

groups, membership badges, discounts on<br />

partner member services.<br />

"We want to make digital marketing<br />

accessible, applicable and empower<br />

members to achieve results."<br />

- Emma Fell & Korinne Algie, Founders<br />

Since launching in May 2021, we have<br />

welcomed members from schools and<br />

education companies around the world,<br />

including Europe, Australasia, Asia, and South<br />

America.<br />

Some of our masterclass training topics<br />

available on the membership platform include<br />

Social Media Strategy, Using Google PPC Ads<br />

to Attract New Students, SEO, and many more.<br />

The focus of the masterclass trainings is to<br />

break things down into language we can all<br />

understand, and to show our members how<br />

these topics relate to our industry. We want<br />

members to leave our classes feeling like they<br />

have learnt something they can take and apply<br />

right away.<br />

Join us on March 21 at 8pm CET for our next training session FREE of charge. This masterclass is entitled:<br />

‘Brazilian Marketing: Working with Agents and Recruiting Students Online’<br />

and will be delivered by an expert in this region. Please email hello@educationmarketingcollective.com to<br />

register and receive the link to join.<br />

Membership to the Education Marketing Collective is £29 per month, or £290 for 12 months. More<br />

information can be found on our website: www.educationmarketingcollective.com


Supporting Students with Learning<br />

Differences: the Secondary Years & Beyond<br />

In the previous ISPM edition, an Oak<br />

Hill alumni parent shared tips about<br />

supporting a child with learning<br />

differences in the primary setting. In this<br />

article, she elaborates on some strategies she<br />

and her husband developed to help her son<br />

through secondary and beyond.<br />

What planning do you recommend<br />

before my child finishes primary?<br />

We found that planning was key to<br />

everything! Therefore, in the <strong>Spring</strong> Term,<br />

(before your child leaves Y6), ask the<br />

class teacher and/or Learning Support<br />

Coordinator for a summary of their needs<br />

and strengths. This information will really<br />

help new teachers/assistants to prepare for<br />

your child’s arrival in secondary school.<br />

In addition, arrange a transition meeting<br />

with the Y7 tutor/learning support staff (in<br />

March/April) to develop relationships and<br />

to ensure that information has been shared<br />

and received.<br />

While planning for transition to<br />

secondary, it’s also important to be mindful<br />

of what is possible or not – as you won’t<br />

get everything you ask for! Yes, it’s essential<br />

to advocate for your son or daughter, but<br />

working collaboratively as a team will<br />

bring the best results. Having said that, it<br />

is vital to ensure that all teachers working<br />

with your child are aware of their learning<br />

differences before Term 1 starts.<br />

How should I support my child in the first<br />

few weeks of Year 7?<br />

My husband and I found it was critical to<br />

remember there were a lot of expectations<br />

on our child socially, organisationally and<br />

academically. We walked the journey with<br />

him, aware that our son was growing<br />

into a teenager with new and confusing<br />

emotions/feelings to deal with. It’s a busy<br />

and sometimes overwhelming time for them<br />

(and for parents!), and progress takes time.<br />

However, the skills our son acquired at<br />

Oak Hill really helped build his confidence,<br />

maturity, and resilience, which was very<br />

useful to him at secondary school.<br />

On a practical level, we checked our son’s<br />

schedule with him each week so that we<br />

knew what homework &/or revision was<br />

coming up and could plan effectively. We<br />

encouraged him to photograph homework<br />

assignments in class as this removed the<br />

pressure of capturing critical information<br />

quickly. Breaking activities into chunks<br />

provided scaffolded support and aided his<br />

memory recall; multi-sensory learning tools<br />

(such as using manipulatives for maths<br />

problems, watching videos to enhance<br />

comprehension of reading material,<br />

listening to editorials, using quizzes etc.)<br />

were also helpful. Contacting friends to<br />

clarify their understanding of tasks was<br />

sometimes beneficial too!<br />

In those first few weeks of term, we<br />

advise contacting the Learning Support<br />

Coordinator again to re-establish links<br />



made in <strong>Spring</strong> and to review your<br />

child’s specific learning needs. We found<br />

that maintaining positive relationships<br />

with the learning support staff/subject<br />

teachers was important for us, but don’t<br />

forget those compromises I mentioned<br />

earlier! For example, our son chose not<br />

to do a third language so that he could<br />

continue his three weekly learning support<br />

sessions instead; he also had some help<br />

from a teacher aide in class and a tutor<br />

assisted him with homework tasks/revision<br />

techniques at home. His self-esteem and<br />

organisation skills improved with practice<br />

and encouragement, and he gradually<br />

developed into an independent learner.<br />

Completing homework on his own gave<br />

him an enormous sense of pride - a gamechanger<br />

for us!<br />

What is there to consider during the<br />

exam years (16-18 years)?<br />

As he progressed through secondary,<br />

our son’s learning support focused more<br />

on exam techniques and answering<br />

questions in a more structured way. In<br />

this preparatory stage, he completed past<br />

papers using the approaches and revision<br />

techniques he had been taught; his home<br />

tutor also reviewed key words with him<br />

(e.g., explain how, show, contrast, compare,<br />

demonstrate). Using a timetable to structure<br />

his study - practice, practice, practice<br />

became his mantra!<br />

Year 10 might be a good time to<br />

complete another Educational Psychologist<br />

assessment to ensure any special exam<br />

provisions are put in place (e.g., extra time,<br />

use of a laptop, spellcheck, the support of<br />

a reader/scribe etc.). The school Exams<br />

Office/Learning Support department can<br />

advise you about the best time to complete<br />

this step. In our circumstance, we arranged<br />

for another WISC/WIAT assessment in<br />

Year 10 because the recommendations from<br />

this report remain valid until Year 13.<br />

If your child is allowed a laptop for<br />

exams, ensure they spend time increasing<br />

and developing their keyboard skills to<br />

make the most of this accommodation. If<br />

a reader/scribe is recommended, identify<br />

how the school will practice this technique<br />

with your child before the final exams, so<br />

they know what assistance they can ask for.<br />

Should extra time be allowed in an exam,<br />

review with your son/daughter how they<br />

can best make use of it (e.g., to proofread<br />

their work, request the reader to read back<br />

their work, ensure the questions with the<br />

most points have been answered first, etc).<br />

Our son practised mock exam papers (with<br />

extra time) to ensure he had experienced<br />

this situation before the actual exam.<br />

Throughout this intense period, it’s<br />

worth remembering to reward the effort,<br />

resilience, and determination our children<br />

put into their revision. This positive<br />

reinforcement will build their self-esteem,<br />

helping them remain optimistic as well as<br />

prepared.<br />

Although it can be difficult, try not to<br />

focus on grade and/or number outcomes<br />

solely. Whilst ‘end results’ are relevant for<br />

further education, the student’s individual<br />

qualities, talents and skills are just as<br />

important. We found maintaining a focus<br />

on realistic results (rather than comparing<br />

scores with peers) was very helpful in our<br />

situation.<br />

Who can help with exam choices and<br />

university options?<br />

When your child is aged 15-16 years, it’s<br />

important to start thinking about choices<br />

regarding higher education and when (or<br />

if) it’s an appropriate path to take. If they<br />

want to go to university, it’s advisable to<br />

start researching the different requirements<br />

for entry (e.g., IGCSE’s for UK universities,<br />

SATs for US admission etc.). Again, reach<br />

out to others for help - school-university<br />

counsellors were ready to support and<br />

advise us at this stage of the journey.<br />

Start planning well in advance and<br />

consider which further education path is<br />

suitable, (e.g., <strong>International</strong> Baccalaureate<br />

Careers Programme, IB Diploma or<br />

Certificate, ‘A’ levels, etc.). If higher<br />

education is a goal, it’s important to bear in<br />

mind that this decision will influence subject<br />

and exam choices in years 12-13.<br />

Our son decided he wanted to go to<br />

university, so being near family was critical<br />

when considering the location; we also<br />

knew that he would benefit from courses<br />

with a practical content. Therefore, our<br />

son applied to UK universities to study for<br />

a sports degree (you may recall he loved<br />

football from a very young age!).<br />

He used the UK tariff points calculator to<br />

evaluate scenarios regarding his final grades<br />

and to determine choices. After a lot of<br />

thought, our son chose to enter university<br />

at the Foundation year; allowing him extra<br />

time to decide if a degree is really what he<br />

wanted to do.<br />

Is there anything else to consider before<br />

going to university?<br />

As a student approaches undergraduate<br />

studies, it’s crucial to inform the university<br />

in advance about their learning differences.<br />

In the UK, it might be useful to contact<br />

‘Accessibility’; they will advise whether your<br />

son/daughter needs to apply for a DSA<br />

(Disabled Students Allowance). This may<br />

also be a good opportunity to identify any<br />

new equipment that could be useful (e.g.,<br />

reader pens, speech to text software) or<br />

decide if any additional testing is needed.<br />

It could also be a good time to consider if<br />

your child’s Educational Psychologist report<br />

is up to date/recognised by the university.<br />

Allow time for this part of the process (3-6<br />

months).<br />

Finally, we found that it was important<br />



university, enjoying the opportunities and<br />

challenges that have come his way – we<br />

are very proud of him! We hope that the<br />

information we’ve shared in these two<br />

‘Learning Differences’ articles will help<br />

parents/children access the support they<br />

require to reach their potential at primary<br />

and secondary school.<br />

to keep all options open through this<br />

significant period of change. If your child<br />

is determined to do their best and has their<br />

mind set on university, it is essential to<br />

encourage them. Nevertheless, it’s valuable<br />

to prepare them for alternative scenarios<br />

just in case adjustments need to be made to<br />

their plans when the results come out.<br />

As you can see, navigating secondary<br />

school on a (possible) journey to university<br />

involves a lot of work, with many<br />

opportunities for highs and lows! However,<br />

take strength from your child, they will often<br />

surprise you (and themselves!) and yes – you<br />

may need to have a bundle of tissues ready<br />

as they embark on the next step of their<br />

learning journey.<br />

Our son agreed to share his story to<br />

support other families in the same situation.<br />

He is now happily in his first year at<br />

For more information about how<br />

the Oak Hill programme can<br />

support children aged 7- 14 years<br />

with dyslexia/ADHD, please contact<br />

education@oakhill.ch. Oak Hill can<br />

also provide contact information for<br />

tutors, educational psychologists,<br />

speech & language therapists,<br />

cognitive therapists, psychiatrists,<br />

and other specialists supporting<br />

children and adults with learning<br />

differences.<br />

Useful references:<br />

British Dyslexia Association -<br />

https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/<br />

National Association for Special Educational Needs<br />

https://www.nasen.org.uk/.<br />

Hill Learning Center https://www.hillcenter.org/<br />



Best bachelor programs to<br />

study in Switzerland<br />

When considering options for<br />

international business schools,<br />

it can be easy to feel spoilt for<br />

choice. Top ranking institutions around<br />

the world can provide unique blends of<br />

education and experience, and depending<br />

on your child’s needs and preferences, one<br />

country may be more suitable than another.<br />

But where should they go if they don’t want<br />

to compromise?<br />

For those in pursuit of a truly<br />

entrepreneurial education, EU Business<br />

<strong>School</strong>’s Geneva campus in Switzerland<br />

offers a range of bachelor’s programs<br />

across a variety of disciplines, all of which<br />

are designed to meet the demands of the<br />

modern business world. Geneva is also<br />

home to a thriving and dynamic expat<br />

community, providing unlimited networking<br />

opportunities that have the potential to<br />

span the globe. By choosing to begin their<br />

studies in the Swiss capital, your child gains<br />

an immediate headstart on the relationships<br />

and connections that lie at the heart of a<br />

thriving business career.<br />

One of the world’s most widely<br />

recognized centers for banking, trade and<br />

finance, Switzerland boasts the industry<br />

and tradition necessary for students<br />

looking to forge a strong foundation for<br />

their business careers. The Bachelor<br />

of Science in Business Finance<br />

offered by EU provides a comprehensive,<br />

up-to-date program of study spanning<br />

the crucial elements of this challenging<br />

sector. Theoretical study is combined with<br />

practical assignments, allowing students<br />

to take advantage of easy access to the<br />

world-class financial institutions on their<br />

doorstep.<br />

With a merging of French, German<br />

and Italian culture, diversity is interwoven<br />

within Switzerland’s way of life, allowing<br />

for an overall richer and more exciting<br />

study experience. This fusion of customs<br />

is strongly embedded in the country’s<br />

approach to business, and Geneva wholly<br />

encapsulates the interconnectivity and<br />

open-mindedness required for successful<br />

professional partnerships. EU’s Bachelor’s<br />

in <strong>International</strong> Relations helps<br />

students to hone the collaborative mindset<br />

required for a business career at the global<br />

level. Classroom study is enhanced by<br />

EU’s international community of over<br />

100 different nationalities, which allows<br />



for the free exchange of ideas and creativity<br />

between perspectives from a wide variety of<br />

cultures.<br />

Switzerland’s tourism industry is one of<br />

the country’s most significant economic<br />

pillars. EU’s Bachelor of Arts in Leisure<br />

& Tourism prepares students for the<br />

challenges of this fast-paced, demanding<br />

industry. Our real-world approach to<br />

learning ensures that students are able to<br />

access up-to-date work experience within<br />

the industry, while the ease of travel to<br />

surrounding European countries and beyond<br />

allows for a thorough immersion in the<br />

sector’s pulse.<br />

In addition to providing a solid grounding<br />

in these established fields, the country has<br />

also embraced digital business models with<br />

open arms. In 2021, Switzerland was ranked<br />

number one for innovation for the eleventh<br />

time in a row by the Global Innovation<br />

Index. Furthermore, Geneva is an exciting<br />

emerging hub for tech start-ups, rendering<br />

the Swiss capital ideal for those looking<br />

to engage with and transform the world’s<br />

up-and-coming markets. The Bachelor<br />

of Arts in Digital Business, Design<br />

& Innovation offered by EU Business<br />

<strong>School</strong> assists students in developing creative<br />

approaches, giving them the skills needed to<br />

formulate business solutions both now, and<br />

for the future.<br />

Considered by many to be the gold<br />

standard with regard to introductory business<br />

education, business administration is suitable<br />

for those who wish to familiarize themselves<br />

with a variety of essential concepts prior to<br />

specializing their area of study. EU’s BBA<br />

program provides students with the broad<br />

expanse of knowledge and skills necessary to<br />

enter the corporate world through any route<br />

of their choosing.<br />

The development of well-rounded<br />

individuals cannot be achieved through work<br />

and exams alone, however. With regard to<br />

extracurricular activities, access to new travel<br />

adventures, and simply taking time to relax<br />

and unwind, there is nothing that Geneva<br />

cannot offer in abundance. From skiing and<br />

sports, to hiking and art galleries, there is<br />

something for everyone to enjoy and explore.<br />

The city’s restaurants offer top-quality<br />

cuisine from around the globe, in addition to<br />

the world-famous cheese and chocolates that<br />

must be sampled.<br />

EU Business <strong>School</strong> believes that worldclass<br />

education should take place in a worldclass<br />

city. Get more information on our<br />

Geneva programs.<br />


The New<br />

World of Work:<br />

Rising Importance of Data<br />



Computer science provides the<br />

creative energy for the digital<br />

transformations on almost all<br />

aspects of life. The way we communicate,<br />

socialize, travel, shop, design/produce/<br />

deliver products continues to be an<br />

exciting field as the technological<br />

advancements grow and evolve: Data<br />

Science and Analytics, Cloud Computing,<br />

Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things,<br />

Autonomous Robots and Augmented<br />

Reality. Computers are so ubiquitous in<br />

the modern world that the need for more<br />

Computer Science (CS) graduates with<br />

the skills to understand systems and create<br />

technology solutions will continue to grow.<br />

What is Computer Science?<br />

Computer science is about much more than<br />

programming, it teaches you how to think<br />

more methodically, how to solve problems<br />

more effectively and how to create<br />

solutions using technology. These skills and<br />

knowledge can be applied to practically<br />

any domain of interest including consumer<br />

goods, social media, communication,<br />

healthcare, travel, game and art.<br />

Possible Future Careers for CS<br />

Graduates?<br />

Computer skills and competencies are<br />

always in high demand among employers<br />

in a wide range of industries, not just the<br />

tech industry. CS graduates can work for<br />

the IT department of a wide variety of<br />

organizations such manufacturing, financial<br />

services, healthcare, aerospace, defense,<br />

government and non-profit) or set up their<br />

own companies to create new technology<br />

solutions like some other successful<br />

entrepreneurs such as Jeff Bezos (Amazon),<br />

Larry Page and Sergey Brin(Google),<br />

Mark Zuckerberg(Facebook) and Reed<br />

Hastings(Netflix).<br />

What Are the New Trends in Computer<br />

Science?<br />

Data Science and Analytics, Cloud<br />

Computing, and Artificial Intelligence are<br />

the fastest growing domains of Computer<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SPRING <strong>2022</strong> | 18<br />

