International School Parent Magazine - Autumn 2019

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Autumn Recipes

We look at some great

new seasonal dishes


Why long term revision

trumps last minute cramming



Zurich International School’s

new director unveils her

experiences from across

the world

We are fearless

Les Roches ranks among the world’s top 3 institutions

for hospitality & leisure management.

Programs include:

Bachelor’s • Master’s • Postgraduate Diploma • MBA

For more information contact




ce l ebrat i ng

i b



s t u d y


i s e

e x p e r t




Sharing academic classes, activities and cultural

experiences with students from all round the world.




Welcome back!

And welcome to our Autumn Edition of

International School Parent Magazine.

After a fabulous Summer, this Autumn is off to a glorious start with that late summer heatwave and glorious

sunshine in September. We have teamed up with Hoher Kasten Tourism this edition for some family (and wallet)

friendly walking options in the Appenzeller Alps. With over 400km of walking trails, 6 cable cars, and a huge

selection of mountain inns, it’s the perfect place for a quick term time getaway.

We are showcasing some delicious Autumn Recipes on page 40. Warm Autumn Salads, Spatchcock Chicken, and

baked Autumn fruits are all on the menu. Something I am acutely aware of in Switzerland is the need to shop

seasonally and take advantage of locally produced ingredients. They’re comparatively good value, and normally

excellent quality. All these recipes are aimed to help you do just that, using ingredients readily available in

supermarkets across Switzerland.

Zurich International School have a wonderful new Director and we have interviewed her. We chatted with Lisa

Lyle about her experiences as a teacher and head teacher across the world. Lisa is full of life with boundless

ambition and enthusiasm for her students. This shows throughout the interview which you can read on page 6.

We wish her luck in her new role.

There is also a strong argument made by IB DP Coordinators on why it is never too early to start revising. Long

term revision has huge benefits over simply cramming at the last minute. Excellent advice is given from teachers,

coordinators, and tutors in this in depth piece.

I would like to extend our invitation to teachers, parents, and practitioners in all fields of education to contact

us about writing and interview opportunities.

We would love to discuss with you the opportunity to be featured in the magazine and on our website at www.


We remain committed to the task of helping parents and children make the most of the fantastic opportunities

an education at an international school in Switzerland provides. All that remains to be said is that I hope you

have a wonderful start to the academic year.

Work hard and be the best!


Nick Gilbert

Editor & Publishing Director

International School Parent Magazine

Mobile + 41 787 10 80 91

Email nick@internationalschoolparent.com

Website www.internationalschoolparent.com

Facebook facebook.com/internationalschoolparent






06 Meet the Headteacher

12 Future Hospitality Trends: Ensuring Education

Reflects the Industry

14 Wellness & Architecture In Switzerland

16 A Weekend In Lucerne

18 The start of Mental Health Fiest Aid training in

English in Switzerland

22 Reggio-inspired pedagogy

26 The hospitality industry: a world of opportunity

29 Gifted: the double-edged sword

32 Why revision needs to start NOW!

36 Gardens Switzerland - Autumn

39 Why the IB Diploma Core (TOK, EE and CAS) are

worth so much more than a mere 3 points

42 Autumn Recipes

45 Helping teenagers argue... effectively!

48 Understanding Gender Identity in the World of

Global Nomad Families

52 Hoher Kasten: Family Friendly Hiking In The

Appenzell Alps

54 SGIS Annual Conference 2020, Institut Florimint,

Geneva ‘2020 Vision’

57 Creating A Culture Of Caring - Why developing

empathy is a vital part of education

60 Internation Families On The Move

64 Life Changing Events


Meet the Head Teacher

Lisa Lyle



Lisa Lyle is the newly appointed Director of Zurich International School, having previously worked in France and the

USA. International School Parent Editor Nick Gilbert talks to Lisa about her own experiences in education, what makes

international schools special, challenges in the future of education, and some of her personal passions.

Your career in education has spanned

multiple countries, taking you all over

the world to teach and run schools. What

made you become a teacher in the first


Like many people, I backed into teaching. I

was in graduate school pursuing a masters

and PhD in French literature and to be

able to afford that luxury I had to teach. I

didn’t know that I was going to fall in love

with teaching, but when I was teaching at

the University of Pennsylvania as part of

my doctoral work, I realized that I loved

the teaching part of my job more than the


As I was finishing my degree, a local

independent school asked if I would teach

French for them part-time, as I wrote my

dissertation - it seemed like a perfect match!

I never did finish my doctorate, but I did fall

in love with independent and international

schools, where a whole community of

adults is organized around the single

purpose of creating transformative learning

experiences for every child.

There was nothing about my personal

experience - a tiny public school in East

Texas where no one went to college -

that prepared me for being part of these

amazing schools. To this day, I feel so

lucky to have spent my career in schools

like ZIS, and I’m so grateful that my own

children have had these experiences. I


“In really good schools, we teach children, not curriculum, and we have educators

who are capable of differentiating the learning pathway for each child. ”

believe every child in the world deserves

this kind of education - unfortunately it

is simply not available to everybody. The

key difference from what I have observed

with international and independent schools

is that we have the time and the budget

to explore the particular interests of the

child more closely, whether that means

finding them an extra book on a topic of

their interest, or seizing learning moments

that stray from an endorsed curriculum.

In really good schools, we teach children,

not curriculum, and we have educators

who are capable of differentiating the

learning pathway for each child. In these

schools, everyone is similarly committed to

providing great education and to fostering

passion, inquiry, curiosity and a quest for


Has your own education meant that you

find the international school setup even

more fantastic?

My educational journey through high

school was more impoverished than the

one we provide at this school. I certainly

floated to the top of my educational

community and I had teachers that were

kind, generous and supportive, but I wasn’t

in an environment where it was normal for

everyone’s parents to have gone to college,

or even to be curious, well traveled and


In college and graduate school, however,

the world became larger. I had a bit of a

wandering spirit and took off at 18 and

hitchhiked around Europe. Because of

the effect that travel and further education

had on me at this time, the schools I’ve

chosen to be part of as an adult place

global experiences and personal intellectual

development at the core. I would say that

because I wasn’t exposed to that during

my schooling, I thoroughly appreciate the

importance for students as early as possible.

How do you get students to be the best

academically, in sports, or the arts in this


I believe most people function best in an

environment of high challenge and low

threat. Whether it’s working in a new

medium, using a new computer platform,

or learning a new language, it’s important

to be challenged in an area that you’re

interested in. So, children need conditions

that allow them to experiment, to fail, and

do stuff that’s hard for them, which means

they’ll be compelled to improve. It’s like

hitting a tennis ball with someone who is

not as good as you are. If it’s too easy, you

might do it for a while because you care

about the person, but it’s not going to feel

very exciting unless you see significant

growth on their part (in which case you are

in a teacher role), or you are challenged

enough that you are motivated to get back

out there and improve.

It is also true that the children who find

the amazing satisfaction that comes from

gorging in areas of interest - whether that’s

dinosaurs or construction equipment or

art - become better self-motivated learners.

Even six year olds become monogamously

obsessed with a subject, want to know all

the words and how everything works in

relation to it, and then might move onto

something else. Often elementary schoolage

children, for example, have a huge

concern for sustainability, animal welfare,

and animals that are at risk of extinction.

As long as the topic helps them to think

critically and develop curiosity, it can serve

as the hook to nurture important stronger


skills, for example, in research, presentation,

and writing.

Children, of course, don’t develop at the

same time across all disciplines. Sometimes

because of such an obsession, they will

leapfrog over their peers because they’re

studying on YouTube or they’re reading

voraciously. Ideally, schools engineer for

those experiences and know their students

well enough to encourage them to lean into

their own passions.

Research in education has grown

exponentially, and today we know a lot

more about what constitutes highly effective

teaching and what compels learning. We

know that children learn best when they’re

in a learning relationship with adults and

with each other, and when they care about

what they’re learning about.

What do you find particularly special

about the teaching process at ZIS?

Our teachers are very reflective about

their teaching practice. They know that

their professional obligation is to optimize

learning for every child. The focus has

shifted from, “This is how I teach” to,

“This is how children learn and it’s my

job to foster the conditions for learning.”

Our teachers are willing to take risks and

try different approaches. It has definitely

evolved from my school days, when if you

got a good teacher you were lucky, and if

you had a bad teacher you had to just live

with it.

These days students have access to

a lot of information, sometimes more

information than adults, because they’ve

been doing interesting research. We

encourage this curiosity, and teach our

students to be respectful but engaged

actively in the conversation. It is clear

that the students at our school have great

relationships with their teachers.

Apart from the amazing campuses and

beautiful facilities, what makes ZIS

special for students?

During the interview process for this job,

I was lucky enough to be interviewed by

a number of students at the school. To a

student, they were all multicultural and had

lived and traveled in a variety of contexts

and spoke multiple languages. They were

well prepared, and their questions were

insightful and probing. They were respectful

but diligently curious. As they spoke with

each other they would reference what

“The key difference from what I have observed

with international and independent schools is that

we have the time and the budget to explore the

particular interests of the child more closely, whether

that means finding them an extra book on a topic of

their interest, or seizing learning moments that stray

from an endorsed curriculum.”

another student had said earlier, showing

they were good listeners and compassionate.

Those were great interviews!

On meeting our students, it was

immediately clear to me that they are

comfortable with adults. When I asked

them what they valued about the school

they all seemed to love their teachers. They

were the product of a school environment

where there’s significant respect between

adults and children, yet they weren’t too


It’s not a school that works on the basis

of “come to school, go home”; students are

very engaged and deeply value the extracurricular

experiences that complement

the academic day. It’s great that this is the

case, as busy kids make for happy, engaged,

vibrant kids.

Because of the central location and

the network of international schools, the

students are actively engaged all over

the place, for example, to do academic

competitions and educational trips in

Madrid, Stockholm, Prague, to name

just a few. They have a close relationship

with a school in Ghana, which one of our

teachers set up, and every child is aware of,

has fundraised for, or done service for the

school in Ghana, which is fantastic.

What do the parents value about the


Parents want their children to be prepared

to make an impact in the world, wherever

they are. Particularly in this international


This is going to be very important in the

modern world.

What’s the most exciting prospect for

you about leading ZIS?

My goodness, there’s so much! I’m really

excited about being in an international

community and teaching children with

such a global perspective. These kids

are influenced by how widely they have

traveled. They’re interested and eager

to think about things in new ways. The

same is true about the teachers, many of

whom have taught at international schools

elsewhere, and have perspectives that will

inform the choices we make about the

curriculum and other areas.

In the very first year, the focus will be

on coming to know the community and

involving everyone in a strategic planning

effort, starting with many conversations in

small and large groups to see which issues

precipitate out. Through this process, the

school leadership team and the board will

identify the most pressing imperatives for

the next chapter of our work together.

Personally, I am excited about talking to

all of these people and hearing about their

deeply held aspirations!

context, parents themselves have lived

globally and they anticipate their children

will do the same. They want their children

to feel happy, safe, loved, and known. That’s

something parents talk about in relation

to ZIS with great excitement, pride, and


At international schools, just like in

many independent schools in the US and

elsewhere, parents themselves are often very

successful professionally, highly motivated,

and well remunerated. They naturally

have big ambitions for their children. At

the same time, there is anxiety that entry

into the most competitive institutions is

increasingly elusive, no matter how high

grades are or how well prepared the student

is. It is part of our job to try and keep a

good balance and perspective in relation to

this situation and achieve the best outcome

for the individual. Fundamentally, we

know parents want their children to pursue

whatever future it is their children aspire to.

What are your personal ambitions for the

students at ZIS?

I hope that every student leaves the school

excited about learning and with sufficient

foundational knowledge and skills to

continue learning effectively at whatever

the next chosen place is. For some kids

that will be EPFL, for others that will be

at Harvard, and others it will be military


Whatever they do, we hope they will have

developed a self-awareness that allows each

to know what they’re passionate about,

what they want to pursue, what gives them

satisfaction, how to show up best for that

and manage any anxieties that come with

ambition or high expectations. We also

want them to be able to self-regulate and be

compassionate towards others.

Our focus is to help them develop their

appetite to think critically, and their ability

to navigate different kinds of information,

process it, and present it in different ways.

Tell us a bit more about you and your

family life. How old are your children?

My own children are 27, 30, and 32 and all

live in the United States - two in California

and one in Chicago, Illinois. They are all at

interesting places in their lives. We’ve been

lucky to travel a lot together and they have

all had a lot of global experiences - we hope

to have time to travel with them around

Europe while we are here and I’m looking

forward to them visiting. My husband

is retired and is here with me, living in


What are your hobbies?

Aside from languages and traveling, I love

cooking international food. In my kitchen,

you will find everything from fish sauce to

chili powders and tortillas - a full range of

things really.

We are pretty serious hikers. Although,

I’m not sure we qualify as serious hikers

in Switzerland or at least not yet. We

enjoy long vigorous walks! These beautiful

long days with all the accessible outdoor

activities are such a treat.

I also read widely and love music, art and



Do you have any personal goals for the

next 10 years?

Well, certainly we will have completed A2

level German by October.

I want us to travel throughout Europe,

Africa, and Scandinavia - we’ve spent a

lot of time in Western Europe, but to be

so close to Prague or Croatia is awesome.

We want to spend as much time as possible

in the natural world. If we were in the

Adirondacks, we might have a target for a

certain number of peaks to climb, but we

haven’t yet figured out a way to measure

our hiking here.

Professionally, I’m working to understand

how the phrasing of questions impacts an

answer. In order to foster collective inquiry

we have to frame questions in a way that

leaves open all sorts of possibilities, doesn’t

shut down thinking or make certain things

off limits for discussion. I hope to have time

to think about that more and understand

how it impacts the education we are


What is the future of education, what

are the challenges for children, and how

are you helping them deal with these


That is such a complex question. One of

the challenges is to figure out the balance

between fostering individual exploration

at the same time as reinforcing a shared

learning experience.

For so long, educators believed that there

was a conveyor belt to put children on at

“In order to foster collective inquiry we have to

frame questions in a way that leaves open all sorts

of possibilities, doesn’t shut down thinking or make

certain things off limits for discussion.”

five years old and they exited at 18 to get

on another belt for four years. For some

children that will be the path that they

take. However, for an increasing number

of children their interests and access to

information cause them to foray into

different areas, whether they get obsessed

with coding or the xylophone or whatever.

They might develop high levels of mastery

disproportionate to that of their peers

in these areas, meaning their pathway

needs to become more differentiated. This

challenges a school to create pathways that

allow children to leapfrog over the content

that’s perceived as appropriate by age if

that child has already mastered it. The

temptation is to send an advanced child off

to do some additional online courses, but it

has got to be more individualized than that.

At the same time, schools--especially

international schools--have the opportunity

to foster individual growth and

development, while also preparing students

as active agents for positive change within

the global community and the communities

they will become part of. The exciting

opportunity we find in international schools

is that we can help each child value his or

her own cultural heritage and languages,

while ensuring each also learns to be

knowledgeable and respectfully curious

about the perspectives and experiences

of others. Having peers from around the

world brings nations and cultures to life in

a very real way, and makes for a vibrant

learning community.

Another of the biggest challenges we face

as schools - particularly in the social media

age in which everything is amplified to the

extremes - is mitigating anxiety and helping

students thrive personally. We need to

help students to be present, to understand

their emotional and mental states, and

to mitigate any problems. There is a

remarkable program called a “responsive

classroom”, in which educators ask kids

questions about their emotions, give them

language to use, accept whatever it is they

need to share, and help them think about

what their options are. We don’t formally

have this program at ZIS, but we know we

have a responsibility to foster well being

alongside academic prowess, and the

students at ZIS have an environment that

helps develop these incredibly sophisticated

tools and skills.

Thank you for your time!

Thank you so much. I wish you all the best.



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Future Hospitality Trends:

Ensuring Education Reflects

the Industry

Do you want your teenager to join a thriving and steadily

growing industry that will offer many job prospects when they

graduate from college? If you are like any other parent that is

concerned with ensuring their child’s future employability, the

answer is, undoubtedly, a resounding ‘yes’.

