International School Parent Magazine - Summer 2023

Welcome to the Summer 2023 Edition of International School Parent Magazine The countdown to the summer vacation has started, and many of us are already looking forward to an extended holiday with our loved ones. But before then, we are thrilled to present a magazine packed with interesting and informative articles and practical tips for parents. For this issue we had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Seal, Head of Senior School at Tanglin Trust, Singapore as part of our ‘Meet the Headteacher’ series. Chris shared his journey to becoming an educator and what makes Tanglin Trust one of Singapore’s leading international curriculum providers. As we prepare for the long break, we look at a variety of mental health and safety themes, including alcohol and other drugs, relationships and sex, and identity and belonging. Summer is the perfect time to take a family vacation - this issue is packed with inspiration. Learn about wonderful family-focused activities in Liechtenstein, Basel, Appenzell, Bellinzona, Geneva and Winterthur. There is something for everyone! This magazine is a very special edition. Not only because of the wonderful articles that it presents, but because it will be the very last print edition of ISP. Like many of you, we are concerned with sustainability and strive to do our part to protect our environment and minimise our footprint. After much thought and research, ISP magazine can achieve the greatest impact by becoming an online only publication. We are working hard to deliver an exceptional e-magazine and will continue to publish articles online as well. To support the move to digital only, we have created a brand-new website with better guides providing schools with a more sophisticated and useful way to deliver information to our many visitors. Look out for the new website launching in the coming weeks. As always, we remain committed to helping parents and children make the most of their international school experience. Have a wonderful summer and we look forward to sharing our brand-new digital issue with you in autumn.

Welcome to the Summer 2023 Edition of International School Parent Magazine

The countdown to the summer vacation has started, and many of us are already looking forward to an extended holiday with our loved ones. But
before then, we are thrilled to present a magazine packed with interesting and informative articles and practical tips for parents.

For this issue we had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Seal, Head of Senior School at Tanglin Trust, Singapore as part of our ‘Meet the Headteacher’
series. Chris shared his journey to becoming an educator and what makes Tanglin Trust one of Singapore’s leading international curriculum providers.

As we prepare for the long break, we look at a variety of mental health and safety themes, including alcohol and other drugs, relationships and sex, and identity and belonging.

Summer is the perfect time to take a family vacation - this issue is packed with inspiration. Learn about wonderful family-focused activities in
Liechtenstein, Basel, Appenzell, Bellinzona, Geneva and Winterthur. There is something for everyone! This magazine is a very special edition. Not only because of the wonderful articles that it presents, but because it will be the very last print edition of ISP. Like many of you, we are concerned with sustainability and strive to do our part to protect our environment and minimise our footprint. After much thought and research, ISP magazine can achieve the greatest impact by becoming an online only publication. We are working hard to deliver an exceptional e-magazine and will continue to publish articles online as well.

To support the move to digital only, we have created a brand-new website with better guides providing schools with a more sophisticated and useful
way to deliver information to our many visitors. Look out for the new website launching in the coming weeks.

As always, we remain committed to helping parents and children make the most of their international school experience. Have a wonderful summer and we look forward to sharing our brand-new digital issue with you in autumn.


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Liechtenstein:<br />

Family<br />

Paradise<br />

Alcohol and<br />

Other Drug<br />

Prevention<br />

Teacher<br />


We need action.<br />

Geneva, a family in the Botanical Garden, © Hannes Heinzer Fotografie<br />

We need<br />

Switzerland.<br />

Discover Switzerland now: MySwitzerland.com/expats<br />

Tell us about your favourite experiences using #IneedSwitzerland



Double degree with University of Plymouth (UK)<br />


• <strong>International</strong> Management<br />

• <strong>International</strong> Relations and Diplomacy<br />

• Digital Media<br />

• Business Analytics<br />

• Computer Science<br />


Contents<br />

07 Meet The Head – Interview With Chris Seal,<br />

Head Of Tanglin Trust Senior <strong>School</strong><br />

12 Naturally Bilingual – From Kindergarten To<br />

Year 8<br />

15 360 Virtual Tours: The New Marketing Tool<br />

For Independent <strong>School</strong>s<br />

18 London: The Best City In The World To Be A<br />

University Student?<br />

20 Family Holidays In Liechtenstein: Relaxation<br />

And Adventure Await You!<br />

22 Family Trip To The Top Of Appenzell<br />

24 Let’s Talk About Relationships And Sex<br />

Education<br />

28 Give Your Child An Unforgettable <strong>Summer</strong><br />

32 My Child’s Friend Is Transgender. How Do I<br />

Support Them When Their <strong>Parent</strong>s Won’t?<br />

38 Selecting A Tutor For Your Child: Top Tips<br />

From The Experts At Eden Tutors<br />

40 What’s Going On In Basel<br />

42 Soft Skills For Teenagers: The Keys To Future<br />

Success<br />

44 Fun In The City<br />

46 Feels Good! A Checklist To Support Young<br />

People’s Mental Health<br />

48 The Key To Children Flourishing In<br />

<strong>International</strong> Life<br />

52 Keeping Your Kids Safe: A Guide To Alcohol<br />

And Other Drug Prevention Before <strong>Summer</strong><br />

Break<br />

55 Supporting Teacher Well-Being: Addressing<br />

Psychosocial Risks In <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong>s<br />

58 Create A Sense Of Belonging With Your Global<br />

Family - Preparing For Moving Overseas Or If<br />

You Have Already Moved<br />

62 How To Make Invisible Careers Visible To<br />

All Pupils: Overcoming Systemic Biases And<br />

Increasing Diversity Awareness<br />

Cover image courtesy of Liechtenstein Marketing<br />

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

Edition of <strong>International</strong><br />

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

The count down to the summer vacation has started and many of us are<br />

already looking forward to an extended holiday with our loved ones. But<br />

before then, we are thrilled to present a magazine packed with interesting<br />

and informative articles and practical tips for parents.<br />

For this issue we had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Seal, Head of Senior<br />

<strong>School</strong> at Tanglin Trust, Singapore as part of our ‘Meet the Headteacher’<br />

series. Chris shared his journey to becoming an educator and what makes<br />

Tanglin Trust one of Singapore’s leading international curriculum providers.<br />

As we prepare for the long break, we look at a variety of mental health and<br />

safety themes, including alcohol and other drugs, relationships and sex, and<br />

identity and belonging.<br />

<strong>Summer</strong> is the perfect time to take a family vacation - this issue is packed<br />

with inspiration. Learn about wonderful family-focused activities in<br />

Liechtenstein, Basel, Appenzell, Bellinzona, Geneva and Winterthur. There is<br />

something for everyone!<br />

This magazine is a very special edition. Not only because of the wonderful<br />

articles that it presents, but because it will be the very last print edition<br />

of ISP. Like many of you, we are concerned with sustainability and strive to<br />

do our part to protect our environment and minimise our footprint. After<br />

much thought and research, ISP magazine can achieve the greatest impact<br />

by becoming an online only publication. We are working hard to deliver an<br />

exceptional e-magazine and will continue to publish articles online as well.<br />

To support the move to digital only, we have created a brand-new website<br />

with better guides providing schools with a more sophisticated and useful<br />

way to deliver information to our many visitors. Look out for the new website<br />

launching in the coming weeks.<br />

As always, we remain committed to helping parents and children make the<br />

most of their international school experience. Have a wonderful summer and<br />

we look forward to sharing our brand-new digital issue with you in autumn.<br />

Nick<br />

Nick Gilbert<br />

Editor & Publishing Director<br />

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

Mobile + 41 787 10 80 91<br />

Email nick@internationalschoolparent.com<br />

Website www.internationalschoolparent.com<br />

@isparentmag<br />


Contributors<br />

Dr Michelle Wright<br />

Dr Michelle Wright is a British-qualified General<br />

Practitioner. Before moving to Switzerland in 2004, she<br />

saw patients with physical and psychological problems<br />

and spent time in community psychiatry. She continues her patient<br />

contact and clinical practice work in the <strong>International</strong> Labour<br />

Organization, Geneva.<br />

Michelle helped bring the validated ensa Mental Health First<br />

Aid training in English to Switzerland which HealthFirst delivers to<br />

companies, schools, and organisations.<br />

She broadcasts a weekly show, Health Matters, for World Radio<br />

Switzerland.<br />

Dr Mecky McNeil<br />

Dr Mecky McNeil is a British-qualified General<br />

Practitioner, experienced in looking after adults and<br />

children with psychiatric illnesses, including anxiety, depression,<br />

eating disorders and schizophrenia, and caring for suicidal and<br />

acutely psychotic patients.<br />

She is a qualified health coach and helped to develop the ensa<br />

Mental Health First Aid English courses in Switzerland.<br />

Mecky currently collaborates with UNICEF and Z Zurich<br />

Foundation on a global project aimed at supporting young people’s<br />

mental health.<br />

Martin Coul<br />

Martin is a mental health advocate with a focus<br />

on evidence-based prevention in schools and the<br />

workplace. With inspiration from his own lived experience, his<br />

purpose is to diffuse the negative narrative and bring a more<br />

human, compassionate voice to well-being & mental health for<br />

everyone, every day.<br />

Mette Theilmann<br />

Mette is a <strong>Parent</strong> and Life Balance Coach who has<br />

supported parents for over 18 years, working closely<br />

with schools, companies, and family solicitors. Mette supports<br />

parents to raise independent and resilient children who can grow<br />

up to become confident and well-adjusted adults.<br />

Mette is also the founder of parenting App - <strong>Parent</strong>ing Community<br />

– and works very closely with schools to create a confident<br />

parenting community.<br />

Nic Ponsford<br />

After working in education for over 20 years as<br />

a teacher, school leader, trainer, and coach, Nic<br />

wanted to find an accessible means to make ordinary classrooms<br />

extraordinarily inclusive.<br />

Nic is passionate about creating a level playing field for career<br />

opportunities for young people from underserved groups. In 2020,<br />

Nic set up the Global Equality Collective (GEC) to address ‘one of<br />

the biggest issues in education’ - diversity and inclusion.<br />

Cath Brew<br />

Cath is a global LGBTQ+ inclusion consultant,<br />

mentor and artist who supports allies looking to step<br />

into confident active allyship. She works with international schools,<br />

NGOs and global companies to navigate the inclusion of diverse<br />

genders and sexualities cross culturally.<br />

Taralyn Cox<br />

Taralyn has a 17-year background helping schools<br />

in the UK with marketing and admissions, focussing<br />

on ‘standing out in a crowd’ disruptive marketing strategies and<br />

providing visual-based services and technology - from photography<br />

and video to brand and design. As co-owner of 360 Marketing<br />

Lab, she helps schools recruit pupils using the power of immersive<br />

360º virtual tours.<br />

Lauren Wells<br />

Lauren Wells is the founder and CEO of TCK<br />

Training and author of Raising Up a Generation of<br />

Healthy Third Culture Kids, The Grief Tower, and Unstacking<br />

Your Grief Tower. She is an Adult TCK/MK who spent her<br />

teenage years in Tanzania. She sits on the board of the TCK Care<br />

Accreditation as Vice Chair and is part of the TCK Training<br />

Research Team focusing on preventive care research in the TCK<br />

population. She lives in Georgia, USA with her husband and two<br />

daughters.<br />

Mag Sheldon<br />

Mags Sheldon is a UK-qualified midwife, experienced<br />

in pre-natal education, deliveries, and post-natal care.<br />

Having worked in adult and baby intensive care units, she is a<br />

strong advocate for high standards of First Aid and resuscitation<br />

techniques.<br />

Mags is a highly experienced teacher of Relationships and Sex<br />

education (RSE), teaching the programme in many international<br />

schools in Switzerland. She is a member of the PSHE Association<br />

(UK) and the Sex Education Forum (UK) and a qualified ensa<br />

Mental Health First Aid instructor.<br />

Katie Greeley, LCSW<br />

Katie is a licensed therapist and founder of Prevention<br />

Education Solutions. With over a decade of experience<br />

as a substance use counselor and prevention services provider<br />

to international schools around the globe, she brings extensive<br />

expertise to the field. Prevention Education Solutions takes a<br />

modern, evidence-based approach to alcohol and other drug<br />

prevention, offering programs in over 40 countries and across the<br />

United States.<br />



Interview with Chris Seal,<br />

Head Of Tanglin Trust Senior <strong>School</strong><br />

Tanglin is a<br />

vibrant coeducational<br />

school of around<br />

2,800 students<br />

representing over 50<br />

nationalities. Tanglin<br />

provides a unique learning environment<br />

for children from Nursery through to Sixth<br />

Form. It is the only school in Singapore to<br />

offer A Levels and the IB Diploma. The<br />

Senior <strong>School</strong> is headed by Chris Seal, who<br />

brings with him a wealth of educational<br />

experience both in the UK and beyond.<br />

We sat down with Chris to find out<br />

more about what inspired him to become<br />

an educator, education in Singapore, and<br />

how Tanglin is leading the way in terms<br />

of both academic achievement and in<br />

creating internationally minded leaders of<br />

tomorrow.<br />

What initially inspired you to pursue a<br />

career in education and how did that<br />

journey bring you to Singapore?<br />

Through my experiences at university a few<br />

things shine out. The amazing community<br />

that is Loughborough University, the failed<br />

attempt to play cricket for a living and the<br />

joy expressed by a good friend who was<br />

experiencing his first teaching placements.<br />

The way in which he would come back to<br />

halls and regale us of stories of all that had<br />

happened to him as he found his way into<br />

his new career must have had an impact<br />

because a couple of years later, I opted to<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2023</strong> | 7<br />