Science. Data Science and Analytics is<br />

the practice of examining data with a<br />

purpose of finding insights. As data has<br />

become every organization’s most valuable<br />

resource especially during the past 10 years,<br />

we clearly need more data-skilled people<br />

who can “question” data in our data-rich<br />

world. Therefore, universities including the<br />

<strong>International</strong> University in Geneva have<br />

started to launch new undergraduate and<br />

graduate programs on Data Science and<br />

Analytics to address this demand.<br />

How Does IUG Prepare Students for the<br />

New World of Work with Data?<br />

The <strong>International</strong> University in Geneva is<br />

a triple-accredited, non-profit institution<br />

of higher education with joint-degree<br />

programs with Boston University and the<br />

University of Plymouth in the UK. Our

focus is on transfer knowledge and skills<br />

with our faculty’s extensive international<br />

and practical experience at senior levels.<br />

While most of our courses include<br />

data analysis as a key component, we<br />

have Data-Driven Decision Making<br />

as a core course for all students where<br />

we aim to develop data related skills<br />

including data preparation, exploration,<br />

and visualization using industry standard<br />

platforms. In addition, IUG students<br />

have the opportunity to meet with the<br />

representatives of major companies.<br />

Why Computer Science at IUG?<br />

At the <strong>International</strong> University in<br />

Geneva we believe two disciplines need<br />

be combined in an effective Computer<br />

Science program for a successful career<br />

namely technology and business know-how.<br />

“Data Science/Analytics, Cloud Computing, and<br />

Artificial Intelligence are the fastest growing<br />

domains of Computer Science.”<br />

Therefore, our CS program is designed<br />

to balance the core computer science<br />

courses with business management and the<br />

technical skills.<br />

In addition, the <strong>International</strong> University<br />

in Geneva has partnered with Amazon<br />

Web Services (AWS), market leader for<br />

Cloud Computing, to prepare students with<br />

in-demand Cloud Computing skills and<br />

certification for the Bachelor of Computer<br />

Science and Master of Business Analytics<br />

program. As more organizations rely on<br />

data, the demand is high for business<br />

people with analytical and technology skills.<br />

Alumni Network<br />

The University regularly invite its alumni<br />

and other company professionals to come<br />

and present their organizations to the<br />

students. Recent graduates from Computer<br />

Science and Business Analytics have been<br />

hired by well-known companies such<br />

Roche, Amazon, Volkswagen, IATA, SITA,<br />

Business & Decision.<br />

For further information about the<br />

<strong>International</strong> University in Geneva please<br />

visit our website : www.iun.ch<br />



Collège du Léman<br />

Shaping generations, harnessing differences, changing our world for the better.<br />

Recognised as one of the best<br />

Swiss schools for the quality of its<br />

teaching and its five international<br />

diplomas, Collège du Léman encourages<br />

its students to uncover their potential by<br />

discovering their own strengths. Combining<br />

individual development and academic<br />

excellence, the school instils in children of<br />

all nationalities, day and boarding students,<br />

the qualities that are essential to becoming<br />

confident, responsible adults who are<br />

attentive to the world around them.<br />

From the youngest... to the oldest<br />

students<br />

Located in Versoix, between the lake and<br />

the mountains, Collège du Léman (CDL)<br />

offers a vibrant green village campus and<br />



welcomes children from the age of two<br />

in its pre-school section. This first<br />

experience of education is essential as it<br />

introduces them to their future learning<br />

environment, to self-awareness and to<br />

the importance of socialising with their<br />

peers. Each student thrives at their own<br />

pace while discovering and nurturing their<br />

own strengths thanks to the support of<br />

dedicated and inspiring teachers. With<br />

them, the children learn to communicate,<br />

gain confidence, manage their emotions<br />

and live together peacefully, in a world that<br />

harnesses differences.<br />

Cultural diversity and sharing<br />

With more than 110 different<br />

nationalities, CDL is a shining example<br />

of multiculturality, giving equity, diversity<br />

and inclusion the utmost importance. The<br />

school offers programmes that encourage<br />

students to learn several languages,<br />

participate in group projects and discover<br />

other cultures. To help them open up to the<br />

world, Collège du Léman cultivates strong<br />

values, gathered around the acronym<br />

RISE - Respect, <strong>International</strong>ism, team<br />

Spirit and Excellence - which unites<br />

parents, children and teachers in a caring<br />

community.<br />

Tailor-made learning journeys<br />

As a member of the Nord Anglia<br />

Education Group of over 80 schools<br />

worldwide, Collège du Léman offers a<br />

rich and flexible curriculum. Students<br />

learn to master and develop their learning<br />

independently, choosing from a range of<br />

personalised programmes (bilingual, French<br />

or English immersion). The “<strong>International</strong><br />

Curriculum” stimulates children’s curiosity<br />

by working on theme-based projects that<br />

they will study in multiple subjects. The<br />

curriculum is enhanced by collaborations<br />

with The Julliard <strong>School</strong>, MIT and<br />

UNICEF. In order to adjust as closely<br />

as possible to each child’s individual<br />

development, CDL favours small classes,<br />

personalised work and offers more than<br />

100 extracurricular sports, cultural and<br />

artistic activities. This tailored approach<br />

to education proves to be very successful,<br />

especially as the students approach the<br />

decisive years in High <strong>School</strong>.<br />

Aiming for excellence<br />

Collège du Léman offers the Swiss<br />

Maturité, the French Baccalauréate, the<br />

American-style High <strong>School</strong> diploma,<br />

the <strong>International</strong> Baccalaureate Diploma<br />

Programme (IBDP) and the <strong>International</strong><br />

Baccalaureate Career-related Programme<br />

(IBCP), and with a 99% success rate<br />

across all diplomas, sees its students enter<br />

the most prestigious universities. Worldclass<br />

teachers, in collaboration with the<br />

University Counselling Department, inspire<br />

students to achieve academic excellence<br />

and guide them in choosing a programme<br />

that suits their profile and future wishes.<br />

Thanks to its personalised teaching<br />

approach, CDL opens up a wealth of<br />

exciting future paths for its students.<br />

Collège du Léman is an international<br />

Day and Boarding <strong>School</strong> in Geneva,<br />

Switzerland. The school offers<br />

personalised learning journeys for boys<br />

and girls, 2 to 18 years old. Students<br />

can follow English,<br />

French or bilingual<br />

programmes leading<br />

to a choice of 5<br />

graduating diplomas.<br />

www.cdl.ch<br />

@collegeduleman<br />




MEET THE<br />


George Walsh, Institut <strong>International</strong> de Lancy, Geneva<br />

Tell us about your background and what<br />

made you choose education as a career?<br />

Originally born and raised in the Ribble<br />

Valley, Northwest England, I am delighted<br />

to introduce myself as Headmaster of Early<br />

Years and Primary at Institut <strong>International</strong><br />

de Lancy, Geneva. I am an experienced<br />

leader in global education, and I have<br />

held key positions in the United Kingdom,<br />

South-East Asia, and Switzerland. My<br />

passion for teaching started when I was a<br />

student myself. My teachers always inspired<br />

me, and I have many fond school memories.<br />

Later in life, I realised the capacity schools<br />

have to influence the lifelong development<br />

of the individuals within their communities.<br />

Knowing this, my vocation as an educator<br />


was born. Fast-forward several years, I<br />

now find myself in the privileged position<br />

of shaping the ethos and values of such a<br />

prestigious and highly respected Institut<br />

in the hope that IIL students will receive<br />

the same experience that I once did. I am<br />

also fortunate to have been invited to work<br />

alongside the Council of <strong>International</strong><br />

<strong>School</strong>s in their mission to assist topperforming<br />

international schools with<br />

their ongoing development. I am proud to<br />

contribute towards raising the standards of<br />

international education across the globe,<br />

with the hope that more children will grow<br />

up in a more tolerant, peaceful, just, and<br />

sustainable world.<br />

How will your experiences and<br />

philosophies inform your approach as<br />

Headmaster at IIL?<br />

As a practising Catholic, my faith drives my<br />

philosophy and approach as Headmaster.<br />

Although IIL has evolved into a diverse and<br />

inclusive community since its foundation<br />

in 1903 by the Sisters of Saint Joseph of<br />

Lyon, Christian values remain at the heart<br />

of everything we do. I consider every school<br />

day a blessing, and each lived to its fullest<br />

through work, play and laughter. Therefore,<br />

I set ambitious expectations of personal<br />

achievement in an environment where<br />

people treat each other with compassion<br />

and grace. As a result, students become<br />

well-rounded, harmonious individuals<br />

prepared to serve others. This philosophy<br />

makes IIL an extraordinary place and is<br />

why I remain committed to its continued<br />

development in the years to come.<br />

What is your vision for the school – will<br />

you be bringing anything new in or<br />

changing anything? Are there any areas<br />

that you want to develop in the school?<br />

My vision for the school is encapsulated in<br />

our three key guiding principles: learning,<br />

well-being, and citizenship. In other words,<br />

a school with high-quality teaching and<br />

learning is conducted in a safe and happy<br />

place where people take care of each other.<br />

This sounds basic and what most people<br />

would consider a minimum requirement<br />

in any well-resourced international school.<br />

However, I have seen far too many schools<br />

trying to do the next best thing to stand out<br />

from the crowd in increasingly competitive<br />

markets in recent years. So much that<br />

they are juggling so many different new<br />

initiatives that they lose sight of the original<br />

purpose of their existence.<br />

One of the key areas I will be looking to<br />

develop, running across all three of these<br />

guiding principles, is global citizenship and<br />

intercultural learning. We are currently<br />

conducting an entire curriculum review to<br />

ensure that the contextual themes we use<br />

are relevant and meaningful to the changing<br />

needs of our students. For example, I<br />

noticed that most of our curriculum units<br />

had themes linked to British culture when I<br />

arrived—for instance, Tudor England or the<br />

River Thames, as particular case studies.<br />

However, with over 97 different nationalities<br />

represented, our curriculum was no longer<br />

relevant to most students. At the forefront<br />

of our new approach are the Four Cs:<br />

Communication, Conflict, Conservation<br />

and Culture. The desired impact, measured<br />

in 2023, will show that our students have<br />

started understanding the differing attitudes<br />

towards these key global issues.<br />

How do you encourage a love of learning<br />

in young children?<br />

Instilling a love of learning in young<br />

children is deeply rooted in our second<br />

guiding principle – well-being. For learning<br />

to manifest itself, young children need to<br />

feel safe and happy in the environment<br />

where they spend most of their time. Our<br />

hand-picked team of outstanding teachers<br />

are experts in creating a welcoming,<br />

innovative and engaging space for children<br />

to develop their creativity and curiosity.<br />

I am also a big believer that learning<br />

should be fun, especially for children in<br />

Early Years and Primary education. My<br />

best school memories include working on<br />

projects with my classmates, getting messy<br />

with gooey Science experiments, and<br />

giggling at the teacher’s funny character<br />

voices during our class novels. I think<br />

children today are still the same as when<br />

I was young – they will love learning new<br />

things forever if they find enjoyment in their<br />

earliest school experiences.<br />

Apart from the excellent city campus and<br />

facilities at IIL, what is your favourite<br />

thing about the learning environment<br />

that makes the school so unique?<br />

Cohesion. We are blessed at IIL to have<br />

strong working relationships between<br />

our three English, French, and Bilingual<br />

divisions. Although our Institut has these<br />

three well-established sections, each with<br />

a unique culture and programmes of its<br />

own, it overjoys me to see such a solid<br />

togetherness between school leaders,<br />

teachers, students, and parents. This sense<br />

of school citizenship demonstrates our<br />

passion for inclusivity and collaboration.<br />

What do parents of IIL value about the<br />

school?<br />

Our strong sense of community. In the<br />

short time that I have been at IIL, it is clear<br />

that our parents, students and employees<br />

love to share their support for our common<br />


goals. This was immediately evident soon<br />

after I was appointed as Headmaster, at<br />

the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The<br />

community rallied together in adopting<br />

sanitary measures and online schooling.<br />

It was heartbreaking to see their sudden<br />

detachment from a place they had grown<br />

to love as a hub for community friendship,<br />

guidance and shared experience. Our<br />

active <strong>Parent</strong>s’ Association is IIL’s main<br />

and longest-standing community partner<br />

in Geneva. The school leadership and the<br />

association work closely on projects that<br />

provide the best opportunities for those<br />

in and around our school community. An<br />

extensive network of volunteers from the<br />

association is responsible for assisting our<br />

new families integration into the school<br />

community, whilst other working groups<br />

focus on humanitarian projects or organise<br />

events, parties and celebrations.<br />

Which philosophies are you bringing into<br />

the school?<br />

In the last 18 months, I have recognised<br />

two areas that stand out as being extremely<br />

valuable to the school and its students. The<br />

first is our bespoke language programme<br />

in Early Years and Primary. Each student<br />

is given a tailor-made pathway, created to<br />

suit their language profile, with progression<br />

opportunities and add-ons to support their<br />

developing skills. This language pathway is<br />

mapped-out in collaboration with parents<br />

during the enrolment process and ensures<br />

that all needs are considered. Because<br />

the programme focuses on competency<br />

acquisition, students can quickly develop<br />

their second or third language skills from<br />

speaking and listening to more technical<br />

skills in reading, writing, and grammar. For<br />

families at our school for 3-5 years, we want<br />

to ensure their children develop enough<br />

language skills to get the most out of living<br />

in Geneva in this relatively short time. On<br />

the other hand, we must challenge students<br />

further to have more choices in secondary<br />

and higher education. Students who develop<br />

advanced competencies in their second or<br />

third language can explore our Bilingual<br />

IB Diploma, Swiss Maturity Diploma or<br />

French Baccalaureate qualifications.<br />

The second valuable area is STEAM.<br />

Our dedicated laboratory, housed in the<br />

original school building, provides students<br />

with the most engaging space for creativity<br />

and problem solving I have seen in my<br />

career to date. In STEAM, students are<br />

encouraged to bring project ideas of their<br />

own, and these often involve elements of<br />

coding, robotics, 3D printing, laser-cutting<br />

and multimedia. I will be honest, a lot of<br />

it goes over the top of my head, and it is<br />

undoubtedly an area of my development<br />

to better understand. However, I know<br />

this area of our school is one of the most<br />

valuable because whenever I visit, I am<br />

always amazed by how passionate, informed<br />

and focused the students are to work on<br />

their projects.<br />

Have you seen the process of new<br />

students arriving, and how do you<br />

manage that – especially now? Do you<br />

think Covid will have a lasting impact on<br />

teaching methods?<br />

The magnitude of change to our admissions<br />

process has been phenomenal over the last<br />

two years, as I am sure has been the case<br />

in most international schools worldwide.<br />

Due to the recent health measures,<br />

international schools, including IIL, have<br />

had to adapt quickly to support prospective<br />

families in their search for a new school.<br />

Irrespective of the ongoing situation, it is<br />

so important for international schools to<br />

get this process right, as finding the most<br />

suitable environment is often the number<br />

one priority for parents. This is even more<br />

significant for parents who are managing a<br />


family re-location at the same time. I have<br />

found that taking the stress and anxiety out<br />

of such a complex decision and forging<br />

a home school partnership around the<br />

child(ren) ensures that their integration<br />

is blended to meet their circumstances.<br />

The development in technology and the<br />

upskilling of administrative personnel has<br />

been vital in making this process smooth<br />

and interactive for all parties involved. The<br />

introduction of video meetings, virtual tours<br />

and inter-school collaboration has made this<br />

possible in difficult testing times.<br />

I think there are a lot of positive<br />

developments to take from what we have<br />

learnt in recent years, especially concerning<br />

the lasting impact the global pandemic has<br />

had on teaching and learning. Children<br />

will inevitably have suffered gaps in their<br />

education and delays in their social and<br />

emotional development as a direct result.<br />

However, teachers, students, and parents<br />

have been incredibly resilient when faced<br />

with these new challenges and increased<br />

demands. We do not know the full extent<br />

of the long-term effects of Covid-19 yet,<br />

but I am confident that what we have learnt<br />

has made teaching and learning safer more<br />

efficient and opened a world of new and<br />

exciting opportunities.<br />

What do you think will be the significant<br />

challenges facing students and education<br />

in the future?<br />

The latest research and data suggest that<br />

students’ ever-increasing exposure to the<br />

digital world is changing how they engage<br />

themselves in the classroom or beyond.<br />

The proven effects are unknown, but clear<br />

advantages and disadvantages are starting<br />

to emerge. I have personally observed<br />

that children exposed to high levels of<br />

gaming, for example, are becoming more<br />

dependent on visual stimuli to keep them<br />

focused and productive. Furthermore,<br />

children in the 21st Century have access to<br />

masses of information at their fingertips.<br />

Unfortunately, this information can often<br />

be misleading and intentionally targeted to<br />

influence a young and vulnerable audience.<br />

Moreover, teachers and parents regularly<br />

raise their concerns about the psychological<br />

health impacts of social media on students.<br />

Clinical conditions such as depression,<br />

anxiety, self-esteem, and addiction are<br />

rapidly rising in young people. It is our<br />

duty as educators to support, guide and<br />

equip students, and their families, to better<br />

understand the risks and offer strategies to<br />

help them cope with any issues that arise.<br />

How do you equip students for success as<br />

they get older?<br />

Our Early Years and Primary Learning<br />

Pathways is a structured approach to<br />

developing personal traits and competencies<br />

that prepare our students for success in the<br />

future. In the Early Years, explorers (3-5<br />

years) are encouraged to ‘have a go’ by<br />

learning how to be experimental, curious,<br />

confident, and cooperative. These are the<br />

skills that enable our young children to<br />

remember more about the world around<br />

them, give new things a try and begin<br />

to share and work together as part of<br />

a team. At the end of Primary <strong>School</strong>,<br />

navigators (9-11 years) are encouraged to<br />

‘lead the way’ by showing leadership, skill<br />

application, problem-solving, and focused<br />

attention and ownership towards their own<br />

goals and objectives.<br />

Many of our Learning Pathway traits<br />

and competencies are developed through<br />

student-led learning, like those described<br />

earlier in our STEAM programme.<br />

However, it is the responsibility of the senior<br />

leadership team and me to continually<br />

assess the skills that will be required in 2030<br />

and beyond, ensuring that our programmes<br />

and approaches are adapted to give IIL<br />

students the very best chance to succeed in<br />

their futures.<br />

How are you personally finding<br />

Switzerland and everything it has to<br />

offer?<br />

Since I arrived in Switzerland, I have loved<br />

every second. I have found it easy to settle<br />

and make lots of new friends. I even met<br />

my future wife here, although Covid-19<br />

has put a stop to our wedding plans for the<br />

time being! I am particularly impressed with<br />

how Switzerland values family life. With<br />

businesses being closed on Sunday’s and the<br />

beautiful scenery on everyone’s doorstep, it<br />

is hard not to spend quality time with loved<br />

ones - no matter the season! Since moving<br />

to The Alps, I have become an avid skier<br />

and cyclist, which keeps me busy when I<br />

am not working. At the same time, I am<br />

starting to take advantage of the handy<br />

location in Europe for travel, gastronomy,<br />

and fashion experiences. My only regret is<br />

that I did not work hard enough in French<br />

lessons at school. I am now suffering the<br />

consequences!<br />

Institut <strong>International</strong> de Lancy (IIL) is a leading international school in Geneva balancing<br />

academic excellence with citizenship. IIL has a child-focused approach to learning<br />

that combines creativity with critical thinking and encourages collaboration alongside<br />

autonomy. IIL school welcomes students from nursery school through secondary education,<br />

aged 3 to 19, preparing them for major certifications, including the <strong>International</strong><br />