Hospitality is one such industry,

having experienced solid growth

over the past decade and

projected to keep on flourishing in the next

10 years due to the increasing number of

international travelers, which is forecasted

to reach 1,3 billion by 2030. An additional

100 million jobs are expected in hospitality

industry worldwide by 2028, representing

a wide array of career options for recent


Versatility of hospitality education

and careers

Apart from the commonly known positions

in hotels and restaurants, there are other

exciting opportunities: cultural and business

event organisation, consulting, hospitality

interior design, catering, cruises and

airlines, creation of personalised luxury

experiences, sales and marketing, customer

service and many more. These jobs are high

in task variety and personal interaction, and

very often demand frequent overseas travel,

aptitude for innovation and independent

thinking – something many of the

Generation Z crave and expect from their

future jobs.

Hospitality management education is

extremely versatile and teaches graduates

“life skills for professionals, professional

skills for life” that can be applied across

industries, departments and positions. Swiss

Education Group (SEG), the Swiss alliance

of five hospitality management schools set

across six campuses in Switzerland, takes

this motto to heart.

Integrating technology in learning to

align with industry needs

SEG was the first company in the world of

hospitality to launch a 1:1 iPad programme

in 2014, which was just the beginning of

the shift to a more student-centred teaching


Technological integration at SEG’s

schools encompasses all learning activities:

from students using iPads for researching

menu ingredients in the training kitchens

to going on Virtual Reality tours and

discovering wine growing techniques; from

filming each other’s practice job interviews

to managing complex events such as

TEDx and gala dinners for VIP guests.

This dedication to their innovative use of

technology has been officially recognised by

Apple, naming one of SEG’s schools, Swiss

Hotel Management School, an “Apple

Distinguished School”.

Swiss Education Group is driven to

design the best educational experience that

is aligned with the hospitality industry’s

future needs, where new technologies,

such as artificial intelligence, virtual and

augmented reality, robots and chatbots, are

revolutionalising the way that hospitality

businesses operate. Thanks to these

developments, customers have come

to expect more and more convenience,

time-saving and personalisation of their

experiences. Only companies that can truly

harness technology to deliver the expected

levels of service will continue to succeed,

pushing them to demand continuous

innovation and entrepreneurial mindset

from their employees.

Sustainability concepts driving

hospitality innovation

With the global awareness of rapid climate

decline and our responsibility to tackle it



“An additional 100 million jobs are expected in

hospitality industry worldwide by 2028.”

as a matter of urgency, sustainability is

another hot topic in virtually all industries,

including hospitality. Changing customer

expectations are forcing businesses to

develop more sustainable, greener and

socially responsible operations. With that,

a myriad of possibilities opens up for intraand

entrepreneurs, especially younger ones,

to innovate around sustainability concepts.

Students at Swiss Education Group

schools are being prepared to be at the

forefront of these developments with the

inclusion of sustainability-related topics as

part of the curriculum. As an example, at

César Ritz Colleges Switzerland, one of

Swiss Education Group schools, students

are learning about eco-entrepreneurship

in and outside of the classroom and is

now a Green Globe member to drive

their sustainability change forward. One

example of this is the school’s bee hive with

35,000 bees, visit local businesses to truly

understand the value of sourcing locally,

and develop storytelling skills to better

spread the message about a business’s

sustainability initiatives.

Increasing demand for healthy

food options

Another important social trend changing

the global hospitality industry and its

practices is the rising importance of

healthy eating. It is putting emphasis on

the ‘farm-to-table’ initiatives, organic food

options, special diets (vegetarian, vegan)

and ingredients free from allergens (gluten-,

dairy- and sugar-free among others).

This is a tremendous opportunity for

businesses to reinvent themselves to become

part of this global movement. Students

at Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland in

Le Bouveret, another school under SEG

umbrella, learn about nutrition, food trends

and food development, so that they are


fully ready to adapt existing hospitality

businesses to these changing trends or even

start their own innovative entrepreneurial


Six Bachelor programmes to choose from

Swiss Education Group offers six hospitality

management Bachelor programmes

developed in collaboration with its

reputable academic or industry partners. A

variety of specialisations is available, such as

Hospitality Design Management; Human

Resources, Finance or Luxury Brand

Management; International Hospitality and

Events Management and Culinary Arts.

With a wide selection of degrees at our

five schools set in beautiful campuses across

Switzerland, find the programme that

suits both student’s unique abilities and

expectations. Discover our Bachelor degrees

on https://www.swisseducation.com or

contact your local representative.


Wellness &

Architecture In



Mineral Baths &

Spa Rigi-Kaltbad

In Switzerland, a country known for its

quality of life, spa breaks have been

elevated to an art form. Here, wildly

romantic mountain settings combine with

minimalist architectures to accentuate

tranquility and luxury above all else. As

the weather forces more indoor focused

activities, you should check out these

wonderful spa options.

The Chedi Andermatt Spa

(Jean-Michel Gathy)

The Chedi Andermatt Spa sits within the

mountains in the stunning Urseren Valley,

just 90 minutes from Zürich. As a part of

the Chedi Andermatt Hotel, one can

expect perfect service and world-class

7132 Therme

in Vals

amenities each wrapped up in a Jean-

Michel Gathy designed masterpiece that

offers a sumptuous mix of Swiss modernism

and Asian elegance.

One of the spa’s most popular options

is the Chedi Oriental Ritual that

lavishes attention over each area of the

body, but there are Thai, Ayurvedic and

Swedish therapies available too, as well

a hydrotherapy zone with Japanese

Onsen, saunas and an inviting indoor

pool that looks out onto the lobby of the

hotel.Visit: www.thechediandermatt.com

Mineral Baths & Spa Rigi-Kaltbad

(Mario Botta)

A setting as sublime as it unique, the

Mineral Baths & Spa sits on the Rigi

Mountain and enjoys breathtaking views

of the surrounding landscape from 1,450m

above sea level. These waters have been

enjoyed since the 16th century and were

once a pilgrimage site for weary travellers

seeking rest and revitalisation. The water

is delivered, as it has always been, from

the Three Sisters Spring, though today the

water is heated to a pleasing 35°c.

The Mineral Baths & Spa is all wrapped

up in a striking modernist façade of glass

and wood, designed by renowned Swiss

architect Mario Botta, and features a heated

outdoor pool with phenomenal views of the

mountains. Visit: www.mineralbad-rigikaltbad.ch

Waldhotel Spa at Waldhotel Bürgenstock

(Matteo Thun)

Take the ferry over lake Lucerne and board

the antique wooden funicular to ascend

the fir-covered mountain to the luxurious

Waldhotel Spa, where treatments are

accentuated by dreamy lake views and

distant sunsets.

The architect, Matteo Thun, paid

particular attention to the setting, creating

rooms, saunas and pools with dramatic

spirit-calming views of the alps. Treatment

rooms are idyllic, with natural wooden

flooring, soft cuddly furnishings and huge

windows that never let you forget where

you are. The heated infinity pool is set into

the mountains and allows for warming dips



even when the snow is falling, and the state

of the art treatments are enticing enough for

repeat, soul replenishing visits.

Visit: www.buergenstock.ch

Tamina Therme in Bad Ragaz

(Smolenicky & Partner Architecture)

The best time to visit Tamina Therme is in

the winter. The exteriors are otherworldly,

with large white façades broken up by

giant oval windows that peer outwards to

a contemporary outdoor pool. And it’s all

set into a lush parkland that blends into the

mountain landscape and is capped with

thick layers of snow in the winter.

The interiors are all monumental but

pay particular attention to the Attraction

Pool that feels vast and ultra modern with

tall structural columns rising from perfectly

clear spa waters, evoking a utopian-like

sense of space - a little like being lost in a

dreamworld. As one would expect from

one of Europe’s most popular spas, the

treatments are eclectic and multi-sensory, at

times completely revitalising and renewing,

echoing the golden age of spa culture.

Visit: www.thaminatherme.ch

Tschuggen Grand Hotel in Arosa

(Spa designed by Mario Botta)

With a private funicular designed to help

guests of the hotel avoid the queues to

Arosa’s slopes, the Tschuggen Grand Hotel

is perfect for a combination spa and ski


The most striking architectural feature

of this Mario Botta designed spot is the

mountainscape of skylights that poke out

of the roof, lit in a pleasing array of muted

neons in the evening. The spa rooms though

are a little more grounded, dimly lit with

wooden accents and clean modern lines

throughout, while the treatments are spread

across numerous grottos, saunas, pools and

individually appointed treatment rooms.

Visit: www.tschuggen.ch

Thermalbad Zürich

This inner-city Spa is located in the former

Hülimann Brewery and offers an intriguing

bridge between Zurich’s industrial past and

its contemporary present.

The vaulted underground thermal baths

with their exposed brick walls and ambient

lighting, once a storage for the brewery’s

barrels, are a highlight alongside the rooftop

pool that offers superb views over Zürich.

Visit: www.thermalbad-zuerich.ch

Bernaqua at Westside Bern

(Architecture by Daniel Libeskind)

Set within a bustling water park, Bernaqua is

a perfect option for families. The spa offers

a full itinerary of luxurious spa treatments

alongside a waterpark and a mall, just a few

kilometres from central Bern. There is an

indulgent Asian Spa with numerous massage

options, a collection of hot air saunas

including a Finnish Sauna and a bio sauna,

and two women only zones that includes a

tranquil polar light steam bath.

Bernaqua was designed by avant-garde

architect Daniel Libeskind, with an angular

wooden façade with drastic windows cutting

through the exterior building and flooding

the spa with natural light.

Visit: https://www.bernaqua.ch

7132 Therme in Vals

(Architecture by Peter Zumthor)

7132 Therme is a striking contemporary

resort set into the primal landscape of Vals,

built from 60,000 slabs of local quartz.

The large outdoor pool is the architectural

highlight, but the entire complex is a design

Tamina Therme

in Bad Ragaz

Rooftop outdoor -

Thermalbad Zürich

lover’s dream, with elegant furnishings

throughout, tall windows with views to the

mountains and large relaxation areas with

open fires and a design that offers a welcome

mix of minimalist luxury and traditional

mountain comfort.

Treatments at 7132 Therme are focused

on the experience of bathing, with therapies

devised to relieve tension and to pamper.

There are seven pools but the most

intriguing is the sound bath resonance room

which utilises a soothing mix of water and

sound to achieve a state of near nirvana.

Visit: www.7132.com

Thermalbad Baden

One for the diary, Baden’s new Thermalbad

will open its doors in 2021 when starchitect

Mario Botta has finished what promises

to be an architectural highlight in Baden.

There will be nine pools, including a river

pool, a steam pool and an infinity pool

located directly above the River Limmat.

Until then, you can enjoy Baden’s mineral

rich thermal waters at the BagnoPopolare.

Visit: www.thermalbaden.ch



Copyright: © Robert Kittel / Luzern Tourismus

A Weekend In Lucerne

Perched on the tranquil shores of

a cerulean lake and framed by a

dramatic backdrop of mountain

vistas, Lucerne is the epitome of a postcardperfect

Swiss city.

The fairytale-like Old Town offers a

warren of cobbled streets leading to covered

bridges and idyllic promenades, while the

mountains are connected by rugged hiking

trails, scenic railways and breathtaking cable

car rides. In the summer months classical

music fans flock to Lucerne for the Lucerne

Festival, a spectacular feast of classical

music featuring many of the world’s finest


Walk Lucerne’s historic streets and

you’ll encounter colourful waterside

townhouses topped with towers and red

brick roofs, vibrant plazas bolstered by the

scents of melted cheese and freshly baked

Birnenweggen (Lucerne’s famous shortcrust

pear pastry), ornate frescoed architectures,

some of which date back as far as the

16th century, and the majestic façades of

baroque churches.

Alternatively, take a stroll into the

mountains and you’ll stumble into stunning

panoramas of the lake and the bucolic

Swiss countryside. Hop on a gondola to

the summit of Pilatus and you’ll have a

fantastic starting point for picturesque hikes

along fabulous mountain ridges. Or take

the Pilatus railway that connects the village

of Alpnachstad on Lake Lucerne with

the terminus near the summit of Mount

Pilatus and experience the world’s steepest

cogwheel railway. www.luzern.com

Swiss Museum of Transport

The Swiss Museum of Transport is

resplendent with modern spaces that are

packed full of family friendly exhibits and

a vast permanent collection that includes

everything from steam engines and

helicopter simulators to a boating lake and

theme park style rides, exploring topics as

diverse as the history of chocolate, and the

future of space travel.


As Switzerland’s most visited museum, it

has a bit of a reputation to live up to, which

it does well with exhibits that flirt between

traditional and contemporary, historic and

explorative, as it leads visitors through the

past, present and future of transportation.

Expect tales told through interactive

installations, huge explorable airliners,

an exhilarating walk-in replica of the

International Space Station and fascinating

installations documenting the evolution of

mass transportation. In the Red Bull Media

World, you can shoot your own TV show,

take 360° photos of yourself, and enjoy new

experiences - from travel to surfing - thanks

to Virtual Reality. www.verkehrshaus.ch

Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern

With an enviable location on the banks of

the lake, the five-star-hotel Schweizerhof

Luzern offers grand palatial luxury -

favoured by everyone from Tolstoy to

Anastacia - and some of the most desired

rooms in Switzerland.


Copyright: © Switzerland Tourism

Inside you’ll find a delightful collection

of well-appointed rooms and suites, a

wellness area, three speciality restaurants

and a series of banquet halls. The service

at the Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern is

exemplary throughout, rooms are finished

with large baths and elegant furnishings,

and each night the windows of the hotel are

illuminated in a striking array of coloured

lights that cast a playful technicolour

glimmer out onto the lake.

Choose a lake view room for gasp-worthy

vistas of the water that call to mind Turner’s

dreamy lakeside studies, or a city view

room for romantic views out to the fairytale

rooftops and towers of the old town. www.


Your Ticket For Central Switzerland

The Lake Lucerne region offers a

dramatic topography of lush mountains,

glittering lakes and medieval old towns, all

interconnected by spectacular mountain

railways and cable cars with staggering

views that take in the full emotive beauty of

central Switzerland.

There are an unparalleled number of

sights and attractions in Lucerne, from

mountaintop hikes and cruises aboard

historic paddle steamers, to delicious

mountain cuisine and some of Europe’s

most scenic railways.

Enjoy it all with unrestricted travel by

train, mountain railways and cable cars, bus,

and boat with the Tell-Pass. Choose between

two, three, four, five or ten consecutive days

and enjoy impressive savings with 20 bonus

partners. Children travel for a fixed price of

just CHF 30 for 2-10 days of unrestricted

travel. www.tellpass.ch

Gault & Milau Restaurant Scala at the

ART DECO Hotel Montana

Savour fine food and drink, extravagant

celebrations and cosy gatherings surrounded

by the spectacular panoramic view over the

mountains, the lake and the city of Lucerne.

The SCALA cuisine incorporates

the lightness and sensuous tastes of the

South, inspired by the flavours found in

the regions of southern Switzerland, as

well as in Italy, France and Greece. Many

locals and international hotel guests alike

appreciate the art of fine dining at the Scala

Restaurant. A solid training background


enables the restaurant staff to provide a

cordial and attentive service. They offer

an eclectic wine list. A visit to the outdoor

living room allows the discerning guest to

dive into new architectural and gastronomic

dimensions. The terrace is accessible year

round. On account of the high quality

and strong commitment of the service and

kitchen team, headed by the restaurant

manager Stephanie Christ, the Scala was

awarded 15 points by the international

Gault & Millau gourmet guide. The

restaurant now offers a new concept

“Kitchen Club”, inviting diners to take a

seat in the middle of their stunning kitchen

and observe the chefs preparing meals live

- a truly enchanting experience for all the

senses. www.hotel-montana.ch

Copyright: © ART DECO Hotel Montana





The start of

Mental Health First Aid

training in English

in Switzerland

How many times a day do we ask a loved one, friend, colleague, neighbour or other

acquaintance, “How are you?”, and what kind of reply do we usually get?