do my post graduate certificate in education<br />

(PGCE) and quickly found that same joy<br />

and satisfaction in teaching.<br />

The next 27 years have been a<br />

rollercoaster of experiences and<br />

inspirations. Most of this has been within<br />

the UK independent sector often involving<br />

sport, but the move into leadership in<br />

2004 proved to be a seminal moment.<br />

Experiencing first-hand the impact of<br />

education on the boys in a boarding<br />

house opened my eyes to the way in which<br />

learning communities can be shaped and<br />

designed. Time as a Deputy Head across<br />

two schools led me to my appointment<br />

as Principal of Shrewsbury <strong>International</strong><br />

<strong>School</strong> Bangkok. Five very happy years<br />

leading the community in Bangkok gave

“The quality of the teaching is drawn from an excellent<br />

global field of educators, and we are fortunate to be<br />

supported by an aspirational parent body.”<br />

me the opportunity to come to Tanglin to<br />

be Head of the Senior <strong>School</strong> in the oldest<br />

and best-known international school in the<br />

region.<br />

What have you learnt from your time<br />

in day, boarding, and international<br />

education?<br />

A lot! I’ve been truly fortunate to meet<br />

and learn from some brilliant educators<br />

along the way in some great schools. Back<br />

in the 1990s I worked for Stephen Cole<br />

at Woodbridge who inculcated in all of<br />

us the importance of relationships with<br />

parents and the need to communicate<br />

well at all times. Jonathan Lee at Trent<br />

was surrounded by a group of leaders<br />

who really showed me what excellence<br />

looked like. Graeme Best at LVS Ascot<br />

was the most gentle and humane Head<br />

imaginable and I learned much from his<br />

deep commitment to people and support<br />

of them. The experience of running a<br />

‘for profit’ school in Thailand showed me<br />

the inner workings of school finances and<br />

finally at Millfield and now again here I see<br />

in Craig Considine what real determination<br />

to do the right thing looks like, he is the<br />

epitome of integrity.<br />

How would you characterise students<br />

graduating from Tanglin Trust?<br />

It struck me early on in Term 1 that the<br />

students at Tanglin are amazing. Bright,<br />

articulate, ambitious and engaged they<br />

test and challenge us in the classroom<br />

and offer great leadership elsewhere. Just<br />

yesterday I enjoyed an hour of Hamlet<br />

delivered by a student director and cast,<br />

the quality was extraordinary, and the<br />

student leadership of the technical crew<br />

dedicated and driven at the same time. The<br />

diversity of the community means that it is<br />

hard to generalise, but we send students to<br />

the best universities in the world, some go<br />

straight to National Service in Singapore<br />

and then there is a range of destinations<br />

based on what is a broad range of abilities<br />

across the year groups. We are engaging<br />

more and more with the alumni and my<br />

first impressions of them are that they are<br />

keen to connect and give something back<br />

to Tanglin. They have much to offer as<br />

we learn more about their world of work<br />

and they serve as wonderful role models to<br />

perpetuate what is already a hugely positive<br />

culture within the school.<br />

What would you say makes the learning<br />

environment of Tanglin Trust extra<br />

special?<br />

There are some strong elements to the<br />

Tanglin culture. Firstly, the students<br />

enjoy learning and approach it with a<br />

commitment that is hard to replicate. The<br />

quality of the teaching is drawn from an<br />

excellent global field of educators, and<br />

we are fortunate to be supported by an<br />

aspirational parent body who want the best<br />

for their children within a framework of<br />

good pastoral care and support.<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2023</strong> | 8<br />

Which features of the school do parents<br />

value the most?<br />

Surveys tell us that the parents value the<br />

academic outcomes, and they are truly<br />

extraordinary. The IBDP average of 41.4<br />

points in 2022, and 40% of all A Level<br />

grades being A* put us in very esteemed<br />

company. However, parents also know<br />

that the outcomes are only one part of the<br />

story. The destination matters, and the fine<br />

balance between ‘best fit’ and reaching for<br />

the top universities is something we work<br />

on with all families. Having said that, I<br />

know from the work I’ve already been doing<br />

with families that they are enormously<br />

appreciative of the Tanglin community and<br />

the way we look after their children. This<br />

has strong foundations in the Infant and<br />

Junior <strong>School</strong>s, and we seek to continue this

as life becomes more complicated in the<br />

adolescent years. The recent increase in the<br />

co-curriculum offerings is also well received,<br />

as are continual refinements to sport, music,<br />

and drama.<br />

Which other areas of education and<br />

extra-curricular activities would you like<br />

to develop for the senior school?<br />

For next academic year we are working on<br />

a new school day that will offer us more<br />

curriculum time, a focussed hour each<br />

week on pastoral support and assemblies<br />

and the introduction of the co-curriculum<br />

within the timetable. Twice each week<br />

we will engage in clubs, activities, and<br />

societies. The societies element is new and<br />

an aggregation of all the already excellent<br />

academic enrichment opportunities as well<br />


as a drive to deliver more of this. We know<br />

the students want to take their learning<br />

beyond the classroom, and we also know<br />

that this exploration of wider topics can<br />

offer students the chance for inspiration<br />

and broadening in new and unexpected<br />

ways. We expect this to make them more<br />

attractive to the top universities, but much<br />

more importantly make them even more<br />

interesting than they currently are.<br />

What excites you about the prospect<br />

of leading an international school in<br />

Singapore?<br />

There is much to look forward to in<br />

international education. The ever-changing<br />

demographic of Singapore allows us to be<br />

flexible and agile in what we are thinking<br />

about and the environment on the island<br />

offers the opportunity to work with an<br />

able and educated parent body. Education<br />

matters in Singapore and as such strive to<br />

be certain of a place in a society that we<br />

all recognise we are privileged to be in.<br />

The changes we are making at Tanglin<br />

and the attempts to reach out more into<br />

the local community offer much hope for<br />

an extended experience that will benefit<br />

our students and we hope have an impact<br />

locally and globally. There have been<br />

challenges over recent years in all sectors of<br />

“Bright, articulate, ambitious and engaged [the students at<br />

Tanglin] test and challenge us in the classroom and offer great<br />

leadership elsewhere.”<br />

education, but the future is an exciting and<br />

interesting prospect, and we will need to be<br />

at our most creative to take advantage of it.<br />

What are the main trends in education<br />

that you’re seeing now?<br />

There is no doubt that AI and the recent<br />

rise of ChatGPT is on everyone’s minds.<br />

Our view is that we should embrace this<br />

technology and learn from it as well as with<br />

it. We are confident that it won’t replace<br />

the teacher, nor the need for knowledge<br />

upon which to base your thoughts, but<br />

there is something incredibly exciting<br />

about working with students to harness this<br />

development. Over recent years much has<br />

been made of the greater understanding<br />

of mental health, and schools are doing a<br />

much better job of looking after students.<br />

I hope the next big move is to design and<br />

develop school systems that promote robust<br />

mental health for students and staff. The<br />

mental health of teaching staff is something<br />

that is often assumed, and although recent<br />

moves in the development of coaching<br />

cultures is helping, I think there is more to<br />

do there.<br />

How do you make the most of Singapore,<br />

and what are your hobbies?<br />

In recent months we’ve done plenty of<br />

walking. After spinal fusion in 2018 walking<br />

has become my ‘go to’ way of keeping<br />

the kilos away. This has enabled us to get<br />

into the parks, see a lot of the island and<br />

definitely take some detours to the brilliant<br />

hawker centres where excellent food and<br />

drink can be found. I’m a keen golfer, and<br />

have played in Singapore, but it makes<br />

sense financially to play in Malaysia. One<br />

of the key reasons for continuing to enjoy<br />

international education are the incredible<br />

places that surround you and so we have<br />

already been to Borneo, Langkawi, back to<br />

Bangkok, Melbourne, and Adelaide since<br />

August.<br />


Established in 1925, Tanglin is the oldest<br />

British international school in Southeast<br />

Asia. Tanglin provides the English<br />

National Curriculum with an international<br />

perspective to children aged 3-18 years<br />

in Singapore. www.tts.edu.sg<br />


Welcome to<br />

family paradise Malbun<br />

→ tourismus.li/families


© Interlaken Tourismus<br />

Discover the <strong>Summer</strong> Paradise of Bernese<br />

Oberland - A Bucket List Adventure Awaits!<br />

Immerse yourself in the serene beauty of the Bernese Oberland<br />

this summer. Home to verdant landscapes, sparkling lakes, and<br />

breathtaking mountain vistas, our region offers an exceptional<br />

variety of adventures that promise unforgettable experiences for all<br />

ages. Whether you prefer the thrill of water sports, the serenity of<br />

mountain hikes, or the awe of natural wonders, the Holiday Region<br />

Interlaken has something for everyone.<br />

Become an Adventurer on Lake Brienz with the Family Fun<br />

Kayak Tour!<br />

Switzerland’s stunning landscapes are not just about the mountains.<br />

The turquoise blue Lake Brienz, nestled in the shadows of the<br />

towering Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau peaks, is a spectacle itself.<br />

Our Family Fun Kayak Tour lets you become a captain of your<br />

own vessel, challenging your balance with tricks, and exploring<br />

hidden beaches. Half a day of splashing fun, games, and challenges<br />

await your family on this unforgettable tour.<br />

Ascend to Breathtaking Heights at Niederhorn!<br />

High above Lake Thun, Niederhorn offers a 360° panoramic<br />

view of the Alps that locals treasure. With over 120 km of hiking<br />

trails, wild ibex sightings, two mountain restaurants, and thrilling<br />

scooter-bike runs down to the valley, Niederhorn guarantees an<br />

unforgettable day of adventure and scenic beauty.<br />

© Hightide Kayak <strong>School</strong> GmbH<br />

Have a Splash with Family Rafting!<br />

Designed with families in mind, our short and easy rafting tour is<br />

a safe yet exhilarating introduction to outdoor adventure. Even the<br />

smallest rapids are a thrill for the kids, and the tour concludes with<br />

a refreshing swim in Lake Brienz.<br />

Explore the Depths of St. Beatus Caves!<br />

The St. Beatus Caves, a natural wonder on Lake Thun, offer<br />

an enchanting journey into the heart of the Niederhorn massif.<br />

Walk along the illuminated path and marvel at the stalactites and<br />

stalagmites that have formed over millions of years. Complement<br />



© Spiez Tourismus © Beatushöhlen-Genossenschaft | David Birri<br />

your adventure with regional delicacies from our restaurant Stein &<br />

Sein, and expand your knowledge in our cave museum.<br />

Rest and Relax at Hotel Seaside!<br />

After an adventurous day in the Bernese Oberland, unwind at the<br />

Hotel Seaside, located in the stunning bay of Spiez. Our familyfriendly<br />

rooms include a hearty breakfast buffet, free Wi-Fi, and<br />

parking. Booking the Hotel Seaside family summer adventure<br />

days package, you’ll receive a Spiez voucher worth CHF 100.00<br />

for activities like motorboat hire, mini-golf, and ice cream treats.<br />

With the PanoramaCard, you’ll enjoy free use of regional public<br />

transport and discounts on excursions and activities.<br />

Join us this summer for a thrilling and unforgettable adventure in<br />

the heart of Switzerland’s natural beauty. It’s time to tick off the<br />

Bernese Oberland from your bucket list!<br />

© Niederhornbahn AG © Outdoor Switzerland AG<br />




– from Kindergarten to Year 8<br />

The rise of bilingual education in<br />

worldwide schooling systems in the<br />

last 20 years has been immense.<br />

With monolinguals becoming more the<br />

exception within the world’s population,<br />

this rise is not something difficult to<br />

imagine. The European Union itself has<br />

more ambitious goals than being bilingual;<br />

enabling every EU citizen to communicate<br />

in 2 languages other than their mother<br />

tongue lies in their founding principles.<br />

Today, curriculum design, best teaching<br />

practices and evolving language learning<br />

methods have all moulded bilingual<br />

classrooms. As it stands, there are four<br />

factors critical to a child’s educational<br />

journey towards bilingualism. They are:<br />

1. An early start<br />

2. Continuous and extensive exposure<br />

3. Frequent use of the foreign language in<br />

diverse and motivating contexts and<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2023</strong> | 14<br />

4. Authentic and enriched input from native<br />

or native like teachers<br />

These four points are highly regarded,<br />

however the latter two require more<br />

reflection on a modern-day classroom as<br />

they resonate clearly with the philosophy of<br />

immersion. Immersion programmes stand<br />

out as being regarded empirically as the<br />

best way to learn an additional language,<br />

particularly in primary education (e.g.