Baccalaureate (IB), IGCSE, Preparation to the Examen de Maturité Suisse, Brevet des<br />

Collèges and French Baccalaureate. www.iil.ch<br />



Why parents<br />

are top<br />

influencers in<br />

education<br />




In my years in student recruitment, I’ve come to understand<br />

that parents and schools are on the front line when it comes<br />

to identify the talents in youngsters. The role of parents as<br />

influencers in career and higher education selection is crucial.<br />

<strong>Parent</strong>s often determine the level of education or training that their<br />

children have access to and provide them with knowledge about<br />

careers and professions. Students’ beliefs and attitude towards<br />

future career opportunities is largely dependent on their parents’<br />

information and the motivation they provide to drive them towards<br />

success.<br />

As soon as children start their primary schooling, most parents<br />

unconsciously start planning for their futures. <strong>Parent</strong>s can help the<br />

child understand the numerous educational possibilities and their<br />

benefits and not only motivate their children, but also help them in<br />

their decision-making process.<br />

Ensuring that youngsters are set up for successful careers,<br />

financial security and a good quality of life is a tough challenge<br />

for every parent. Youngsters will turn to parents for advice and<br />

direction, even if they don’t like to admit to it, and can easily adopt<br />

their parent beliefs about success, how to be successful and what is<br />

a respectable job or the life they should want. Most things communicated<br />

to the youngsters is based on these beliefs and the parents’ own<br />

experiences. From a student recruitment perspective, while a<br />

parents’ input is key for the youngster’s development, trying to<br />

shield them from the mistakes that the parents might have made -<br />

directly or indirectly - can be counterproductive. In my experience,<br />

parents who aim to instil a mature and practical mind-set, giving<br />

youngsters the tools to make their own informed decisions will have<br />

a much better starting point when it comes to guiding their children<br />

in shortlisting the best educational paths and schools.<br />

The decisions young people make in terms of which school to<br />

go to, the subjects they choose, whether to study abroad or not will<br />

impact their career paths. When this decision is heavily influenced<br />

by what the parents would like to see for their children, the<br />



youngster may end up following a professional path that they aren’t<br />

passionate about, or even adept at. However, without practical<br />

guidance and support, inadequate choices can be made. It’s no<br />

secret that both young people and parents have more knowledge<br />

and information about traditional degrees such as medicine,<br />

technology, computer science, business, finance and engineering<br />

than they do about the field of hospitality business management<br />

education that I am in. Additionally, they also have a much clearer<br />

picture of the different career paths available with such traditional<br />

degrees. Although, in my discussions with students and parents,<br />

the hospitality industry is seen as truly fascinating, the struggle for<br />

both groups is to see the real and diverse education and career<br />

options the industry has to offer young graduates. We as school<br />

representatives have the very challenging task of bridging this<br />

information gap for hospitality education and careers to even be<br />

considered in the first place. Catching up with other disciplines in<br />

terms of knowledge is demanding when young people already are<br />

in their decision processes. This often leads to the hospitality and<br />

tourism industry losing out on the best talents to other industries<br />

before it even gets the chance to introduce its opportunities.<br />

Young people have unique individual skills sets and talents in<br />

various fields and subject areas and may possess different skills and<br />

abilities to their parents. Adopting a similar career role to either<br />

parent may not be the right course of action. Youngsters need space<br />

and time to discover what they are passionate about and truly want<br />

to pursue. University e.g., isn’t for everyone, and a smaller college<br />

where young people aren’t simply a number in a lecture hall can<br />

be a much more suitable learning environment for many on their<br />

quests to find professions where they’ll be able to thrive. When they<br />

have the good fortune to learn at home that life is a journey of selfdiscovery<br />

and new skills and multiple talents are developed, it’ll be<br />

easier to define which talents to focus on or pursue for the first step.<br />

I spend a lot of time ensuring students - and often their parents -<br />

that it’s okay that they are not yet sure what they want to do and<br />

that the important thing is to be proactive in finding a way that<br />

will unleash their maximum potential. A great starting point for<br />

many is a programme that offers them applicable knowledge and<br />

transferable skills, that can be later used in a variety of industries<br />

and professions. Courses that contains essential life skills as an<br />

integral part of the programme, such as empathy and emotional<br />

intelligence, teamwork, stress and time management, problemsolving,<br />

strategy and innovation will also always be a valuable<br />

addition to any young persons’ education.<br />

<strong>Parent</strong>s are more than simply authority figures, they’re the<br />

#1 influencers! Along with vital information about educational<br />

paths and career choices, they can facilitate the selection process<br />

for their youngsters. However, where parents might want their<br />

children to opt for a career they know well, what their youngsters<br />

want or aspire to become, can be two entirely different things.<br />

For hospitality management school representatives such as<br />

myself, attracting the best young talents is not only based on their<br />

knowledge and personal interests and the familiarity of their<br />

influencers, but also driven by the attractiveness of the industry<br />

and its perceived career opportunities. Consequently, we not only<br />

support and guide students and parents in the decision process,<br />

we are in the position of developing knowledge and provide<br />

information about the hospitality industry as an attractive employer.<br />

In our case, students are often not aware of all the exciting and<br />

“<strong>Parent</strong>s are more than simply<br />

authority figures, they’re the #1<br />

influencers!”<br />

varied career opportunities a degree in hospitality management<br />

offer, not only our industry, but service industries in general. Hence,<br />

many of the best talents don’t even have hospitality on their ‘short<br />

lists’ of options. Whereas students who are considering degrees in<br />

technology, already have employers like Apple or Google in mind,<br />

or specific industries where they see themselves.<br />

Based on my personal experience from around the world,<br />

most often also compare career opportunities and industries’<br />

competitiveness. They ask themselves very practical questions such<br />

as: which industry offers the best job and career opportunities, what<br />

can I expect in terms of salary and benefits, what will my worklife-balance<br />

look like? Furthermore, today’s young generation has<br />

increased expectations towards more flexibility, job and industry<br />

rotation, personal development, and value driven company cultures.<br />

There are a few factors that will be of great value to parents in<br />

the career choice process. Aid youngsters to discover their true<br />

aptitude which mirror their personalities, strengths, and weaknesses.<br />

This can be helpful in making a well-informed career selection. As<br />

parents, investigate the interests and passions of the youngsters and<br />

consider them while shortlisting career options. It is very difficult<br />

to spend life working in a field that you are not interested in or<br />

passionate about.<br />

It is easy for youngsters to get won over by peer pressure into<br />

choosing an education or career that the majority is opting for.<br />

Sometimes, even parents get attracted to a career choice that is<br />

trending. Hence, parents must be informed about various career<br />

choices and guide their youngsters towards taking an informed<br />

decision and inform them about all aspects of the short-listed<br />

careers.<br />



minutes from London’s main attractions.<br />

But unlike any other urban university,<br />

they’ll be hidden within 11 acres of private<br />

land in one of London’s most beautiful<br />

parks, with a 24/7 security presence in<br />

place.<br />

“Our students develop such deep connections that they<br />

often join forces – finding their future co-founders on<br />

campus and launching brands and business ventures<br />

together in London and worldwide.”<br />

<strong>International</strong> student networks<br />

London is one of the most diverse cities<br />

in the world – bringing together students<br />

from all over the globe. Studying here offers<br />

the chance to meet people from different<br />

backgrounds, gain valuable insights into<br />

their cultures, and experience new music,<br />

food, and art. Exploring the city, you’ll<br />

get a taste of each culture — and see how<br />

different and interesting they all are.<br />

With over 140 different nationalities on<br />

campus at Regent’s, our students find it<br />

easy to build an international network of<br />

friends they can tap into throughout their<br />

whole careers. They also have the chance<br />

to learn nine different languages and study<br />

abroad in one of 60 partner universities<br />

worldwide.<br />

Our students develop such deep<br />

connections that they often join forces –<br />

finding their future co-founders on campus<br />

and launching brands and business ventures<br />

together in London and worldwide.<br />

So much so, we were crowned the UK<br />

university with the highest number of<br />

founders, with over 12% of graduates<br />

launching their own businesses after<br />

graduating [resume.io].<br />

Easy access to the rest of the UK and<br />

Europe<br />

No matter where you are in London, you’ll<br />

be spoilt for choice with how to get around<br />

– from public buses, bikes, and trains to the<br />

Tube (London Underground).<br />

Living in one of the best-connected cities<br />

worldwide also means it’s easy to travel<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SPRING <strong>2022</strong> | 28<br />

further afield – exploring the UK’s vibrant<br />

cities and stunning landscapes (from the<br />

Scottish Highlands to the Cornish coast)<br />

or jumping on a short flight from one of<br />

London’s six main airports (or train from<br />

St Pancras <strong>International</strong>) to Europe for a<br />

relaxing city break. The options are endless!<br />

London is a city that keeps on giving, and<br />

no matter how long you spend here, you’ll<br />

never get tired of the experiences it offers.<br />

Discover more at www.regents.ac.uk.



Leysin American <strong>School</strong> in Switzerland is home to exceptional students from around<br />

the world. Our warm community is steeped in tradition, and we provide an outstanding<br />

education in a supportive environment on our beautiful campus in the Swiss Alps.<br />

We encourage our students to be themselves – creative thinkers who aren’t afraid to<br />

take risks and think outside of the box. We provide them with personalized attention<br />

and diverse course offerings within our IB, AP, and ESL programs. LAS graduates<br />

are independent, innovative thinkers who thrive at top universities across the globe.<br />

www.las.ch admissions@las.ch +41 24 493 4888<br />



© Ballenberg, Swiss Open-Air Museum<br />

Sightseeing<br />

Switzerland<br />

– at the Swiss Open-Air Museum<br />

Ballenberg, the only open-air museum in Switzerland<br />

stretches between the communities of Hofstetten and<br />

Brienzwiler in the heart of the Bernese Oberland. Here you<br />

can discover 109 historic buildings, over 200 farm animals and 30<br />

traditional crafts. On April 14th <strong>2022</strong> the Swiss Open-Air Museum<br />

opens its doors to visitors for the <strong>2022</strong> season, and this year it’s<br />

ready to be discovered from a new perspective.<br />

Ballenberg “à la Carte”<br />

Experience Ballenberg in a compact way: equipped with the<br />

Ballenberg “à la Carte” menu card (available on-site at the cash<br />

desks) and on your mobile phone, you can explore the grounds<br />

using the newly created circular route. Through 12 engaging short<br />

films, Ballenberg experts give you in-depth insights into everyday<br />

life, as well as the buildings and crafts.<br />

Selected locations are also easily accessible for people with walking<br />

difficulties, thanks to the electric wheelchair available at the west<br />

entrance.<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SPRING <strong>2022</strong> | 30<br />

All ears – the world of Swiss fairy tales and legends at<br />

Ballenberg<br />

What is it about the three golden keys? Who lives in the<br />

Marmilchloch? Why did Nidelgret always have more cream than<br />

everyone else, even though she only has one cow? You can hear the<br />

answers to these questions at the Open-Air Museum Ballenberg.<br />

Fascinating fairy tales and legends from different Swiss regions,<br />

each told in its unique dialect, are also waiting to be uncovered<br />

at Ballenberg. QR codes lead you to the stories, each located in a<br />

historical building belonging to the region of its origin. So, where<br />

could the wooden fairy tale book be hiding? On the kitchen table,<br />

in the living room or maybe on the bedside table in the bedroom?<br />

You’ll have to find out for yourself. If you want to make sure you<br />

discover all the hidden tales and legends, ask for the “All Ear”-<br />

bookmark at the cash-desks, it will give you clues, where to find<br />

mystery fairy tale books.<br />

Furthermore, the project “All ears – the world of fairy tales and<br />

legends at Ballenberg” has been launched in collaboration with


© Ballenberg, Swiss Open-Air Museum<br />

the Mutabor Fairy Tale Foundation. On seven Sundays during the<br />

whole season, storytellers from all over Switzerland will narrate<br />

fairy tales and legends at the open-air museum in their very own<br />

dialects. You can find all the dates and locations on ballenberg.ch.<br />

“Fest der Feste” Swiss autumn customs at Ballenberg<br />

On 24th–25th September and 1st–2nd October <strong>2022</strong>, the Swiss<br />

Open-Air Museum invites visitors to the ‘Fest der Feste: a oncein-a-generation<br />

experience. Fifteen local festivals and autumn<br />

customs from across Switzerland will come together at Ballenberg.<br />

Towns, villages, valley communities, Alpine co-operatives and other<br />

associations take centre stage for a collective showcase of aspects<br />

of their autumn festival traditions and share their culinary and<br />

cultural heritage.<br />

A stroll through Swiss autumn traditions<br />

Visitors can explore an ‘Älplerchilbi’ fair from Obwalden and check<br />

out the famous Valais ‘Combat de Reines’ cow fight. Discover the<br />

story behind ‘Trottenfest’ wine events in Blauburgerland and tackle<br />

topical issues like meat consumption and vegetarian cooking at a<br />

Bernese ‘Metzgete’ – all in just one day.<br />

Romansh-speaking Switzerland is set to entertain with the ‘Festa<br />

di Racolta’ from Val Müstair. At the same time, the Italian-speaking<br />

contingent will present a ‘Festa d’Autunno’ all the way from Ticino<br />

and a ‘Castagnata’ from the southern valleys of Grisons. ‘La<br />

Bénichon’ from Freiburg, the ‘Fête des Moissons’ from Vaud and<br />

‘Saint Martin’ from Jura are also on hand to represent Frenchspeaking<br />

Swiss traditions.<br />

To visit the Festival of Swiss autumn traditions “Fest der Feste”,<br />

you can get your special festival ticket at festderfeste.ch.<br />


14 April to 30 October <strong>2022</strong>: 10.00 to 17.00 hrs<br />


Day admission, adult: CHF 28.00<br />

Day admission, child 6-16 years: CHF 14.00<br />

Child under 6 years: free<br />

Find out about current rates and offers on our website www.<br />

ballenberg.ch<br />


Take a look at the daily schedule (www.ballenberg.ch) to find<br />

out what will be going on at the Swiss Open-Air Museum on<br />

your specific visiting date.<br />

© Ballenberg, Swiss Open-Air Museum<br />



© Switzerland Tourism / Colin Frei © Switzerland Tourism / Colin Frei<br />

Family & Cities<br />

GENEVA<br />

Geneva is certainly Switzerland’s most international city, but also<br />

full of adventures and surprises for young and old. We accompany<br />

the Geneva blogger Emilie Servettaz and her family for a day in<br />

Geneva. Emilie is responsible for the blog “Les petits genevois”<br />

with numerous tips for family outings:<br />

Nose first: In the morning on the pier at the Jet d’eau<br />

On the Jetée des Eaux-Vives in Geneva, the wind transports fine<br />

drops of water to the face, while the tip of the nose is directed<br />

towards the sky. Impressively, the Jet d’eau shoots up 140 metres<br />

at 200 kilometres per hour. Every second, 500 litres of water - the<br />

equivalent of three bathtubs - fly into the air.<br />

On a course of conquest: setting sail with the pedalo<br />

The pirates of Lake Geneva plunge into the lake on pedalos to<br />

conquer it. If you dive into the lake from the slide, you might even<br />

find a treasure or two in the depths.<br />

Dreams of sand: bathing on the Eaux-Vives beach<br />

Building castles of sand, rubbing it in your hands until they glisten,<br />

and watching wave after wave slowly make your feet disappear into<br />

the sand. Eaux-Vives beach could also be by the sea ...<br />

When the stomach growls: lunch at the beach restaurant<br />

A day on the water makes you hungry and thirsty, luckily the<br />

Restaurant de la Plage is not far away. One of the jetties on the<br />

lake has been conquered by the restaurant crew. Whether you’re<br />

inside, looking through the glass panes, or outside on the terrace,<br />

the view of the lake is expansive.<br />

In the Caribbean: Afternoon at the Genève-Plage<br />

The raffia parasols and clear water are reminiscent of the<br />

Caribbean. Just behind the Genève-Plage is a spacious park where<br />

the numerous trees provide enough shade if the sunshades are all<br />

taken.<br />

Towards the horizon: a boat trip into the sunset<br />

The evening approaches and the Belle Epoque steamship Savoie<br />

picks up speed - off to the next adventure!<br />



ST. GALLEN<br />

St.Gallen is not only a business location for young startups,<br />

St.Gallen is above all a green city for young families. No one<br />

knows this better than the Zingg family from the concept store<br />

Stadtlandkind.<br />

Stadtlandkind is an online store for the whole family with<br />

sustainable and fair products. The makers of the store, Roberta<br />

and Tobias Zingg, have set up shop on Unterstrasse in the heart of<br />

St. Gallen. This is no coincidence, because a young and dynamic<br />

startup scene is growing up in St.Gallen.<br />

At the same time, the city of St.Gallen is a place made for<br />

families. Right next to the Stadtlandkind office is the city lounge,<br />

the Rote Platz. Switzerland’s first public living room was created by<br />

artist Pipilotti Rist and architect Carlos Martinez. Roberta Zingg<br />

calls St.Gallen her “harbor”; she grew up in this region and spent<br />

her youth here.<br />

The Abbey District, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also<br />