Most of the time, it’s a superficial,

“I’m fine thank you”, and then

both parties rush on with their

busy lives.

Sometimes, if the person has a physical

health issue, they may mention that: “I’ve

got a cold and I feel lousy”, or “I twisted

my ankle last week” – whatever it may

be. But what about if they have a mental

health problem? Opening up and talking

about mental health problems is still taboo

and carries a lot of misunderstanding,

uncertainty, fear and stigmatisation.

For someone struggling with their mental

health, being asked how they are is actually

a really important question. Sufferers would

like to be able to talk about their issues

and feel supported by someone who has

the time to listen. But because of worries

about being perceived as weak, having

the courage to answer honestly can

be very difficult.

Also, for many people,

taking the time to listen to a

person with mental health

issues with compassion

and empathy can feel

uncomfortable, or may not

come naturally.

In Europe, 1 in 2 adults

will experience mental distress

at some point in their lives, with

depression and anxiety the most

common diagnoses. 1 Approximately

17% of the Swiss population suffer from

at least one mental illness but in 2013 in this

country, only 33% of those experiencing

mental illness received professional help. 2,3

Many people are not well informed

about how to recognise mental

health problems, how to respond

to an affected person or about

what effective treatments are

available. Plenty of myths and

misconceptions are still out

there. But now is the time to

act. We need to bust these

myths, change these misconceptions and

break down the barriers of stigmatisation

because mental health issues are so


So, how can this be achieved?

Earlier in 2019, the Swiss Foundation Pro

Mente Sana, together with the Beisheim

Foundation, successfully launched the

Australian Mental Health First Aid

1. Wittchen, H.-U., & Jacobi, F. Size and burden of mental health disorders in Europe – a critical review and

appraisal of 27 studies. Neuropharmacology, 2005.

2. Bürli, C., Amstad, F., Duetz Schmucki, M., & Schibili, D. (2015). Psychische Gesunheit in der Schweiz.

Bestandsaufnahme und Handlungsfelder. Bericht im Auftrag des Dialogs Nationale Gesundheitspolitik. Bern.

3. Rüesch, P., Bänziger, A., & Juvalta, S. Regionale psychiatrische Inanspruchnahme und Versorgungsbedarf in der

Schweiz. Datengrundlagen, statistische Modelle, ausgewählte Ergebnisse – eine explorative Studie (Obsan Dossier

23). Neuchâtel 2013.


“Opening up and talking about mental health problems is still

taboo and carries a lot of misunderstanding, uncertainty, fear

and stigmatisation.”

Programme in Switzerland. Here, the

programme is called “ensa Mental Health

First Aid”, ensa meaning ‘answer’ in one

of the Aboriginal languages and being

translatable in German, French, Italian and


This well-validated, evidence-based

programme has existed since the early

noughties in Australia, having been

developed by Betty Kitchener, a health

education nurse, and Tony Jorm, a mental

health literacy professor.

It trains and empowers lay people to

provide initial support to others who may be

either developing mental health problems,

experiencing worsening of existing

mental health problems, or who may be

experiencing a mental health crisis. It’s

essentially a First Aid training programme

with similar principles to those for physical

4. Summaries of studies available at www.mhfa.com.au

First Aid but this time for mental health.

And there is strong evidence supporting

its utility. Several randomised controlled

trials have shown that Mental Health

First Aid training not only improves

a participant’s knowledge of mental

health but also reduces their stigmatising

behaviour towards others and increases

their self-confidence in their ability to

help those in need. In addition, it also

strengthens the individual’s own mental

wellbeing. 4

From October 2019, ensa Mental Health

First Aid courses will be delivered in English

throughout Switzerland, with HealthFirst

being an ensa partner in Suisse Romande.

Any interested person can become a

Mental Health First Aider. No healthcare

background or pre-requisite training is

necessary. Find out more about an ensa

Mental Health First Aid course near you

at https://www.healthfirst.ch/ or https://

www.ensa.swiss, or enquire about a course

within your company or organisation using


Let’s do something about mental health


Dr Michelle Wright, Director, HealthFirst Sàrl

With thanks to Roger Staub, Director Swiss

Foundation Pro Mente Sana

Dr Michelle Wright is a British-trained

General Practitioner and Director of

HealthFirst, providing dynamic First

Aid Training and Health Education in

English throughout Switzerland (www.

healthfirst.ch). She also has a regular

radio show about health on World

Radio Switzerland (www.worldradio.ch/














Whilst it is relatively well-known that the Ecole

Internationale de Genève — affectionately known

as Ecolint - was the first international school in

the world, and the birthplace of the International

Baccalaureate, Ecolint has another claim to fame

which is less well known. Ecolint is also home

to Switzerland’s Reggio-inspired educational

programme. So what does that mean?

Inspired by a desire to create change at

all levels in society in the immediate

aftermath of World War II, the

pedagogy known as “Reggio-inspired” or

the “Reggio approach” was developed by

pedagogue Loris Malaguzzi in the Northern

Italian city of Reggio Emilia, which remains

at the heart of the movement.

The Reggio approach is built on a core

of pedagogical beliefs which are focused

on learning in early childhood, although

many can be applied throughout all stages

of life. Unlike some educational systems or

philosophies, however, the Reggio approach

is not one that can be easily “cut and


It is deeply embedded in the social

context in which each school is situated,

and requires a highly experienced and

intensively trained pedagogical team to

bring it to life in a school environment,

taking into account the realities of the

school community, which includes all staff,

students, and parents, who must work

together to build a successful environment

for learning and intentional pedagogical


The Reggio approach is built on the

premise that every child is a competent

learner, who is capable of rigorous research

and intensive focus. This includes children

who in traditional systems would be

considered to have “special needs”, but

which Reggio schools prefer to regard as

children with “special rights” who enjoy the

same approach to learning as their peers.

What logically flows from the first premise

of the child as a competent learner are the

key principles which govern the approach

to learning. Firstly, the principle that the

child is the primary architect of his or her

own learning, posing their own research

questions and devising their own ways to

seek answers, through a constructivist (i.e.

building their own learning) approach,

rather than the passive or didactic approach

common to many traditional educational

systems in which the theory would see

the learner passively absorb information

which is conveyed by a teacher. Secondly,

to enable this constructivism, the learning

experience must be multi-sensorial, with

children given the opportunity to learn

through observing, touching, smelling,

tasting (where appropriate), listening and

interacting with stimuli, whether they are

naturally present in nature or the classroom,

or are intentionally and thoughtfully offered

to the child as a “provocation”. Next,

Malaguzzi postulated that children possess

“100 languages” which they use to construct

and communicate their understanding.

This includes verbal language, but also

movement, music, role-play, media such as

clay, watercolour, etc. which are all seen as

equally valid languages of and for learning.

Lastly, the Reggio approach is strongly

dependent on the relationships and interrelationships

which the child learner has

with the “three teachers” which the Reggio

approach recognises.

The concept of the three teachers is


central to Reggio pedagogy. The child is

the first teacher, since it is the individual

curiosity, autonomous research, and

commitment to learning naturally present

in children which open the pathway to the

majority of learning. The second teacher

is the other learners, including adults who

accompany the learner(s), whether they

are the regular classroom teacher, the team

of specialists or atelieristas who enhance

projects via their expertise in sculpture,

music, drama, etc., the pedagogista who

works with teachers and parents, or the

other members of staff, who are all - from

cook, to cleaner, to caretaker - seen as an

integral part of the pedagogical team, and

expected to contribute to the pedagogical

project. The third teacher is the physical

environment - whether built or natural - in

which the learner evolves.

To maximise learning, Reggio-inspired

environments are designed to be as

natural and neutral as possible, focusing

more on the learners themselves and the

various materials offered to them. The

environments are as diverse as the contexts

in which the schools exist. In general

they focus on transparency, relation and

reciprocity. The role of light, and the

deliberate blurring of outside and inside,

real and virtual learning environments

(the latter achieved via innovative use

of information technologies) are all

elements deliberately chosen to provoke

dialogue, reflection and interaction. The

environments favour a variety of shapes

and sizes of learning spaces, from large

public or community areas, to smaller

and more intimate spaces, with children

encouraged to use their imaginations,

and the natural environment, to create

their own tools and props. At Ecolint’s La

Châtaigneraie Primary School, Principal

Jennifer Armstrong - who was formerly

Founding President of the Ontario Reggio

Association and a board member of the

North American Reggio Educators Alliance

- was able to design the new building from

scratch to interpret our understanding

of these principles prior to its opening in

2011, and first-time visitors to the school

are always struck by the airy sense of calm

and openness which the building’s design



“The Reggio approach is built on the premise that every child is a competent

learner, who is capable of rigorous research and intensive focus.”

This calm environment also creates

the perfect setting for a pedagogy which

is based on active listening. Teachers are

attuned to exchanges between learners,

focus on thoughtful interjections and

questions and seek to enhance and amplify

the child’s thinking. Teachers practise

a pedagogy of listening that involves

the use of pedagogical documentation

(photographs, videos, scripted sessions

and the work of the children) as a form of

‘making visible’ the learning that is taking

place for all the learners.

Inspired by the educators from Reggio,

who call us all to respect all children as

citizens with full human rights, the learners’

ideas, opinions and hypotheses need to

be present in the choices and decisions

of the community. Reggio-inspired

pedagogy continues to be the object of

study of pedagogical experts around the

world, including renowned developmental

psychologist Professor Howard Gardner

from Harvard University’s Project Zero,

and has inspired both public educational

systems and private curricula including the

IB Primary Years Programme, in which

many aspects of the Reggio approach can

be observed.

Whilst all educators can be inspired by

the approach, schools cannot choose to

“become” Reggio schools in the same way

they can subscribe to other curriculum

models on a “pay to play” basis. Although

Reggio has evolved from its original and

informal community-based organisation

into an official non-profit structure - Reggio

Children - being recognised in any formal

fashion requires a long-term commitment

by a school, a direct and ongoing dialogue

with experts at Reggio Children and other

recognised organisations such as the North

American Reggio Educators Alliance, and

sustained investment in staff training and

development, as well as clear expertise from

the pedagogical leadership in the school.

Being a Reggio-inspired school is a journey

of a lifetime, but given the synergy between

Ecolint’s mission to educate for humanity’s

future and that of Reggio Children to foster

“education and research to improve the

lives of people and communities, in Reggio

Emilia and in the world”, it is a journey in

which Ecolint is very proud to engage in


Jennifer Armstrong is a Canadian national. Passionate about languages, bilingualism and

holistic, child-centred pedagogy, Jennifer followed a BA in Canadian Studies and French

Language and Literature with a second Bachelor’s degree in Education, both at the

University of Toronto. After teaching for several years, Jennifer completed a Masters in

Curriculum and Applied Psychology, with a dissertation focused on Bilingualism. Having

been successively a teacher, French language consultant to the Trillium Lakelands Board

of Education, Director of Academics, Vice Principal and Principal of schools in Canada,

Jennifer was recruited by Ecolint in 2009 to open and run the new Primary school at

La Châtaigneraie, devising the innovative new approach to bilingualism that is in use

today. Jennifer is also a highly-experienced practitioner and advocate of the Reggio

Emilia approach to primary learning, which is the underpinning of the PYP pedagogical

approach. She is the Founding President of the Ontario Reggio Association and a board

member of the North American Reggio Educators Alliance. Jennifer has also lectured

and delivered keynote addresses at many Reggio-inspired conferences and university

symposia in the USA, Canada and Singapore and is the author of a chapter in a National

Association for the Education of Young Children textbook for education programmes on

Reggio-inspired practices in primary school.

Resident in the Geneva area since 2004, Michael Kewley read for a BA and MA in Modern

Languages at Magdalen College, Oxford. Passionate about language and communication,

Michael worked for 17 years at Procter & Gamble in a wide variety of local, regional and

global brand management roles, as well as providing communication consultancy and

training for the EMEA region. Alongside his professional obligations, Michael has been

an elected local councillor in France since 2008, and a volunteer fire and medical first

responder since 2007.



in Gstaad

Explore the three varied toboggan runs in Saanenmöser

and Schönried – endless fun for the whole family!

Daily ticket for adults: CHF 40.–

Daily ticket for kids: CHF 20.–

(price includes toboggan rental)







a world of


With over 1.3 billion international tourists in 2017 and

more travellers crossing borders each year, it’s no

surprise that hospitality is one of the most resilient and

dynamic industries in the world. According to the World Travel

& Tourism Council, one in 10 jobs on the planet is supported by

travel and tourism. Growing by nearly 4% per year, this industry

continues to be a powerful generator of career opportunities: one

out of every five jobs created in the last decade have been within

travel and tourism, and the industry is expected to support an

additional 100 million jobs worldwide by 2028.

Hospitality Myths and Reality

A common misperception is that the hospitality industry is

limited to hotels and restaurants. In fact, this global industry

offers university graduates a vast array of job opportunities

across the world. While high-end hotels and restaurants provide

rewarding career pathways, the reach of hospitality is far broader.

Traditionally grouped within the service sector, at its core,

hospitality is really the business of delivering experiences. With

growing consumer interest in experiences rather than products —

and the rise of the so-called “experience economy” — demand for

hospitality professionals is widespread and growing fast.

The art of providing exceptional guest experiences is needed

not just in hotels and restaurants, but in spa management, event

management, luxury brand management, finance, marketing

and the wider business sector. Meanwhile, the travel and tourism

landscape has been transformed by technology, making way for new

business models and opportunities for entrepreneurs. From online

travel agencies and digital concierge services to accommodationsharing

platforms and new disruptive business models not yet

invented, the hospitality industry encompasses an increasingly

diverse range of companies and careers.

Emerging Roles and Career Opportunities

This shift towards an experience-driven market has given rise to

new creative roles requiring emotional intelligence and the ability

to anticipate customer needs. In this regard, hospitality graduates


“One out of every five jobs created

in the last decade have been within

travel and tourism, and the industry

is expected to support an additional

100 million jobs worldwide by 2028.”

are in a privileged position, as they have

often honed the skills that employers seek.

For example, shortly after graduating with a

hotel management degree from Les Roches

Jin Jiang, Rashila Lobo was appointed

India’s first W Insider — an innovative

tastemaker role developed by luxury brand

W Hotels. W Insiders use their in-depth

knowledge and network to connect guests

with the best shopping and restaurants,

local hotspots, cultural immersion and oneof-a-kind


Other roles and business models have also

emerged in response to growing demand

for unique, memorable experiences. Digital

concierge services like Quintessentially and

John Paul have successfully used technology

to bring the kind of personalised service

typically found in top hotels to clients

anytime, anywhere. Budget boutique hotels

like Mama Shelter and CitizenM immerse

guests in authentic neighbourhoods while

also hosting social events for visitors and

locals. Foodie hotels and experiences invite

travellers to savour craft beer, ceviche and

more in the places where these products

are made. And the rise of such innovative

businesses has created new multifaceted

career opportunities for aspiring hospitality


Filling the Hospitality

Skills Gap

However, as the hospitality industry

continues to grow, global employers are

increasingly facing a shortage of skilled

talent. Graduates with a combination of

managerial expertise, soft skills and digital

savvy are in high demand and short supply.

In 2015, a report by Oxford Economics

for the World Travel & Tourism Council

indicated that the global skills shortage in

hospitality could put over 14 million jobs at

risk over the next 10 years.

Hospitality management graduates

with the right skillset and knowledge

can look forward to a diverse choice of

international careers. But business acumen,

practical know-how and people skills are

competencies that cannot be developed

through classroom learning alone. For this

reason, Les Roches Global Hospitality

Education embraces a learning-bydoing

approach that integrates academic

coursework with practical experience, a

technological immersion on campus and

professional internship semesters, which

can be carried out in almost any country.