Photos taken at Terra Nova Bilingual <strong>School</strong>, Küsnacht<br />

Wesche 2002, S.362, Burmeister & Daniel,<br />

Kersten 2009). The immersion philosophy<br />

encompasses the diverse, authentic input<br />

from native or native like teachers enjoyed<br />

by students in a high-quality bilingual<br />

classroom.<br />

At Academia we use two different models<br />

to bilingual teaching depending on the age<br />

of the children. At Academia Bilingual<br />

<strong>School</strong>s Basel, Winterthur, and Terra<br />

Nova Bilingual <strong>School</strong> pupils from prekindergarten<br />

to the end of primary school<br />

receive a consistent approach to immersive<br />

education, embedded in our routines.<br />

Our weekly instruction is split evenly into<br />

half weeks in German and English with<br />

respective native speaking class teachers.<br />

These class teachers working as a team is<br />

paramount to the successful delivery of<br />

our curriculum. All subjects are taught in<br />

a balanced way, by both teachers, through<br />

both languages with progression, put simply,<br />

similar to a traditional school model. The<br />

relatively strict separation on the languages<br />

during the course of the week supports the<br />

development of linguistic boundaries, which<br />

makes it easier to learn a foreign language.<br />

Taking things one step further, Academia<br />

has placed energy into strengthening the<br />

alignment between classroom teachers.<br />

One example is our primary school maths<br />

text and workbooks. Maths World 1 and<br />

2 are aligned to the Swiss curriculum<br />

and is the most up to date publication for<br />

maths in Switzerland. Academia carefully<br />

translated these textbooks into English<br />

so that our students work with the exact<br />

same layout, style, and progression in<br />

both German and English. This effort has<br />

been invaluable and helps our teachers to<br />

deliver a clear and continuous methodology<br />

to, and for, our students. Yet another<br />

example is to encourage pupils to cross<br />

reference languages through our considered<br />

curriculum design. One could imagine<br />

the ‘aha’ moments that arise through the<br />

process of both English and German<br />

teachers teaching the same writing genre<br />

concurrently in both languages. If we<br />

consider that a narrative is crafted the<br />

same way in both languages with figurative<br />

devices like adjectival phrases, similes and<br />

metaphors are used to enrich them, it<br />

seems clear that encouraging students to<br />

make connections when working on these<br />

figurative aspects can only lead to mastery<br />

in a supportive method.<br />

Our Pre-IGCSE-programme (Years 7<br />

and 8) at Academia <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong><br />

in Basel and Zurich follows a different<br />



approach to bilingual education. The<br />

curriculum blends the well-established<br />

British international curriculum with a<br />

highly innovative and unique approach to<br />

German: All academic subjects are taught<br />

in English. However, a considerable part of<br />

the teaching time is dedicated to German<br />

by layering the curriculum with projectbased<br />

learning. This means that, students<br />

not only attend language lessons, but<br />

also work on projects for other academic<br />

subjects, such as sciences or humanities,<br />

thus building a rich specialised vocabulary<br />

in German.<br />

Academia <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> started<br />

to teach this curriculum in summer 2022.<br />

“We are very happy with our students’<br />

progress. The project-based learning<br />

allows for creativity and the development<br />

of social and communication skills in two<br />

languages – competences that are of utmost<br />

importance in today’s world” explains Steph<br />

Wimmer, Head of <strong>School</strong> at Academia<br />

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

Nowadays it’s empirically proven that<br />

bilingual students match or surpass the<br />

cognitive abilities such as concentration,<br />

divergent thinking and creativity (e.g.<br />

Bialystok 2005). Thus there is little reason<br />

while researchers more commonly cite,<br />

‘Bilingual Education is the only way to<br />

educate children in the 21st century.’<br />

(Garcia 2011)<br />

Academia Bilingual <strong>School</strong>, Terra Nova Bilingual <strong>School</strong> and Academia <strong>International</strong><br />

<strong>School</strong> offer a first-class bilingual education from pre-kindergarten all the way through to<br />

<strong>International</strong> A Level. The schools are located in Basel, Zurich, Winterthur and Küsnacht<br />

(ZH). More information: www.academia-schools.ch<br />


360 VIRTUAL TOURS:<br />

The New Marketing Tool for<br />

Independent <strong>School</strong>s<br />

<strong>Parent</strong>s should expect change in how schools interact with their audience<br />


The COVID-19 pandemic had a<br />

profound impact on the education<br />

sector. As schools were forced to<br />

adapt to new ways of teaching and learning,<br />

they have also had to adjust their marketing<br />

strategies to attract new students in a rapidly<br />

changing landscape. With in-person events<br />

and tours no longer feasible in many cases,<br />

schools turned to innovative new digital<br />

marketing tools to showcase their offerings<br />

to prospective parents. One such tool that<br />

has emerged as a powerful marketing tool<br />

is 360 virtual tours. Whilst 360 tours have<br />

been around for longer than a decade,<br />

pre-pandemic adoption of virtual tours in<br />

schools was very low. But the pandemic,<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2023</strong> | 17<br />

along with other factors, created a shift in<br />

strategy and school marketers rushed to<br />

include virtual tours in their bank of digital<br />

assets.<br />

By way of background, virtual tours<br />

allow you as parents to explore the school’s<br />

facilities, classrooms, brand proposition,<br />

school values and community from the

comfort of home. They offer an immersive<br />

and engaging experience, when done right,<br />

that provides an in-depth look at what each<br />

school has to offer, highlights their academic<br />

and extracurricular offerings, and provides<br />

a sense of the school’s culture. Unlike static<br />

images or videos, which tend to be found<br />

spread across multiple mediums - the school<br />

website, other websites, socials and portals<br />

- virtual tours allow families to navigate the<br />

spaces and get a sense of what it would be<br />

like to be a student. <strong>Parent</strong>s can zoom in,<br />

both literally and figuratively, on specific<br />

areas of interest and interact in a way<br />

that is not possible with other marketing<br />

materials. Virtual tours help build affinity<br />

with parents and students and give them<br />

direct and indirect information. Tours help<br />

schools tell their unique stories in a virtual<br />

environment, but they also signify to families<br />

that the school is going that extra mile to<br />

assist them with their choices. By creating<br />

an immersive and engaging virtual tour,<br />

schools create a strong first impression and<br />

attract the attention of prospective parents.<br />

Advances in technology have made it<br />

easier and more affordable than ever for<br />

schools to create a high-quality virtual tour:<br />

a valuable marketing tool for schools of<br />

all sizes, increasing the reach to a much<br />

larger audience. With 360-degree cameras<br />

and virtual tour software, schools now<br />

create interactive tours more readily and<br />

as a result, many more schools have them<br />

as a critical touchpoint in the admissions<br />

journey. In turn, they are now an essential<br />

part of a prospective families’ expectation<br />

during an admissions journey with a school.<br />

Generational shifts of the parental<br />

audience means that 360 tours are more<br />

the expectation rather than a ‘nice to have’<br />

experience. Gen Z and Millennial parents<br />

have higher and different expectations of<br />

digital experiences than the departing Gen<br />

X audience. Research shows they expect<br />

digital experiences to be mobile-friendly,<br />

streamlined, efficient, authentic, gamified<br />

(fun), personalised and intuitive. They are<br />

accustomed to instant gratification and<br />

expect fast loading times, quick results, and<br />

easy navigation. Virtual Tours can provide<br />

this experience for those parents - it’s an<br />

immediate solution to “I want to know all<br />

about it now, quickly, realistically and on my<br />

own terms”.<br />

Whilst the advances in technology and<br />

generational changes facilitated a boom<br />

in need and availability of virtual tours, the<br />

pandemic then sealed their fate. Demand<br />

from schools, to create a virtual tour, soared<br />


in 2020 and now we’re very close to 1 in<br />

2 independent schools having one. This<br />

cocktail of factors - technology, accessibility,<br />

affordability, generational expectations<br />

and a pandemic - means parents now<br />

have access to a new way to engage with<br />

schools that’s become the norm for school<br />

marketing, and a requirement from families.<br />

It’s the modern approach to recruitment.<br />

Let’s look at some advantages. A 360<br />

tour visit is a cost and time savings for you<br />

as parents, as well as an environmentally<br />

conscious decision to reduce your carbon<br />

footprint. Families are increasingly timepoor<br />

so whilst an in-person visit may only<br />

be an hour’s drive, a 2-hour event and<br />

an hour home, those are precious family<br />

time hours squeezed into an already busy<br />

week. So whilst there are parents who can<br />

physically visit a school, they may opt not<br />

to if there is a viable alternative to explore<br />

what the school feels like. Virtual tours also<br />

act as a surrogate visit for those parents<br />

who live abroad, when an in-person visit<br />

is impossible. Virtual tours offer an option<br />

of convenience that is contemporary and<br />

socially-aware.<br />

With economic pressures affecting<br />

parents’ disposable income and potential<br />

changes to fees, schools will be approaching<br />

engagement in different ways to continue<br />

to compete for parents’ attention and<br />

draw them from the competition, offering<br />

a point of differentiation. From a school’s<br />

perspective, a virtual tour is also a costsavings<br />

to them - reducing the costs for print<br />

material, travel expenses and Open Day<br />

events which is great news for any school’s<br />

dwindling marketing budget. A study by<br />

the Enrollment Management Association<br />

found that schools offering virtual tours had<br />

a 42% increase in completed applications<br />

compared to schools that did not. When<br />

considering where to spend their budget,<br />

this is a particularly powerful statistic and<br />

reason to invest in one.<br />

With virtual tours being such an<br />

advantage to both parents and schools,<br />

they are playing a hugely important role<br />

in the way schools choose to interact with<br />

their audience. According to a report by<br />

Blackbaud, 60% of prospective parents<br />

prefer to view a virtual tour before visiting<br />

a school in person and 70% think it’s<br />

important for a school to have one. Another<br />

report found that schools that implemented<br />

virtual tours experienced a 20% increase<br />

in website traffic and a 10% increase in<br />

enquiries. When considering the data, it<br />

is obvious why schools find them an easy<br />

solution. Virtual tours are here to stay and<br />

will continue to be an important part of the<br />

independent school marketing landscape in<br />

the future.<br />

Independent schools have successfully<br />

implemented virtual tours as part of their<br />

marketing strategy already. Roedean <strong>School</strong>,<br />

for example, has created a virtual tour that<br />

provides an in-depth look at the school’s<br />

facilities and community. The tour allows<br />

parents and pupils to explore the school’s<br />

campus, its new boarding facilities, and<br />

coastal location with embedded video and<br />

image galleries.<br />

Windermere <strong>School</strong> tour showcases<br />

its commitment to academic excellence,<br />

pastoral care, and co-curricular activities,<br />

including their Outdoor Learning<br />

Programme with features of hiking,<br />

sailing and ghyll scrambling in the Lakes<br />

District - bringing their local environment<br />

to the forefront. The tour features video<br />

testimonials from students and staff,<br />

providing a personal touch that helps<br />

parents feel connected to the school.<br />

Virtual tours are already part of the<br />

admissions journey for most schools,<br />

whether experiencing a virtual tour is<br />

part of the initial discovery process, the<br />

shortlisting process, in advance of, or instead<br />

of, an Open Day in-person visit - parents<br />

are embracing the change.<br />

Welcome to the new way of school<br />

marketing and engaging with parents,<br />

adding a more personalised and tailored<br />

experience providing information needed<br />

to make an informed decision about your<br />

child’s education.<br />



London<br />

The best city in<br />

the world to be a<br />

university student?<br />

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

Choosing a university can be a<br />

daunting time for young people<br />

and parents alike. It marks a<br />

child’s first step into adulthood – with all<br />

the excitement and challenges that come<br />

with it.<br />

For a city on such a small island, London<br />

punches well above its weight for university<br />

students – with the chance to gain valuable<br />

work experiences, build a network of<br />

contacts, make friends from all over the<br />

world and enjoy a thriving social life. No<br />

wonder it’s been named as the best city in<br />

the world to be a university student [QS<br />

Best Student Cities <strong>2023</strong>].<br />

London: the city for students<br />

With such a strong reputation and influence<br />

worldwide, London will be sure to get your<br />

child noticed – and, at Regent’s University<br />

London, we make sure our students can<br />

take advantage of all our city has to offer.<br />

Our campus is located in the heart of<br />

the city, just minutes from London’s main<br />

attractions, business and financial districts<br />

and creative hubs. With a variety of<br />

placements, internship opportunities, events<br />

and workshops on our doorstep, London<br />

is the place to be to see your child’s career<br />

soar – setting them apart from others when<br />

it’s time to apply for jobs.<br />

(And, unlike at any other urban<br />

university, we’re set in 11 acres of private<br />

land, with a 24/7 security presence in place<br />

– leaving your child safe and secure.)<br />

On campus: deep skills and connections<br />

At Regent’s, students build their skills and<br />

future in a way that suits them, developing<br />

deep skills in their core discipline and<br />

adding value to their CVs by studying<br />

cross-disciplinary fields as varied as<br />

financial innovation, AI, professional<br />

project management and global conflict.<br />

Industry and entrepreneurship skills are<br />

taught to all undergraduate students from<br />

day one: giving students the chance to test<br />

their ideas, gain close industry connections<br />

and take on real-world work projects that<br />

relate directly to their discipline.<br />

We’re proud to be connected to some<br />

of the city’s most influential leaders,<br />

including CEOs and MDs of luxury brands<br />

(including Harrods, McLaren Automotive<br />

and dunhill) – offering opportunities for<br />

students to gain practical experiences,<br />

join exclusive internships and build their<br />

network of industry contacts.<br />

Particularly entrepreneurial minds<br />

can even join the Innovation Lab, which<br />

provides guidance, mentorship, coaching<br />

and bootcamps to students interested in<br />

starting their own business.<br />



<strong>International</strong> student networks<br />

London is one of the most diverse cities<br />

in the world – bringing together students<br />

from all over the globe. Studying here<br />

not only offers the chance to meet people<br />

from different backgrounds, but also gain<br />

valuable insights into their cultures and<br />

experience new music, food and art.<br />

With over 140 different nationalities on<br />

campus at Regent’s, our students find it<br />

easy to build an international network of<br />

friends they can tap into throughout their<br />

whole career. They can also choose to study<br />

abroad in one of 60 partner universities<br />

around the world, or study from nine<br />

different languages.<br />

Our students develop such deep<br />

connections they often join forces with each<br />

other – finding their future co-founders on<br />

campus and launching brands and business<br />

ventures together, in London and around<br />

“With a variety of placements, internship opportunities,<br />

events and workshops on our doorstep, London is the<br />

place to be to see your child’s career soar.”<br />

the world. So much so, we were crowned<br />

the UK university with the highest number<br />

of founders, with over 12% of graduates<br />

launching their own businesses after<br />

graduating [resume.io].<br />

Iconic landmarks – on your doorstep<br />

Studying in London means students are<br />

surrounded by world-famous sights every<br />

single day – from iconic landmarks like<br />

Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and London<br />

Bridge to unique architecture, sleepy<br />

parks, bustling shopping streets, theatres,<br />

museums, galleries and more.<br />

When they aren’t studying, students<br />

can eat in celebrated restaurants, explore<br />

hidden food and flower markets, shop<br />

in independent retailers, and unwind in<br />

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

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

incredible skyline.<br />

Easy access to the rest of the UK<br />

and Europe<br />

Living in one of the best-connected cities<br />

worldwide also means it’s easy to travel<br />

further afield – exploring the UK’s vibrant<br />

cities and stunning landscapes (from the<br />

Scottish Highlands to the Cornish coast)<br />

or jumping on a short flight from one of<br />

London’s six main airports (or train from St<br />

Pancras <strong>International</strong>) to Europe for<br />

a relaxing city break. The options are<br />

endless!<br />

London is a city that keeps on giving and<br />

no matter how long you spend here, you’ll<br />

never get tired of the experiences it offers.<br />

Discover more at www.regents.ac.uk.<br />



Family holidays in<br />

Liechtenstein:<br />

relaxation and<br />

adventure await you!<br />

Nestled between Switzerland<br />

and Austria, Liechtenstein is a<br />

mountain principality that feels<br />

like something out of a fairy-tale. Cultural,<br />

natural, and culinary diversity meet here,<br />

meaning there’s something for all the family<br />

to enjoy.<br />

Liechtenstein promises a world of fun,<br />

whether it’s an exciting trekking tour with<br />

llamas, a spectacular adventure hike or an<br />

adventurous, full moon walk.<br />

Recharge your batteries in the Malbun<br />

family paradise<br />

The idyllic Malbuntal has been awarded<br />

the “Family Destination” seal of approval<br />

from the Swiss Tourism Association several<br />

times. Not only does the quiet mountain<br />

village offer relaxation for families, but the<br />

nearby town of Vaduz and the surrounding<br />

mountains make the valley the ideal starting<br />

point for sightseeing in Liechtenstein.<br />

If you want to spend a quiet day away<br />

from the hustle and bustle of the main<br />

town, you will find a place to relax at the<br />

nearby Gänglesee in Steg. Children<br />

can splash around in the cool<br />

water or build a reservoir, and<br />

Barbecue areas around the<br />

lake invite you to eat and<br />

unwind together.<br />

Something for<br />

everyone<br />

In picturesque Malbun,<br />

you will find many family<br />

hotels that offer exciting<br />

children’s playgrounds and<br />

wellness areas for every age.<br />

Childcare is also available<br />

at the hotels for parents who<br />

want to enjoy some quality time<br />

together.<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2023</strong> | 22<br />