an area where the Zingg family likes to spend time. This is where<br />

they like to take their lunch break - preferably with a St.Gallen<br />

bratwurst, the unofficial sanctuary of the entire region.<br />

With a roar, the Steinach falls down the Mülenschlucht gorge.<br />

The narrow gorge goes from the monastery district directly up<br />

to the Mühlegg in the quarter of St.Georgen. Often in the shade<br />

and always along the river, a wonderful footpath leads from the<br />

monastery directly into the greenery.<br />

From the Mühlegg, the route continues a bit further up to the<br />

Drei Weieren. A lovely pond landscape stretches out on a kind of<br />

high plateau. This oasis of peace is a popular destination not only<br />

in summer. During the warm season, the Art Nouveau bathing<br />

house, which is part of the outdoor pool, exudes a very special<br />

charm.<br />

© Switzerland Tourism / Silvano Zeiter<br />

© Switzerland Tourism / Silvano Zeiter<br />

© Switzerland Tourism / Silvano Zeiter<br />



© Schweiz Tourismus / Hannes Heinzer © Schweiz Tourismus / Hannes Heinzer<br />


Winterthur<br />

When you visit Winterthur, you simply must stay the night. The<br />

bike-friendly town has plenty to offer and is an ideal destination<br />

for families. The historical Sulzerareal, a huge pedestrian zone<br />

and the Technorama are all waiting to be explored. The latter<br />

now has a gigantic outdoor park where the forces of nature can be<br />

experienced in the open air.<br />

More info: www.MySwitzerland.com/technorama-outdoor<br />

Montreux<br />

All children like castles and fortresses. And this one is a must-see:<br />

The Château de Chillon, perched on a rock just off the shore of<br />

Lake Geneva, is Switzerland’s most-visited historical attraction. It<br />

has inspired countless artists and writers from JMW Turner and<br />

Gustave Courbet to Victor Hugo and Lord Byron; visit the castle<br />

today, and hundreds of years of history – from the 12th to the 16th<br />

centuries – are as vivid as ever. The lake-and-mountain setting is<br />

perhaps the finest in Switzerland.<br />

More info: www.MySwitzerland.com/chillon<br />

Chur<br />

Fun for the whole family: Cross Golf is a variation of classic<br />

golf. However, it is not played on golf courses, but in all possible<br />

places that allow a game. The Cross Golf course on Brambrüesch<br />

is played on nine holes between the gondola mountain station<br />

(material hand-out) and the «Bergbaiz Brambrüesch» (material<br />

return). Who can complete the course with the fewest strokes?<br />

More info: www.MySwitzerland.com/crossgolfchur<br />

Neuchatel<br />

With exciting challenges galore, the “Les Chenapans” scavenger<br />

hunt will bring young and old on a trip around the historic old<br />

town area of Neuchâtel as they search for wall paintings inspired<br />

by the Belle Époque. After 14 stages full of surprises and fun,<br />

the smartest players will find their way to the treasure chest and<br />

discover its contents. A fun, educational activity that is ideal for a<br />

family outing.<br />

More info: www.MySwitzerland.com/chenapans<br />


Your Swiss cities<br />

Urban family<br />

trips<br />

Anyone who thought that city breaks<br />

are not for children will be proven<br />

wrong in Switzerland – because our<br />

metropolises are astonishingly green<br />

and compact in size. And they are<br />

home to exciting museums and lots of<br />

other places that will keep your kids<br />

happily occupied.<br />

MySwitzerland.com/cities<br />

A hands-on experience.<br />

The Technorama in Winterthur is one of the largest science centres<br />

in Europe, presenting a unique variety of experiments with almost<br />

limitless opportunities to experience science in a playful and<br />

educational way. Unlike in a museum, visitors are allowed to touch<br />

and play with everything at the science centre – because natural<br />

phenomena need to be experienced with all the senses. Over<br />

500 discovery stations invite visitors of all ages to find something<br />

to lever, crank, observe and marvel at.<br />

MySwitzerland.com/winterthur<br />

Time travel to the Belle Epoque.<br />

For a family outing, school trip or birthday celebration, come and<br />

enjoy a unique Belle Epoque experience in Neuchâtel. Along the<br />

way you’ll discover 18 emblematic figures and objects from the<br />

period. A series of original animated shows make this a walk to<br />

remember. Can you solve the puzzles and find the mystery word?<br />

A gift awaits at the end of the trail.<br />

MySwitzerland.com/neuchatel<br />

Escape from the black tower.<br />

Castelgrande sits atop a hill overlooking Bellinzona. Both its white<br />

tower and black tower are visible from afar. If, after visiting the history<br />

museum and the elegant restaurant, you’d like a glimpse of what life<br />

was like in the harsh 16th century, then be sure to visit the Torre Nera<br />

Escape Room. Several men were imprisoned in this tower after their<br />

mission went awry. Instead of waiting for their trial, you can help set<br />

them free with the aid of some mysterious objects.<br />

MySwitzerland.com/bellinzona<br />

Find more inspirational experiences and tips: MySwitzerland.com/expats<br />

or contact expats@switzerland.com or phone 0800 100 200.

ECOLE.sounds:<br />

Innovative learning via music<br />


ECOLE.sounds is an awardwinning<br />

project launched by Ecole<br />

d’Humanité in collaboration with<br />

renowned Swiss musician and producer,<br />

Stefan Bregy.<br />

The project provides an interactive<br />

experience allowing students to produce<br />

beats, songs, and radio plays, on campus via<br />

‘Das fahrende Tonstudio’ (The travelling<br />

Music Studio) and without the need for<br />

large technical investment on the part of<br />

the school.<br />

Ecole d’Humanité: Where Holistic<br />

Learning and Innovation Meet<br />

The Ecole d’Humanité is a bilingual<br />

(English/German) boarding school in<br />

Bern, Switzerland. The school offers an<br />

innovative, progressive education and<br />

focuses on nurturing students by giving<br />

them the freedom and support to follow<br />

their passions, both inside and outside the<br />

classroom. It is this holistic approach to<br />

education that made them the perfect fit for<br />

collaboration with Stefan Bregy and ‘Das<br />

fahrende Tonstudio’.<br />

For the Love of Music<br />

Having started his relationship with music<br />

at a young age, Stefan Bregy knew that<br />

it would always form part of his life.<br />

However, as a young adult, he prioritised<br />

job security, studied geography and<br />

chemistry and trained to be a teacher.<br />

Although passionate about his high school<br />

teaching commitments, music was never<br />

far from sight. Over the years Stefan has<br />

held many roles including keyboardist,<br />

producer and musical director for some of<br />

Switzerland’s most successful musicians.<br />

It was during this time that Stefan began<br />

conceptualising a programme where<br />

students could learn about music and<br />

record their own tracks. Over time the idea<br />

developed and matured into a full-service<br />

mobile recording studio.<br />

The ECOLE.sounds Project<br />

The ECOLE.sounds project is more than<br />

just an “add on” to regular classroom<br />

work. It is a year-long, multidisciplinary<br />

project that explores music and sound<br />

from a variety of perspectives. During the<br />

year, students will compose music, record<br />


original compositions, and produce and<br />

publish their finished pieces. Another<br />

unique component of this course is that<br />

students study the theory of sound and the<br />

musical properties of shapes and materials.<br />

Then they are challenged to craft a musical<br />

instrument of their own design, which then<br />

become an important part of their musical<br />

composition.<br />

“For the first day or two, I’m really<br />

technical – students learn how to use the<br />

microphones, the computers, and the<br />

programmes. Then, they are free! They can<br />

decide whether they want to do a singer/<br />

song writer soft project, or if they will go<br />

into hardcore techno beats, or even classical<br />

music!” Said Bregy of the ECOLE.sounds<br />

project.<br />

The ECOLE.sounds project is delivered<br />

in three-parts: 1. composition, recording,<br />

and production; 2. Research into<br />

generative music composed using computer<br />

programmes; and 3. a musical performance<br />

with their self-crafted instruments.<br />

In the 2021, students completed units<br />

on the theory of sound and applied the<br />

principles of physics in the construction of<br />

musical instruments.<br />

The next project phase sees students<br />

explore generative music and will create<br />

works of art in the form of sound<br />

sculptures. Part of this process includes<br />

learning how to use music production<br />

software and equipment. Students will<br />

also develop and design their own<br />

algorithms.<br />

Project Outcomes<br />

The ECOLE.sounds project is set to wrap<br />

up at the end on the 2021/22 school year<br />

and will culminate in three musical works<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SPRING <strong>2022</strong> | 37<br />

of art:<br />

• A piece of music composed, recorded,<br />

and produced by students.<br />

• An acoustic art installation. This is an art<br />

form that explores the interplay of music<br />

and visual arts created and curated by<br />

students.<br />

• A concert with music composed by<br />

students and played on the instruments<br />

constructed by students in the first phase of<br />

the project.

Benefits Beyond Music<br />

The benefits of the project are far reaching<br />

and include both academic extension and<br />

personal development. The ECOLE.sounds<br />

project is designed to encourage students<br />

to explore various aspects of music and<br />

sound. Although the course is academically<br />

challenging, students gain great benefit and<br />

motivation from seeing and hearing their<br />

work come to life.<br />

As well as gaining confidence in<br />

themselves and becoming familiar with<br />

new technologies, students learn important<br />

real-world skills like project management,<br />

problem solving, commitment and<br />

focus. Additionally, students develop an<br />

appreciation and understanding of a<br />

variety of musical genres.<br />

“If you are creating one song during a week, you<br />

must really focus on what it is you’re doing, and<br />

what you want to achieve.”<br />

– Stefan Bregy<br />

Canton of Bern in cooperation with the<br />

Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation.<br />

Today, education is much more than<br />

traditional subjects and rote learning.<br />

Ecole d’Humanité is leading the way with<br />

innovative, student-directed activities and<br />

exciting outcomes. The ECOLE.sounds<br />

project is an exceptional example of how a<br />

subject can be taught across disciplines and<br />

adapted to the needs of individual students,<br />

while maintaining academic rigour and<br />

most importantly, fun!<br />

Although, ongoing the ECOLE.sounds<br />

project was acknowledged for innovation<br />

as part of the 2021 Tête-à-tête competition<br />

for cultural promotion in schools by the<br />

The Ecole d’Humanité is a progressive, international boarding school in the heart of<br />

the Swiss Alps that fosters the discovery and development of individual talents in an<br />

atmosphere that encourages self-determination, innovation, and tolerance. www.ecole.ch<br />


Ecole d’Humanité<br />

The Creative <strong>International</strong> Boarding <strong>School</strong><br />

in the Bernese Alps<br />

US High <strong>School</strong> curriculum<br />

AP <strong>International</strong> Diploma | Swiss Matura<br />

Education and Career Guidance<br />



Nestled in the High Swiss Alps, between<br />

Lucerne and Interlaken, the Ecole d’Humanité<br />

is a rather different place. No uniforms<br />

here, no airs and graces, with a heart that<br />

beats to music and dance, fueled by home<br />

grown vegetables and goats cheese. The<br />

pupils live in small chalets that form a village.<br />




It is hard growing up today for young people;<br />

they need vision and the skills to change things.<br />

Whilst the Ecole does not pretend to have all the<br />

answers, we have some of them, and equip our<br />

pupils to challenge others and not be afraid to<br />

say what they think.<br />


CHANGE!<br />


A need for change:<br />

addressing adolescent<br />

mental health in Switzerland<br />


INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SPRING <strong>2022</strong> | 40<br />

Navigating adolescence has never<br />

been easy with all the physical,<br />

neurobiological, cognitive, and<br />

psychological changes that take place.<br />

The good news is that most young people<br />

master these challenges but sadly increasing<br />

numbers are experiencing difficulties.<br />

A recent report by UNICEF Switzerland<br />

found that one in three young people<br />

between the ages of 14-19 are struggling<br />

with their mental health. Shockingly,<br />

nearly one in two have experienced suicidal<br />

thoughts and one in eleven have acted on<br />

them. 1<br />

Various factors have been cited as<br />

contributing to these statistics including<br />

social media, bullying, academic pressures,<br />

and inadequate mental health support<br />

resources. In addition, too often, mental<br />

distress in adolescence is confused with

issues related to puberty and not recognized<br />

as mental illness. If symptoms are not<br />

picked up, chronic illness can develop,<br />

hindering educational, social, and personal<br />

development. It is a fact that half of all<br />

mental illnesses begin before the age of 18<br />

and three quarters before the age of 25.<br />

These statistics show that young people<br />

are struggling and are not getting the<br />

support they need. They highlight the fact<br />

that those working with, and caring for,<br />

young people must understand more about<br />

mental illness and become part of the<br />

prevention and early intervention approach<br />

necessary to improve the situation. This is<br />

exactly where Mental Health First Aid fits<br />

in.<br />

What is Mental Health First Aid?<br />

Mental Health First Aid training began in<br />

Australia in the year 2000. The goal was<br />

to develop a concept like that available for<br />

physical first aid, empowering lay people<br />

to provide initial support to someone with<br />

a mental health problem. The training has<br />

since been rolled out in many countries<br />

across the globe and was launched in<br />

Switzerland in 2018 by the Pro Mente Sana<br />

Foundation. Now with more than 3 million<br />

Mental Health First Aiders worldwide, the<br />

success of the programme is a result of its<br />

robust scientific basis and evidence-based<br />

course materials.<br />

The Mental Health First Aid training<br />

programme is called ‘ensa’ in Switzerland.<br />

‘Ensa’ means ‘answer’ in one of the<br />

Aboriginal languages, paying tribute to the<br />

Australian roots, and being translatable<br />

across the different languages used in the<br />

country.<br />

What is ensa Mental Health First Aid<br />

Focus Youth?<br />

The ensa Mental Health First Aid Focus<br />

Youth course is a dedicated training aimed<br />

at adults who want to learn how to support<br />

young people struggling with their mental<br />

health. It is recommended for anyone living<br />

or working with adolescents, including<br />

parents, teachers, youth group leaders and<br />

other support staff.<br />

The programme covers the most common<br />

mental illnesses and crises affecting young<br />

people. It equips participants with the skills<br />

and confidence to spot the signs when a<br />

young person may be struggling with their<br />

mental health. It teaches them how to<br />

reach out and listen non-judgementally and<br />

then encourage the young person to seek<br />

any professional help they may need. This<br />

proactive approach can accelerate a young<br />

person’s recovery and has the potential to<br />

prevent a mental health issue from getting<br />

worse.<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SPRING <strong>2022</strong> | 41<br />

The other important goal of the training<br />

is to encourage participants to look after<br />

their own mental health and so become<br />

good role models for young people entrusted<br />

to their care.<br />

There is definitely the need for change<br />

when it comes to addressing adolescent<br />

mental health in Switzerland. Our collective<br />

call to action must be to strive towards a<br />

future where mental and physical health<br />

are valued equally so that we live in a<br />

community where young people feel<br />

comfortable talking about their mental<br />

health and have access to the support they<br />

need.<br />

Want to learn more?<br />

HealthFirst, as a registered partner of ensa<br />

Switzerland, will be running Mental Health<br />

First Aid Focus Youth courses from May<br />

<strong>2022</strong> onwards. Two information sessions<br />

will be held virtually on Tuesday 3rd May<br />

<strong>2022</strong> where you can learn more about the<br />

ensa Youth programme and other related<br />

trainings. Visit www.healthfirst.ch for more<br />

information and email contact@healthfirst.<br />

ch to register.<br />

References<br />

1. https://www.unicef.ch/de/unsere-arbeit/<br />


BOOK<br />

CLUB<br />

A guide to<br />

the Swiss<br />

educational<br />

system<br />


The Swiss international school system has been wrestled<br />

with by international families looking for the ideal niche<br />

for their children for decades. But such a nuanced system<br />

needs a knowledgeable escort - and here in the newest guidebook,<br />

we find one in Robin Hull.<br />

A guide to the Swiss educational system, published last year, offers<br />

an essential guide to the Swiss school system for parents of<br />

international families, particularly those from the UK and Ireland.<br />

The book will help those intending to settle in Switzerland longterm,<br />

planning the next steps for children already in the system<br />

or approaching it for the first time. This sets it apart from many<br />

similar guides, which instead focus on international schools in<br />

Switzerland and tend to cater to short term ex-pat families.<br />

Book summary<br />

The book is divided into 14 sections, concluding with a couple<br />

of chapters of conclusions and analysis. Robin looks first at an<br />

overview of the system as a whole, from primary school through to<br />

further education - including information for students with special<br />

needs.<br />

Next, Robin compares the education systems of Switzerland and<br />

the UK, illustrating the differences in school characteristics and<br />

curriculum and how students and their parents can navigate this.<br />

Alongside a more factual basis, he also tackles broader cultural<br />

contexts, such as the societal and linguistic nuances of the Swiss<br />

and the export of UK education and culture.<br />

He then turns his attention to progression and goes on to<br />

outline a typical Swiss school education, covering vocational<br />

training, selection of the academic elite and the more liberalarts<br />

“Matura”/“maturité”/“maturità”. Next, he explains how<br />

international students can get accepted into the elite Swiss schools<br />

and, once in, how they can go on to succeed. Finally, he aims to<br />

cater to those struggling in the elite Swiss school system, explaining<br />

how and why this may happen and the alternative options available<br />

to families.<br />

Robin also sheds valuable light on the later stages of the<br />

education system, exploring apprenticeships, the relative merits of<br />

the various Swiss examinations and qualifications, and a relatively<br />

bleak look at the Swiss university system. Once again, there is a<br />

direct comparison with UK higher education, in which he discusses<br />

the main differences between the two.<br />

Review<br />

The book is comprehensive; there is a tremendous amount of<br />

material to cover, and Robin has a very detailed understanding<br />

of the system’s nuances. Moreover, he covers its full breadth and<br />

geographical variations, from the German-speaking parts of<br />

Switzerland and the Greater Zurich Area to the French-speaking<br />

cantons, Italian-speaking cantons and the Rumantsch areas of<br />

Graubünden. It’s a refreshing - if rather daunting - perspective<br />

that offers a much more comprehensive view of the diversity of the<br />

compulsory system.<br />

Robin does acknowledge that complexity with a very clear<br />

breakdown of the Swiss educational structures and offers handy<br />

tables to make direct comparisons with the more familiar UK<br />

system. In particular, the initial overview chapter from primary<br />

school to university entrance and initial vocational training is an<br />

excellent introduction for families at the start of their planning.<br />

The book also sets itself apart by catering to students with<br />


various needs and abilities - not just concentrating on the elite.<br />

For example, the book offers a chapter of helpful information for<br />

students with learning disabilities and special needs, advising on<br />

counselling in English and access to support.<br />

Overall, the book offers a handy<br />

reference point for families at all stages<br />

of their educational journey. However, it<br />

is explicitly targeted at families from the<br />

UK, with a considerable amount of UK<br />

reference material. It, therefore, might<br />

not be suitable as a guide to families from<br />

elsewhere. In addition, there is some<br />

tendency to discuss the negative elements<br />

of each system, but this is balanced by<br />

discussion and helps to prepare<br />

families for the realities of<br />

educational life in Switzerland.<br />

Where to buy<br />

The book is available online at https://guideto.<br />

ch/, costing CHF 48. In addition, you can find a preview of the<br />

book here: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0342/1775/4669/<br />