Based on the Swiss model of experiential

learning, it’s an educational approach that

has earned the respect of employers: Les

Roches is ranked among the top three

institutions worldwide for hospitality and

leisure management (QS World University

Rankings 2019).

As hospitality offers many different

careers, students may wish to focus on a

particular area of expertise. Les Roches,

with campuses in Switzerland, Spain

and China, offers degree specialisations

in entrepreneurship, digital marketing

and finance. The institution also offers

postgraduate courses and MBAs, designed

for hospitality professionals to further

develop their business and leadership

abilities. But no matter their specialisation,

hospitality graduates with management

expertise, practical experience and

international exposure will discover that

their skills can open many doors.

Dr Christine Demen

Meier is the

Managing Director

at Les Roches

Global Hospitality

Education. She has

more than 20 years

of entrepreneurship experience in the

hospitality industry and served as a

consultant in Switzerland, Côte d’Ivoire,

Turkey and Ukraine. She is a member of

the Swiss Innovation Council.


Gifted: the double-edged sword

This is the first in a series of articles on giftedness, how to

identify it, how it manifests, and how to manage it

The bell curve that establishes what is developmentally

normal for school children helps teachers and other

professionals to direct extra money, resources, and time to

students who are below the average, on the negative side of the bell

curve. But what about those who present above that curve, who are

considered “gifted”? Many teachers consider that these children

should be OK given they are developmentally advanced in one

way or another. If they are gifted, shouldn’t they be excelling?

However, this is far from the truth of what it really means to lie

on the positive side of the curve. There is a real lack of focus and

understanding about the characteristics of a gifted child and how

to teach and manage gifted children.

How do you know if a child is gifted?

As a child psychotherapist, I meet many parents in my office

who exclaim that their child is driving them insane through their

inability to follow directions and focus on even the most basic

tasks, such as brushing their teeth without getting sidetracked, for

example, by building something in their room. Parents will discuss

their child’s high levels of anxiety, and how they ask profound

questions about life and death. They talk about how their child is

prone to getting frustrated, highly sensitive, and socially different.

Many parents diagnose these children with ADHD or another well

known condition. However, most of these characteristics lead me

to write at the top of my notes the question, “gifted?”.

Behavioural characteristics of gifted children:

● Spontaneity and impulsivity

● Intense focus on passions and a resistance to changing activities

when engrossed in own interests

● Highly energetic with little need for sleep or downtime

● Insatiable curiosity and questioning nature

● Strong determination and perseverance

● Frustration, particularly when unable to meet standards of

performance or high expectations imposed by self or others

● Non-stop talking

● Unusual emotional depth and intensity

● Sensitivity and empathy

● Heightened self-awareness, feelings of being different

● Need for consistency between abstract values and personal


● Advanced sense of moral judgement, idealism and justice

What IQ measurement is considered gifted?

Based on full scale IQs, such as the Weschler Intelligence Scales

(WPPSI-IV; WISC-V; WAIS-IV), it is generally accepted that

an IQ of 120 and above means “bright”, 130 and above is

“gifted”, 145 and above is “highly gifted”, and 160 and above

is “exceptionally gifted”. Often these scores are influenced by a

heterogenous profile, where one or two scores are lower, affecting

the score.

I stopped handing in my schoolwork. I would go home

and work on projects but then never be happy with what

I wrote. These were not things I wanted to write, they

were things I was told to write, to fulfill the teacher’s

checkboxes so that their kids would do well, and she

would look good. I wasn’t exploring my creativity or what

I really thought. I stopped handing in my work. I stopped

going to school. I stopped caring. No one understood me

anyway and what was the point of all of this nonsense. I

got put a year back and put on medication.

J. (16 years) – Highly gifted/clinical depression


“Nobody expects a child who

is three standard deviations

below the average to act, think

and understand the world in the

same way the average one does.

However, everyday people expect

that from kids who are three

standard deviations above the

average. Whilst most get that one

or three standard deviations below

the norm makes a difference in

daily living, on the other side of the

curve we are all lumped together.

Talking about a deficiency is met

with empathy; the other side of the

curve is met with comparison and

even contempt. I struggle everyday

with who I am.”

J. – Extreme low self-esteem/

Highly gifted

Learning challenges for gifted children

Giftedness can lead to conflict in the classroom for many reasons.

Gifted children get bored with routine tasks, resist changing away

from interesting topics or activities, are overly critical of themselves

and others, impatient with failure, and perfectionistic. They

disagree vocally with others and argue with teachers. They can

make jokes or puns at times adults consider inappropriate. They

can be so emotionally sensitive and empathetic that it seems like

an overreaction, and may get angry or cry when things go wrong

or seem unfair. They ignore details and turn in messy work. They

reject authority, are non-conforming and stubborn. They dominate

or withdraw in cooperative learning situations. They are highly

sensitive to environmental stimuli such as lights or noises.

A gifted child is an independent learner and may choose not to

complete all requirements of an assignment because they don’t

see the point of them. They also take their own approach to

Teachers didn’t know what to do with me, I would joke

around in class, disturb all the other kids. I would lose

things all the time and not follow directions; teachers

were constantly annoyed with me. They thought I had

ADHD, turns out I just wasn’t challenged enough. They

moved me up a grade, I got challenged and most of the

behaviour automatically stopped. I still lose everything,

but I am never pulled aside anymore, and it feels good to

be challenged.

K. (12 years old) – Gifted/ dysgraphia

problem-solving, and can be side-tracked by an idea they find more

interesting than their homework. Giftedness comes along with what

is known as the autonomous factor, which means that you’re not

interested in whether other people see the value of what you’re

doing, but more in how important it seems to you.

The gifted or stupid paradox

A classroom can be a torturous place for gifted children as they are

required to conform to educational norms. When unrecognized,

gifted children can suffer more or just as much as kids with a

recognized “difficulty”, and many gifted children actually do

not get top grades. The classroom can feel like a prison to these

children, to the extent that they drop out of school or become so

severely depressed or anxious that they are hospitalized.

Paradoxically, gifted children often think they are “stupid”. If,

for example, they are twice exceptional (E2), it may cause problems

or deficits like dysgraphia, leading to struggles with writing and

putting thoughts on paper. In the younger years this might mean

they see others progressing much faster, and start internalizing

that they are “less able”. In “Growing Up Gifted”, Barbara Clark

(1979) reported on a young female student had spent 18 years

believing she was not intelligent because she asked more questions

than her peers in class. Later, in Clark’s university class, when the

characteristics of the gifted were discussed, the woman strongly

identified with the description. During a conversation with her

parents, the student found out that she had an IQ of 165. School

personnel had advised her parents not to discuss her extraordinary

IQ with her, resulting in her low level of academic self-esteem.


I struggle in school, I know I am popular, I always have so many kids around

me. I get invited to all the parties. Regardless I feel so deeply empty, I feel so

lonely. I am surrounded with people, but I always feel isolated and lonely. I have

this deep hole in my stomach, and most days are hard to get through. I know I

think in ways that others don’t; I get bored with their conversations, but I just

pretend. The only time I feel good is when one of my friends visits from abroad;

we can talk for hours and days about everything and anything such as space and

time and existence.

L. (16 years) – Highly gifted/ clinical depression

year olds whose maturity level and topics of interest are hugely


Given these challenges, many gifted children are more

comfortable interacting with the teacher and other adults rather

than peers, which can lead to bullying and further social isolation.

I feel like there is something missing, I feel like I am

different. I struggle with friendships; I have one close

one but not lots of friends. When that friend left it felt

like a deep hole was created. I am at the top of the grade

and feel like I need to do everything just so, but I feel like

I have no real control. I am amazing at sports and put a

lot of attention into that. Regardless I feel isolated. I feel

like I can control my eating.

N. (14 years) – Gifted / eating disorder

Social differences in gifted children

Gifted children present a unique social profile, because many - but

not all - aspects of their development occurs at an accelerated rate.

Usually, the child’s intellectual development happens on a faster

trajectory than their peers, while physical, social and emotional

development does not (Tolan, 1999). This uneven development

means gifted children can experience unique difficulties in various

developmental areas, for example, resulting in a 6 year old child

who functions as a 12 year old in academics, an 8 year old in sports

and a 5 year old when he loses a game. This uneven development

experienced by gifted children explains why many of them may

struggle to make or maintain friendships; kids expect others

to think, act, and speak as they do, and the gifted child is left

frustrated and questioning why they are not “normal” when they

realize that this is not the case. Given how sensitive they are, they

feel these social variabilities deeply.

Asynchronous social development can be accentuated when

gifted children are moved up a class, or even two, especially in

the early tween years when a 10 or 11 year old is in class with 13

Social isolation in gifted girls

Social isolation is a common issue for gifted children in general,

although often more so for girls, according to Dr. Kathleen

Noble: “Not all, certainly, but... the majority of gifted women

are introverted. And introversion by itself leads one to isolate.”

This means that along with understanding what giftedness is all

about, it’s important to understand introversion. Introverts get

their energy from solitude and if space is not made for them to

experience that solitude, it can put gifted girls at grave risk for

developing conditions from depression to eating disorders as a

way to create that personal space. A lot of gifted girls have intense

radar, which can intensify introversion. These children will also

have to work harder to find peers and friends than the average


The characteristics outlined above represent an overview of why

gifted children can struggle in school due to their unique academic,

social, and emotional developmental issues. It is understandable,

given the profile of the gifted child, why they remain

misunderstood and often overlooked, which in turn often leads to

severe mental health outcomes and unfulfilled academic potential.

In our next article, we will discuss how educational professionals

and parents can support these children to navigate school, social

interactions, and other important aspects of life, and how this can

lead to better outcomes for them and their families.

Laurence van Hanswijck de Jonge is a Developmental Clinical

Psychologist with a background in Neuropsychology who

provides developmental and psychological assessments for

English speaking children between the ages of 3 and 18 at

KidsAbility in the Cayman Islands. Her practice is rooted in

Positive Psychology and her belief in the importance of letting

our children flourish through building on their innate strengths.

She is certified by the University of Pennsylvania, USA, to run

the cutting edge resilience building programme for children.

She is also a CogMed coach, an evidence-based Computer

Training program which sustainably improves attention by

training working memory.

Dr. Laurence van Hanswijck de Jonge, PhD Child Development



Why revision needs

to start NOW!

IB DP Coordinators share tried and true advice on

how to revise over the long-term.


certainly know when I was in my final year of school

the synonym for revision was “cram” – trying to revisit

EVERYTHING you’d learnt in the past 1.5 years in that

month before the exams. It’s an impossible task and I’m glad to see

the tone has since changed. Although, it’s entirely possible that my

teachers insisted on regular revision, but I didn’t pay attention…

Does that sound a little bit like your child?

In any case, the IB Diploma Coordinators we spoke to are

unanimous in their agreement that the best revision is cyclical,

frequent and regular. Not only does it help keep the foundations

of your child’s learning strong, it avoids the stress of a situation

ahead of the exams where a student realises they don’t remember

something crucial in the curriculum. So, whether your child is in

first year or second year of the IB, or in their final years of another

programme of study, here’s how you can encourage them to revise


Be clear on what revision DOESN’T look like

While it may seem obvious, Keith Sykes, IB Coordinator at Collège

Champittet, still often finds himself impressing on students and

parents that studying and revision isn’t hours and hours on end

flicking through textbooks and notes, while lying on the bed,

updating Snapchat and Instagram, with the TV or music on in

the background. “My advice is short, sharp bursts. I’m not saying,

leave Insta, Twitter alone totally. I’m saying 25-30 minutes, real

focused concentration. Good quality work. Committing things.

Memorization techniques. Then take a 10-15 minute break, and

go back and do it again. This is better than hours and hours of

mediocre ‘revision’ ”. Every student by this stage should have a

better idea of what approach to study works best for them. What

works for one, might not work for the other. Identifying what

quality and effective revision looks like for your child is the first


Be organised and create a schedule

Dr. Eugene Stevelberg, IB DP Coordinator at Institut

Florimont, insists that students keeping up with their work is very,

very important. “Students should request of their teachers, if their

teachers don’t do it already, that before they start a new lesson to

go over very quickly, what they’ve done in a previous lesson.” He

says students should expect at least two hours of homework every

night for day to day work, plus the right time put aside for Internal


Assessments in each of their courses and the Extended Essay.

Joseph Amato, IB DP Coordinator at Zurich International

School (ZIS) recommends students to create a schedule: looking at

the time they have available, deciding which subjects require the

most amount of time, deciding how they’re going to best prepare

for those subjects and then sticking to that schedule. “I tell them not

to necessarily spend a whole day just studying Maths at the expense

of everything else. Maybe the emphasis that day is Maths, but try

and get the other subjects in as well. Then, of course for different

students, maybe another system works better. It does depend on the

student and needs a personal approach.”

Get your hands on curriculum outlines, marking schemes and

past papers

To truly get ready for revision from the first term, Keith Sykes of

Collège Champittet recommends students ensure they get a copy

of the written curriculum for each of their subjects. This will help

them track their progress, annotating where they’re confident and

where they need help. “Schools will also use DP planners, and

students can ask the school or the teachers: When are they are

going to put the breaks in? Are they doing it by chapter in a book?

Are they doing it by topic? When are they doing an experiment?

Find out what those weigh points are and use them to structure

your mind mapping and summarizing throughout the course”.

Other documents he recommends getting hold of early on are past

papers and marking schemes. “They are all so readily available. It

seems to me to be an insanity to not looking at the questions you

might get asked!”

Regularly make notes

Note-making is a recurring theme among DP Coordinators. Dr.

Zoe Badcock, AP/IB Coordinator at the International School

of Zug and Luzern (ISZL) advises students make the effort to

summarise their learning as they go, for example, to make revision

notes at the end of every unit in preparation for a unit test. “I

often see them doing that all at the end of two years, and if they’ve

just spent time doing that after each unit, it wouldn’t be such an

onerous thing”. She’s observed that when students do this they

aren’t as worried about poor grades in the final exams because they

have a real sense of their learning progressing. If, in the process of

making notes, they notice they haven’t understood something, they

know it’s something to allocate time towards revisiting.

Joseph Amato (ISZ) equally emphasises the importance of

regular revision. “Even though we have a very short, tight school

year to get everything done, I try and build revision into our day to

day experiences, maybe every few days take a half a class to go over

topics, to practice an essay from something we did from the year


Keith Sykes (Champittet) admits that mind mapping and

summarising is a key skill, that in itself takes practice. He often gets

students to use the Cornell note taking method, which requires

them at regular intervals, in the evening or at the end of the week,

to summarise their learning, a good way of committing things to

medium- and long-term memory. He says that “Another thing that

students don’t generally do, but they should, is to review a couple

of weeks or a month and look at how the work they’ve done in

one subject relates to work they’ve done in other subjects.” This

transfer of knowledge and making links is core to the IB, and

something students work on in Theory of Knowledge, which helps

to understand, internalise and store knowledge longer.

Make a plan for using free periods productively

Free periods are certainly there to give students a bit of breathing

space and independence. But their purpose is to create time for

the individual to focus on what the individual needs to work on –

outside of a class setting. It is certainly an exercise in self-discipline

and self-management but one that will pay off enormously in

the future. Making time to plan the day or week ahead, reflect

on what’s most urgent and what can be rescheduled – these are

common indicators of happy and effective people in the workplace.

So, now’s the time to start practising! Kate Bradley, Head of

Secondary at La Côte International School advises students to use

their free periods to “ensure they’re doing something related with

their studies and making sure there’s no gaps in what they’ve just

learned. It could also be using that time to structure their notes in

folders, dividers. Organisation and persistency are key to IB DP


Mentor your child

Clearly, as parents, we all reach a point where we can no longer

help our children with the content of a particular subject. But

taking an active interest and asking the right questions can aid

students in identifying what knowledge they master, and what

they’re still unclear on. Dr. Eugene Stevelberg (Florimont)


recommends regularly asking your child when

they get home what they’ve done in class

that day, something key they’ve learnt

or something they didn’t understand.