A holiday to remember: Family<br />

experiences in the valley and<br />

mountain areas<br />

Experiences such as trekking tour with<br />

llamas and alpacas, a trip to the swing and<br />

researcher paths or a spectacular bird of<br />

prey show in Malbun make your family<br />

vacation in the Principality of Liechtenstein<br />

unforgettable.<br />

Malbun has a special highlight for<br />

people who love puzzles and brainteasers:<br />

The magical Malbun Portal. This is a<br />

sophisticated hunt through Liechtenstein’s<br />

mountain resort where participants must<br />

solve a variety of puzzles and follow clues.<br />

The participants are provided with a puzzle<br />

bag and an iPad and off they go to practice<br />

their detective skills!<br />

From May 12th there will be a Foxtrail in<br />

Vaduz. A Foxtrail is a team experience for<br />

friends, clubs, company events and family<br />

outings. The city becomes a playground.<br />

Teams (2-7 people) are challenged no to lose



OFFER:<br />

Princely summer and<br />

autumn holidays<br />

1 night in a 3-star superior hotel<br />

from CHF 83.50 per person<br />

www.tourismus.li/famoffers<br />

★<br />

the trail of the fox and must crack codes<br />

and find hidden messages along the way.<br />

Nature-loving travellers can learn lots<br />

of interesting facts about the forest on the<br />

forest adventure trail in Vaduz or enjoy<br />

cheese, wine, and coffee on the FoodTrail<br />

from Vaduz to Schaan. The Walser<br />

SagenWeg in Triesenberg, the detective<br />

trails in Malbun and Vaduz or the rope park<br />

in Triesen also offer everything for a perfect<br />

family day in nature.<br />

A real summer highlight in Liechtenstein<br />

is the Grossabünt bathing lake. The freely<br />

accessible leisure facility attracts visitors<br />

with its crystal-clear, refreshing lake and the<br />

soccer field, climbing wall, and slackline.<br />

With the adventure pass, all doors are<br />

open to families<br />

Would you like a holiday full of activities?<br />

With the adventure pass for the whole<br />

family, you enjoy free travel on all bus routes<br />

and have access to 30 leisure attractions<br />

worth over 300 francs.<br />

These include the high rope park in<br />

Triesen, the exciting Liechtenstein State<br />

Museum, the ceramics workshop in<br />

Nendeln and the chairlift in Malbun. You<br />

can also visit indoor and outdoor pools and<br />

many museums with the adventure pass.<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2023</strong> | 23<br />


Liechtenstein Marketing<br />

info@liechtenstein.li<br />

+423 239 63 63<br />

www.tourismus.li/en/<br />



© Nicolas Giovanettoni © Stefan Giger<br />



The Hoher Kasten, a mountain located in the Canton of Appenzell (AI), offers everything your heart desires: 360 degrees<br />

unlimited panoramic view, unspoiled nature, culinary delicacies and a varied selection of hiking opportunities.<br />

What better way to start a family<br />

trip than with a cable car<br />

excursion? The Hoher Kasten<br />

cable car leads from the small village of<br />

Brülisau, nearby the town of Appenzell,<br />

to the 1,794-meter high summit of Hoher<br />

Kasten. The journey takes you past<br />

idyllic hilly landscapes, typical Appenzell<br />

farmhouses and a fascinating mountain<br />

scenery.<br />

Once at the top, the first highlight already<br />

awaits you: In the tunnel of the summit<br />

station, colourful images seemingly dance<br />

to mystical sounds across the walls of the<br />

tunnel. With a little luck, a fire-breathing<br />

dragon or animals like goats will appear.<br />

Accessible for everyone and for children<br />

even free of charge<br />

From the lower station and up to the<br />



© NHoher Kasten Drehrestaurant und Seilbahn AG<br />

© Andreas Butz<br />

summit, the Hoher Kasten is barrier-free<br />

and thus accessible to everyone. Children<br />

up to 15 years of age travel free of charge<br />

with the cable car throughout <strong>2023</strong>, as long<br />

as they are accompanied by at least one<br />

adult. And the offer is available to school<br />

groups too!<br />

Recharging batteries by enjoying the<br />

view and the nature<br />

The Europa Rundweg circular trail, which<br />

circles the striking silhouette of Hoher<br />

Kasten, offers exceptional views in all<br />

directions. From here, you can see over<br />

300 mountain peaks, including the Säntis,<br />

the endless green meadows of Appenzell<br />

and the Rhine River which flows into the<br />

Lake of Constance. Resting benches, free<br />

telescopes and various panoramic platforms<br />

awaits you along the trail. The circular trail<br />

is easily accessible for families with buggies<br />

and people with mobility issues.<br />

Along the circular trail, in a unique alpine<br />

garden, over 300 species of plants unfold<br />

their colourful splendour. In spring, when<br />

the plants awake from their hibernation,<br />

they are particularly beautiful. With 15<br />

information boards alongside the trail,<br />

adults and children can investigate the<br />

alpine nature and its native plants.<br />

Revolving restaurant and<br />

culinary delights<br />

Another highlight at the summit is the only<br />

revolving restaurant in the eastern part of<br />

Switzerland. Within an hour, six countries<br />

and some of their famous mountain peaks<br />

pass by. In the revolving restaurant you, not<br />

only, will be spoiled by the breath-taking<br />

360-degree view, but also with regional<br />

and seasonal delicacies. Friendly hosts and<br />

all-around a great atmosphere will conclude<br />

your experience at Hoher Kasten.<br />

Starting point to a hiker’s paradise<br />

The Alpstein region has the densest network<br />

of hiking trails in Switzerland and is<br />

therefore a true hiker’s paradise. Whether a<br />

leisurely valley walk, a strenuous mountain<br />

hike or a spectacular panoramic trail, the<br />

Hoher Kasten area has it all and is the ideal<br />

starting point to explore further into the<br />

Alpstein region. On the mountain summit,<br />

you have a bird’s eye view over the region<br />

and can see how the hiking trails wind<br />

along the mountain ranges.<br />

Family hike to Lake Forstseeli<br />

If you opt for a valley hike, the familyfriendly<br />

hiking trail leads you from Hoher<br />

Kasten via the mountain Kamor to Lake<br />

Forstseeli and back via Resspass and<br />

Ruhesitz, with the inn of the same name,<br />

to Brülisau. From green meadows, to pine<br />

forests and moorlands, the vegetation<br />

changes steadily along the trail. You should<br />

definitely plan a stop at the dreamy lake<br />

Forstseeli, where a fireplace awaits you.<br />

Here you can enjoy a waterside picnic and<br />

relax while listening to the birds chirping.<br />

Relaxing moments and<br />

adventurous descent<br />

Another option is to hike to the shimmering<br />

lake Sämtisersee. The green-blue lake<br />

nestled between steep rocky flanks can<br />

already be seen from the summit. After a<br />

short, steep stretch from the Hoher Kasten<br />

to the Kastensattel, the route continues<br />

towards the inn at Staubern and down to<br />

the Sämtisersee. From there you can either<br />

take the route via the Plattenbödeli inn or<br />

via the Ruhesitz inn back to Brülisau. The<br />

route via the Ruhesitz inn is doubtlessly<br />

more adventurous since the last part can be<br />

covered at your leisure with scooters.<br />

A journey through earth’s<br />

geological history<br />

Furthermore, Switzerland’s first geological<br />

hiking trail starts on the Hoher Kasten. This<br />

hike is more challenging and it is essential<br />

to wear mountain boots with non-slip soles<br />

and not to suffer from fear of heights.<br />

The mountain hiking trail runs along the<br />

gentle but partly exposed ridge from Hoher<br />

Kasten through to the Staubern inn and<br />

further on to the Bollenwees inn. Along the<br />

way, the panorama trail offers interesting<br />

insights into the geological development of<br />

the Alpstein region as well as first-class views<br />

in all directions. Particularly impressive is<br />

the view of the imposing rock formations<br />

of the Kreuzberge and the two mountain<br />

lakes, Fälensee and Sämtisersee.<br />


Let’s Talk<br />

About<br />

Relationships<br />

and Sex<br />

Education<br />


I<br />

was 13 years old and sitting in a biology lab with the other girls<br />

in my class. We had been separated from the boys for a lesson<br />

that we all assumed was about sex education. We had high<br />

hopes for this highly anticipated lesson because sex was not a topic<br />

many of us could talk about with our parents. Our biology teacher<br />

entered the lab, pale and sweating. She pulled a high stool out from<br />

behind one of the benches and sat down in front of us. Staring<br />

at the floor, she monosyllabically delivered the following, wellrehearsed,<br />

short speech. “You should only have sex with one person<br />

in your life, your husband. Sex is not pleasurable, it’s awkward and<br />

painful, but bearable because it’s over in seconds, it’s something<br />

you just have to endure, and you only have to do it if you want to<br />

have a baby.” One of the more confident girls in the group raised<br />

her hand, only to be told to put it down, questions were not allowed<br />

and there was nothing about ‘it’ in our upcoming biology test. So,<br />

there it was, my first and only sex education lesson at my Catholic<br />

comprehensive school in Scotland. I left the lesson believing that<br />

sex was something to be afraid of, that it was dirty and shameful,<br />

and I distinctly remember turning to the girl next to me and saying,<br />

“Well, I am never doing that!”<br />

My experience, unfortunately, is a common one. In the 1980s,<br />

we did not have many opportunities to look for answers. Today<br />

the world is a different place. The way young people interact with<br />

the world has fundamentally changed. They have never known<br />

anything other than the Internet-driven reality of the 21st century.<br />

Generation Z is the generation that learns about everything online,<br />

including sex and relationships, and has instant access to a 24/7<br />

information superhighway. Using a framework for Relationships<br />

and Sex Education (RSE) that was developed before the invention<br />

of TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram just does not appeal to the<br />

young people of today.<br />

When our children are growing up, we see it our job as parents<br />

or caregivers to keep them healthy and safe. We teach them to<br />

wear a seatbelt, wear a helmet, use sunscreen, and not to eat too<br />

many sweets. We teach them how to take care of their bodies and<br />

get along with others. But why don’t we have the same philosophy<br />

when it comes to the sexual health of our children?<br />

RSE is the teaching and learning about a wide range of topics<br />

related to sex, sexuality, and relationships, such as puberty,<br />


eproduction, contraception, relationships, sexual violence, and<br />

gender. RSE can be conducted at home by parents/caregivers, in<br />

schools by teachers, or it can be outsourced to specialised educators.<br />

The World Health Organisation (WHO) states, “Comprehensive<br />

sexuality education plays a central role in the preparation of young people for a<br />

safe, productive and fulfilling life in a world where HIV and AIDS, sexually<br />

transmitted infections, unintended pregnancies, gender-based violence and gender<br />

inequality still pose a serious threat to their well-being.” 1 According to<br />

UNESCO’s <strong>International</strong> guidance on sexuality education, only<br />

34% of young people worldwide know about HIV prevention and<br />

transmission and in some countries, two out of three girls have<br />

no idea what happens to them when they menstruate. 2 Because<br />

of this lack of education, many people entering adulthood do not<br />

know how to protect their bodies during sexual activity, how to<br />

help reduce sexual violence, and how to have consensual, respectful<br />

relationships. How can we ensure that our young people are<br />

educated, smart, healthy, and safe if we do not adequately inform<br />

them so they can make good choices for themselves?<br />

RSE has become a hot topic in many countries, with inaccurate<br />

and sensational headlines responding to very emotive issues. Media<br />

coverage often misrepresents what is happening in schools and<br />

raises doubts about the validity and appropriateness of topics<br />

discussed, as well as the credibility of teachers. Ultimately, this<br />

can lead to some parents taking their children out of RSE classes<br />

altogether. One of their main arguments being that RSE informs<br />

young people about sexual activities that they would not otherwise<br />

know about. For example, it is argued that discussing pornography<br />

makes young people more likely to view it, or that comprehensive<br />

education encourages early sexual activity.<br />

According to the American College of Obstetricians and<br />

Gynecologists’ Committee on Adolescent Health Care, numerous<br />

studies over the past 20 years have consistently shown that<br />

comprehensive RSE in schools does not encourage young people<br />

to have sex earlier, or more often. 3 When RSE is implemented in<br />

a safe and supportive learning environment, it has been shown to<br />

have many positive and lifelong effects on young adult’s health and<br />




“Good communication and opportunities for parents to ask questions helps build trust in the<br />

curriculum and is critical to avoid the withdrawal of students from RSE lessons.”<br />

well-being. The college goes on to add that, “studies have demonstrated<br />

that comprehensive sexuality education programs reduce the rates of sexual<br />

activity, sexual risk behaviors (e.g., number of partners and unprotected<br />

intercourse), sexually transmitted infections, and adolescent pregnancy.” 4<br />