files/Preview.pdf ?v=1590693793.<br />

Rating: ★★★★✩<br />

Born in Switzerland to an English father and an<br />

Italian-Swiss mother, Robin Hull has spent many years<br />

in education and has experience with both the British<br />

and Swiss education systems. He is an academic expert<br />

and practitioner who has published many essays and articles on<br />

education and English literature.<br />

He currently works as an examiner for the Swiss Business<br />

<strong>School</strong>, sits on several education boards, and is involved in<br />

various education-related associations both in Switzerland<br />

and abroad.<br />

A guide to the Swiss educational system is his first book.<br />

Robin hopes to help international students and their<br />

families coming into the Swiss education system.<br />


Let’s Talk Consent<br />


Is it easy for you to talk about consent<br />

with your kids? It should be, but as<br />

parents many of us find topics around<br />

intimacy and sexual activities difficult to<br />

broach. We are not alone in our discomfort.<br />

More often than not, it is an uncomfortable<br />

topic for our children too. However, times<br />

have changed and talking about consent<br />

and sex in general isn’t something we can,<br />

or should, ignore.<br />

Consent is a relatively new topic, even<br />

though the term first appeared in 1957.<br />

It wasn’t until the 1970s that any serious<br />

discussion of the concept took place and<br />

even then, it has only recently become a<br />

common theme of sex education.<br />

How can we talk about consent with our<br />

kids if we don’t really comprehend what it<br />

is and how it applies?<br />

So, what IS consent?<br />

The Centre for <strong>Parent</strong> and Teen<br />

Communication describes consent as “a<br />

special kind of permission that people give<br />

freely, knowingly, on a case-by-case basis,<br />

and with the understanding that they can<br />

take it back at any time. Most importantly,<br />

consent is a shared decision. It’s not a<br />

transaction or a deal, and there’s nothing<br />

binding or mandatory about it.”<br />

When is consent needed?<br />

Consent is not just teaching boys to ask<br />

before sex. All genders need to understand<br />

that gaining consent applies to each of<br />

them equally. And it’s not just sex. Consent<br />

applies to the full gamut of intimate<br />

experiences. Things like holding hands,<br />

hugging, touching or even sexting requires<br />

mutual agreement. Basically, anything that<br />

has intimate or sexual intent, needs consent.<br />

Consent can be broken down into a number<br />

of key principles:<br />

1Consent is mutual<br />

Consent applies to everyone. Both<br />

partners must understand and agree to the<br />

same thing.<br />

2Consent is needed every single time<br />

and CAN be revoked<br />

Just because it is given once, does not mean<br />

it will be given again. Consent can be taken<br />

back at ANY time. Agreeing to contact<br />

is not a binding contract and there is no<br />

obligation to continue with anything that<br />

causes discomfort. Even the instigator is<br />

able to change their mind at any time.<br />

3Consent is informed<br />

A person cannot consent to something<br />

they do not understand. Both parties must<br />

fully comprehend what they are agreeing to.<br />

4Consent must be given freely<br />

If a person has been made to feel guilty,<br />

embarrassed or pressured to the point that<br />

they say yes – that is not consent. Similarly,<br />

consent cannot be given by someone who is<br />

drunk, taken drugs, passed out or sleeping.<br />

5Consent must be enthusiastic,<br />

certain, and clear<br />

A “maybe” or “I think so” is not consent.<br />

The answer must be YES (or similar)<br />

backed up with a level of enthusiasm and<br />

supporting body language.<br />

Why consent is a hard topic for teens<br />

It’s not easy being a teenager. Arguably,<br />

these days it is even harder with social<br />


media and the internet adding to the<br />

pressure of how to look and act. Even in<br />

the generation of Malala and Greta, there<br />

are still a number of barriers to teens<br />

understanding and exercising consent:<br />

Peer pressure: Although not a new<br />

phenomenon, peer pressure remains a very<br />

real and dangerous aspect of teenage life.<br />

Information quality: The internet hosts<br />

a flood of information. The issue is not<br />

a lack of information, rather the lack of<br />

good, balanced, and accurate information.<br />

Knowing how to have conversations<br />

about consent with their partners: You<br />

may think teens talk about sex all the time<br />

– and in some cases this is true. However,<br />

chatting to your friends about sex is vastly<br />

different to talking about sexual contact<br />

with a girl- or boyfriend.<br />

Knowing who to talk to: Not every<br />

teen is going to feel comfortable talking<br />

to their parents about issues surrounding<br />

sex. Many feel they do not have a person<br />

they can approach with their questions and<br />

problems.<br />

How to have a conversation about<br />

consent<br />

Talking about consent with our children is<br />

not easy, especially if culturally discussing<br />

sex is somewhat taboo. Although teens<br />

get some sex education at school, it is our<br />

responsibility as parents to ensure the<br />

message is received.<br />

Explaining how consent works is<br />

fundamental and using an analogy is a<br />

good way to simplify this topic. Imagining<br />

something like a car or item of clothing<br />

makes the concept of consent easier to<br />

grasp and clearly illustrates the absurdity of<br />

not asking permission.<br />

Example Analogy: Borrowing a Car<br />

Your friend let you borrow their car last week. The<br />

permission they gave you was for last week only.<br />

To borrow the car this week, you would need to ask<br />

again.<br />

You must get consent every time.<br />

This week the same friend lets you borrow their car<br />

but a few hours later they ask for it back. Maybe<br />

they don’t tell you why they need the car back, but it<br />

is their car, so you return it.<br />

You can take your consent back at any<br />

time.<br />

You ask your friend if you can use their car today.<br />

Your friend says “No”. But you say, “We’re friends,<br />

so you should let me use it!” And even though your<br />

friend really doesn’t want to, they give in and say,<br />

“Okay.” They don’t want to, but they feel like they<br />

have to give you the car.<br />

Putting pressure on someone to agree<br />

is not consent.<br />

Having conversations around sex and<br />

intimacy might be uncomfortable. But they<br />

are necessary. Ultimately, we must empower<br />

our children to make informed choices and<br />

understand their role in the gaining and<br />

giving of consent.<br />

Center for <strong>Parent</strong> and Teen Communication. (2019, Nov, 25). What is Consent? https://parentandteen.com/what-is-consent/<br />

Disrespect NoBody. (unknown). Recognising Consent. https://www.disrespectnobody.co.uk/consent/signs-to-spot/<br />

Indiana University. (unknown). Consent. https://stopsexualviolence.iu.edu/policies-terms/consent.html<br />

Kidshelpline. (unknown). What is Consent? https://kidshelpline.com.au/teens/issues/what-consent<br />

RAINN. (unknown). What Consent Looks Like. https://www.rainn.org/articles/what-is-consent<br />

Teaching Sexual Health.ca. (unknown). Consent. https://teachingsexualhealth.ca/parents/information-by-topic/understanding-consent/<br />

The Week. (2021, Mar, 15). The ages of consent around the world. https://www.theweek.co.uk/92121/ages-of-consent-around-the-world<br />



A how to guide<br />

for parents<br />



By the time they are teenagers, physiologically our children’s<br />

brains are about 95% of their full adult size. However, as<br />

they hit adolescence and experience hormonal changes<br />

their brains go through another significant phase of development.<br />

This brain growth doesn’t happen all at once. Over time different<br />

parts of the brain develop and at different rates. The point here is<br />

not to bore you with brain science, rather to make you understand<br />

that teenagers are going through a lot. Even though we want our<br />

children to act and behave as young adults, the reality is, sometimes<br />

the brain just says, no.<br />

At some point society decided that high school was the perfect<br />

time to test children’s knowledge with future defining exams.<br />

Yes, most of you reading this article went through this phase and<br />

survived. However, very few of you would look back on these<br />

exams fondly.<br />

How do we make these exams less awful? By being prepared.<br />

How do we prepare? We revise.<br />

Sometimes convincing your child to revise is a mission of epic<br />

proportions. However, it doesn’t need to be a battle. Let’s explore<br />

how you as a parent can motivate and support your child’s revision.<br />

How much revision is needed?<br />

There is no hard and fast rule as to how much revision is right or<br />

even enough. It largely depends on the child and their personal<br />

learning style. At tertiary level the magic number is often touted as<br />

three - five hours per day, five days per week. But what about our<br />

children? Surely five hours per day is unrealistic for our pre-teen<br />

and teens?<br />

A Spanish study of 7,451 teenagers found that students who<br />

studied for 90 – 110 minutes per day achieved the highest test<br />

scores. However, the gains made after 60 minutes of study were<br />

minimal. This means that although effective, studying for longer<br />

than an hour in a single session is less efficient for teenagers<br />

(Fernández-Alonso, R., et al., 2015).<br />

What does this tell us? That study needs to be broken up into<br />

manageable pieces to work. Revision is a case of quality over<br />

quantity.<br />

“We can only focus up to a certain amount of time. There’s no point students<br />

being at their desks for hours if they spend half of that time procrastinating.” –<br />

The Inner Drive, Mindset Coaching for Education and Sport<br />

How to motivate kids<br />

There are millions of reasons why your child might lack<br />

the motivation to revise. This doesn’t make your child lazy,<br />

unintelligent, or aloof. There are many valid reasons as to why<br />

revision isn’t happening. It could be as simple as that they don’t<br />

know how. Perhaps they are overwhelmed by the perceived size of<br />

this task? Or maybe they think it is too early to start? The first step<br />

in motivating your child is to understand where they are at.<br />

Here are a few techniques that you can use to combat common<br />

barriers to revision:<br />

Issue: They don’t know how to revise<br />

If your child doesn’t know how to revise, they will not be motivated<br />

to do it. Talk to their teacher and ask them for their tips, or to<br />

recommend helpful resources. The internet is also a great source;<br />

from study plans to information on different revision styles.<br />

Issue: Your child is overwhelmed<br />

When you think about it, revising for multiple exams is mammoth<br />

task. It is easy to see that this might be overwhelming to your child<br />

and by extension, to your nerves. The most effective way to fight<br />

overwhelm is to break revision up into small pieces. A good way to<br />

do this is by creating a revision timetable. Make sure study hours<br />

include breaks and that your child rewards themselves regularly<br />

– this could be a simple as a hot chocolate or going for a walk<br />

outside.<br />

Issue: Your child thinks they have time<br />

A teenager’s perceive time is vastly different to our own. As adults,<br />

three months goes by in the blink of an eye, whereas for a teen it<br />

feels like forever. That is until their exams are days away. There is<br />

no fail-safe way of handling this. One thing you could point out is<br />

that the sooner they start the smaller the revision load will be closer<br />

to the exam. While their friends are panicking, your child can<br />

be calm knowing that they have revised all the materials and can<br />

instead focus on light study and practice exams.<br />

How about proven revision techniques?<br />

Not all revision techniques are created equal. Nor will they work<br />

for each person equally. Here’s an example of two tried and tested,<br />

simple but effective revision techniques that you can explore with<br />

your child.<br />

Retrieval practice<br />

Retrieval practice is one of the most effective revision strategies of<br />

all time. It includes things like taking past exams for practice, flash<br />

card learning, multiple choice tests or answering questions aloud.<br />

Spacing<br />

Spacing is based on the principle of doing a little bit of revision<br />

regularly. For this technique to work well, it has to be started well in<br />

advance of any upcoming exams.<br />

Getting our children to revise can be tough, but there are many<br />

things that we can do as parents to support them. Whether it<br />

be helping them to manage their nerves, to create their study<br />

timetable, by minimising distractions or providing them with snacks<br />

to fuel study sessions, it is our job to be understanding and help our<br />

children navigate the build up to their exams.<br />

BBC., (unknown). Five ways to help your kids kick-start revision.<br />

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/articles/zmy692p<br />

Birmingham City University., (unknown). How much revision<br />

should I do a day? https://www.bcu.ac.uk/exams-and-revision/<br />

time-management-tips/how-much-revision-should-i-do-a-day<br />

Inner Drive., (unknown). How Much Should Students Revise?<br />

https://blog.innerdrive.co.uk/how-much-should-students-revise<br />

Inner Drive., (unknown). The Best Ways to Revise https://www.<br />

innerdrive.co.uk/what-are-the-best-ways-to-revise/<br />

Raisingchildren.net.au., (unknown). Brain development in preteens<br />

and teenagers. https://raisingchildren.net.au/pre-teens/<br />

development/understanding-your-pre-teen/brain-developmentteens<br />


The ins and outs of<br />

the PYP and MYP<br />


As part of the <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong><br />

community, many of our children<br />

are, or will be, enrolled in Primary<br />

or Middle Years Programmes, known<br />

as the PYP and MYP. But how many of<br />

us actually know what and how are our<br />

children learning? This article will explore<br />

the key aspects of the PYP and MYP<br />

curriculums and what we can expect from<br />

these programmes.<br />

Let’s start at the beginning. In 1968 a<br />

group of innovative educators founded<br />

<strong>International</strong> Baccalaureate (IB) in<br />

Geneva, Switzerland. The organisation<br />

offers programmes, such as the PYP or<br />

MYP designed to “gives students distinct<br />

advantages by building their critical<br />

thinking skills, nurturing their curiosity and<br />

their ability to solve complex problems.”<br />

In order for a school to be an IB World<br />

<strong>School</strong> and offer one or more <strong>International</strong><br />

Baccalaureate programmes, it must<br />

complete (and pass) a rigorous authorisation<br />

process.<br />

What is the PYP?<br />

The PYP is the IB’s programme for<br />

children aged 3-12. IB describes it as<br />

“a transdisciplinary, inquiry-based and<br />

student-centred education with responsible<br />


action at its core, enabling students to learn<br />

between, across and beyond traditional<br />

subject boundaries”.<br />

It is impossible to nurture a 3-year-old<br />

and a 12-year-old in the same way. Hence,<br />

the PYP has been developed to suit learners<br />

at each stage of their developmental<br />

journey. For example, the curriculum for<br />

kids aged between three and six years<br />

old includes play, exploration and selfawareness,<br />

whereas for older children it is<br />

more formal in structure and has greater<br />

emphasis on critical thinking.<br />

The PYP Curriculum<br />

The PYP is transdisciplinary, meaning that<br />

it encompasses a number of disciplines at<br />

the same time.<br />

The PYP has been broken up into six<br />

themes, each selected to promote the use<br />

of a variety of skills that are traditionally<br />

separated into subjects. For example, rather<br />

than simply learn math, mathematical<br />

skills are built into a theme and taught<br />

in context. These themes are designed to<br />

encourage children to ask questions like<br />

“How does the world work? Who am I?<br />

How can we build a sustainable society?”<br />

However, no two curriculums are exactly<br />

the same. Each individual school is able to<br />

create a programme that incorporates the<br />

characteristics, culture and values of their<br />

wider community.<br />

What Makes the PYP Special?<br />

In our daily lives we are required to use a<br />

wide range of skills simultaneously – we<br />

naturally integrate knowledge and tools<br />

from across our learnings to complete even<br />

the simplest task. For instance, visiting the<br />

supermarket requires us to read, calculate,<br />

use judgement, communicate, and even<br />

exercise patience and tolerance. The PYP<br />

allows children to develop these skills at a<br />

very early age preparing them for life in<br />

general.<br />

At the end of the PYP you can chose to<br />

(re)introduce your child into the local school<br />

system or continue on the international<br />

track with the Middle Years Programme<br />

(MYP).<br />

What is the MYP?<br />

The MYP is the continuation and extension<br />

of the PYP. In essence if follows the<br />

same mission to develop well-rounded,<br />

global citizens. Additionally, there is an<br />

even greater focus on applying classroom<br />

knowledge to real life.<br />

The MYP does not replace high school<br />

in the traditional sense. It is specifically for<br />

students aged 11 to 16. The MYP is usually<br />

a complete five-year programme, however,<br />

individual schools can also apply to offer<br />

compact versions of two, three or four<br />

years.<br />

The MYP Curriculum<br />

Like the PYP, the MYP centres on a set<br />

of focus areas as well as units in 8 subject<br />

groups: Language A (English or mother<br />

tongue), Language B (an additional<br />

language), Maths, Sciences, Humanities,<br />

Technology, the Arts and Physical<br />

Education.<br />

The MYP is designed to be academically<br />

rigorous and challenge students to use<br />

initiative, problem solving and time<br />

management.<br />

Let’s look at the 5 focus areas of the MYP<br />

in more detail:<br />

Approaches to Learning (ALT)<br />

In ALT students essentially learn how to<br />

learn. It provides our children with skills<br />

that they can and will apply to study and<br />

learning for the rest of their lives.<br />

Health and Social Education (HSE)<br />

HSE focuses on respect for body and mind<br />

and aims to empower students to make<br />

informed decisions.<br />

Community and Service (CS)<br />

Students gain a sense of community<br />

beyond the school, as well as learn the<br />

importance of social responsibility.<br />


Human Ingenuity (HI)<br />

Students are taught to appreciate the<br />

creativity of human invention and the quest<br />

for improving life for all.<br />

Environments<br />

In Environments students learn about the<br />

state of our world and develop a sense of<br />

responsibility for affecting change.<br />

The Benefits of MYP Study<br />

Aside from providing students with essential<br />

real-world skills, the MYP gives them<br />

a greater role in their own education.<br />

The MYP has a degree of flexibility that<br />

empowers students to tailor their learning<br />

experience to match their needs, interests,<br />

and goals. This approach is hugely<br />

beneficial, particularly for students that<br />

find traditional methods and structure<br />

overwhelming.<br />

What comes next?<br />

After the MYP, the natural next step is the<br />

IB Diploma. This provides students aged<br />

16-19 with a certified qualification to enter<br />

a higher education institution.<br />

The MYP boasts a similar philosophy<br />

to the IB Diploma and introduces students<br />

to the learning styles and expectations of<br />

the Diploma Programme. Subsequently,<br />

students who have completed the MYP are<br />

able to hit the ground running. That said,<br />

there is no obligation to continue onto the<br />

IB Diploma. The skills learnt during the<br />

MYP are fully transferable to other forms<br />

of public and private education.<br />

For those of us who experienced a<br />

traditional education, the structure and<br />

methodology of IB courses may seem far<br />

from our understanding of curriculum<br />

and education in general. However,<br />

they are based on the rigours of today’s<br />

world. Whether your child begins their<br />

international education at PYP or MYP<br />

level, both programmes are designed to<br />

nurture their growth and guide them<br />

towards competent and practical global<br />

citizenry.<br />

Baccalaureate. (unknown). Primary Years Programme. https://www.ibo.org/programmes/<br />

primary-years-programme/<br />

<strong>International</strong> Baccalaureate. (unknown). Curriculum Framework (PYP). https://www.ibo.<br />

org/programmes/primary-years-programme/curriculum/<br />

<strong>International</strong> Baccalaureate. (unknown). How the PYP Works. https://www.ibo.org/<br />

programmes/primary-years-programme/how-the-pyp-works/<br />

<strong>International</strong> Baccalaureate. (unknown). What is the MYP?. https://www.ibo.org/<br />

programmes/middle-years-programme/what-is-the-myp/<br />

<strong>International</strong> Baccalaureate. (unknown). MYP Studieshttps://www.ibo.org/research/<br />

outcomes-research/myp-studies/<br />

EDucation. (unknown). What is the PYP?. https://www.whatisib.com/what-is-pyp.html<br />