If they can explain something well,

they’ve understood it well. So,

this exercise helps them be more

aware of what they need to focus

on in their revision.

He understands that not all

children want to confide in their

parents. “Adolescents, especially

who are going through a difficult

period in their life, don’t always

enjoy sharing or want to share with

their parents. But parents don’t need

to be a friend, it’s probably better to be

less of a friend and more of somebody who

is taking the role of a mentor. They need to

keep an eye on them, on how they use their computer

and when they use their computer, and establish and maintain a

consistent dialogue with them.”

Encourage peer-learning

Speaking of friends, they are key revision partners. At a time where

adolescents might be resistant to their parents’ or their teachers’

advice, they will listen to and want to learn from their friends.

And sometimes peers have ways of explaining concepts that their

friends will understand better than a teacher’s explanation. Keith

Sykes (Champittet) finds that revising together with peers is a great

method, face to face or online. “We find a lot of students get good

material from ‘Student Room’ online and work well remotely with

other students across the globe. We had a student a couple of years

ago that found a like-minded studier in Boston, through ‘Student

Room’. They shared notes, skyped, interacted with each other

and formed a real collaborative learning partnership that saw him

through his exams.”

Be aware of your school’s policy on study break and

maximise it

As the final exams approach, many schools will release the students

from class for independent study. But the timetabling of this often

changes quite a bit depending on the timing of spring break, the

time it takes to complete the particular course of study your child

is doing, and what the best practise is considered to be at your

child’s school. John Switzer, Upper School Principal of Zurich

International School (ZIS) finds that while students tend to say

they study best at home, they often actually get more value from

coming into school and studying in an allocated space where they

have access to their teachers to ask any questions they might have.

Joseph Amato, IB DP Coordinator at ZIS agrees that “a lot of

teachers feel that students are best served being in class going over

old papers and gaining from what they hear from their classmates”.

He explains that the amount of release time is very dependent on

when Easter falls, and schools that have a longer release period

may have a longer school year to begin with and may have more

hours.” So, don’t be surprised if one school has one-week study

break vs. 3-4 weeks at another. Simply investigate the reasoning

behind it and plan accordingly, especially the use

of holidays.

Use holidays wisely

When it comes to holidays,

Andrew McLachlan, Deputy

Head of Curriculum at La Côte

International School, emphasises

that it’s very, very important

that students take time off as

they need downtime, but this

needs to be balanced against the

demands of the programme, and

well-planned for. “Students need

to balance their study time and their

downtime. We try to help students to

plan from 18 months backward, and if

they do their planning and keep up the good

work, regularly, they can do it. I don’t mean to

say they can’t have a vacation, but they should also take

advantage of vacation times as well to revise. Some of the summer

vacation will need to be dedicated to finishing up their Extended

Essay, and often Christmas & Easter vacation in year 2 is more or

less cancelled. But it’s a question of using one’s time wisely as there

is simply not going to be a lot of spare time.”

Dr. Zoe Badcock (ISZL) shares a tangible anecdote of how using

holidays strategically can lead to success. “Last year we had a

group of very high achieving boys, and very sporty boys. Because

they knew they wouldn’t have so much time during the school

year due to their sporting commitments, they would review during

holidays. That discipline to just allocate a bit of time regularly

made all the difference.” She emphasises how valuable it is when

parents support the holidays as moments to review, especially in

the second year of the IB which is not the time for a big family

holiday, especially Easter break. So, her big tip is when it comes

to planning vacations, keep the IB student at the centre of your

decision-making. Stay home at Easter or go somewhere that still

allows studying to be the priority.

So now you can start the school year armed with a wealth of

IB Diploma Coordinators’ top tips for students to get the most

from their learning. What’s more, your child will come away with

organisational habits that they’ll also take with them into further

studies and beyond.

Sandra Steiger has over 10 years’ experience teaching

English at various schools in Switzerland. She now works

as Academic Support Manager at TutorsPlus. During her 6

years at the International School of Geneva, she was also the

Service Learning programme Coordinator, International Award

Supervisor, a Homeroom Mentor and Head of Year 8.

If your child needs a helping hand with revision, TutorsPlus

provide specialist private revision tutors, as well as regular

revision courses throughout the year. If you feel your child has

any gaps in their knowledge or exam technique, we’d be happy

to match them with an experienced tutor who will ensure they

move forward with confidence and solid foundations. You can

reach TutorsPlus at 022 731 8148 or info@tutorsplus.com


Stunning spas


in the city

Switzerland is a paradise for all spa

lovers. What better way to round off

your next city getaway than to soak

in a stylish spa?


Locarno: Termali Salini & Spa.

Architecture by MORO e MORO architects

The Termali Salini & Spa is adjacent to the lido public bath of Locarno,

and they are an oasis of peace. The water used in the spa stems from the

deep valleys of Ticino. The water’s journey was a source of inspiration for

the local architects of MORO e MORO. The interior reflects the Ticino river

valleys in an abstract and modern design.

Zurich: The Dolder Grand Spa.

Architecture by Sir Norman Foster

The award-winning Dolder Grand Spa by Sylvia Sepielli

is an oasis for those who love to relax and want to feel

pampered. The spa with a panoramic view of Zurich

offers a unique wellness programme over 4,000 square

metres. In addition to the spacious swimming pool,

guests can enjoy the separate Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s

spa areas.



City breaks

City breaks are a brief escape

from everyday life – and our

Swiss Boutique Towns are perfect

for the occasion. Swiss

towns and cities offer a wealth

of unparalleled variety in a very

compact space. It becomes

an unforgettable experience for

visitors if they can see the town

through a local’s eyes.


Art Museums of Switzerland

Amazing art, design and photography:

a visit to one of the Art

Museums of Switzerland promises

a unique experience. Located in

charming boutique towns, eleven

world-class museums present

grand sights on little space.


Design & Lifestyle Hotels

High standards of design, a clear

definition of form, carefully chosen

materials – Design & Lifestyle Hotels

are characterised by inspiring architectural

accomplishments. A holiday

in these select hotels will make the

hearts of the style-conscious guests

beat faster.


Find more inspirational experiences and tips: MySwitzerland.com/expats or contact

expats@switzerland.com or phone 0800 100 200.



With the long summer holidays

over, and the prospect of

a productive autumn term

ahead, this is a good time to think about

gardens and gardening, both in and out of

school. There is a great deal of evidence

that shows that kids and adults are happier,

make better food choices and have

improved self-confidence if they can spend

some time outdoors in a garden setting. It

can be difficult to find the time to do this

in a busy school day, particularly if your

school doesn’t have any outdoor space, or

you live in an apartment, but there are lots

of fun and interesting ways to get kids into

gardening, even if you don’t have a garden.

Projects for home

Autumn is a time when the days are getting

shorter, and the weather is less appealing so

think about ways that you can get growing

and use the space that you have.

Spring flowering bulbs like daffodils and

crocuses are best bought from September

onwards, when the choice is broadest and

the bulbs are still fresh. These are terrific

when grown in pots for a balcony or terrace,

and with some careful planning, you can

have colour from January right through to

June. The trick for long-lasting colour is to

“layer” the bulbs in the pot. Each type of

spring flowering bulb will then push their

way to the top of the pot when it’s time for

them to bring the fireworks, and you can

pack in a surprising number of bulbs into

a small space. You can buy kits of different

kinds of bulbs, or you can make your own.

Start off with a pot intended for use

outside, that has drainage holes in it, and

fill the base with expanded clay balls to

help keep the drainage holes free of roots

and soil. Then you can add a layer of soil

or bagged compost, about 10cm, and start

planting. The biggest and latest flowering

bulbs, such as alliums or tulips, go in on

the bottom layer. They need to be at least

10cm from the top, but can be up to 25cm

from the top. Cover them over with soil or

bagged compost and put in the mediumsized

bulbs, like daffodils. Repeat with the

smallest bulbs, like crocuses or muscari. I

like to tuck some winter-flowering plants

like pansies in on the top, for some extra

colour before the bulbs start to appear in

January or February. Keep the pot watered

over the winter, and you’ll be rewarded

with masses of pretty blooms for months.

You can try pots with just one colour

of plants, or clashing, multi-coloured

ones, or even search out some sweetsmelling

combinations like the daffodil

“Cheerfulness” with the tulip “Prinses


Projects for school

School gardens make fantastic outdoor

classrooms, not just for learning about

growing food, plant development and

reproduction but also for topics like ecology

and the environment. As we head towards

the winter, this is the time to think about

what helpful insects you might like to find in


If you have space in your school

garden, then perhaps an entire

class could work together

to make a large-scale insect

hotel, with lots of different

environments to suit the needs

of different overwintering bugs?


your school garden next year. Lacewing and

ladybird larvae are voracious consumers

of aphids, those common garden pests

that can transmit diseases and stunt plant

growth. If you want these predators to help

you control aphids in the garden, then you

need to make the garden inviting for them

to want to spend the winter there. It’s an

easy project to make your own ladybird

and lacewing hotel, and there is plenty of

interest to see if the hotels are occupied,

and discussing why might they prefer one

over another – is it in a more sheltered

position? Are the bamboo tubes a better

size? Is it warmer in one place or another?

Choose a selection of tubes, like bamboo

canes, hollow straws and grasses that you

think your guests might like. Bind them

together with string or pack them tightly

together in a flower pot. Find a spot in a

warm, sunny place, out of the wind, and

either hang up the tubes or tuck them into a

space in a wood pile or somewhere safe, so

that the tubes are horizontal.

You can even try a very low-tech version

of this by cutting the base off a 2l plastic

bottle and rolling up some corrugated

cardboard to fit inside. Punch two holes

towards the bottom of the bottle and

push a stick through the holes so that the

cardboard can’t fall out. Hang the bottle,

with the lid on it, from a tree or near a

building, and watch to see your aphid

exterminators move in!

If you have space in your school garden,

then perhaps an entire class could work

together to make a large-scale insect hotel,

with lots of different environments to suit

the needs of different overwintering bugs?

These can easily be constructed using

stacked pallets, or a Swiss railway box

pallet. Paper tubes and flower pots are great

for bundling materials together, and the

contents can vary hugely, depending on

what insects you would like to attract. Moss,

grasses, bark, twigs, slate and small pebbles

are all easy to find and inexpensive. Once

the hotel is in place, in a sheltered and

warm spot, then the roof needs to go on.

Old roofing tiles, or old planks and roofing

felt, work well and are easily removed if you

want to move or dismantle the hotel. You

can even put some sedums or wildflowers

on the very top in some gritty soil to

“green” the roof.

If you’re lucky enough to have your

school garden in an area near woodland or

lots of gardens, then you can plan space for

hedgehogs to overwinter at the base, or put

in some stones and moss and rotting logs in

the centre to attract overwintering toads.

Gardens to visit in the autumn

There are hundreds of fantastic gardens to

visit, across Switzerland, and they all have

their own special charm at different times

of the year.

If you don’t have woodland near you,

and would like to enjoy the best of the leaf

colour and playing in fallen leaves, then the

Ermitage at Arlesheim is a perfect family

outing. This is a very romantic and exciting

place to visit, and the beech woods are a

great place to play or collect leaves. The hill

is pretty steep, so plan for a climb to get to

the top, and enjoy the wonderful views and

“follies” like the caves and the wood cabin.

Near Zurich there is a remarkable garden

which surrounds the headquarters of FIFA.

It’s right next to the Zoo, so you can add

a visit to the FIFA garden to a visit to the

Zoo. The garden is structured to represent

all the continents where football is played,

and there are characteristic plants from

each of these regions. There are a large

number of ornamental grasses in this

garden, and they are at their best in the

autumn, glowing golden in the soft sunlight.

The garden surrounds the offices, but is

fully accessible to the public, so pop in and

take a trip around the world.

The extraordinary alpine garden at the

Schynige Platte is worth a visit at any time

of year, but the access cog railway is a little

less busy in the autumn than at the height

of summer, and you’ll find there are still lots

of plants flowering once you arrive. Parts of

the garden are quite steep and require good

footwear, but some of it is also accessible

with strollers or wheelchairs. All of it is well

signposted, the plants are well labelled and

the team that run the garden are hugely

knowledgeable and very enthusiastic.

Entrance to the garden is free with the

cog railway ticket, and the garden and the

railway usually close at the end of October.

All the botanical gardens in Switzerland

are free to visit and you can expect to

find lots of family-friendly activities in the

autumn. Bulb planting, making a modern

herbal, observing bees, following in the

footsteps of giants, you’ll find all this and

more at your local botanic garden. Check

out www.botanica-suisse.org for a full list of


Hester Macdonald is a garden designer,

journalist and the founder of the

Swiss Gardening School. Her new book

“Gardens Switzerland” was published

by Bergli Books in 2019 and is the

first trilingual guide to gardens across



Why the IB Diploma Core

(TOK, EE and CAS) are worth so much

more than a mere 3 points

Is your child entering the IB Diploma feeling a bit intimidated by the Theory of

Knowledge course, or daunted by the prospect of writing the Extended Essay? Have

they come home saying, “TOK + EE are only worth three points out of the 45 so

they’re not something worth worrying about”.

Well, the DP Coordinators we spoke to across

Switzerland would want those students who think the

DP Core only weighs 3 points to know that they are

gravely mistaken. Likewise, they have encouraging words for those

a little concerned by it. By following the criteria and expectations

of the Core carefully, it can be quite straightforward to achieve

success – and those three valuable points. But by really engaging

fully with the IB Diploma Core, you can add enormous value to

your other subjects and in-so-doing, even add something like six

more! How is this possible?

If your child is studying or intends to study the IB Diploma,

you’re probably already aware that it is a programme that

places special emphasis on holistic and inter-disciplinary

learning, exceptional critical thinking skills and an application

of learning that is of benefit to society. The type of thinking

and demonstration of learning that the IB evaluates depends on

students being able to think from different perspectives, transfer

knowledge and apply what they learn in useful and ethical ways.

These skills are exactly what the Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

Course, the Extended Essay (EE) and the Creativity, Action,

Service (CAS) programme seek to achieve.

So, let’s hear some more what DP coordinators have to say about

engaging with and getting the most of out the IB Diploma core.

How engaging with Theory of Knowledge can increase your


Joseph Amato, IB DP Coordinator at Zurich International School

(ZIS), understands why students can feel a little intimidated by


“Not only does CAS

serve to keep students

balanced and physically

and mentally healthy, but

in a very practical sense, it

helps them enhance their

university applications.”

having to study a subject that they haven’t really thought about

up until now. But he would reassure students that nobody needs

preparation to study TOK and it’s a course that from the first

day you can walk in and experience and enjoy. While many

students are initially preoccupied by the essay and presentation

(which they’re graded on), he emphasises that what makes a very

interesting, useful TOK course is the opportunity to bring in many

outside speakers, as well as take advantage of the talents of the

teachers at school who have backgrounds and expertise in a variety

of areas. All of this contributes to perspectives that go

into eventually writing a better essay, and doing a better


John Switzer, Upper School Principal of ZIS echoes that he

thinks, “the best schools or the best TOK programmes are not

discreet. Meaning it isn’t like you just go there for TOK and

the moment you step out of that room, now I’m back to my

Physics or Biology room. Actually, no, it’s more or less a way of

epistemology. How do I know what I know? And what are the

ways by which I come to realise things? Perception, logic. Again,

that’s something that everybody can do.” According to many ZIS

graduates, feedback on TOK is that it is something they really

come to appreciate when they’re at university, that the skills they

learned are very transferable. John elaborates that, “a professor at

the University of British Columbia told me that when she begins

an undergraduate class, she asks a few questions and she can

immediately tell who did the IB Diploma, because of the TOK

way they answer that question.”

Keith Sykes, IB Coordinator at Collège Champittet, also finds

that many students have a tendency to shove TOK to the side to

concentrate on their 6 subjects, especially because if they intend to

study in Switzerland, The Core is not accepted by universities here.