Some argue that it is the parents’ job to educate young people<br />

about relationships and sex, not schools. But leaving this to<br />

parents assumes that they have the confidence, understanding,<br />

and knowledge to talk openly with their children about these often<br />

sensitive and complex topics. While parents play a key role in<br />

shaping their children’s views about sexual behaviour, they often<br />

underestimate their role in educating their children about sex. As<br />

a result, many adolescents report that they talk little, or not at all,<br />

with their parents about sex. Many parents feel they need support<br />

and/or professional expertise to guide the way.<br />

<strong>Parent</strong>s should have every opportunity to understand the purpose<br />

and content of a RSE programme and the school’s approach.<br />

Good communication and opportunities for parents to ask<br />

questions helps build trust in the curriculum and is critical to avoid<br />

the withdrawal of students from RSE lessons.<br />

As a midwife with more than twenty years’ experience teaching<br />

RSE in <strong>International</strong> schools in Switzerland, I take my role very<br />

seriously. I firmly believe that comprehensive, age-appropriate<br />

RSE provides young people with the knowledge they need in<br />

order to develop from childhood into adulthood, equipped with<br />

the information required to make healthy and responsible choices<br />

for themselves. I witness first-hand young people’s need for this<br />

knowledge. When given the opportunity they engage, debate, and<br />

discuss issues in a safe environment with an experienced, nonjudgmental,<br />

and credible educator.<br />

As parents and educators, we must recognise that RSE is a<br />

complex and rapidly evolving field that is often challenging for<br />

parents and educators, but it is a challenge we need to address to<br />

ensure that our young people are educated appropriately. Effective<br />

RSE requires close collaboration between parents, schools, and<br />

RSE providers. The world has changed and RSE must evolve and<br />

adapt to meet the needs of schools, parents, and the young people<br />

of today.<br />

References<br />

1 https://www.who.int/publications/m/<br />

item/9789231002595<br />

2 https://www.unesco.org/en/articles/why-comprehensivesexuality-education-important<br />

3 https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/committeeopinion/articles/2016/11/comprehensive-sexuality-education,<br />

4 https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/committeeopinion/articles/2016/11/comprehensive-sexuality-education<br />




CHILD AN<br />

Unforgettable<br />

SUMMER<br />

Imagine your child learning English<br />

and enjoying activities carefully crafted<br />

to provide the ultimate summer<br />

experience. Nestled along the French<br />

border and a stone’s throw from Germany,<br />

St Charles College offers a uniquely Swiss<br />

experience for students aged between 10<br />

and 18.<br />

St Charles was founded in 1897 and<br />

since then has offered students high-quality<br />

education while developing the attributes of<br />

kindness, respect, and responsibility towards<br />

others and the environment.<br />

These same attributes are also evident<br />

in their <strong>Summer</strong> Programme. The<br />

programme welcomes young people of all<br />

English language abilities – beginners are<br />

nurtured and supported to build confidence,<br />

whereas students with greater competency<br />

are pushed to articulate themselves and<br />



communicate at a more sophisticated level.<br />

The <strong>Summer</strong> Programme runs for either<br />

two or four weeks, beginning early July.<br />

Your child will have their days filled with a<br />

balance of study and activities promoting<br />

use of language, social interaction, cultural<br />

learnings, and a great deal of fun.<br />

Five days per week, your child will begin<br />

their school day with three hours of English<br />

instruction. In these classes students focus<br />

on all aspects of the English language,<br />

tailored to their individual needs and level.<br />

In addition, students also have an hour<br />

a day to work on their personal project<br />

where among other things, they learn about<br />

leadership and entrepreneurship.<br />

Equipping children with real world<br />

skills is important to St Charles. Reflecting<br />

this, students are placed in groups for an<br />

hour each day to learn about - and put<br />

into practice - Social media marketing.<br />

Each week groups are given a different<br />

assignment based on what they have learnt<br />

in class.<br />

<strong>Summer</strong> programmes by definition must<br />

provide participants with ample opportunity<br />

to enjoy summer! Once classes are done,<br />

students take part in an exceptional range<br />

of afternoon and evening activities.<br />

St Charles aim is to get children to<br />

try something new – perhaps find a<br />

new hobby or even lead them towards a<br />

future career. Afternoon activities include<br />

sports like swimming, climbing and horse<br />

riding, excursions to cities and towns in<br />

Switzerland, France and Germany, a<br />

masterclass with the resident French Chef,<br />

visits to local chocolate and cheese factories<br />

or even something as unique as Alpaca<br />

yoga! Afternoon activities usually take place<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2023</strong> | 31<br />

off campus, giving students exposure to<br />

their picturesque surroundings.<br />

Evening activities are held on campus.<br />

These activities have been carefully selected<br />

to help students wind down and relax before<br />

bed. The evening programme includes<br />

things such as a magic workshop led by a<br />

professional magician, or a film screening in<br />

our purpose-built, full-size cinema.<br />

Each Tuesday and Friday students also<br />

participate in full day excursions. These<br />

trips can be loosely divided into two<br />

categories: A cultural experience and a<br />

Sport or Adventure activity.<br />

The Tuesday excursion is open to all<br />

students and is included in the camp<br />

programme. For example, students will<br />

spend the day exploring Lausanne,<br />

including the Olympic Museum and lunch<br />

on the shores of Lake Geneva.


On Friday’s students pick between two<br />

options: a Friday field trip or the “Big<br />

Friday Adventure”. The Friday field trip<br />

is included in the programme and is a<br />

fun activity such as a day enjoying Lake<br />

Biel and its surrounds including paddle<br />

boarding, sailing and a variety of other<br />

water and nature-based activities.<br />

The “Big Friday Adventure” is an<br />

optional activity that is not included in<br />

the programme fee. Students who elect<br />

to join the Big Friday Adventure head<br />

off on a special excursion. This could<br />

be to Disneyland Paris or Europa Park<br />

in Germany, or even hot air ballooning!<br />

Students also have the chance to assemble<br />

their own Swiss watch at an exclusive<br />

watchmaker. For families wanting a very<br />

special keepsake, your child can select to<br />

create their own watch to take home.<br />

With more than 120 years providing<br />

outstanding, holistic education and support<br />

to students, it is St Charles’ pleasure to offer<br />

young people from all over the world a truly<br />

meaningful summer experience that they<br />

will cherish for many years to come.<br />

For more information on the <strong>Summer</strong><br />

Programme, visit www.st-charles.com or<br />

contact St Charles directly for personalised<br />

service and recommendations.<br />

Under the banner of Supporting Growth, Saint-Charles does everything possible to make<br />

future young adults into citizens of the world. Saint-Charles emphasises curiosity and a<br />

sense of tolerance and freedom, and constantly seeks a balance between tradition and the<br />

avant-garde.<br />

College & Lycée Saint-Charles welcomes 180 students from primary to high school level.<br />

The Swiss curriculum is taught bilingually in French and English from age 10 to 18,<br />

leading to the Swiss Matura certificate in French or bilingual French and English. As an IB<br />

World <strong>School</strong>, we offer the Middle Years programme in English in Years<br />

8, 9 and 10 and the Diploma programme in Years 11 and 12. We are<br />

one of the best boarding schools in Switzerland with a unique approach<br />

to teaching and learning where all students can succeed in a caring,<br />

optimistic and encouraging environment.<br />


your<br />

IS<br />

SCHOOL<br />


www.internationalschoolparent.com<br />

• Talk directly to parents looking to enrol their children<br />

• Showcase your school with a detailed description, video, photos, and inbound<br />

links.<br />

• Access analytics reports to gain valuable insights into your school’s online<br />

performance.<br />

• Keep parents informed by sending school updates<br />

to our extensive database.<br />

• Stay up-to-date by updating your school guide<br />

with the latest information whenever needed.<br />

• Make use of our blog throughout the year,<br />

ensuring your school remains in the limelight.<br />









“Many transgender adults talk<br />

about knowing as a child that<br />

they were trans but didn’t feel<br />

safe to share with anyone or<br />

do anything about it until well<br />

into adulthood.”<br />

age 4. Most transgender children first<br />

experience gender dysphoria between<br />

3 and 7 years 2 with greater numbers by<br />

age 13. Furthermore, just because a trans<br />

child hasn’t voiced dysphoria, doesn’t<br />

mean they’re not experiencing it. Many<br />

transgender adults talk about knowing as a<br />

child that they were trans but didn’t feel safe<br />

to share with anyone or do anything about<br />

it until well into adulthood.<br />

It is also critical to highlight that you<br />

should never assume that a child knows they<br />

are trans or even if they have come ‘out’<br />

to you, that their own parents know. The<br />

following guidance only relates to situations<br />

where children have voiced that they are<br />

transgender.<br />

<strong>Parent</strong>ing is probably the toughest<br />

job there is. What’s also tough, but<br />

much less talked about is seeing<br />

a child in another family be rejected for<br />

who they are. Unfortunately for many<br />

transgender children this is their reality.<br />

What do you do when that child is your<br />

child’s friend? Can you help? Do you<br />

ignore it because it’s not your business? Will<br />

support offend the parents? Depending on<br />

what issues are prominent, as well as the age<br />

of the child(ren), there are several options<br />

available to you.<br />

Firstly, it’s important to understand some<br />

basic facts about gender.<br />

When Does Gender Identity Develop In<br />

A Child?<br />

One of the arguments often raised against<br />

trans kids is that children are too young to<br />

know about their gender identity. When<br />

people say this, they unconsciously link<br />

gender to sexual development. This is not<br />

correct.<br />

A child’s gender identity begins around<br />

2 or 3 years 1 and is locked in around<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2023</strong> | 35<br />

What Does Support Look Like And How<br />

Do I Go About It?<br />

We all know that it’s a social ‘no no’ to<br />

comment on another person’s parenting.<br />

You never know the full story, there’s great<br />

risk of causing offence and emotions get<br />

triggered easily when your opinion hasn’t<br />

been asked for.<br />

Unsurprisingly, there is no one golden<br />

answer. Support is about understanding<br />

the nuanced pinch points. What are the<br />

child’s stressors? What are their parents’<br />

stressors, and where do they clash with their<br />

child’s needs? Each situation has its own<br />

unique context, but there is a path through<br />

that means you’re supporting practically,<br />

sensitively and discreetly as needed.<br />

Interactions with the other parents:<br />

• Don’t judge without knowing their<br />

story<br />

Every parent reacts differently to their child<br />

being transgender. Some support from day<br />

one, others don’t cope well initially but<br />

with time become affirming parents, whilst<br />

others never accept their transgender child.<br />

When you first meet the family, you will not<br />

know where they are at in their journey.<br />

It’s important to allow the parents space to

process what is this means as parents, for<br />

their child and the family generally.<br />

• Moderate your words for heightened<br />

emotions<br />

When parents are non-affirming,<br />

emotions are often heightened. It’s wise to<br />

communicate more astutely. Yes, you want<br />

to be trans affirming, but offering an overtly<br />

positive opinion may trigger an emotional<br />

reaction that severs your connection. More<br />

subtle verbal affirmations will help maintain<br />

the opportunity for you to positively<br />

influence in the future. For example,<br />

“Sunita [your child] loves having Mimi as<br />

a friend. They both get on so well” or “It’s<br />

been so lovely to see Mimi recently.”<br />

• Don’t focus on the child’s gender<br />

Behave how you would for any of your<br />

child’s friends. Ask the parents over for a<br />

BBQ, offer to carpool, arrange sleep overs,<br />

“Explaining to your teenager your desire to<br />

support their friend can help prevent things<br />

getting lost in translation.”<br />

suggest a picnic in the park etc. Apart from<br />

these activities being fun, your behaviour<br />

normalises being trans. Essentially, all that<br />

is happening is that your child has a new<br />

friend and you’re being a parent.<br />

Interactions with the transgender child:<br />

• Making your home a safe space<br />

This is probably the most important action<br />

you can take when supporting a transgender<br />

child whose parents are not trans-affirming.<br />

For younger children being friendly, kind<br />

and welcoming is all they need. They<br />

know by your behaviour that you accept<br />

them. The same applies for teenagers,<br />

but a conversation is also a great way to<br />

emphasise the point. For example, “I want<br />

you to know you are always welcome in our<br />

home.” A trans kid knows what this really<br />

means, and it creates an opening for future<br />

conversations. Having a safe adult to talk to<br />

can be life changing.<br />

• Talking about pronouns<br />

A great way to show that you’re an ally is to<br />

introduce yourself with your pronouns. “Hi,<br />

I’m Mariam. My pronouns are she/her”.<br />

This is EVERYTHING but doesn’t require<br />

the child to do the same if they feel unsafe.<br />

With their own pronouns, be aware that<br />

many non-affirming parents vehemently<br />

oppose their child using different pronouns.<br />

In the UK, Australia, Austria and many<br />

other countries, schoolteachers are not<br />

1) https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/gender-fluidity-what-it-means-and-why-support-matters-2020120321544<br />