EDucation. (unknown). What is MYP?. https://www.whatisib.com/what-is-myp.html<br />

World <strong>School</strong>s. (unknown). What is the <strong>International</strong> Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years<br />

Programme (PYP)? https://world-schools.com/what-is-the-ib-primary-years-programmepyp/<br />


Your Swiss summer<br />

Family<br />

vacation<br />

With its stunning peaks and gently<br />

rolling hills, picturesque lakes and<br />

idyllic streams, mysterious caves and<br />

dramatic gorges, Switzerland provides<br />

a unique and alluring backdrop for<br />

unforgettable family holidays.<br />

Family destinations.<br />

Children want to let off steam, to explore new things and<br />

to be adventurous – especially on holidays. <strong>Parent</strong>s and<br />

other accompanying persons would like to enjoy a<br />

moment without the kids from time to time – but they<br />

need to be sure that the children are in a group of peers<br />

and well looked after. The Family Destination label is<br />

awarded to holiday places and destinations which know<br />

all about these wishes and needs and shape their<br />

services accordingly.<br />

MySwitzerland.com/family<br />

Family accommodation.<br />

The “Swiss Family Hotel & Lodging” accommodation label<br />

stands for stress-free family holidays. Whether it’s a simple<br />

mountain guesthouse, a comfortable holiday apartment<br />

or a luxurious hotel – all have one thing in common, namely<br />

family-friendly appeal and an approach that makes both<br />

children and their parents feel instantly at ease.<br />

MySwitzerland.com/familyhotels<br />

City experiences.<br />

Swiss cities are very family-friendly and offer numerous experiences for<br />

families. For example outdoor raclette. Raclette is one of THE Swiss<br />

specialities. To enjoy one in the open air is an absolute highlight. The<br />

wonderful ride on the MOB cogwheel train leads from Vevey up to the<br />

Restaurant des Pléiades, only 200 metres from the arrival station.<br />

Here visitors will find everything they need to enjoy an outdoor raclette.<br />

The restaurant is also the starting point for numerous hikes. A hiking<br />

map helps you to choose your favourite route. There is almost<br />

everything: from a short walk to a long hike.<br />

MySwitzerland.com/cities<br />

Find more inspirational experiences and tips: MySwitzerland.com/expats<br />

or contact expats@switzerland.com or phone 0800 100 200.

Viburnum tinus<br />

“Eve Price”<br />

©HM<br />

In Praise of (early) Flowers<br />


There’s something very cheering<br />

about the sight of a plant bravely<br />

flowering at this time of year,<br />

despite the elements. It’s not just humans<br />

that appreciate early-flowering plants; bees<br />

and other nectar and pollen-hungry insects<br />

depend on them too. They particularly<br />

need food sources at a time of year when<br />

they first venture from the hive, such as on<br />

warm days in late winter or early spring.<br />

You can help your local bee populations<br />

survive and even recover from the winter<br />

by having a wide selection of late winter<br />

and early spring-flowering plants in a<br />

garden or on a balcony. The ideal is to have<br />

something in flower every day of the year,<br />

but if space is tight or budgets are limited,<br />

then it’s a good tactic to focus on providing<br />

food for the hardest times of year for bees.<br />

You can leave the summer months to other<br />

gardens and gardeners, as there’s plenty<br />

to choose from then, but in the January-<br />

March period there isn’t much for bees to<br />

nourish themselves and their hives.<br />

Small trees, like Chimonanthus praecox,<br />

or “wintersweet” are easy to include in a<br />

family or school garden. They make an<br />

attractive feature planted on their own,<br />

or combine well with other shrubs and<br />

perennials in a mixed border. As well as<br />

their beautiful butter-yellow petals, up close<br />

you can see the gorgeous contrast of the<br />

deep red centres. Once you get near to the<br />

plant you can enjoy the fragrance, which<br />

is the real appeal of this, and many other<br />

winter-flowering shrubs. In order to attract<br />

pollinators from far and wide, the plant<br />

needs to smell sweet and distinctive. This<br />

plant has a fragrance somewhere between<br />

that of cloves and honey, and is well worth<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SPRING <strong>2022</strong> | 52<br />

a trip down the garden on a warm day, or<br />

better yet, plant it by a door so you can<br />

enjoy the smell without even putting on<br />

your boots. Like many winter-flowering<br />

plants, the flowers of Chimonanthus are<br />

slightly waxy, which helps them to resist<br />

the rain, and hang down from the leafless<br />

branches, also to help the rain to drip<br />

straight off without damaging the pollen.<br />

Viburnums come in all shapes and sizes,<br />

a genus of shrubs and small trees that<br />

thrive in the Northern Hemisphere with<br />

a few, more unusual members managing<br />

to survive in Asia and Africa too. Two<br />

particular members of the genus are<br />

fantastic for providing nectar and pollen for<br />

bees in early spring. The first is Viburnum<br />

tinus, which is a very adaptable evergreen<br />

shrub. If left unpruned it gets to about<br />

3m tall and wide, but is easy to prune

if you want to keep it shorter, and can<br />

make a good hedge plant. The smaller<br />

varieties, like the very pretty “Lisarose”<br />

or “Eve Price” will thrive for many years<br />

in containers on a balcony. The deep red<br />

buds appear before Christmas, and the<br />

white or pink flowers open gradually during<br />

warm spells until late March.<br />

Viburnum bodnantense is a deciduous<br />

cousin of the Viburnum tinus, and is worth<br />

including in a garden for the wonderful<br />

flowers and attractive foliage. As you<br />

might expect of a plant named after a<br />

garden in Wales (the wonderful Bodnant<br />

garden, owned by the National Trust,<br />

near Conway) it is very cold-hardy, coping<br />

easily with temperatures down to -15C,<br />

and is unfussy about soil and situation. I<br />

have mine in a cramped spot between a<br />

Portuguese laurel and a tulip tree, and it<br />

flowers beautifully every January. Like<br />

the Viburnum tinus, the flowers take a<br />

while to open, over several weeks, which<br />

maximises their usefulness to bees, as well<br />

as their period of interest to gardeners. I<br />

particularly like the cultivar “Dawn” for<br />

the exorbitantly pink flowers and superb<br />

perfume. It’s not suitable for pots, as the<br />

branches quickly get tall and unbalanced,<br />

but you can cut the stems before the buds<br />

open and enjoy the fragrance and colour in<br />

vases in the house.<br />

If you don’t have space for big plants like<br />

this, or want to be able to enjoy them close<br />

to the house, then there are lots of options<br />

for nectar-rich winter and spring-flowering<br />

plants that are perfect for pots.<br />

Hellebores, also called Christmas or<br />

Lenten roses, depending on the species,<br />

have been known in Europe since the<br />

medieval period, and were used by<br />

the Ancient Greeks to treat a variety<br />

of ailments. Their use today is more<br />

ornamental than medicinal, and their very<br />

pretty flowers in a wide range of colours,<br />

from green, to white, pinks, purples, reds<br />

and even some deep greys, make a great<br />

addition to any winter container or flower<br />

bed. The bees will thank you if you choose<br />

the flowers with the simplest forms, as the<br />

nectar and pollen are more easily available<br />

in these plants. The fancier the flower, with<br />

double or even triple rows of petals, the less<br />

likely it is that the bee will be able to access<br />

the nectar, so if you, like me, love these<br />

fancy forms, add in a couple of plain ones<br />

as well to help the bees. Many people treat<br />

hellebores as annuals, and just keep them<br />

Heather<br />

“Heathers are a staple of winter colour<br />

containers, and their very long flowering<br />

period provides bees and pollinators with<br />

essential nectar-rich food sources.”<br />

in pots for the winter, but they are, in fact,<br />

long-lived perennials, and you can easily<br />

re-plant them in a shady spot in the garden<br />

after they have finished flowering, where<br />

they will give you years of interest. You<br />

will see that the different varieties readily<br />

hybridise, with new colours popping up<br />

every year.<br />

Heathers are a staple of winter colour<br />

containers, and their very long flowering<br />

period provides bees and pollinators with<br />

essential nectar-rich food sources, as well as<br />

giving a big splash of colour for us humans.<br />

Avoid the sprayed versions in weird colours,<br />

they don’t flower as well as their unsprayed<br />

cousins, even though the dye is vegetablebased,<br />

and instead stick to the classic<br />

pink, purple and white-flowered cultivars.<br />

You’ll find three species grouped together<br />

under the common name of “heathers” or<br />

“heaths”, Erica, Calluna and Daboecia,<br />

and it’s the Ericas that mostly flower in<br />

winter, and are of most interest for solitary<br />

bees and other pollinators. They combine<br />

really well with other winter-flowering<br />

container-friendly plants like hellebores and<br />

cyclamen, and you can pop in some bulbs<br />

underneath the plants to give some extra<br />

©HM<br />



Crocus and a<br />

happy bee!<br />

©HM<br />

colour later in the season. When they’ve<br />

finished flowering, you can plant them in<br />

the garden, where they prefer an open,<br />

sunny spot.<br />

We all know how good honey is for our<br />

health, not just for sore throats, but also<br />

for healing wounds and minor burns. Did<br />

you know that heather helps bees to fight<br />

off a common gut parasite? The chemical,<br />

called callunene, is found in Calluna<br />

vulgaris, a summer-flowering heather. If<br />

you want to give your local bees a boost,<br />

maybe you could find a little spot in your<br />

garden for some Calluna vulgaris too?<br />

Winter aconite or Eranthis hyemalis<br />

is a fantastic ground-cover plant that is<br />

very easy to grow. It is a member of the<br />

buttercup family, with attractive cupped<br />

bright yellow flowers. It is typical of forest<br />

floor plants, as the flowers and leaves<br />

appear very early in the season, usually<br />

around March, before the leaves in the<br />

woodland canopy have opened, and die<br />

back by mid-summer, when the light levels<br />

have declined. You can grow it under trees<br />

in the garden, or leave it to naturalise in<br />

grass, either planting the bulbs in autumn,<br />

or the plants “in the green” (with their<br />

leaves, after flowering) in late spring. Bees<br />

and other pollinators go crazy for the<br />

nectar and pollen in these easy-access,<br />

open flowers. One of my favourite patches<br />

of aconites is in the Bern Rosengarten,<br />

where they are combined with crocuses and<br />

hellebores in a wonderful winter-beating<br />

planting.<br />

Crocuses are probably the easiest of all<br />

spring-flowering bulbs. They are small,<br />

robust, cheap to buy, and although one or<br />

two might get dug up by squirrels, they<br />

seem to be less attractive to being nibbled<br />

by mice than some other bulbs. Once<br />

planted, they flower year after year, slowly<br />

increasing their numbers as the bulbs, or<br />

“corms” as they are actually called, create<br />

offsets, which are small bulblets, that will<br />

grow into adult flowering corms. They are<br />

the ultimate no-nonsense, low-maintenance,<br />

spring splash of happiness for gardeners.<br />

Luckily, bees love them too, particularly for<br />

early emerging queen bumble bees, solitary<br />

bees and foraging worker bees, looking<br />

to replenish their stocks of pollen. The<br />

majority of crocuses will provide this, and<br />

nectar, but if you have a choice, look for<br />

the varieties that flower earliest in the year.<br />

There are also autumn-flowering crocuses,<br />

which do very well in pots, and in rockeries<br />

or in a sheltered position under other<br />

shrubs. They provide essential fat stores for<br />

bees late in the season to help them survive<br />

the winter. You could even try growing<br />

saffron crocuses, Crocus sativa, which are<br />

autumn flowering, and enjoy a feast for the<br />

eyes and the taste buds, as well as helping<br />

our furry buzzing friends.<br />

Hester Macdonald is a garden designer, broadcaster, and founder of the Swiss Gardening<br />

<strong>School</strong>. She is also the author of “Gardens Schweiz Suisse Switzerland”, a trilingual<br />

(English/French/German) guide to the 52 best gardens open to public across Switzerland,<br />

published by Bergli Books, available in all good book shops.<br />



We open doors for our students by creating a diverse and inclusive<br />

learning community.<br />

World-class educators inspire our students to be their best selves,<br />

achieve outstanding results and graduate with a 99% pass rate across<br />

our 5 diplomas.<br />

Our curriculum and extracurricular activities offer a breadth of<br />

opportunities for students to develop their individual strengths.<br />

We look forward to welcoming your child, from 2 to 18 years old, to<br />

our international day and boarding school.<br />

Contact us at: admissions@cdl.ch<br />

www.cdl.ch<br />



to offering a high quality educational<br />

programme, can make a huge difference.<br />

Moving<br />

to Zurich?<br />

Moving from one country to another is one of the most thrilling but<br />

challenging transitions your family will ever experience. It’s exciting and<br />

terrifying in equal measures, but we’re here to tell you that this is also one<br />

of the most amazing experiences you’ll ever have, and we should know.<br />

After more than a few sleepless<br />

nights, your family has finally<br />

made the decision to move to<br />

accept an international posting in Zurich,<br />

Switzerland. The children are excited,<br />

already asking you what their new school<br />

will be like and if they can have Swiss<br />

chocolate every day, although you can<br />

see they’re anxious about leaving their<br />

friends behind. Meanwhile, their parents<br />

have so much to think about and to do<br />

that their heads are spinning. Packing,<br />

moving, housing, paperwork, school, jobs,<br />

insurances, plane tickets, permits, doctors,<br />

dentists, the dog or cat, learning German,<br />

all of it creating one giant to-do list that<br />

only seems to get longer with each new day.<br />

Choosing a school<br />

The choice of school is usually the top<br />

priority for most families with school aged<br />

children. We recommend choosing a school<br />

that is accredited and offers a recognised<br />

top quality educational programme<br />

based on an international curriculum and<br />

sequence of learning that will, if needed,<br />

easily transfer to other locations. For<br />

example, the world renowned <strong>International</strong><br />

Baccalaureate Programme (IB) is a valuable<br />

asset for children who are destined to<br />

move schools given their parents’ job<br />

posting to various countries. The world<br />

renowned curriculum of the IB offers<br />

students outstanding learning opportunities<br />

as it empowers participants to inquire,<br />

investigate and discover whilst developing<br />

a love of learning under the direction of<br />

highly qualified and trained IB teachers.<br />

It’s also the gateway to higher education<br />

opportunities.<br />

Once the educational curriculum<br />

programme choice is clear, it’s time to start<br />

considering other factors that are important<br />

when making the transition to another<br />

country. Choosing a school that attends to<br />

your family’s transitional needs, in addition<br />

<strong>School</strong> diversity<br />

At our school diversity is a key factor for<br />

successful transitioning and our community<br />

is truly international. Not only our students<br />

and their families but also many of our staff<br />

come from all over the world. This means<br />

that most of us have been through the<br />

process of transitioning from somewhere<br />

familiar to somewhere new. We know what<br />

it’s like to open your eyes on that first day,<br />

where the light is different and the sounds<br />

and smells are unfamiliar. We remember<br />

how it is to barely understand a single word<br />

someone says to you when they approach<br />

you in the street, to go into the supermarket<br />

and search in vain for a favourite breakfast<br />

cereal, or to be brought up short by all the<br />

little differences, even as you knew to expect<br />

the big ones.<br />

Providing support<br />

We remember what it’s like when actions<br />

and words that used to be second-nature<br />

suddenly require deliberate thought, and<br />

you begin to question your decision to move<br />

away from everything familiar and beloved,<br />

your friends and family, your professional<br />

networks. And we remember what it’s like<br />

to find yourself living somewhere where<br />

it can seem as if you hardly recognise<br />

yourself, let alone your surroundings.<br />

But what we also know is that the one<br />

element that can make a world of difference<br />

throughout this transition process is<br />

knowing that, when you arrive, a friend will<br />

be there waiting for you. At our school, we<br />

invite our newly arriving families to think of<br />

our school community as that friend.<br />

Helping to settle in<br />

We’re like the local resident who already<br />

knows the ropes and can’t wait to help<br />

you settle in. We firmly believe that an<br />

international school needs to make the<br />

commitment to help families access<br />

resources on different aspects of living in<br />

Switzerland, from how to negotiate the<br />

trains, trams, buses, and boats, to how to<br />

select the best health insurance packages<br />

for you and your family, along with the<br />

all important question of where to live,<br />

whether that be in the city of Zurich<br />

itself, or in one of the charming villages<br />

surrounding our school campus. And<br />

because we know we can’t answer all your<br />



questions, we will happily put you in touch<br />

with experienced relocation professionals<br />

who can answer these questions.<br />

Building friendships<br />

As far as your child is concerned, the best<br />

cure for homesickness and nerves is to get<br />

to know other children as soon as possible.<br />

Look for a school that offers some type<br />

of a student networking programme. For<br />

example, at ICS, we’ve created a Primary<br />

Student Buddy and Secondary Student<br />

Ambassador programme to help children<br />

build friendships as soon as possible.<br />

Your child is connected immediately with<br />

students of a similar age, who help them<br />

through their transition into the school<br />

community and into life in Zurich. They’ll<br />

start to feel at home much sooner than<br />

you thought possible when these types of<br />

programmes are available.<br />

Vibrant <strong>Parent</strong>s’ Association<br />

And while we understand that seeing your<br />

child settled and happy in a supportive<br />

learning environment is what will make you<br />

happy, we know that feeling like you belong<br />

too is just as important. It’s through getting<br />

to know other parents and participating in<br />

the huge range of activities on offer—all<br />

organised by parents—and making new<br />

friends yourself, that you’ll realise Zurich is<br />

really starting to feel like home. Make sure<br />

to choose a school that has an active and<br />

vibrant <strong>Parent</strong>s’ Association to permit you<br />

to get involved and engaged.<br />

Beautiful location<br />

Zurich and Switzerland truly is a beautiful<br />

spot to create a home away from home<br />

and the school settings in this country must<br />

often be seen to be believed. For example,<br />

our campus is located in the gorgeous<br />

Zurich countryside, something of which<br />

we take full advantage of, with our forest<br />

programmes and research garden. Yet we’re<br />

easily accessed by public transport from the<br />

city centre and surrounding areas, many<br />

of which are located on the shores of Lake<br />

Zurich, perfect for swimming and water<br />

sports, and with the Swiss Alps providing<br />

a gorgeous background that, at first, you<br />

won’t believe is real. Many of our students<br />

come to school via public transport but we,<br />

along with most international schools, also<br />

offer a convenient school bus service.<br />

Helping you transition to next location<br />

An international family’s stay in Switzerland<br />

might only be short-term, which is why<br />

it is critical for an international school to<br />

have a programme in place to help you<br />

transition to your next location. Look for an<br />

exit programme that will assist your child to<br />

smoothly transition to their next new school<br />

if another move becomes a reality.<br />

Feeling at home<br />

We can’t take away all the stress of<br />

transitioning to a new place, but we<br />

believe that you should look for a school<br />

that wants to make sure you and your<br />

become cherished members of the school<br />

community. You and your family will be<br />

feeling at home in Zurich, in no time,<br />

because that’s what friends do.<br />

At ICS, we can’t wait to meet you.<br />

At the Inter-Community <strong>School</strong> Zurich (ICS), our assessment practices include answering<br />