So he takes the following approach to get students to understand

how truly valuable TOK can be, even in this scenario. “I always

start asking them, ‘What is TOK worth?’ And they’ll say, ‘A point,

one and a half points, three points max.’ And I will always say to

them, “Well, what if I tell you that TOK is potentially seven and a

half points? Because what you learn in there, if you’ve got the right

mind to apply to everything, can add a point on to every single

subject. It can turn 32’s, 33’s into 36’s, 37’s.”

The hidden value of the Extended Essay

It can also befuddle many students how such an extended piece

of work as the Extended Essay can be apparently worth so little.

However, the value of the EE is many-fold: in the opportunity it

gives for students to explore an area of their choice and passion;

in practising demonstrating knowledge in a way that facilitates

earning points in their final exams, and in preparing students for

all the extended pieces of researched and referenced work that they

will have to prepare at university.

Kate Bradley, Head of Secondary at La Côte International

School emphasises that this is a major strength of the Diploma

Programme, that other programmes simply don’t prepare students

for currently. “I think some parents say, ‘Oh, well, it’s only worth

some bonus points. We’re not going to give our time to that.’ But


it’s actually worth two years’ time into university when you’ve got a

thesis to write, and you’ve got no idea how to do it. This, combined

with TOK which explores ways of knowing and ways of thinking,

which are completely different to anything in any other curriculum,

the strength of the DP Core.”

Both John and Joseph at ISZ agree that it’s a first attempt at a

university level research paper and even if students have a hard

time, or even if it’s an utter disaster, they’ve learned what they need

to do to make it better next time, without it impacting their overall

score too much.

But as for the immediate benefits, it’s a joy for many teachers to

see how many students just come alive throughout the Extended

Essay, simply because of the freedom it gives them to explore

a passion or interest that is theirs and even theirs alone. It is

sometimes the aspect that brings about a joy of learning and

confirms the direction that a student wishes to take in the future.

Keith Sykes (Champittet) has fresh in his mind just one such

student: “The opportunity the EE gave him to explore cultural

identity in post-Soviet Central Asia – where he’s from - has

been the thing that has changed his approach to his studies. He

originally had a very fixed view, and I’d play Devil’s advocate and

ask, ‘How do you know that?’ ‘But what would this group say

about that?’ And from that he’s got a passion for it as well as a wellargued

essay now. The best piece of work he’s ever done. It sparked

such an interest, that on the back of this, he’s now organising a

debate club in school as part of CAS and will be our guy to go to

the Model United Nations.”

CAS keeps you happy, healthy and motivated throughout your


The example above, is typical of how Creativity, Action, Service is

intended to be interwoven into a student’s learning experience. It

shouldn’t be thought about as something extra that you HAVE to

do, but rather an opportunity to integrate activities and passions

you already have into the Diploma, or apply what you’re learning

in a creative way or an activity that benefits the community.

Kate Bradley (LCIS) says that’s where the magic of the Diploma

Programme is. “If you break it down, it isn’t about the fact you

could do Chemistry at High Level and Physics at High Level,

because you could do that in any curriculum. It’s about the fact

that you have to think about who you are in the world, and do you

add value or do you take it away? And if we all thought that, the

world would be a much better place”. She emphasises the Service

aspect of CAS in particular helps many students to experience

life outside their bubble which prepares them for living in a place

that could be very different to all they’ve ever known, and see how

societies function in ways they had never thought of.

Not only does CAS serve to keep students balanced and

physically and mentally healthy, but in a very practical sense,

it helps them enhance their university applications. Andrew

McLachlan, Deputy Head of Curriculum at LCIS, sees this

advantage of the IB DP as compared to A-Levels, for example: “In

the A level, pupils really have to think about what they’re doing as

extracurricular activities to enhance their personal statements, and

letters of recommendation, references, what have you. However,

the CAS is very much embedded in that holistic approach to

ensure that they’ve got the Creativity, Action and Service covered.”

So, don’t let your child be fooled into thinking the Diploma Core

isn’t worth a lot.

It is the heart and soul of the IB Diploma programme and its

value goes far beyond the mere three points that it appears to

weigh at first glance. If you have more questions about Theory

of Knowledge, the Extended Essay, or the Creativity, Action,

Service programme, get in touch with your school’s IB Diploma

Coordinator and we’re certain they’ll be thrilled to tell you more

about it and give you advice how to keep it at the centre of your

child’s IB experience.

By Sandra Steiger - Academic Support Manager at TutorsPlus

Sandra Steiger has over 10 years’ experience teaching English

at various schools in Switzerland. She now works as Academic

Support Manager at TutorsPlus. During her 6 years at the

International School of Geneva, she was also the Service

Learning programme Coordinator, International Award Supervisor,

a Homeroom Mentor and Head of Year 8.

TutorsPlus can provide specialist IB Diploma tutors, experienced

with the curriculum and exam preparation. If you feel your child

has any gaps ahead of moving into the IB DP, we’d be happy

to match them with an experienced tutor who will ensure

they move forward with confidence and solid foundations.

Additionally, if you have questions regarding school choice or

the best curriculum to suit your child, TutorsPlus’ Education

Consultants would be happy to guide you. You can reach

TutorsPlus at 022 731 8148 or info@tutorsplus.com




The autumn store cupboard has so much to celebrate. The end of summer heralds

the arrival of punchy root vegetables like celeriac, squash, Jerusalem artichokes

and beetroot, while shrubs and orchards groan with blackberries, quinces, apples &

pears. These recipes are designed primarily with comfort in mind, and to highlight

how eating seasonally can brighten up those darkening days…

Warm Autumn salad

The perfect nutrient-dense heart warmer for lazy weekend lunches, this salad is

always a winner among friends. It’s an extremely good natured dish, meaning you

can prepare all the ingredients in advance, then re-heat the roasted vegetables

and throw it all together at the last minute. Omitting the pancetta for a vegetarian

version works well, too.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.

Place the apples, onion, squash and garlic clove in a bowl and toss with the sage, pumpkin

seed oil and a generous pinch of sea salt and pepper. Once each piece is coated, transfer to

a foil lined baking tray and roast for 35-45 minutes, or until the pieces are lightly brown and

soft, giving them a mix every 15 minutes or so. Remove the skin of the garlic and mash the

clove until smooth (this will be added to the dressing).

Fry or grill the pancetta strips until golden brown and set aside. Once cooled, chop finely until

you have a crumb-like texture and reserve.

Make the dressing: combine all the ingredients in a jar, add the mashed roasted garlic and

shake together until homogenous. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Combine the raw cavolo nero, roasted vegetables, cannellini beans and feta in a serving bowl,

toss with the dressing and sprinkle over the pancetta crumb.


1 red onion, sliced into rings

1 apple, chopped

½ small butternut squash, peeled

& diced

2 tablespoons pumpkin seed oil (or

olive oil)

Handful fresh sage, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, whole with skin on

150g cavolo nero, tough ribs

removed and finely julienned

1 x 400g tin cannellini beans,

strained & rinsed

100g feta or goats cheese,


8 strips thinly sliced pancetta


4 tablespoons good quality

olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

½ tablespoon lemon juice

Salt & pepper


Spatchcock chicken with pinenuts, raisins & Marsala


1.6kg chicken

80g raisins

400ml Marsala

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

30g pinenuts

A delicious, low-hassle dinner. Serve with

celeriac mash or bulgar wheat and an autumn


Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.

Put the raisins in a small saucepan with the Marsala

and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave

to swell for half an hour.

Place the pinenuts in a small saucepan over a low heat,

moving continuously, until they are lightly browned.

To spatchcock the chicken, place it breast side down

on a board. Use kitchen scissors to cut along either side

of the spine to remove it completely. Flip the bird over

and press down firmly on the breasts until you have

flattened it.

Place the chicken in a roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil

and season generously with sea salt and black pepper.

Roast the bird for 20 minutes, then spoon the raisins

& Marsala over the chicken and roast for a further 20

minutes. Check the juices run clear, not bloody, from

the thigh or leg, then remove from the oven and allow

to rest for 10 minutes under a tea towel.

Cut the chicken into pieces, transfer to a warm serving

dish and drizzle over the cooking juices and raisins

Serve scattered with the toasted pinenuts.

A note on spatchcocking:

Spatchcock chicken cooks much more

evenly than a normal roast as the thickest

parts of the bird - the legs - are exposed,

and therefore cook at the same rate as the

breasts. This simple butchery technique

also drastically reduces the cooking time

down from over an hour to 35-45 minutes

and produces a perfectly tender result

with crispy skin. See above on how to

spatchcock the bird, or ask your

butcher nicely to do it

for you!


Baked autumn

fruit with boozy

clementine cream

There is something so comforting

about a bowl of baked fruits,

and autumnal pears and plums

are best showcased this way.

Just make sure you start off

with marginally under-ripe

fruit (except the blackberries),

otherwise it will fall apart on



3 conference pears, cored and

quartered (unpeeled)

6 plums, halved and pitted

125g blackberries

Juice and zest of two clementines

75g honey

2 tablespoons whisky, brandy or sherry

1 handful crushed amaretti biscuits

(optional, to serve)


200g mascarpone

Grated zest of two clementines

1 tablespoon soft brown sugar

Cointreau, as desired!

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas

mark 5.

Place the fruit in a large ovenproof

dish. Whisk together the clementine

juice, honey and alcohol and pour

over the fruit. Bake in the oven for 40

minutes, or until the fruit is soft.

Combine the mascarpone, clementine

zest and sugar in a bowl and gradually

whisk in the Cointreau.

Serve the warm fruit with the cream

and crushed amaretti biscuits, if using.

FICO By Betty is a London based

catering company, serving delicious

Mediterranean food around the UK

and Europe. Betty also runs cookery

and yoga retreats in Crete and her

custom made ceramics from Puglia

are available to buy through her

website www.ficobybetty.com


Helping teenagers argue…



have little doubt that a number of readers will feel that

teenagers argue too much. However, I wish to put the case for

the opposite! So let me begin by clarifying what I am talking

about in this article when I refer to the ability to argue. I am not

talking about those times when teenagers make unrealistic demands

of their parents, or when a discussion passes boiling point and

ends with the stomp of feet up the stairs and the slamming of a

bedroom door. Nor am I talking about those times when parents

pass the point of frustration with what seems like the innate ability

of some teenagers to question absolutely any request, however

small and reasonable it might seem to their parents. Rather, I am

talking about the ability to present a point of view in a thoughtful

way, whilst showing respect to those who hold a different opinion. I

am talking about constructing an argument using a logical thought

process, while taking account of the bigger picture that provides

the context for whatever is under discussion. I am talking about

the ability to listen to those with whom one disagrees, taking on

board points made by others, but nevertheless holding firm to

important principles. I am talking about developing negotiation

skills and ultimately reaching a level of maturity that understands

that arguments are often about clarifying and learning; not about


The ability to argue effectively is an important skill for teenagers

to develop as they approach adulthood 1 . It is a skill that will make

them more marketable to potential employers; it will help them

build stable adult relationships; it will help them in situations where

they need to be able to listen to, and negotiate with, others. But this

is not a case of developing a life skill, all of whose benefits lie at

some stage in an uncertain future. In the shorter term, those who

have begun to learn the skills of arguing effectively in their early

teenage years are better equipped for some aspects of their ongoing

education as well as being armed with a powerful weapon to help

them resist some of the negative peer pressures with which they

might be faced in their later teenage years.

As indicated above, there are a number of aspects to arguing

effectively. As with any complex skill, time and practice are essential

to its successful development. One of the ways that human beings

learn is through their mistakes, and learning to argue effectively

is no exception. At times, teenagers get it wrong: their frustration

may take over, they may shout and become disrespectful, but when

1 https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/surviving-your-childs-adolescence/200908/arguing-your-adolescent


“Parents who have developed the ability to understand what is happening

even in the midst of a simmering situation, and who can answer arguments

calmly, clearly and logically, do the most in such situations to foster learning. ”

these things happen, they rely on the significant adults in their lives

to help them learn from their mistakes. The important question for

parents, then, is not how to prevent teenagers arguing, but how to

best help them develop their argumentative tendencies in a way that

will equip them for the adult world to which they are headed.

Advice for Parents

Try to keep calm. Parents, of course, can bear the brunt of

it when teenagers are going through the learning process, and

especially when they get things wrong. However, responding with

the same type of broken behaviour pattern that is being portrayed

by the teenager is not helpful in moving the situation forward.

Shouting over your teenager to stop them shouting, or becoming

aggressive in response to perceived teenage aggression, both

represent a knee-jerk reaction to a crisis situation that may bring

some momentary emotional relief, but neither lays the groundwork

for a constructive way forward. Similarly, trying to demonstrate

that you can be even more stubborn and unreasonable than your

teenager, may feel in the heat of the moment like a way to win an

argument. However, it will likely also fuel longer-term bitterness and

relationship breakdown. All these approaches really only end up

with two people behaving badly. Consequently, the teenager learns

nothing about arguing effectively. If a situation becomes heated,

be ready to walk away until the temperature has cooled sufficiently

for you both to be able to return and address the topic in a more

rational way.

Distinguish between disrespect and argument. Even a

cursory glance at websites on the subject of teenage behaviour

will show that argument and disrespect are frequently linked.

However, this is not a necessary link. Teenagers often ask questions

by arguing. Parents who have developed the ability to understand

what is happening even in the midst of a simmering situation, and

who can answer arguments calmly, clearly and logically, do the most

in such situations to foster learning. Teenagers benefit most from

parents who can model appropriate ways to disagree and good

argumentation skills, enabling them to learn more about the issue

under discussion and also about the good use of argument as a

learning tool.

Promote the ability to construct logical argument. Teenage

brain development starts at the back of the brain and moves

forward 2 . This means that teenage responses are governed more by

the amygdala, situated at the back of the brain and triggering strong

emotions, than by the pre-frontal cortex, which is at the front,

develops later, and governs logical thought. As most of us have

observed, teenagers often respond to situations emotionally and

need help if they are to develop the skills of making a considered

and logical response. Teenagers are often told of the need for a wellconstructed

argument without anyone ever really explaining what

that is or how it can be developed. Helping teenagers understand

how to develop good argumentation skills and to put them to use is

an important factor in their preparation for adult life.

Model respect and good argumentation skills. The best

way to help your teenager understand the need for respect, even

when they disagree with someone’s viewpoint, is to model it in

your dealings with them. Good parents take time to listen to their

teenager’s point of view and to consider their arguments. They

ask questions and seek clarification when they do not understand.

They value good points made during the course of an argument

and remain polite even when provoked. They demonstrate empathy

for their teenager and their situation, and explain their decisions

carefully. Adopting such approaches as a parent both models

respect and demonstrates some of the important skills for arguing

effectively. The teenager who knows how it feels to be respected

is far more likely to respect others, and the teenager who has

experienced significant adults in their life arguing effectively is far

more likely to seek to develop similar techniques.

Keep the bigger picture of parenting in mind. It is important

for parents to keep in mind the overall goal in parenting a teenager

– to help the teenager reach the point where they can enter the

adult world successfully. For the parent, winning an argument

with their teenager is not the ultimate goal. Sure, it may give a

short-term feeling of satisfaction, but especially if the argument

has been won through the use of bullying tactics, or by sacrificing

truth for expediency, the overall goal will have been set back. This

is not to say the parent should always give in, or should sacrifice

their fundamental principles. However, wise parents will look for

opportunities to give ground when their teenager argues effectively,

admitting that the teenager has explained a perspective they (the

parent) had not previously understood or appreciated. Through

such comments, the teenager “feels” the value of arguing effectively

and is more likely to press on with the development of this

important life skill.

The tendency for teenagers to argue is, of course, part of their

natural development. They test their boundaries by arguing

as they strive for independence. Rather than something to

be avoided, tolerated, or “squashed”, this natural element of

human development contains considerable potential for personal

empowerment in those who can be helped to develop the skill to

argue effectively.

Dr Steve Sims is author of the blog Regarding Teenagers and

Director of the Basel Learning Hub in Switzerland.