2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8766261/<br />



allowed to use ‘they’ pronouns for students<br />

under 16 years without their parents’<br />

permission. While teachers are accountable<br />

to professional teaching standards, it<br />

highlights the complexity of navigating<br />

allyship and the wellbeing of trans teens’ in<br />

the context of parental rights.<br />

So, do you not ask trans teens for their<br />

pronouns then? Not exactly. It’s more<br />

nuanced. Start with, ‘how do your parents<br />

feel about pronouns?’. Just the fact that<br />

you’ve asked may enough for them. Keep<br />

in mind that they know best about what’s<br />

safe and what’s not within their family.<br />

Depending on what they next say, you may<br />

choose to further ask, “how should I refer<br />

to you when you’re with your parents?” and<br />

“when you’re in our home?”. Ultimately,<br />

however, you are not the child’s parents.<br />

You need to know your rights and expect<br />

that parental kickback may come because<br />

of these conversations.<br />

• Offer relief from a stressful home<br />

Give them respite from a stressful home,<br />

by arranging play dates and socialising<br />

away from their home. Let the kids know in<br />

advance too! This will help reduce anxiety<br />

about weekends at home or worrying about<br />

several weeks of school holidays.<br />

Interactions with your child:<br />

• Share in their excitement<br />

Be excited by their new friend in the same<br />

way you would for any friend. Matching<br />

their level of excitement is really affirming<br />

for your relationship and also for their new<br />

friendship.<br />

• Share your intentions of allyship<br />

Explaining to your teenager your desire to<br />

support their friend can help prevent things<br />

getting lost in translation. When working in<br />

international schools, teenagers have shared<br />

concerns with me about their parents asking<br />

questions about their friends’ sexuality<br />

and gender. They assumed their parents<br />

were anti LGBTQ+. It never dawned on<br />

them that they might ask (no matter how<br />

awkwardly) so they could be a great ally to<br />

their friends. Be clear with your intentions,<br />

“Kasia, I’d really like to let Erin know that<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2023</strong> | 38<br />

our home is a safe space for them. Would<br />

that be okay with you?”. Talking to your<br />

teenager like this makes them feel valued<br />

and lets them know unambiguously that you<br />

are LGBTQ+ affirming.<br />

• Open for talking anytime<br />

Let your child know that they can talk to<br />

you anytime about anything. An older child<br />

is likely to be their friend’s primary support<br />

and may need an outlet to discuss through<br />

any issues.<br />

And if you’re worrying about making<br />

a mistake, don’t be. If it happens, just<br />

apologise and move on. When it comes<br />

to trans youth, the statistics show that the<br />

greater mistake is not trying at all. Trans<br />

youth need our support more than ever<br />

right now.<br />

“Becoming ourselves is a<br />

collective journey.”<br />

- Alok Vaid-Menon<br />

Beyond the Gender Binary

Putting HealthFirst:<br />

for everyone, everywhere<br />

We deliver a comprehensive<br />

approach to well-being through:<br />

• Physical health awareness<br />

programmes<br />

• Mental health workshops<br />

• First Aid training<br />

Companies, organisations, schools and individuals trust<br />

us to empower them to stay healthy, happy and safe<br />


Selecting a Tutor for Your Child<br />



As a parent,<br />

how can you<br />

ensure that<br />

you have chosen the<br />

perfect tutor for your<br />

child? With numerous<br />

websites advertising<br />

tutors, the task of finding a<br />

reliable, friendly, and knowledgeable tutor<br />

can be overwhelming. As more parents<br />

consider hiring tutors to bridge educational<br />

gaps or provide additional challenges<br />

beyond the classroom, it becomes crucial to<br />

approach experienced professionals in the<br />

field.<br />

Frustrated by the ineffectiveness of<br />

education accessible to students within the<br />

state education system, Hannah Benwell<br />

and Rebecca Nuthall founded Eden<br />

Tutors in 2021. Their goal was to offer the<br />

highest quality tuition and a personalised<br />

education programme tailored to individual<br />

requirements. They work with clients both<br />

in the United Kingdom and internationally<br />

by providing face to face and online tuition.<br />

Hannah and Rebecca believe that<br />

education is not just about academic<br />

success, their holistic approach considers<br />

the whole child, including their emotional<br />

and social wellbeing. We had the pleasure<br />

of interviewing Hannah and Rebecca who<br />

shared their tips on finding a first-class tutor.<br />

What is more important, qualifications or<br />

experience?<br />

Ideally, a great tutor would possess a<br />

combination of both experience and<br />

qualifications. However, it ultimately<br />

depends on the individual situation and<br />

the specific requirements of the student.<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2023</strong> | 40<br />

At Eden Tutors, we have carefully selected<br />

a team of exceptional educators. There<br />

is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach and we<br />

carefully assess each candidate based on<br />

their experience, qualifications and ability<br />

to build rapport with pupils.<br />

Experience brings practical knowledge<br />

and a deep understanding of the subject<br />

matter, as well as insights into various<br />

teaching methods and approaches.<br />

An experienced tutor is likely to have<br />

encountered a range of student challenges<br />

and developed effective strategies to address<br />

them. They will also possess valuable<br />

interpersonal skills honed through years of<br />

working with students. Teaching methods<br />

have evolved substantially over the past<br />

years and just having a degree in a subject<br />

does not necessarily mean that a tutor will<br />

be able to teach it in a clear and concise

“A competent tutor goes beyond merely utilising resources;<br />

they actively engage with their students, dedicating time to<br />

discuss and work through the materials together.”<br />

way. It is important to ensure that your<br />

tutor has teaching credentials (or, at least,<br />

is familiar with the most recent curriculum)<br />

and has first-hand experience teaching<br />

students of your child’s age in their subject.<br />

Our philosophy is to inspire our<br />

students by exposing them to inspirational<br />

educators who go beyond purely instilling<br />

knowledge, but provide a grounding in life<br />

that will take them beyond the classroom.<br />

Fostering ambition is a crucial element of<br />

a child’s education and the guidance of a<br />

‘tutoring role model’ will help develop their<br />

aspirations and create a hunger for goals<br />

and challenges.<br />

How can I make sure the learning<br />

experience is tailored to my child?<br />

Tutors possess an extensive collection<br />

of teaching aids, such as worksheets,<br />

books, and other resources, which play<br />

an important role in your child’s learning.<br />

However, these materials represent just<br />

a small part of an exceptional tutoring<br />

experience as a whole. A competent tutor<br />

goes beyond merely utilising these resources;<br />

they actively engage with their students,<br />

dedicating time to discuss and work through<br />

the materials together. This involves<br />

asking follow-up questions, confirming<br />

comprehension, and drawing relevant<br />

examples from their own experiences to<br />

enhance the learning process.<br />

I don’t know the tutor; how can I<br />

safeguard my child?<br />

The focus on DBS checking remains central<br />

in discussions surrounding safeguarding<br />

and child protection, rightfully gaining<br />

increased attention. While this check cannot<br />

guarantee future behaviour, it does ensure<br />

that individuals with a criminal history<br />

cannot easily conceal it. It may come as a<br />

surprise that not all individuals participating<br />

in events involving children are obligated to<br />

possess a DBS Certificate. At Eden Tutors,<br />

we prioritise safeguarding and recognise<br />

that child safety is a shared responsibility.<br />

Each tutor undergoes a thorough<br />

interview process, an Enhanced DBS<br />

Check, comprehensive vetting, reference<br />

verification, and confirmation of academic<br />

qualifications.<br />

You advise families on hiring the best<br />

possible tutors for their children, what<br />

advice would you give to our readers?<br />

When selecting a tutor, it is important to<br />

consider a wide range of factors, including<br />

a tutor’s underlying purpose for supporting<br />

students on a one-to-one basis. It is essential<br />

that your tutor considers your child’s<br />

learning as the utmost priority, enabling<br />

them to achieve their academic aims. A<br />

tutor should be able to demonstrate great<br />

versatility, eager to teach a range of subjects<br />

within the curriculum. Their constant<br />

focus should be on supporting their<br />

students to develop more broadly, including<br />

boosting their self-esteem, expanding their<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2023</strong> | 41<br />

horizons, cultivating a love of learning,<br />

and developing practical skills like time<br />

management and handling pressurised<br />

circumstances like exams. They should<br />

also be dependable, particularly in terms<br />

of punctuality, politeness, and effective<br />

communication. Above all, as a parent, you<br />

possess the deepest understanding of your<br />

child, and your intuition will guide you in<br />

determining whether a tutor is the perfect<br />

match for them.<br />

If you would like to discuss private tuition<br />

for your child, contact Eden Tutors:<br />

01344 508077 / info@eden-tutors.co.uk<br />

/ www.eden-tutors.co.uk


Novartis Pavillon located<br />

park south campus<br />

What’s going on in Basel<br />

© Mathias Mangold<br />

Basel, Switzerland is a charming<br />

city that boasts a rich cultural<br />

heritage, stunning architecture,<br />

and a vibrant art scene. But it’s during the<br />

summer months that Basel truly comes<br />

alive, as tourists flock to the city to soak up<br />

the sunshine, enjoy the warm weather, and<br />

explore all that this picturesque destination<br />

has to offer. From strolling along the banks<br />

The annual summer party<br />

of the Rhine River to visiting worldrenowned<br />

museums and galleries, there’s no<br />

shortage of things for families to do and see<br />

in Basel during the summer. In this article,<br />

we’ll take a closer look at some of the top<br />

<strong>2023</strong> summer tourist attractions in Basel, as<br />

well as provide tips and recommendations<br />

for making the most of your trip to this<br />

beautiful Swiss city.<br />

1Basquiat. The Modena Paintings<br />

11 JUNE – 27 AUGUST <strong>2023</strong><br />

In 1982, Jean-Michel Basquiat created<br />

a series of large-scale paintings for his<br />

first solo exhibition in Modena, Italy.<br />

Unfortunately, the show was cancelled<br />

before its opening, and the artworks were<br />

never displayed together. Over 40 years<br />

later, the Fondation Beyeler has curated<br />

a unique exhibition that reunites these<br />

masterpieces, which are now dispersed<br />

across collections in the United States, Asia,<br />

and Switzerland.<br />

2Fondation Beyeler <strong>Summer</strong> Party<br />

Saturday, 12 August <strong>2023</strong>,<br />

10a.m.–10p.m.<br />

That’s summer: going to the park to bask<br />

in the sun, learning something new at a<br />

workshop, exploring the region’s culinary<br />

delights, taking guided tours of exhibitions,<br />

and dancing to live music in the open air –<br />

all in a single day at the Fondation Beyeler.<br />

3Kunstmuseum Basel<br />

Shirley Jaffe – Form as Experiment<br />

Born in New Jersey in 1923, Shirley Jaffe<br />



moved to Paris in 1949. Having soon<br />

established herself in the city, she held<br />

regular contact with the American “art<br />

expats” Norman Bluhm, Sam Francis,<br />

and Joan Mitchell. Her work dating from<br />

this period may be attributed to Abstract<br />

Expressionism, a form that consisted<br />

primarily of wildly applied fields of colour<br />

and gestures.<br />

In 1963 Jaffe relocated to West Berlin<br />

for a year. Over the course of her stay, her<br />

work became more monochromatic and<br />

geometric, like Lego pieces or brightly<br />

coloured paper snippets. From 1969<br />

onwards, Jaffe resided in Paris where she<br />

was to remain until her death in 2016.<br />

Programme:<br />

Manyness – A five-hour happening with<br />

music by Xenakis, Stockhausen, and others<br />

Fri, 14.4. and Sat, 15.4., 13–18 Uhr,<br />

Neubau, free of charge<br />

Fri, 12.5. and Sat, 13.5., 13–18 Uhr,<br />

Neubau, free of charge<br />

4Vitra Campus:<br />

The Vitra Campus near Basel is a mustvisit<br />

for design and architecture enthusiasts.<br />

Explore buildings by world-renowned<br />

architects, see the latest exhibition at<br />

the Vitra Design Museum, witness the<br />

handcrafted fabrication of the iconic<br />

Lounge Chair by Charles and Ray Eames,<br />

and find inspiration for your own home at<br />

the VitraHaus flagship store. The Campus<br />

seamlessly combines the commercial and<br />

cultural aspects of Vitra, a Swiss furniture<br />

manufacturer founded in 1934 as a<br />

shopfitting business. After a major fire in<br />

1981, the family-run company embraced<br />

the opportunity to rebuild the premises in<br />

collaboration with leading architects.<br />

5Vitra Design Museum<br />

The Vitra Design Museum, the<br />

Wüstenrot Foundation, and the Nieuwe<br />

Instituut are co-hosting an exhibition<br />

called “Garden Futures: Designing with<br />

Nature” from March 25 to October 3,<br />

<strong>2023</strong>. Gardens have become places of<br />

avant-garde experimentation and symbolic<br />

potential for cultures, identities, dreams,<br />

and visions. The exhibition explores the<br />

history and future of modern gardens,<br />

examining where today’s garden ideals<br />

come from and their potential for achieving<br />

a sustainable and liveable future for<br />

everyone. Through a diverse range of<br />

“From strolling along the banks of the Rhine River to visiting<br />

world-renowned museums and galleries, there’s no shortage of<br />

things for families to do and see in Basel during the summer.”<br />

examples in landscape architecture, design,<br />

and everyday culture, visitors can see how<br />

gardens have evolved to promote social<br />

justice, biodiversity, and sustainability,<br />

from community gardens to vertical urban<br />

farms. The exhibition architecture had be<br />

designed by the renowned Italian design<br />

duo Formafantasma.<br />

6Museum Tinguely<br />

La roue = c’est tout -<br />

New permanent exhibition<br />

8 February <strong>2023</strong> — Spring 2025<br />

Get ready for some serious jolliness and<br />

excitement at the Museum Tinguely! This<br />

incredible museum boasts the world’s<br />

largest collection of works by the legendary<br />

Jean Tinguely, featuring a whopping 130<br />

sculptures and around 2000 works on paper.<br />

And get this: half of the museum is always<br />

reserved for the permanent exhibition!<br />

But hold onto your hats because in <strong>2023</strong>,<br />

something extra special is happening. For<br />

the first time since the museum’s founding<br />

in 1996, the entire main hall on the ground<br />

floor will be taken up by the show. Starting<br />

February 8, visitors can explore the delicate<br />

poetry of Tinguely’s early work, the<br />

explosive performances, and collaborations<br />

of the 1960s, and the dark, monumental<br />

musicality of his late period.<br />

And that’s not all - the new permanent<br />

exhibition features a recently purchased key<br />

Jean Tinguely, Eloge à la Folie,<br />

1966, Installation view at Museum Tinguely, Basel <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

work from the 1960s, Tinguely’s Eloge de<br />

la folie (1966). It’s prominently placed at<br />

the entrance to the museum, underscoring<br />

the importance of interdisciplinary projects<br />

within Tinguely’s oeuvre. So, what are you<br />

waiting for? Get ready to be blown away by<br />

the epicness of Museum Tinguely and Jean<br />

Tinguely’s unparalleled talent!<br />

6Novartis Pavillon<br />

The Novartis Pavillon is an awesome<br />

addition to our Novartis Campus in Basel<br />

and it’s the perfect spot for families to<br />

gather and learn together. Not only is it a<br />

new exhibition, meeting, and event centre,<br />

but it’s also open to the public, so everyone<br />

can join in on the fun!<br />

This is a unique opportunity to connect<br />

with our community and neighbours in<br />

Switzerland and Basel. We’re committed<br />

to learning together and having a dialogue<br />

about science and the future of healthcare.<br />

Who knows, maybe your little ones will be<br />

inspired to become the next generation of<br />

scientists or healthcare professionals!<br />

So come on down and let’s explore the<br />

Novartis Pavillon together. It’s a great way<br />

to spend some quality family time and learn<br />

about some exciting new developments in<br />

science and healthcare. We can’t wait to see<br />

you there!<br />

The Novartis Pavillon is located in the<br />

Park South of the Novartis Campus Basel<br />

©<strong>2023</strong> by Daniel Spehr<br />



© EHL<br />


The Keys to Future Success<br />

To prepare teenagers for their future studies and careers, it’s important to focus on developing<br />

soft skills. Luckily, building these skills can be quite fun and enlightening for teens.<br />