three important questions for parents: What is my child learning? How do I know my child<br />

is learning? What can I do to support my child’s learning? To arrange an appointment with<br />

our Admissions team, or to find out more about the international school of first choice in<br />

Zurich, visit our website at www.icsz.ch.<br />


Dogs have<br />

super powers<br />

PERMAH Pups!<br />

How can our canine companions help us survive and even thrive in these pandemic times?<br />


The last 18 months have been a<br />

testing time for us all and has seen<br />

us grappling with new challenges<br />

forced on our already complex and<br />

challenging lives. We have had to sustain our<br />

resilience within our families, schools and<br />

workplaces. Losses, lockdowns, lethargy and<br />

loneliness, have all taken their toll. But, of<br />

course, those of us with dogs will know they<br />

have been influential in helping us through.<br />

But how do they (and other pets) impact<br />

positively on our well-being?<br />

The science of well-being and Positive<br />

Psychology, tell us that there are many<br />

things we can do to enhance well-being in<br />

ourselves and those around us. For example,<br />

experiencing positive emotions, showing<br />

compassion and helping others, using<br />

our strengths, being mindful, practising<br />

gratitude and savouring, and investing in<br />

building high-quality connections (Waters et<br />

al, 2021).<br />

These interventions do three critical<br />

things. They:<br />

1. Buffer against the risks of anxiety,<br />

stress and depression that can result from<br />

the impact of the pandemic and other<br />


Roz with<br />

Rafa & Flash<br />

“Savouring our interactions with dogs can be<br />

such a wellbeing boost, particularly when we are<br />

experiencing the primary and vicarious impacts of<br />

ongoing stressors within our communities.” Dr Tom<br />

Brunzell<br />

adversities we face in life.<br />

2. Bolster our resilience to navigate<br />

successfully through these difficult times.<br />

3. Build our capacity to grow and flourish<br />

and make the very best of the opportunities<br />

the world still has to offer us.<br />

To help people better understand<br />

what well-being is, many schools and<br />

organisations have started applying a<br />

much-used, evidence-based framework<br />

called PERMAH. This stands for Positive<br />

Emotions; Engagement; Relationships;<br />

Meaning; Accomplishment; Health.<br />

PERMAH helps us realise what well-being<br />

is and how we can enhance our capacity to<br />

feel good and function well irrespective of<br />

our circumstances.<br />

As wellbeing coaches and dog-lovers, we<br />

want to share with you some of the research<br />

demonstrating the benefits of humananimal<br />

interactions from both recent<br />

studies and our own experience with our<br />

PERMAH Pups Flash, Rafa, and Miss May.<br />

Let’s explore how our four-legged<br />

family members and friends might have<br />

contributed to building PERMAH for<br />

ourselves and our families during these<br />

unprecedented times.<br />

We’ll also give you some ‘Pawsitive<br />

Pointers’ that you can apply to help you<br />

be more mindful of the contribution<br />

interacting with your dog or other people’s<br />

dogs can make to your family’s wellbeing.<br />

P = Positive Emotions<br />

The ability to experience a full range of<br />

emotions from fear and anger to joy and<br />

excitement is a sign of positive mental<br />

health. Of course, no one goes around<br />

being ‘happy’ all the time! But we do need<br />

to be mindful of what we call the ‘negativity<br />

bias’ and understand that because negative<br />

emotions are stronger, we feel them more<br />

acutely and pay more attention to them<br />

than positive emotions. So, it’s crucial<br />

to generate more positive emotions,<br />

particularly in this challenging time as the<br />

pandemic impacts. This is because the<br />

experience of positive emotions broaden<br />

our ability to learn, be creative and find<br />

solutions. They also build our physical,<br />

mental and social resources, so we are<br />

stronger and more resilient in the face of<br />

life’s stresses and pressures.<br />

What emotions do you experience<br />

when you are interacting with your dog?<br />

Interacting with dogs can bring about<br />

feelings of love, joy, serenity, laughter,<br />

gratitude, pride, curiosity and even awe<br />

when they do some truly amazing things!<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SPRING <strong>2022</strong> | 59<br />

Dogs can reduce stress in students facing<br />

deadlines and taking examinations, and they<br />

can help calm and relax us just by observing<br />

them in the environment, whether at home,<br />

work or school. So they can be a comfort<br />

during a high stakes event or in overcoming<br />

a disappointment such as not making the<br />

sports team or school play.<br />

Our dogs feel positive emotions, too and<br />

just looking (not staring) into their eyes can<br />

relieve their stress and anxiety. Our feelings<br />

can influence their feelings and vice versa.<br />

As we relax, the dogs relax, and we can<br />

attune to our dogs and co-regulate each<br />

other. They can energise us in the morning<br />

to get us moving or relax, calm and soothe<br />

us in the evening before bed.<br />

Our dogs provide many opportunities<br />

for savouring in the present by luxuriating<br />

in the feel of their fur. We can also savour<br />

the past by reminiscing about their antics as<br />

puppies and sharing stories with family and<br />

friends. Looking forward to an upcoming<br />

positive event with our dog is a way of<br />

savouring the anticipation. So, our dogs can<br />

help ramp up our positive emotions in the<br />

here and now, reexperience the joys of the<br />

past and look forward to good times still to<br />

come.<br />

Pawsitive Pointer: Dial up your senses,<br />

especially sight, smell, hearing and touch<br />

(taste could be tricky!) to savour positive<br />

emotions and be present with your dog.<br />

E = Engagement<br />

When we are genuinely engaged, we get<br />

into the ‘zone’ and the flow state, which is<br />

excellent for our psychological health. We<br />

feel energised and focused, fully involved,<br />

wholly absorbed. We are also likely to<br />

be using our strengths. For example, by<br />

interacting with our dogs, we can become<br />

immersed in pursuits such as feeding,<br />

grooming, training and playing with them,<br />

hiding toys, scent games, ball retrieving and<br />

tricks. Being present with our dogs is a great<br />

way to be in the moment, slow down and be<br />

mindful. Rafa is very ball/play focused, and<br />

he is a great role model, just concentrating<br />

on one thing at a time.<br />

Interacting with our dogs is also a great

way to develop our strengths or interests –<br />

may be painting, photography, writing or<br />

rambling. They can be the subject matter,<br />

catalyst or motivator for our strengths and<br />

interests. Curiosity is one of Roz’s top<br />

strengths, and it spurred her on to find ways<br />

to engage Rafa and Flash in Wellbeing<br />

coaching. Clive loves photography and has<br />

the perfect model in Miss May to practice<br />

his creativity!<br />

Pawsitive Pointer: Strengths Spotting<br />

• What strengths do you have?<br />

• What are your passions?<br />

• How could you involve your dog?<br />

Take the popular VIA Character<br />

Strengths Survey to check out your top<br />

strengths and see how you might find a way<br />

to use them with your dog.<br />

R = Relationships<br />

Positive Relationships are crucial to our<br />

capacity to flourish. Humans have an innate<br />

propensity to attend to and be attracted by<br />

other living things, so ‘other people matter’,<br />

and our dogs do too! Love is a universal<br />

emotion, and we express it through acts of<br />

care, kindness, and compassion.<br />

However, you can argue that a critical<br />

difference between humans and dogs is that<br />

dogs are much less judgmental. They don’t<br />

care if you are short or tall or judge you<br />

for your age, race, religion, politics, gender,<br />

ability, beauty or just having a ‘bad hair<br />

day’. They aren’t bothered if you’re rich<br />

or poor, what school you go to, your job,<br />

what car you drive or how big your house is!<br />

Instead, they will love you unconditionally<br />

if you are kind, caring, worthy of their trust<br />

and gently stroke their tummies!<br />

Dogs are lovely social support and help<br />

build self-acceptance and self-esteem<br />

in young people and adults and reduce<br />

isolation and loneliness. They seek not<br />

just attention but connection. They don’t<br />

believe in ‘alone time’ but you and me<br />

time! In addition, dogs are social lubricants<br />

and stimulate interaction and conversation<br />

between families, friends, work colleagues<br />

and communities. So, dogs are both social<br />

support and facilitate interactions between<br />

others.<br />

Pawsitive Pointer: Walk and Talk with<br />

family or friends. Moving side by side<br />

in the same direction, especially with<br />

teenagers, is more conducive to nurturing<br />

and maintaining healthy relationships and<br />

healthy conversations.<br />

M = Meaning<br />

Having a sense of meaning in life is key<br />

to our ability to flourish, and there are<br />

many ways to find meaning through our<br />

family, work and community. Meaning is<br />

about being a part of and contributing to<br />

something greater than ourselves. Having<br />

a dog in our lives can add a real sense<br />

of purpose, give reason to think and act<br />

beyond ourselves and contribute to higher<br />

pursuits as we commit to their responsible<br />

care.<br />

Meaning can also be enhanced through<br />

activities with our dogs – being mindful<br />

of their impact across all the PERMAH<br />

dimensions. In the cases of Flash, Rafa<br />

and Miss May, their work in Canine-<br />

Assisted Therapy and as Wellbeing Dogs<br />

is significant and purposeful for Clive and<br />

Roz. It adds value to the lives of the dogs,<br />

too, as they engage with and enjoy the<br />

many interactions they have in the schools,<br />

colleges, universities, hospitals and care<br />

homes they visit.<br />

Pawsitive Pointer: Adopt a Service<br />

Mindset. What’s one thing you could do<br />

with your dog to make a positive difference<br />

to others?<br />

Rafa’s powerful nose<br />

A = Accomplishment<br />

Humans have long realised dogs can be<br />

helpful, evidenced by a history of dogs<br />

working alongside people from many<br />

industries and professions such as farmers,<br />

the Police, first responders, Armed Services,<br />

and the Health and Social Services sectors.<br />

Dogs have proven themselves to be highly<br />

adept and accomplished at assisting people<br />

in fundamental ways through transport,<br />

care, security, health screening and<br />

guidance.<br />

People feel accomplished when they<br />


work towards and achieve rewarding and<br />

meaningful goals, and for dog guardians,<br />

this often starts with initial dog training<br />

– learning to sit, stay, fetch, drop and<br />

come back! Setting and striving towards<br />

meaningful goals with your dog is a great<br />

way to build hope in adults and young<br />

people. This encourages a growth mindset<br />

and pathways thinking as you find different<br />

ways to overcome challenges and setbacks<br />

and reach your goals.<br />

Hopeful thinking leads to a range of<br />

positive outcomes, such as positive selfesteem,<br />

self-efficacy, pride, and improved<br />

coping skills, which all enhance success in<br />

school, work, and life.<br />

Clive with<br />

Miss May<br />

Pawsitive Pointer: Set a goal to do<br />

something with your dog, such as learning a<br />

new trick.<br />

H = Health<br />

An obvious way dogs can positively impact<br />

our lives is through our physical and mental<br />

health. The regular exercise, fitness and<br />

thinking space opportunities afforded<br />

by dog walking are life-savers for many<br />

people with busy family and professional<br />

lives. Physical exercise produces feel-good<br />

endorphins, improves muscle tone, lowers<br />

blood pressure and improves circulation.<br />

In addition, getting outside into fresh air<br />

and experiencing the effects of nature can<br />

increase longevity and aid health recovery.<br />

From a mental health perspective, our<br />

dogs can read our facial expressions and<br />

body language and sense when we are<br />

frightened and stressed. This is because<br />

of their potent noses (see the photo of<br />

Rafa’s nose), which smell cortisol (the stress<br />

hormone) that we exude when anxious. The<br />

challenging emotions that sometimes bubble<br />

up are easier to regulate through physical<br />

movement and giving attention to our dogs.<br />

The loving and pleasant feelings we<br />

experience when we engage with our dogs<br />

lead to physical benefits such as stress relief,<br />

lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and<br />

improved cardiovascular functioning. They<br />

also increase oxytocin (the cuddle hormone)<br />

and create a sense of psychological safety,<br />

connection, and belonging to self and<br />

others. This is known as the ‘oxytocin<br />

effect’ and can be very soothing, mutually<br />

beneficial for you and your dog.<br />

Pawsitive Pointer: When anxious,<br />

engage in dog patting for between 5-25<br />

mins.<br />

Conclusion<br />

Having dogs in our lives can genuinely<br />

add value to and enhance each of the<br />

critical dimensions that contribute to<br />

our capacity to be resilient and flourish.<br />

Dog guardianship can be stressful and<br />

challenging, so there is that to consider.<br />

However, both the research and reported<br />

lived experience point overall to the<br />

extraordinary benefits our PERMAH Pups<br />

bring to our lives, as we do to theirs. We<br />

hope this article helps you further appreciate<br />

the value your canine companions add. In<br />

addition that it has given you some ideas<br />

for how together you and your families<br />

can continue to thrive at school, work, and<br />

home despite these ever challenging times.<br />

References<br />

Lea Waters et al. (2021) Positive psychology in a<br />

pandemic: buffering, bolstering, and building mental<br />

health, The Journal of Positive Psychology, DOI:<br />

10.1080/17439760.2021.1871945<br />

MGJones (2021) Canine Assisted Therapy. Guest<br />

lecture Animal-Assisted Therapy for Healthcare<br />

Professionals. Latrobe University 10th November<br />

2021<br />

Clive & Roz provide virtual 1:1 and group sessions on well-being to individuals, schools<br />

and organisations in many parts of the world.<br />

Clive Leach is an organisational coach who works widely in the international education<br />

and business sectors on leadership, career development and wellbeing programs. He<br />

and his Goldendoodle Miss May are Pets As Therapy Visiting PAT Dog volunteers. For<br />

further information, contact coach@cliveleach.com or visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/<br />

cliveleachconsultancy/.<br />

Roz Rimes is a wellbeing educator coach and founder of the social enterprise ‘Live with<br />

Zest’. She works in schools and universities with her Australian Labradoodles Flash and<br />