2 https://raisingchildren.net.au/pre-teens/development/understanding-your-pre-teen/brain-development-teens







in the World of

Global Nomad Families

Imagine your son beaming with joy about wearing his

bright purple dress to Kindergarten, his first week in a new

international school, in a very socially conservative region

of the world. Does your gut clench? You aren’t alone if it does.

Even the most open-minded people understand that our world is

still heavily gendered, and that there are consequences for kids who

don’t play by the spoken and unspoken rules about how boys and

girls “should” act. There are also consequences for the parents

of kids who behave in gender expansive ways, and it is the fear of

the consequences for ourselves as parents and for our kids that lead

lots of parents to worry and wonder quietly: “What is all this new

gender stuff?”

A gender expansive child is a child whose clothing, toy, game,

and/or friend choices is different from what is expected of them

based on the sex they were assigned at birth. In a nutshell, their

interests and tendencies expand beyond the limited “boys do this”

and “girls do that” boxes. As you set out to read this, maybe you

are a parent whose child is somewhat (or very) gender expansive.

Maybe this doesn’t apply to your family at all, but you know other

families on this journey and you’d like to learn to be a good ally.

Maybe you are admittedly suspicious of this seemingly new trend,

and you are uncomfortable with something that seems unnatural.

Statistically speaking, odds are very good that there are gender

expansive and/or transgender children in your communities right

now. In this Part One of a Two-Part series I hope to shed some

light on “this gender stuff.”

First, some definitions:

Sex Assigned At Birth: The way the doctors labeled you (most

often male or female) after a peek at your outwardly visible body


Gender Identity: Your internal, personal, heart-and-head-felt

sense of how male, female, both or neither you are.

Cisgender: Refers to the identity of a person whose body parts

(Sex assigned at birth) are aligned with their internal heart/head felt

sense of gender (Gender Identity).

Transgender: Someone for whom their body parts (sex assigned at

birth) are different from their internal felt sense of gender (gender


Gender expression: How we express our internal felt sense of

gender to the world.

Parents often have questions as they begin to understand that body

parts do not determine gender, and that gender is broader than two

simple categories.

1Is it normal for kids to be curious and “try on” other

gender identities?

It is absolutely a healthy part of child development to explore

a wide range of interests and clothing. Why else would preschools

have such wonderful costume/dress-up sections? But trying on

clothes or finger nail polish or playing with toys (gender expression)

usually associated with “the other gender” is not the same thing

as trying on gender identities. We know from research and clinical

experience that of the children who behave in gender expansive

ways, some grow up to be cisgender, heterosexual adults. Others

grow up and identify as cisgender and gay, lesbian, bisexual or

pansexual. Yet others grow up identify as non-binary or transgender

(Ehrensaft, 2016).

2How will I know if my child is transgender?

As you can see above, just because your child is gender

expansive in early childhood, it doesn’t mean that they

will inevitably identify as a transgender child/teen. Dr. Diane

Ehrensaft (of the UCSF Gender Clinic and The Gender Affirmative

Model) notes that when children are insistent, persistent and

consistent about their transgender identities than it is an indicator

that their internal felt sense of gender is different from the way the

world expects them to be. We know that many children whose body

parts are different from their internal sense of gender feel increasing

dysphoria (upset) as their body develops and/or as the world

around them treats them as if they are their sex assigned at birth

rather than in alignment with their felt sense of gender. Children

who are merely experimenting with gender expression (trying on


clothes- wanting to be “like daddy”) generally do not experience

upset when the world treats them as expected based on their sex

assigned at birth. Insistence, consistence, and persistence about

their gender identity, as well as increasing discomfort when asked to

behave or present in ways that match their sex assigned at birth can

be indicators of an underlying gender identity journey. Ultimately,

though, there is no single sentence answer to this question. If your

child is persistent about their gender identity, and/or expresses upset

consistently about being treated as their sex assigned at birth, it is

recommended that a gender specialist and/or gender specialty clinic

be consulted to help understand the child’s behavior and gender


3What is a gender specialist, and won’t they have an


A gender specialist is a professional with a mental health

or a medical background who understands the complex nature

of gender identity development and who has developed a

specialization area in the assessment and support of gender

expansive kids, teens and their families. In some cases, gender

specialists work in private practice, and in others, there are multidisciplinary

teams collaborating in medical centers. An ethical

responsible gender specialist’s only “agenda” will be to understand

the child’s gender presentation in the context of their development.

A gender specialist works with kids and families to clarify what kinds

of support the child and their parents need while the whole family

navigates the gender journey. An ethical gender specialist will not

steer the child or outcome in any certain direction and will help

families understand gender, communicate with each other and make

relevant decisions together (Keo-Meier, Ehrensaft 2018).

4How old does a child need to be to know they are


Research and clinical practice suggest that by ages 3-4, most

children can answer questions about their gender identity. This may

seem young, but I always encourage parents to try to remember

the exact time they knew they were a boy or a girl. Most of us

say, “ I just knew.” The same is true for many transgender kids.

At the same time, just because a child hasn’t been announcing it

since preschool, doesn’t mean their preteen or teenage transgender

identity isn’t real. Preschool/Kindergarten is an age by which many

children are articulating that they are on a gender journey. It is also

true that the onset of puberty is another time when preteens and

teens report a clear sense that their changing/developing body parts

are not in alignment with their internal felt sense of gender (Keo-

Meyer, Ehrensaft 2018).

5Lately, everywhere I look there is more talk about

transgender kids. Its almost as if it is a fad. Aren’t

kids just using this as a form of rebellion?

Parents almost always find a way to ask, “What causes” gender

expansive behavior. The best answer at this point in time is that

gender identity is formed through a complex interaction of genetics,

biology and social environment. Although gender expression

choices (clothing, hair, interests) can be influenced by peers, there is

no indication that our internal gender identities can be changed or

created by another’s influence. To suggest that gender identities are

fads indicates that kids and teens simply choose to be transgender

when they so wish. Data is beginning to suggest some brain and

behavior connections related to gender, but it is too early discuss

those trends clearly (Keo-Meier, Ehrensaft 2018). Most parents of

children who are gender expansive report that their children have

been naturally drawn to their interests well before peer influence

would have kicked in. Furthermore, research shows that gender

expansive and transgender kids and teens are likely to be ostracized

socially, and targeted for teasing (Pepper, Brill 2008), rather than

heralded as Avant guard trendsetters. Considering gender identity a

choice also discounts the clear data related to gender dysphoria and

the tremendous discomfort that preteen and teenage transgender

youth often experience as they navigate their gender journeys.


6It just doesn’t seem “natural.”

Actually, there is evidence in nature that gender diversity is

naturally occurring in plants, animals and humans. Gender

identity variation can be viewed as another natural expression of

science, genetics, biology and environment.

7Why is it happening so much more now?

There is evidence that for centuries, people in cultures

around the world (Native American, Thai, Nepalese, Indian,

Samoan, Hawaiian, various African tribes) demonstrated gender

diversity and/or “two-spirit” concepts in which people were

recognized to have a balance of male and female energies and to be

respected for their related knowledge and skills (Brown, Mar 2018).

It is true that gender diversity has gotten more media attention in

the past decade or so, but the concept of gender diversity is not new.

8What is the connection between gender identity and

sexual orientation?

The answer to this question is: There isn’t necessarily a

connection. It is important to understand that gender identity,

gender expression and sexual orientation are three very different

things that often get tangled when we speak about gender. As noted

earlier, although there are some gender expansive children who

later identify as gay, there are also many gender expansive children

who identify as heterosexual. Being transgender has nothing to

do with to whom you are romantically and sexually attracted. As

someone once explained to me (in an admittedly oversimplified way)

“Sexual orientation is whom you would like to go to bed WITH;

Gender identity is whom you would like to go to bed AS.” Those

are two totally separate things. The LGB and TQ communities

have worked together to help advocate for one another and may

fall under the same umbrella in organizations. But in reality your

internal felt sense of gender is totally separate from your patterns in

romantic attraction.

9I read somewhere that transgender kids have a lot of

mental health problems. Is this true?

It is true that many children and teens who are gender

expansive experience greater levels of anxiety and depression

than children who more easily land in our traditional gender

boxes. There is a social cost to pay for being different from others

and behaving in ways that are unexpected for teachers, parents

and other adults. Most of the available research is related to gay

children and teens and the statistics for them are startling. Dr.

Caitlin Ryan did research in 2010 that suggested: without parent

support (this is critical), lesbian and gay teens and young adults are

8 times more likely to attempt suicide. They are 6 times more likely

to experience anxiety and depression. They are 3 times more likely

to develop a substance abuse problem. Additionally, according to

research, they struggle to imagine that they can have happy healthy

lives as gay or lesbian young adults. However, research suggests

that with family support gay and lesbian teens are not at greater

risk for mental health problems than other teens (Ryan, C., 2010,

Le et.al, 2016, Travers, R., 2012, Wilson et.al., 2016). Clinical

experience suggests that gender expansive and transgender kids

are at greater risk for mental health problems (anxiety, depression,

attention concerns) especially if they do not have the support of

their parents and community. It’s the alienation, judgment and

questioning that takes it toll on a child’s wellness (Barrow, Apostle

2018). In a nutshell, there is no clear evidence that gender identity

concerns are always indicative of mental health concerns.

One of the many things we know about being part of the global

nomad community is that we find ourselves faced with learning

new things and understanding there are a myriad of ways to honor

others’ identities. We are often challenged to rethink what we used

to view as “normal” and we are skilled at respecting differences

within and among people.

Because of the above, global nomad parents have an advantage

making sense of the shifting public dialogue about gender identity,

and how these concepts relate to our kids. Part Two of this series

will specifically address how to support the gender expansive and

transgender children in your lives. There are fairly clear “do’s” and

“don’ts” with the kids in our communities, and we will discuss them

fully in Part Two.

Barrow, K., Apostle, D., (2018). Addressing Mental Health Conditions Often Experienced

by Transgender and Gender Expansive Children. The Gender Affirmative Model: An

Interdisciplinary Approach to Supporting Transgender and Gender Expansive Children, pp.


Brown, E., Mar, K., (2018) Culturally Responsive Practice With Children of Color. The

Gender Affirmative Model: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Supporting Transgender and

Gender Expansive Children, pp. 55-70.

Ehrensaft, D. 2016. The Gender Creative Child: Pathways for Nurturing and Supporting

Children Who Live Outside Gender Boxes.

Keo-Meyer, C., Ehrensaft D., (Editors) The Gender Affirmative Model; An Interdisciplinary

Approach to Supporting Transgender and Gender Expansive Children. (2018).

Pepper, R., Brill, S. 2008. The Transgender Child. A Handbook for Families and


Ryan, C, Rusell, ST, Huebner, D Diaz, R, Sanchez, J. Family Acceptance in Adolescence

and the Health of LGBT Young Adults. Journal of Psychiatric Child and Adolescent Nursing.

2010; 23(4): 205-213

Dr. Laura Anderson has been a licensed child and

family psychologist for nearly twenty years. For

most of her career, Dr. Anderson ‘s offices have

been primarily based in school settings. She

has worked in public, private, international and

charter preschools, elementary, middle and high

schools. Dr. Anderson has expertise in learning and

behavioral assessments, emotional/behavioral interventions in

classrooms, working with adoptive families and working with genderexpansive

children and their families. Dr. Anderson is currently based in

Oakland California, and she provides national and international training

on a variety of child psychology topics. Dr. Anderson is a founding

member Parenting-in-the-Gap, a group under the umbrella of UCSF

Mind-the-Gap that focuses on training therapists to work effectively

with family members of gender expansive youth. In the past year, Dr.

Anderson has done presentations related to supporting LGBTQ youth

and their families at the Gender Spectrum Conference, the Hawaii

Psychological Association Annual Convention, the California Adoption

Connection conference and the Families In Global Transition conference

in Amsterdam. For both personal and professional reasons, Dr. Anderson

is passionate about supporting global nomad gender expansive, nonbinary,

and transgender youth and their families.



Hoher Kasten:

Family Friendly Hiking In

The Appenzell Alps

The Hoher Kasten is a mountain located in the Appenzell Alps with a 360 degrees unlimited

panoramic view over six countries. It is located on the border between the cantons of

Appenzell Innerrhoden and St. Gallen.

Lush mountainsides quickly descend into teardrop lakes

of the most vibrant blues, gabled houses sprout from

cobbled villages and drastic slopes mark the ridges of the

Rhine Valley. From here, the rugged tor of the Appenzell Alps,

it’s possible to see the breathtaking panoramic landscapes of 6

European countries.

To reach the top, take the scenic cable car from Brülisau. Watch

as bucolic meadows adorned with traditional farmhouses and

colourful flora become little more than a natural patchwork of

distant greens as you ascend 1794 metres to reach the summit of

iconic Hoher Kasten.

Beyond Hoher Kasten

From Hoher Kasten, the eastern gateway to the Alpsteins hiking

area, it’s possible to embark on a diverse itinerary of hikes that

span 400 kilometres of trails with no less than 6 cable cars and a

delightful collection of mountain inns, perfect overnight options for

even the most frugal of families Whilst planning your hike, make

sure that you check the weather conditions and dress appropriately

as it can snow even as early as September.

The best walking option for families is the family trail Hoher

Kasten – Kamor – Forstseeli - Brülisau, which begins at the cable

car and takes hikers along the mountain ridge Kamor before

descending through a peaceful pine forest, where you can either

continue to the idyllic Forstseeli Lake for a waterside picnic or

to the mountain inn Ruhesitz where it’s possible to rent scooters

to ride back into Brülisau for a slightly more energetic end to the


The easiest route, accessible all year round, even with a buggy or

a wheelchair, is the Europa-Rundweg Circular Trail. A 259-meter

trail that waltzes around the entire summit of Hoher Kasten, the

trail provides views of Europe’s incredible mountain scenery -

including the Rhine Valley, Appenzellerland and Lake Constance.

Along the route you’ll find immersive viewing platforms that

reach out over the mountain peak, a revolving restaurant, benches

and free-to-use telescopes with educational integrated peak

identification systems, and there’s a surprising alpine garden filled

with rare plants. On a clear day it’s possible to lookout to Germany,

France, Liechtenstein, Austria and Italy’s Monte di Zocca.

Another option is to hike to the dreamy Fählensee lake. This one

is a little trickier but it’s still accessible for families during Autumn

before the snow falls. Follow the Geological Trail directly from

the summit of Hoher Kasten and hike along the edge of the lake

to find a dairy farm, home to a herd of Appenzeller goats. Back

on the opposite end of the lake you’ll find the quaint mountain

inn Bollenwees nestled into a pastoral saddle in the mountain,

complete with inspiring views of the lake and surrounding

countryside. From there you can continue to hike back down into

Brülisau through spectacular forests, cow pastures and stunning

nature trails alive with distinctive flora and fauna.



Top tip for families,

exploring the Appenzell Alps has

never been easier or more affordable.

Children up to 15 years of age can

travel free of charge on the Hoher

Kasten cable car throughout 2019 as

long as they are accompanied by at

least one adult. And the offer is

open to school groups too!







SGIS Annual Conference 2020,

Institut Florimont, Geneva

‘20-20 Vision’

Preparing the ‘students of today for the challenges of

tomorrow’ has long been a central tenet for educators. Yet,

it seems to be more crucial now than at any other time.

How can we best support our multilingual learners, and provide

for their success?

How can we ensure that our children develop the skills and

attitudes to ensure their full and meaningful participation in


How can we fully plan for and utilize the range of learning

environments to ensure the learning spaces within and beyond our

school’s walls are organized, positive and safe?

These questions and many more like them will be addressed

at the upcoming SGIS Annual Conference, which takes place at

Institut Florimont, in March 2020.

Chairman of the SGIS, and Head of Leysin American School,

Marc Ott said, ‘The goal of the conference is for all participants

to learn from one another. In addition, we hope we can continue

strengthening the relationships between the international Englishspeaking

and French-speaking communities in education’.