Soft skills are increasingly important<br />

in today’s world. From effective<br />

communication to leadership and<br />

teamwork, soft skills play a critical role<br />

in personal and professional success.<br />

Fortunately, there are many ways to help<br />

teens nurture these essential skill sets at<br />

home and through educational programs.<br />

Switzerland offers some great options for<br />

soft skill development. Here’s everything<br />

you need to know about soft skills for<br />

teenagers, along with some ways to build<br />

these skills.<br />

The Importance of Soft Skills<br />

Soft skills are a set of valuable personal<br />

attributes and interpersonal abilities. Soft<br />

skills have become increasingly important<br />

as automation and technology continue to<br />

change the nature of work, making skills<br />

such as communication, collaboration,<br />

adaptability, and leadership critical for<br />

success.<br />

The World Economic Forum suggests<br />

that by 2025, skills such as persuasion,<br />

emotional intelligence, and teaching others<br />

will be in higher demand than technical<br />

skills in many industries. Similarly, a survey<br />

by LinkedIn found that over 90% of<br />

talent professionals consider soft skills as<br />

important or more important than hard<br />

skills when making hiring decisions.<br />

Having excellent soft skills opens up<br />

international career opportunities in any<br />

people-focused fields including healthcare,<br />

education, business, entrepreneurship,<br />

non-profit, and service industries. In<br />

Switzerland, schools such as EHL<br />

Hospitality Business <strong>School</strong> are ranked<br />

among the best in the world by hiring<br />

managers because graduates demonstrate a<br />

mastery of these in-demand soft skills.<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2023</strong> | 44<br />

Developing Soft Skills in Teens<br />

Soft skills are not taught in books,<br />

and they are not inherent qualities of<br />

one’s personality. Soft skills are learned<br />

behaviours and attitudes that people<br />

develop through observation and<br />

experience. In the case of teenagers, soft<br />

skills are most easily acquired by observing<br />

and practicing them in real-life situations.<br />

The EHL bachelor’s degree experience<br />

includes hands-on courses, internships, and<br />

industry exposure giving students valuable<br />

transferrable soft skills.<br />

For example, hands-on hospitality<br />

workshops done in the school’s kitchens<br />

and restaurants allow students to work<br />

on teamwork, time management, and<br />

adaptability. In Student Business Projects,<br />

students serve as junior consultants for real<br />

companies. They practice critical thinking,<br />

creativity, communication, leadership,


teamwork, and persuasion. On internships,<br />

in real-world hospitality settings, they get<br />

to practice these skills in the workplace.<br />

EHL also encourages students to practice<br />

leadership and cultural sensitivity by<br />

participating in student-led cultural and<br />

sports committees among a student body<br />

with over 120 nationalities.<br />

How Softs Skills are Taught<br />

Teenagers need both practice and<br />

experience to build soft skills for their future<br />

careers. At EHL, our faculty members<br />

and student life experiences nurture this<br />

learning process in fun and interactive ways.<br />

Embracing feedback and reflection:<br />

Faculty members give students constructive<br />

criticism and encourage them to selfevaluate.<br />

In hospitality workshops students<br />

receive personalised feedback from teachers<br />

after the meal service or activity is complete.<br />

Fostering independence and<br />

responsibility: To help teens develop<br />

self-confidence, problem-solving skills, and<br />

initiative, it’s best to let them take the reins.<br />

Students build these skills by organising<br />

and setting up events. They plan and<br />

execute events to raise funds for the student<br />

committees.<br />

Modelling good communication<br />

and interpersonal skills: EHL<br />

faculty members are industry-seasoned<br />

professionals and empathetic educators.<br />

They model active listening and clear<br />

communication, and they use real-world<br />

examples to teach strategies for better<br />

communication and conflict resolution.<br />

Promoting extracurricular activities:<br />

ports, school clubs, and volunteering<br />

activities allow teens to practice soft skills in<br />

a non-academic setting. EHL encourages<br />

students to be leaders in these activities by<br />

giving them the responsibility of managing<br />

their student-run committees like a business.<br />

Gaining exposure to different<br />

cultures: This helps teens to develop<br />

adaptability, empathy, and cultural<br />

awareness. Living, learning, and travelling<br />

with fellow students from around the world<br />

and going to local or international cultural<br />

events are great for this.<br />

Programs that Build Soft Skills<br />

When helping teens choose a career major,<br />

university, and study location, soft skills<br />

should not be overlooked. Switzerland is<br />

a great place to start! Switzerland has one<br />

of the world’s best education systems and<br />

it’s the home of the top-ranking hospitality<br />

schools on the planet.<br />

Offered in Switzerland and Singapore,<br />

EHL’s Bachelor of Science in <strong>International</strong><br />

Hospitality Management delivers a<br />

curriculum of dual excellence that<br />

balances premium hospitality training<br />

with challenging academic courses. This<br />

combination prepares students to be wellrounded<br />

professionals attuned to customer<br />

needs. Every year, top international<br />

companies such as Apple, LVMH, L’Oréal,<br />

Proctor & Gamble, Tesla, and many others,<br />

EHL Hospitality Business <strong>School</strong><br />

TOP TEN<br />

skill sets<br />

2030<br />

actively recruit EHL graduates for their mix<br />

of soft skills and business know-how.<br />

EHL also offers the EHL Academy, a preuniversity<br />

program that builds teens’ soft<br />

skills while preparing them for admission<br />

to the bachelor’s degree. The EHL Junior<br />

Academy gives teens a chance to explore<br />

hospitality career options through handson<br />

workshops and excursions. Taught by<br />

experts from the hospitality industry, the<br />

examples and activities are both amusing<br />

and educational, showing teens how to use<br />

their soft skills effectively.<br />

Founded in 1893 as Ecole Hotelière de Lausanne, EHL is the world’s leading university for<br />

hospitality business education, research, and innovation. With campuses in Switzerland and<br />

Singapore, EHL offers a Bachelor of Science in <strong>International</strong> Hospitality Management that<br />

is the best in its field, according to international school rankings and industry employers.<br />

The Junior Academy is a challenging, yet fun set of pre-university summer programs that<br />

introduce teens to hospitality-related careers and businesses while growing their soft skills<br />

and cultural awareness. EHL also offers graduate-level degrees and professional training<br />

programs for students of all ages.<br />

FOR<br />

(According to EHL research)<br />

Communication<br />

Critical thinking<br />

Creativity<br />

Storytelling<br />

Sustainability frameworks<br />

Sustainability strategies<br />

development<br />

Problem-solving<br />

Cultural awareness<br />

Emotional intelligence<br />

Time management<br />

Contact our admission team for more info: admissions@ehl.ch or visit our website at<br />

Ehl.edu<br />

© EHL<br />


© Switzerland Tourism / Jan Geerk<br />

Fun in the city<br />

©GenèveTourisme / ©www.geneve.com<br />

Switzerland is renowned for its scenic<br />

beauty, picturesque towns, and<br />

rich cultural heritage. Three cities<br />

that stand out as must-visit destinations<br />

for travellers are Bellinzona, Geneva,<br />

and Winterthur. Each city offers a<br />

unique experience that combines history,<br />

architecture, nature, and gastronomy.<br />

Whether you are looking for a relaxing<br />

getaway, an adventure-filled trip, or a<br />

cultural immersion, these Swiss cities have<br />

something to offer for everyone. In this<br />

tourism article, we’ll take a closer look at<br />

what makes these cities such special places<br />

to visit and what activities and sights you<br />

can enjoy during your stay.<br />

Bellinzona – culinary, culture and urban<br />

Nestled in the heart of Switzerland’s<br />

beautiful Ticino region, the charming town<br />

of Bellinzona is a true hidden gem. With its<br />

fascinating history, stunning natural scenery,<br />

and vibrant culture, Bellinzona offers an<br />

unforgettable experience for travellers of all<br />

kinds.<br />

One of the town’s most prominent<br />

attractions is its trio of impressive castles,<br />

which have been designated a UNESCO<br />

World Heritage Site. These stunning<br />

fortresses, including Castelgrande,<br />

Montebello, and Sasso Corbaro, date back<br />

to the Middle Ages and offer a glimpse<br />

into the town’s rich history. Visitors can<br />

explore the castles’ imposing walls, towers,<br />

and underground passages, as well as<br />

soak up stunning panoramic views of the<br />


surrounding landscape.<br />

Bellinzona is not just a town for history<br />

buffs. The town’s colourful weekly market,<br />

held every Saturday, offers a sensory<br />

explosion of sights, sounds, and flavours.<br />

From sun-ripened fruit and local cheese<br />

specialties to handmade crafts and<br />

unique household items, the market offers<br />

something for everyone. Visitors can also<br />

sample Ticino’s famous bread and sausages,<br />

crafted using traditional recipes passed<br />

down through generations.<br />

For those seeking adventure, Bellinzona<br />

offers a range of outdoor activities, from<br />

hiking and cycling to swimming and<br />

kayaking. The town’s beautiful natural<br />

surroundings, including the scenic Ticino<br />

River, provide the perfect backdrop for<br />

outdoor enthusiasts to explore and discover<br />

the region’s hidden treasures.<br />

And when it comes to dining and<br />

accommodation, Bellinzona does not<br />

disappoint. The town is home to a range<br />

of charming inns, cosy bed and breakfasts,<br />

and luxurious hotels, all offering warm<br />

hospitality and authentic local cuisine.<br />

Whether you’re after a traditional Swiss<br />

fondue or a plate of homemade pasta,<br />

Bellinzona’s restaurants and cafes are sure<br />

to tantalise your taste buds.<br />

Bellinzona is a must-visit destination for<br />

anyone seeking a unique and authentic<br />

Swiss experience. With its fascinating<br />

history, natural beauty, and vibrant culture,<br />

the town offers something for every<br />

traveller. So why not add Bellinzona to your<br />

travel itinerary and discover the hidden gem<br />

of Ticino for yourself ?<br />

Geneva – Origin of the Future<br />

Are you a science enthusiast looking for a<br />

mind-bending experience? Look no further<br />

than Geneva, home to the world’s largest<br />

particle physics laboratory, CERN. With<br />

a range of fascinating exhibitions, guided<br />

tours, and even a cycle route, there are<br />

plenty of ways to engage in the discovery of<br />

particle physics.<br />

At the Universe of Particles exhibition,<br />

delve into the questions that CERN’s<br />

physicists are working to solve. With the<br />

entire universe made up of particles, where<br />

do they come from, and why do they<br />

behave the way they do? This exhibition<br />

offers a glimpse into the complex issues that<br />

scientists are grappling with.<br />

For a closer look at the massive apparatus<br />

used by CERN’s physicists, head to the<br />

Winterthur – Flower Power in Rose Garden<br />

Winterthur’s Rose Garden is a must-visit destination for flower enthusiasts,<br />

boasting 2,900 roses of 300 different varieties. Alongside the usual blooms,<br />

you’ll find rare and historical species such as the French rose, the oldest<br />

cultivated rose species still in existence, and the stunning Queen of Denmark<br />

rose with its deep-pink petals. This idyllic spot, located a short walk from the<br />

old town, provides a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, with<br />

breathtaking views across Winterthur.<br />

Originally part of the Reinhart family’s villa garden, the Rose Garden was<br />

transformed into the floral wonderland we see today to celebrate Winterthur’s<br />

700th birthday in 1964. The garden’s beauty is enhanced by the presence of two<br />

ancient oak trees that have grown together to form a natural archway, providing<br />

a picturesque backdrop for the tea house and benches. Visitors will be delighted<br />

to find rare species of roses such as the cherry-red “Ulrich Brunner Fils” and the<br />

world-famous “La France,” which was first cultivated in 1867. Fans of Damask,<br />