Rafa, who have advanced Canine-Assisted Therapy qualifications. For further information,<br />

contact roz@livewithzest.com.au or visit https://www.livewithzest.com.au/.<br />


Educational therapy,<br />

the missing gap<br />

between school<br />

and psychological<br />

therapy<br />


What is educational therapy?<br />

Educational therapy is provided most of<br />

the time outside the school setting on a<br />

1:1 basis and is different from tutoring. An<br />

academic tutor will focus on the academics<br />

of the student while an educational<br />

therapist will use a broader method to<br />

include neurodiverse children with learning<br />

difficulties and thinking differences. In other<br />

words, an educational therapist teaches<br />

skills and strategies that go beyond the<br />

package of a regular tutor.<br />

Therapists can be teachers, SEN<br />

teachers, occupational or speech therapists,<br />

or others who have specialised themselves<br />

in Education and at least in one another<br />

subject, such as learning difficulties,<br />

dyslexia, autism, etc... It is important to find<br />

the right therapist for your child.<br />

Ideal the therapist should have:<br />

• Expertise in one or more academic<br />

subjects.<br />

• Know how to work with children from<br />

different backgrounds and ethnicities.<br />

• Be familiar with learning difficulties and<br />

thinking differences.<br />

But most important is that the<br />

educational therapist understands the<br />

behavioural and emotional issues that can<br />

impact the student in school and amongst<br />

peers.<br />

The missing gap<br />

Educational therapists provide psychoeducational<br />

services to children with<br />

neurodevelopmental disorders whether<br />

they are diagnosed or not. Those can<br />

include ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder,<br />

Sensory Processing Disorder, any of the<br />

DYS- learning difficulties.<br />

Traditional tutors or teachers may<br />

not fully understand the child’s learning<br />

difficulties although schools these days are<br />

doing their best to accommodate the child’s<br />

learning difficulties. On the other hand,<br />

psychologists and psychiatrists can meet the<br />

child’s difficulties on a psychological level<br />

but are not trained to meet the academic<br />

difficulties. Here the educational therapist<br />

can fill in the gap. Emphasising filling the<br />

gap and not replacing one or either.<br />

The educational therapist will use a<br />

multisensory approach that follows the<br />

Universal Design for Learning (UDL).<br />

This allows children to engage in learning<br />

in more than one way. Educational<br />

therapists are specialised in one or more<br />

areas depending on their background and<br />

that is another reason to make sure you<br />

choose the right educational therapist for<br />

your child.<br />

Let’s give an example.<br />

An 11-year-old student is struggling in math<br />

and has been since Yr3. The parents have<br />

been through the process of diagnosing<br />

their child. The child has dyscalculia and<br />

has developed math anxiety over the last 3<br />

years as he cannot follow his peers during<br />

math class and is afraid to give the wrong<br />

answer.<br />

The parents tried to help their child<br />

by hiring a private tutor. This tutor was<br />

going over the math curriculum again, but<br />

the child was getting upset and frustrated<br />

because he had to do even more math,<br />

which he now clearly dislikes because of his<br />

difficulties.<br />

This child did not make any progress with<br />

the private tutor and to make things worse,<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SPRING <strong>2022</strong> | 62<br />

the child was also acting out in school. So,<br />

the parents went to the psychologist to find<br />

out why he was behaving out at school.<br />

Here, the psychologist was able to explain<br />

to the parents that he had math anxiety and<br />

just thinking about math causes him to shut<br />

down or to act out. While the psychologist<br />

worked on his anxiety, his parents were<br />

referred to an educational therapist at the<br />

same time.<br />

Only when the parents were able to<br />

find an educational therapist, things got<br />

better as the therapist understood the<br />

diagnosis of dyscalculia and noticed that<br />

the child was struggling with the number<br />

sense. Number sense is a key ability within<br />

math. It defines a quantity and relates<br />

a written symbol for example 5 to the<br />

quantity of five. This is an important part<br />

of math as number sense and place value<br />

are the basics abilities where every other<br />

math function is based on. Going back<br />

to place value and number sense using a<br />

multisensory approach allowed the child to

gain a better understanding of these basic<br />

functions. The parents remained reluctant<br />

at first to go back to grade 1 math but once<br />

explained why it was necessary to take this<br />

step back and allow the child to gain a<br />

better understanding, they understood the<br />

importance of doing so.<br />

In addition to reinforcing the basics of<br />

the math curriculum, the educational<br />

therapist will also approach the math<br />

anxiety by teaching the child coping<br />

strategies in addition to the work done<br />

with the psychologist. This example<br />

demonstrates the importance of the work<br />

done by an educational therapist as it<br />

increased the child’s self-confidence, selfregulation,<br />

and academic results.<br />

improve<br />

So, what else can an educational<br />

therapist do?<br />

• They can identify behavioural or<br />

emotional issues which can be caused by an<br />

underlying learning difficulty.<br />

• Teaching coping skills and strategies to<br />

good academic and school habits.<br />

• Teach time management and<br />

organisational skills.<br />

• Help the parents to understand their<br />

child’s ILP (Individual Learning Plan) and<br />

make sure that the goals on the ILP are<br />

SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable,<br />

Results-oriented, and Time-bound).<br />

• Can be the link between school and home<br />

for both parents and child.<br />

• Coaching of parents to continue the work<br />

at home.<br />

I am Samantha Bulens, an educational therapist, working at Auticoach in Geneva<br />

which provides psycho-educational services.<br />

My expertise lies in educating children with neurodevelopmental disorders<br />

in particularly Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity<br />

Disorder (ADHD), and Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD) to increase their understanding<br />

of their OWN minds and bodies using evidence-based approaches that will increase their<br />

overall well-being and happiness.<br />

I am specialised in teaching the interoception curriculum which teaches the child<br />

how their body is feeling, connecting them to the right emotions, and act accordingly to<br />

self-regulate independently. Besides the interoception curriculum, I also teach life skills,<br />

independence training, and educational kinesiology whilst coaching parents and families.<br />

Furthermore, as a licensed H.A.P.P.Y coach I provide happy plans for<br />

the well-being and happiness of people with ASD. Being a mom of three<br />

neurodiverse children, I can personally relate when it comes to learning<br />

difficulties at school and the personal struggles at home.<br />

For more information about me, visit my website at www.auticoach.ch<br />


Education<br />

News<br />

Vaud Private <strong>School</strong>s contribute up to one and a<br />

half billion francs per year to local economy<br />

Astudy published last year by audit firm KPMG<br />

reveals the extent of the economic added value<br />

brought to the Canton of Vaud by its many private<br />

schools. This century-old, traditional yet innovative sector<br />

provides CHF1,5bn in direct and indirect contributions<br />

and has a very positive impact on fiscal and public<br />

spending. Moreover, the study confirms the favourable<br />

effect of private schools on the attractiveness of the<br />

Canton of Vaud.<br />

The overall economic contribution of private education in the<br />

Canton of Vaud totals nearly one and a half billion francs per year,<br />

according to the abovementioned study. Calculated based on the<br />

responses of some 40 establishments in the canton, which cater<br />

to 60% of the Vaud’s private school pupils and students (approx.<br />

20,000 people), this figure confirms the positive impact on the<br />

canton of private education, the quality of which has been praised<br />

for over a century.<br />

Besides the very important, non-quantifiable benefits of<br />

private education that make the canton attractive to international<br />

organisations and businesses (national & international reputation,<br />

prestige, influence, geography, etc.), Vaud’s private schools also<br />

generate a significant amount of added value through their own<br />

activities, the supply chain of their goods and services, and the<br />

reinjection of value into the economy by actors involved in their<br />

activities.<br />

Moreover, by offering a variety of academic programmes and<br />

options (international curricula, differentiated teaching, etc.) to<br />

meet the growing needs of a student population searching for<br />

alternative solutions, Vaud’s private schools make it possible to<br />

reduce state education costs by CHF 156 million each year. They<br />

also directly contribute, through the taxes paid by their employees<br />


and by themselves, a total of CHF 50 million to the canton.<br />

These figures are qualified as conservative by the authors of the<br />

study, who claim not to have taken into consideration the tax paid<br />

by people who decided to settle in the region because of its quality<br />

private education.<br />

For the President of AVDEP, Jean-Louis Dubler, this study<br />

proves that “private education is indeed complementary to public<br />

education as it adapts its curricula and educational pathways to<br />

specific needs, by innovating continually and focusing on quality in<br />

the canton of Vaud.”<br />

Secretary General Baptiste Müller calls for legislative<br />

improvements to ensure the private education sector is able to<br />

continue meeting the needs of an open and well-connected society:<br />

“The study shows just how much things are intertwined: quality<br />

education breeds economic success and vice versa. We must make<br />

sure that this winning formula, which has been thriving for over a<br />

century, continues to bring the best in education to our Canton.”<br />

Vaud has indeed been a place of choice for parents wanting the<br />

best in international education for their children. From famous<br />

boarding schools such as Le Rosey, Brillantmont and Champittet<br />

to innovative multilingual and specialized institutes like Haut-Lac,<br />

Moser and Swiss Hotel Management <strong>School</strong>s, and Alpine schools<br />

such as Aiglon College, Leysin American <strong>School</strong> and Beau Soleil,<br />

Vaud boasts over 50 private schools that cater to all needs and meet<br />

the industry’s highest standards. Most of these schools are also<br />

members of the AVDEP, a professional association that promotes<br />

innovation and quality in the private education sector by ensuring<br />

all requirements are met.<br />

AVDEP is the non-profit Association of Private <strong>School</strong>s in Vaud,<br />

whose aim is to promote the quality of private education and<br />

guarantee good framework conditions. www.avdep.ch<br />


Six steps in changing<br />

a school’s culture<br />


How - or rather, why - would you<br />

take an academically successful,<br />

efficiently functioning school with<br />

a clear identity and turn it on its head?<br />

The <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> of Lausanne is<br />

aiming to do exactly that by rethinking<br />

what it means to be an English-language<br />

international school.<br />

English has been part of our identity<br />

since we opened in 1962 with just 7<br />

students. The school’s original name was<br />

the English <strong>School</strong> of Lausanne, and<br />

though the name has changed to reflect<br />

the fact that it is now a truly international<br />

school with representatives of 67<br />

nationalities amongst its more than 900<br />

students, until recently English remained<br />

the main language of instruction and part<br />

of our ‘reason for being.’<br />

That said, like many schools, we have<br />

watched the shift in language research<br />

as it has moved from considering<br />

multilingualism as an exceptional even<br />

hazardous phenomenon, potentially at<br />

the root of a number of difficulties such<br />

as cognitive overload, semi-lingualism and<br />

language confusion, to something that<br />

provides learners with a strategic advantage.<br />

Speakers of multiple languages learn<br />

further languages more easily – they seem<br />

to have a higher metalinguistic awareness<br />

(in other words, they show a better<br />

understanding of the nature of linguistic<br />

structures) and a more analytical approach<br />

towards the social and pragmatic functions<br />

of language. However, more interestingly,<br />

research suggests that speaking multiple<br />

languages makes you better not just at other<br />

languages, but also more creative and better<br />

at mathematics, science, or history.<br />

For the school to step away from English,<br />

or rather to embrace a fuller understanding<br />

of language by launching a dual language<br />

programme, required it not just to bring<br />

about a change in curriculum or a shift in<br />

the staffing model, though both of these<br />

things were necessary, but also to embark<br />

on a change in culture. It is a process that<br />

the school is still involved in, but when it<br />

comes to an end we will have fundamentally<br />

altered part of the way that we as a<br />

community see, speak, and think about<br />

ourselves.<br />

How then does one go about such a<br />

change? There are a range of management<br />

tools that can be used to manage projects<br />

such as this: the strategy canvas, directional<br />


policy matrices, and McKinsey’s 7 S model<br />

for example. Based on our experience,<br />

however, we would like to suggest six steps<br />

that can be taken as part of any such<br />

change in a school, whether that change is<br />

linked to language or to any other aspect of<br />

what makes a school what it is.<br />

1Think about your core values<br />

and what really makes you what<br />

you are<br />

Our first team meeting on the subject<br />

looked at what we were setting out to do.<br />

Though it formed part of the implicit<br />

understanding of the school, the words<br />

‘English language’ were not actually part<br />

of our mission statement. ‘Excellence’,<br />

‘recognising the unique potential’ of our<br />

students and equipping them to play a<br />

‘responsible role in a multicultural world’<br />

were. English, we saw, was a pragmatic<br />

tool rather than philosophical choice.<br />

Also at the heart of our discussion was the<br />

school’s fundamental purpose. Absolutely<br />

it was there to help young people succeed<br />

individually, but it was also there to work<br />

towards a better tomorrow through the<br />

promotion of mutual understanding.<br />

If you don’t understand the complexity<br />

of language, our thinking went, you<br />

can’t understand the nuance of culture.<br />

Many conflicts have arisen from a lack of<br />

understanding of culture and nuance.<br />

We went away to do some research.<br />

2Do your research<br />

There are many good schools around<br />

the world and we felt that almost<br />

inevitably, possible solutions to our problem<br />

were being discussed elsewhere. We looked<br />

at research and, at other schools, there are<br />

a host of versions of bilingual education<br />

and we needed to understand what would<br />

fit in our context. We were aware that<br />

what might work well in another school or<br />

situation might not work well for us. We<br />

talked to heads of schools and classroom<br />

teachers about how their systems worked<br />

and thought about what elements of those<br />

systems we could import into our own.<br />

We also talked to our parents and students<br />

about how they saw the place of language.<br />

What we found was an enthusiasm, a<br />

willingness for change, and a conviction<br />

regarding the change that was surprising.<br />

“As expats committed to settling in<br />

Switzerland, the opportunity for our child<br />

to be a part of a dual language pathway has<br />

opened up so many opportunities. When<br />

we asked our daughter why she would like<br />

to be involved in the DL programme she<br />

said ‘So when I go outside with my friends<br />

in the neighbourhood I can speak French<br />

with them’”<br />

3Frame your idea and articulate<br />

your goals<br />

Having decided the direction we<br />

wanted to head in, we started talking to<br />

people so that they would understand why<br />

a change was needed. We brought staff<br />

together and helped them understand the<br />

reasons for the change and what role they<br />

could play in the process. We tried to ensure<br />

that people had multiple opportunities to<br />

contribute ideas for the implementation<br />

process, and to provide feedback or share<br />

concerns. We needed to determine our<br />

staffing early on because one of our design<br />

principles was that we wanted the teachers<br />

to shape and own the programme. For that,<br />

we needed to identify people willing to take<br />

on such a significant project.<br />

4Map out your plan<br />

To address our specific community,<br />

rather than propose a fully bilingual<br />

approach, we decided to move forward<br />

with a dual language class in one or several<br />

year groups.The question then was which<br />

ones? There were a number of possibilities:<br />

research shows that early immersion<br />

students tend to achieve higher levels<br />

of oral proficiency than late immersion<br />

students. Conversely, research has also<br />

shown that students in later immersion<br />

programmes can achieve similar technical<br />

proficiency levels as those who were in early<br />

immersion programmes.<br />

Our decision was to use a stepped<br />

approach starting with the launch of dual<br />

language classes in Years 4 and 5. This<br />

allowed us to have an immediate impact,<br />

offer choice to families (the other classes<br />

in the year groups would continue to be<br />

English dominant), and to be targeted<br />

in our curriculum development work.<br />

We planned for and made explicit the<br />

introduction of dual language classes in<br />

Years 3 and 6 the following year, and of<br />

a focus on language immersion in the<br />

earlier years so that there was a clear<br />

developmental pathway into the dual<br />

language classes.<br />

5Dedicate resources<br />

It seems obvious but, as we were<br />

developing a new programme, we<br />

“Research suggests that speaking multiple<br />

languages makes you better not just at other<br />

languages, but also more creative and better at<br />

mathematics, science, or history.”<br />


had to make space for development work<br />

to be done. The staffing model involved<br />

an anglophone and a francophone teacher<br />

working together in each class with a<br />

significant amount of co-teaching. In<br />

the six months before the start of the<br />

programme, these teachers were given<br />

weekly release time to co-create the future<br />

curriculum. Since the launch of the<br />

programme, we have also found that the<br />

co-teaching model has allowed teachers<br />

essential flexibility in their time to develop<br />

new resources and to adapt others. One<br />

of the most challenging aspects we have<br />

found is the need for the dual language<br />

teachers to both collaborate as a team<br />

and to continue to collaborate with their<br />

year group colleagues. Provision of both<br />

types of collaboration time puts significant<br />

constraints on the timetable<br />

6Evaluate your progress<br />

We are now well into the first year<br />

of the programme and are learning<br />

constantly. We have seen how important the<br />

work we did before the programme started<br />

was, and how important it also is to not<br />

be tied to how you thought something was<br />

going to go rather than how it actually goes<br />

when it is implemented. We have weekly<br />

team meetings to talk through our progress<br />

and half termly feedback opportunities<br />

for parents to let us know how they think<br />

the programme is going. We need to be<br />

flexible and receptive enough to change<br />

when things are not going well but not so<br />

flexible that we get blown continually off<br />

course. We have been lucky to be able to get<br />

a parent whose child is not in the Primary<br />

<strong>School</strong>, but who is an academic researcher<br />

in the field of multilingualism, to help us<br />

think about our progress and the classroom<br />

experience. A supportive but informed and<br />

critical friend is hugely beneficial.<br />

Our two dual language classes in Years 4<br />

and 5 are full and we are now in the second<br />

stage of the plan getting ready to implement<br />

classes in Years 3 and 6. <strong>Parent</strong>al feedback is<br />

very good and there is already considerable<br />

interest in the new classes. Perhaps<br />

interestingly there is also a growing broader<br />

understanding of the place and importance<br />

of languages other than English at the<br />

school, the programme acting as a platform<br />

for us to consider how we raise the capacity<br />

of French throughout the school.<br />

A key learning for us has been the benefit<br />

of creating a framework that is highly<br />

responsive by having sessions that inform,<br />

engage and involve people so that they<br />

are part of the programme development.<br />

There are several things we might have<br />

done differently. One reflection has been<br />

that we did not spend sufficient time<br />

thinking about how the class might be<br />

seen by other parents whose children are<br />

not in the programme. We want the dual<br />

language classes to be seen as offering our<br />

PYP programme through two languages<br />

and not as offering something different<br />

that is only for the most able or the most<br />

linguistically adept. Overall, though, we<br />

feel that Einstein’s dictum, that if he had<br />

an hour to solve a problem he’d spend 55<br />

minutes thinking about the problem and<br />

the remainder thinking about solutions, has<br />

proved to be a useful guide.<br />

Frazer Cairns is the Director of the <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> of Lausanne.<br />

Stuart Armistead is the Primary <strong>School</strong> Principal of the <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> of Lausanne.<br />

www.isl.ch<br />


Is your school featured?<br />

www.internationalschoolparent.com<br />

Search feature for international schools help parents to find<br />

relevant schools based on their individual requirements<br />

Feature your school on our website with a description, video,<br />

photos, and inbound links<br />

Analytics reports available<br />

Send out school updates to our database of parents<br />

Update your school guide at any point in the year to feature the<br />

latest information<br />

Submit blog articles to our website throughout the year to keep<br />

your school in the limelight<br />

Contact <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong>:<br />

nick@internationalschoolparent.com or call +41 787 10 80 91

Potential<br />

Passion<br />

Responsibility<br />

Exceptional academic results and top university<br />

admissions<br />

Inspirational teachers committed to students’<br />

success<br />

<strong>International</strong>ly accredited IB school for<br />

ages 18 months to 18 years<br />

Preschool and Kindergarten programmes include<br />

German lessons approved by Bildungsdirektion<br />

Kanton Zürich<br />

Minutes to<br />

Zurich<br />

city centre<br />

Visit us!<br />

One school<br />

campus<br />

www.icsz.ch<br />

Strubenacher 3, 8126 Zumikon, Switzerland

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!