The SGIS is proud of its reputation as a prominent contributor

to continuous professional development in education. Its Annual

Conference represents a close collaboration with the hosting

school, in this case Institut Florimont, and colleagues across its

member schools. Teachers, educationalists, educators and parents

of international, private and public education establishments will

most certainly enjoy a rich two-day professional development

opportunity, under the meticulous planning of the Swiss Group of

International Schools.










Furthermore, the wide range of seminars will be offered in

French and English, to member and non-member schools. This

marks the second bilingual conference in recent years, covering the

majority of curricula offered in Switzerland.

Sean Power, Director General of the Institut Florimont has been

very proactive in bringing the conference to his school. He said,

‘“We were delighted to have been asked to host the 2020 SGIS

Annual Conference. It gives us a great opportunity to open our

doors to anglophone and francophone delegates and visitors, who

will be able to experience at first hand the warm welcome which

Institut Florimont is known for. We look forward to a rich and

rewarding two days next March”.

The conference promises to have something for everyone – from

specialist second language teachers, to well-being and pastoral

coordinators, Middle and Senior leaders and School Boards.

The conference will introduce internationally reputed speakers

such as Michael Thompson, Fred Genesee, Jean-Marc Dewaele

and the innovative Rosan Bosch.

Michael Thompson, New York Times best-selling author and

clinical psychologist, will share his research findings which focus on

the social, emotional and psychological wellbeing of children and

adolescents. He will also highlight how teachers and parents can

best support the children in their care.

Fred Genesee, author and a professor at McGill University will

present a number of workshops which explore language teaching

and learning. His research looks at bilingualism and the early

stages of assimilating two languages.

At the same time, Jean-Marc Dewaele, Professor in Applied

Linguistics and Multilingualism will share his research findings,

which look at the link between emotional wellbeing and second

language learning.

Rosan Bosch is internationally renowned for her innovative

designs of workspaces, which question and re-write the age-old

design theories of schools and classrooms. In her book ‘Designing

a Better World Starts at School’ Bosch presents a new, exciting and

alternative framework for inspiring and imaginative learning areas.

Her keynote and workshops at the 2020 SGIS Conference will

address these points and are guaranteed to make delegates think


Finally, the conference will also offer opportunities for colleagues

to share their good practice and action research, in a series of

Teacher Presentation sessions.

The SGIS Annual Conference promises to offer a ‘20-20

vision’ by providing a rich, rewarding and topical insight into the

challenges facing educators and parents now and most importantly

in the future.

For more information about the upcoming conference, please

click on the following link:- http://www.sgischools.com/cms/, and

look out for further features in the ISP magazine and online version

over the next 6 months.

The Swiss Group of International Schools (SGIS) exists to

support international schools in Switzerland and neighbouring

countries in achieving their educational goals and to provide

representation on issues of common interest.

Alison Piguet (Vice-Chair, SGIS)



(up to 15 yrs)

ride along

for free!


• Even more impressive, with new Europa

Rundweg Circular Trail: observation

terraces, rocky track, benches, telescopes,


• Unforgettable 360° panorama at 1794 m

above sea level

• Eastern Switzerland panoramic summit

in the Alpstein hiking region

• Familyfriendly hiking tours

• Unique revolving restaurant

Hoher Kasten cableway

Dorf 22, 9058 Brülisau

Tel +41 71 799 13 22

www.hoherkasten.ch #hoherkasten #topofappenzell


Why developing empathy is a

vital part of education

Every parent wants to see their child

succeed. That’s why investing in

a great education is a top priority

for parents of children of all ages. For

some parents, they imagine their child

succeeding in a professional sphere, perhaps

leading a company or performing a surgery.

For others, they imagine their children

succeeding socially and developing the skills

to communicate well with others and get


But what if the first thing that came

to our minds when we dreamed of our

children’s futures was less measurable than

grades, accolades or social currency? What

if instead, we imagined them as young

adults walking into their futures carrying

two very important tools: a global mind and

a generous heart. How would this shape

their future and opportunities? How would

it impact our world?

What is a culture of caring and why does

it matter?

A culture of caring is a learning

environment that upholds the dignity

of all and emphasises the development

of empathy for others. It creates space

for different experiences and sees these

differences as opportunities to help one

another reach their potential. Developing a

culture of caring in our schools is both an

opportunity and a necessity.

“A completely reasonable question is

to ask what education is for,” says Frazer

Cairns, Director of International School of

Lausanne. “And if we do, we need to think

about the kind of future society we want

to live in and the kind of values we want

people to uphold.

“Seen in this light, the purpose of an

education is not to prepare young people

to join the workforce or to prepare them

for university. These are just steps along the

way rather than a destination in themselves.

The ultimate purpose of an education is

to help them become wiser, and better,

individuals. We certainly need society to be

creative and innovative but we also need

it — or rather the people that make up

society — to have a sense of responsibility

for others and a sense of duty.”

How a culture of caring can impact

children’s futures and the future of our


Most of the cultural messages we receive

1 https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2018/09/10/generosity-isnt-just-about-doing-good-its-also-good-for-our-mental-health-suggests-new-study/#34ed6d555286


“When young minds are exposed through

education to the needs of others in our

world, both near and far, we can expect

them to become more globally-minded

and well-rounded thinkers and feelers.”

today centre around one theme — us. What

can simplify our lives? How can we improve

our lives? How can we achieve success?

While there is nothing wrong with pursuing

self-improvement or setting and achieving

individual goals, we often lack messages that

encourage the extension of empathy, love,

or service to one another. This messaging,

or lack thereof, has an effect on our young

people and what they learn to believe as

valuable pursuits in life.

Frazer Cairns continues, “If young people

do not learn to respect and actively support

the dignity of others, then the future of our

planet is, in my opinion, very bleak and

chaotic. A core aspect of education is to

help young people develop the confidence

and the energy to work towards what they

have recognised to be right.

“Clearly I hope that schools will help

produce extraordinary people; people who

will take an issue by the horns and shake

up the world. However, I hope too that

those same schools and colleges will help

to produce a far greater number of nurses,

carers in old people’s homes, loving parents,

and supportive friends who recognise that

their collective compassionate acts could

have a far greater and much longer-lasting


When young minds are exposed through

education to the needs of others in our

world, both near and far, we can expect

them to become more globally-minded and

well-rounded thinkers and feelers. What we

may not consider, is how it can help them to

actually find their unique place in it.

American writer Frederick Buechner

defines vocation as, “the place where your

deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger

meet.” Instilling a sense of empathy in

our students sets them on a path to pursue

vocation rather than merely occupation. It

reframes the question passed down from

generations: “What will you be when you

grow up?” to, “What problem do you wish


to solve in the future?” When students

are free to pursue vocation rather than

occupation, they develop a deep sense of

purpose in their work and private life and

learn to take delight in being generous with

the time and talents. More so, developing

an empathetic and caring character is

also proven to improve health and selfconfidence

and reduce anxiety 1 ; issues many

parents are concerned about today.

Opening young eyes to the world

For more than five years, the Swiss

humanitarian organisation, Medair, has

been partnering with international schools

in Switzerland to help educate young minds

about the needs of people affected by

natural disaster and armed conflict in some

of the world’s most isolated and vulnerable

places. Based near Lausanne, Medair has

been welcomed into international schools,

including Zurich International School,

St. George’s International School, GEMS

World Academy, The International School

of Zug and Luzern, La Côte International

School and International School of

Lausanne to facilitate real-life learning

activities that bring world issues right into

the classroom.

Lorretta Cuff, Medair’s Educational

Community and Outreach Officer for

French-speaking Switzerland, explains,

“Our goal is to encourage students to be

more aware and empathetic to the needs

of others and take positive action to help

through fundraising and awareness raising.

“To achieve this, we offer turn-key

programmes ranging from classroom-based

activities to student-driven projects from

the primary to diploma level. We provide

resources for teacher-led sessions and offer

classroom visits to schools interested in

becoming more involved in a wide range

of global topics affecting our world’s

poorest and most vulnerable people. These

resources help make these topics come to

life and help to educate and engage students

with social causes.”

Through these resources, students across

Switzerland have learned about the plight

of refugees through a simulated learning

experience, exposing students to the same

difficult decisions refugees must make daily

to survive. Other students have benefited

from lectures by humanitarian workers

working on the frontlines of crises such as

the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. More

students have learned how their talents

can intersect with social justice, as was the

case for art students from the International

School of Zug and Luzern who created

a class project that advocated and raised

funds for global issues including povertyalleviation

and food scarcity.

“We help students realise that they can

harness their skills and talents for the good

of others, which is ultimately good for

them too,” adds Manon Blaufelder, Deputy

Manager of Medair’s Zurich office.

Barry Dequanne, Director of

International School of Zug and

Luzern, found the immersion activities

particularly meaningful to his students.

“The opportunity to involve students in

a simulation event rather than simply

presenting to them was extremely powerful

as a learning experience. Feeling what

a refugee would feel and walking in

someone else’s shoes enabled the students

to better understand what refugees have

to go through and helped them to develop

a deeper sense of empathy. Such an

experiential learning opportunity enriched

the discussions about migration that had

been going on within our classrooms and

helped our students to understand and

empathise, and in turn, serve as stepping

stones to taking action.”

Equipping students to be change-makers

“I believe there is a yearning for purpose

among young people — an eagerness to

know what they can do to help tackle the

issues they see in the world around them,”

says Medair CEO, David Verboom. “We

are grateful to have the opportunity to

encourage this global mindset and offer

them tangible and simple solutions to

making a difference in their world.”

With a great education, it’s safe to assume

that our young people will be equipped

with the skills need to be great teachers and

lawyers and parents and leaders. But if we

assist them in developing a generous heart


and a globally minded worldview, they can

have great with great impact too.

For more information or to bring these lifechanging

resources to your school or service

group, please contact: info.school@medair.

org or learn more at: https://www.medair.


If you are interested in building your

child’s empathy right at home, consider the

Refugee Box – a card-based activity, which

can be easily set up around your kitchen

table. Through stories, videos and role

playing, the whole family can gain a deeper

understanding of the plight of refugees in

under 45 minutes.


Medair is a Swiss humanitarian

organisation inspired by Christian

faith to relieve human suffering in

some of the world’s most remote

and devastated places. www.



Medair sends experts in health,

shelter, and water to help families

meet their most urgent needs

quickly during emergencies. They

then stay to help people recover

and safeguard against future



Medair is active in 12 countries

responding to major disease

outbreaks, aiding survivors of

natural disasters, and helping

refugees affected by on-going



International families

on the move

Transitions, no matter what kind, are at the best of times challenging. Leaving what you are

familiar with and stepping into the unknown can be overwhelming.

Recognising and responding to the challenges families face

when moving from one home to another led the Inter-

Community School Zurich to develop a comprehensive

Transition Programme for international families.

This programme was created to make new families part of the

school’s community as quickly as possible as a way to optimise

academic performance. “This is what we excel at,” says Mrs

Campbell, Head of School. “We take a strategic and systematic

approach to making the experience of ‘joining and leaving the

school’ as successful as possible to ensure a smooth and stress-free

transition for both children and their parents.”

Developing a personalised learning pathway

Preparing to welcome a student to a new school is a process of

sequential steps that starts well before the child’s first day. The

Admissions Department provides parents with resources and crucial

information while educational specialists make the appropriate

age-level preparations to develop a personalised learning pathway,

including specialised support for non-native English speakers.

Support for students

School counsellors also get in touch with families to answer

questions, discuss Secondary students’ subject choices, or simply to

allay any fears or anxieties. Student Ambassadors also reach out to

Secondary students, often during the holidays, to answer questions

or just be a friend. A Buddy Programme will go into action to

support Primary School children from their very first day at school.

Year-round support

International moves don’t necessarily coincide with school terms.

A transition programme that can quickly be put into place makes

entry possible throughout the year and helps families to quickly

adjust to the new situation.

Support for parents: ICS parents’ association

When it comes to settling down in the new community, an active

and engaged Parents’ Association is crucial to help parents cope

with the unique challenges of settling into a new culture. At ICS,

in addition to a number of welcome events, parents can sign up

for activities and clubs throughout the year and take advantage of

a network of country representatives to meet others with similar


Preparation is key to success

Moving? Then, preparation is the key to success; a well organised

Transition Programme plays a role.

For ICS, the Transition Programme has proven to be vital. It not

only helps families cope with the inevitable sense of loss but also

helps them to explore and prepare for a new chapter in their lives.







Dealing with the consequences and implications

Important, difficult financial decisions often have to be made

following life changing events which effect both yourself and

your family. These are often made with little time to consider

the potential long-term consequences. It is essential that these

decisions are made after having considered the implications.

Below are some events which you may encounter in the future.


This can be a very emotional time. Two individuals having been

together in partnership, over perhaps a long period of time, will

have brought together existing individual assets and purchased new

ones together. These will now have to be returned to individual


To minimise the costs involved with the process, do not allow the

taxman or lawyers to excessively benefit from the separation!

Consider the longer-term implications on both parties and any

children. What are the likely consequences in the future? How can

unexpected implications be avoided later?

Planning and saving for long-term care

Parents or other relatives may at some time require more care than

the family can provide. This will likely result in arranging for care

at home or a move to a care home.

It is important to consider saving to provide for long term care.

Review the cost of care homes and how these can be paid for. You

need to ensure these are affordable when being added to other

current outgoings.

Receiving a large sum of money

You may receive a large sum of money from one of many sources.

An inheritance, sale of a business, compensation claim or lottery

win! This should be an exciting time. However, it can also be

considered daunting, especially if this is the money you plan to live

off for the rest of your life. In these circumstances extra care needs

to be taken in actions agreed.

Do you want an income from the money, to simply let it grow

or a balance of each? Consider required returns. Do you want the

money to just provide for yourself or for your children and future

generations later?

Dementia, disabilities and life-limiting illness

What will be the effect on the diagnosis of a life shortening illness,

disability or mental illness such as dementia on you and your

family. What will be the effect on the family finances to provide

for the care required? Quick actions are necessary at this time

especially if the illness will cause a loss of self-capacity.

Enjoying as much time as possible with loved ones will be very

important You will not wish to get overrun with administration.

Discuss with the whole family the situation. Ensure everybody

understands big decisions made now, will be difficult to change

later. Ensure all the legal requirements are covered. Respect the

needs and wishes of the party who is suffering, even after their

subsequent death.

Death and bereavement

Death of a loved one, causes great uncertainty as to how the

future will look. You will have to take many actions and make

many decisions which you have probably previously had little


In addition, you will be under pressure to make quick decisions.

However, it is important you understand the longer-term

implications. Make sure things are done on a gradual basis and

that you understand each stage of the process before taking action.

Ensure you understand what impact decisions made now will

impact on the future.

Richard has over 40 years of experience within the Financial industry. His extensive knowledge of underlying financial

services and products made him one of the most recognized financial planners in the French-speaking area of Switzerland,

where he advises clients on investments, retirement planning, estate planning and many more financial milestones.

He would be delighted to undertake a confidential review and assessment of your individual circumstances. For more

advice please contact Richard Heath, Financial Planner at Blackden Financial based in Geneva.

Telephone +41 22 755 08 00 | Email rheath@blackdenfinancial.com | Website: www.blackdenfinancial.com



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helping international students succeed

since 2006.

Our Tutors Are The Magic Ingredient

We hand-pick extraordinary tutors who are

subject experts with a passion for teaching

and extensive experience. All of our tutors

are subject to rigorous background checks

before being employed.

Flexible Tuition To Fit Busy Schedules

Tutoring where you want it, when you want it

across the Geneva, Lausanne, Zurich and Zug

regions of Switzerland.

Find Your Perfect Tutor - Get In Touch Today

+41 22 731 8148 info@tutorsplus.com




Exceptional academic results and top university


Inspirational teachers committed to students’


Internationally accredited IB school for ages 3 to 18

Pre-school and kindergarten programmes include

German lessons approved by Bildungsdirektion

Kanton Zürich

Minutes to


city centre

One school


Visit us!

Strubenacher 3, 8126 Zumikon, Switzerland


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