Portland, Bourbon, Centifolia, and Moss roses will also be in for a treat.<br />

“Whether you are looking for a relaxing getaway, an<br />

adventure-filled trip, or a cultural immersion, these<br />

Swiss cities have something to offer for everyone.”<br />

Microcosm exhibition. Discover how the<br />

technologies developed by CERN impact<br />

everyday life, and even interview engineers<br />

and physicists about their daily work.<br />

If you’re up for a more immersive<br />

experience, the Passport to the Big Bang<br />

cycle path offers an unforgettable journey<br />

through the LHC circuit at ground level.<br />

See the giant machine up close and in<br />

action and gain a deeper understanding<br />

of the groundbreaking work being done at<br />

CERN.<br />

And if you’re looking for a truly unique<br />

visual landmark, the Globe of Science and<br />

Innovation is not to be missed. Standing<br />

27 meters high and 40 meters in diameter,<br />

it’s about the same size as the dome of St.<br />

Peter’s in Rome. By day or night, the Globe<br />

is a striking symbol of planet Earth and a<br />

powerful outreach tool for CERN’s work<br />

in science, particle physics, cutting-edge<br />

technology, and its practical applications in<br />

our daily lives.<br />

So why wait? Book a guided tour, reserve<br />

your spot on the Passport to the Big Bang<br />

cycle path, and explore the incredible world<br />

of particle physics at CERN.<br />

©House of Winterthur, Christof Seiler 2016<br />



A checklist to support young<br />

people’s mental health<br />


When someone says physical<br />

health, we tend to think of all<br />

things healthy. However, when<br />

someone says mental health, we often think<br />

about illness and distress. At HealthFirst, we<br />

like to view mental health positively because<br />

the fact is that we all have it, just as we all<br />

have physical health as well.<br />

Mental health is so much more than just<br />

the absence of mental illness. If we look<br />

at a definition of from the World Health<br />

Organisation, they define mental health as:<br />

“... A state of well-being, in which a person realises<br />

their own potential, can cope with the normal<br />

stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully<br />

and is able to make a contribution to their society”. 1<br />

In the same way that we can take steps<br />

to look after our physical health, there are<br />

things that we can do to strengthen our<br />

mental health and reduce the chance of<br />

becoming unwell.<br />

That goes for our young people too.<br />

Having good mental health helps children<br />

and adolescents develop resilience and<br />

grow into well-rounded, healthy adults.<br />

So, with this academic year in full swing,<br />

perhaps it’s a good opportunity to reflect on<br />

what we can do to strengthen our mental<br />

wellbeing, including that of our young<br />

people. Remembering that, as adults, we are<br />

important role models and need to ‘walk<br />

the well-being talk’ ourselves.<br />

Obviously, there are lots of things that<br />

can help safeguard a young person’s wellbeing:<br />

being part of a family that gets<br />

on well, going to a school that supports<br />

the well-being of its pupils, being in<br />

good physical health and feeling safe<br />

and understood, to name but a few. But<br />

attending to self-care is also important. To<br />

help get this message across, we have put<br />

together our ‘FEELS GOOD! Strategy’ - a<br />

checklist of 10 important well-being wins<br />

to support young minds. Help the young<br />

people in your lives support their well-being<br />

by sharing these with them.<br />

1Friends matter - Connect with others<br />

Connecting with other people can lift<br />

your spirits. You feel more accepted, you<br />

can share your experiences together, and<br />

you can offer each other support. Take<br />

advantage of this by organising a nice<br />

activity with your friends or family, catching<br />

up with a friend you’ve not seen in a while,<br />

or even meeting new people by joining a<br />

club or group.<br />

2Exercise - Let’s get active<br />

Regular exercise can boost your mood<br />

and self-confidence. It increases your<br />

energy levels and helps you sleep better. It’s<br />

important to try to move more often. Every<br />

little bit counts - from going for a short<br />

walk, taking the stairs instead of the lift,<br />

having a kick around with friends, or going<br />

for a bike ride, run or swim. Or how about<br />

a team sport like netball or football? There<br />

are plenty options for you to get your body<br />

moving, whatever your ability.<br />

3Eat well<br />

Healthy eating and drinking is also<br />

good for your mind. It gives you more<br />

energy and helps you sleep better. It’s<br />

really important to eat a balanced diet to<br />


“Regular exercise can boost your mood and self-confidence. It increases<br />

your energy levels and helps you sleep better.”<br />

ensure your body is getting the energy and<br />

nutrients it needs, particularly if you’re<br />

vegetarian or vegan. And don’t forget<br />

those fluids: drink plenty of water to keep<br />

hydrated. But do try to keep down the<br />

amount of sugar and caffeine in your food<br />

and drink. If you have any worries about<br />

food, it’s a good idea to talk to a trusted<br />

adult before changing your diet.<br />

4Learn new things<br />

Learning new things can be a great<br />

way of improving your confidence and<br />

giving you a sense of achievement. It<br />

could be anything from learning a new<br />

instrument, sport or language, trying out<br />

new recipes, or starting your own DIY<br />

project. Maybe visiting a local library,<br />

museum or gallery could give you some<br />

inspiration.<br />

5Sleep well<br />

Getting good sleep can help you have<br />

more energy, feel more positive, and feel less<br />

stressed. But sometimes it can be difficult<br />

to get to sleep as a teenager. If you are<br />

struggling, here are a few tips that can help:<br />

• Set yourself a good bedtime routine that<br />

you stick to most nights of the week. Going<br />

to bed at the same time helps to reset your<br />

day and night body clock.<br />

• Cut down on screen time before bed. The<br />

blue light on screens blocks an important<br />

sleep hormone called melatonin and can<br />

put back the onset of sleep by a couple<br />

of hours. Using a blue light filter or night<br />

mode on your screen in the evening can<br />

help with this. Or better still, take a break<br />

from your screens altogether. Try reading a<br />

book or listening to relaxing music instead.<br />

• Take a warm, relaxing bath as part of<br />

your bedtime routine.<br />

• Make sure you don’t eat your dinner or<br />

drink sugary drinks too late.<br />

• Avoid strenuous exercise in the evening.<br />

Anything that puts up your heart rate, puts<br />

back your sleep.<br />

6Get creative<br />

Doing something creative can help<br />

boost self-esteem and relationships. It can<br />

also help you feel less stressed and be a<br />

way to express yourself. There are so many<br />

things that you could try: drawing, painting,<br />

photography, creative writing, singing,<br />

playing an instrument, dancing or drama.<br />

Let those creative juices flow!<br />

7Open your mind - Do things to help<br />

you relax<br />

Relaxing gives you time out - a chance<br />

to feel less stressed, to feel peaceful and<br />

calm, and to clear your mind. How about<br />

spending time in nature, or with friends,<br />

reading, listening to music, or watching<br />

a film? Some people find that relaxation<br />

exercises, meditation, or religious prayer<br />

helps them too.<br />

8Offer help to others<br />

Helping others can make you feel<br />

happier, give you a sense of achievement,<br />

increase your self-worth and boost your<br />

relationships. Perhaps you could offer<br />

help to a neighbour or family member or<br />

volunteer your time and skills to a local<br />

cause that matters to you. Or you could<br />

simply ask a friend how they are, and truly<br />

listen to them.<br />

9Do things you enjoy<br />

Time spent doing something you<br />

enjoy can make you feel happier and more<br />

relaxed. It can also be fun, can boost your<br />

relationships with others, or help you<br />

develop new skills. What things do you love<br />

doing: a hobby, playing sport, watching<br />

films, or even gaming? Invest in your<br />

favorite pastimes.<br />

!t’s OK to not be OK<br />

10 It can be normal as a young person<br />

to want to deal with things on your own.<br />

But if you can open up to friends, family<br />

or someone else you trust about things that<br />

are troubling you, this can help you feel<br />

supported.<br />


1. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-health-strengthening-ourresponse<br />


The Key to Children<br />

Flourishing in<br />

<strong>International</strong> Life<br />


Iwas recently invited to speak at an<br />

international boarding school about<br />

creating an environment where<br />

students can thrive and build resilience.<br />

This school had seen an increase in children<br />

who were not thriving and staff were<br />

hungry to learn new tools and methods<br />

they could use to cultivate healthy students.<br />

Though I spoke for twelve hours on<br />

various topics, the most important thing<br />

they needed to hear and understand could<br />

be summed up in three words: Positive<br />

Childhood Experiences (PCEs).<br />

Research done on PCEs in 2019 showed<br />

that family connection and community<br />

support promote flourishing among<br />

children even when they experience<br />

adversity. PCEs provide buffering protection<br />

so that when a child goes through a difficult<br />

experience, that experience is resiliencebuilding.<br />

In fact, studies show that when<br />

six to eight Positive Childhood Experiences<br />

are consistently present throughout<br />

childhood alongside a high number of<br />

childhood traumas, the likelihood of mental<br />

illness in adulthood drops by 72%. This<br />

is particularly encouraging news because<br />

TCK Training’s own research indicates<br />

that Third Culture Kids (TCKs – children<br />

growing up outside their passport countries)<br />

are at higher risk for developmental<br />

traumas.<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2023</strong> | 50<br />

The PCEs are:<br />

1. Feeling that their emotions are heard and<br />

validated by their parents<br />

2. Feeling physically safe in the home<br />

3. Feeling their parents stand by them<br />

during difficult times and prioritize them<br />

4. Feeling supported by peers<br />

5. Feeling a sense of belonging within a<br />

larger, multigenerational group<br />

6. Having routines and traditions to look<br />

forward to<br />

7. Feeling a sense of belonging in high<br />

school/secondary school<br />

8. Having two non-parent adult<br />

relationships throughout their childhood<br />

who take a genuine interest in them

“Your children need Positive Childhood Experiences, and whenever transitions occur<br />

in your child’s life, it is important that you are aware of which PCEs they are lacking so<br />

you can be proactive about putting them in place.”<br />


As you care for your TCKs, you can think<br />

about these PCEs both proactively and<br />

reactively.<br />

Proactive Care<br />

One constant in the globally mobile life<br />

is change. When change happens, it is<br />

common for some PCEs to be absent for a<br />

time, and that is okay! However, as parents<br />

we have to be intentional about knowing<br />

which PCEs our children have and which<br />

we need to pursue on their behalf. The<br />

first three PCEs can be maintained in your<br />

home throughout transitions, but the other<br />

five rely on a community around you.<br />

When this community shifts, intentional<br />

measures need to be taken to re-implement<br />

those PCEs.<br />

Sometimes, the environment we’re in<br />

doesn’t organically contribute to PCEs. In<br />

this case, being proactive means getting<br />

creative. TCK Training often works with<br />

families in remote locations whose children<br />

meet with online friend groups regularly<br />

so that they have peers even if they can’t<br />

see in-person friends very frequently in<br />

their current location. Knowing what<br />

the PCEs are gives you a framework for<br />

understanding what your children need to<br />

flourish and gives you permission to pursue<br />

those things.<br />

I recently worked with a parent who,<br />

through tears, said, “I thought many of<br />

these were things I was supposed to give up<br />

in order to live the expatriate life. I feel like<br />

I now have permission to desire and pursue<br />

these things for my children.” Your children<br />

need Positive Childhood Experiences,<br />

and whenever transitions occur in your<br />

child’s life, it is important that you are<br />

aware of which PCEs they are lacking so<br />

you can be proactive about putting them<br />

in place. For this purpose, we encourage<br />

families to complete a PCEs inventory with<br />

each child on an annual basis. We have a<br />

downloadable inventory available at www.<br />

tcktraining.com/course/pces-inventory.<br />

Reactive Care<br />

As with the international school I<br />

mentioned earlier, who noticed a high<br />

rate of struggling children, TCK Training<br />

often works with families whose children<br />

don’t seem to be thriving. When a child<br />

isn’t doing well, we look to see if there are<br />

any PCEs missing and then make a plan to<br />

pursue that PCE. One of the first things we<br />

do is the PCEs Inventory. We have a parent<br />

or other caregiver guide each child through<br />

an inventory that asks about their current<br />

experience of each PCE. The lack of one<br />

or more PCEs is often behind a child’s<br />

unhealthy spiral, and uncovering the root<br />

cause helps create an effective plan forward.<br />

What we often find is that once the missing<br />

PCE is in place, the child begins to move<br />

toward thriving.<br />

<strong>Parent</strong>ing children well in any context<br />

is no small feat. <strong>Parent</strong>ing TCKs can be<br />

even more daunting because of the unique<br />

challenges that come with living a globally<br />

mobile life as a family. You can’t do it all<br />

on your own, and PCEs show us your<br />

children don’t need you to. Both you and<br />

your children need a community who can<br />

encourage, support, and invest in your<br />

family. Community support fills you so that<br />

you can pour out those in-the-home PCEs<br />

for your TCKs. Sometimes this community<br />

is present with you, and sometimes we get<br />

creative! Creating this environment is the<br />

key to growing resilient, flourishing children<br />

in this wonderful, unique international life.<br />

Resources:<br />

TCK Training research<br />

https://www.tcktraining.com/research<br />

Bethell C.D., Gombojav N., Whitaker R.C.<br />

(2019). Family Resilience And Connection<br />

Promote Flourishing Among US Children,<br />

Even Amid Adversity. Health Affairs,<br />

38(5), 729-737. http://doi.org/10.1377/<br />

hlthaff.2018.05425<br />


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A Guide to Alcohol and Other Drug<br />

Prevention Before <strong>Summer</strong> Break<br />


Ah, summer break: a time for teens<br />

to recharge and decompress<br />

after a grueling school year. But<br />

with this long-awaited downtime comes<br />

a newfound sense of freedom that can<br />

prove risky for young people on the cusp of<br />

adulthood. Studies indicate that June and<br />

July show the highest rates of first-time use<br />

of alcohol, cannabis, and nicotine among<br />

teenagers. No school, no homework, no<br />

sports, no structure – without the day-today<br />

routine of school, parents should take<br />

steps to revisit their expectations around<br />

alcohol and other drugs with their kids<br />

before summer break kicks off.<br />

In recent years, parents have repeatedly<br />

cited mental health as their top concern<br />

for the well-being of their children. Close<br />

behind is the pressing issue of alcohol and<br />

other drugs. It’s important for parents<br />

to recognize that adolescents grappling<br />

with mental health issues are particularly<br />

vulnerable to substance abuse, and<br />

conversely, those who engage in the use<br />

of alcohol and other drugs during their<br />

formative years are more prone to anxiety<br />

and depression later in life.<br />

But there are reasons for optimism.<br />

Despite the constant stream of alarming<br />

headlines about Gen Z’s mental health,<br />

positive trends around substance use are<br />

emerging. While cannabis and nicotine<br />

use has seen a slight uptick among teens<br />

in recent years, most other substances<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2023</strong> | 54<br />

have been on a steady decline in many<br />

regions across the world for several decades.<br />

This research can be surprising for many<br />

adults who may assume that the increased<br />

legalization of cannabis and the rise of<br />

teen vaping have normalized substance<br />

use as a rite of passage. However, this<br />

normative belief is false. The disconnect<br />

between the perception of teens’ behaviors<br />

around substance use and what is actually<br />

happening is the basis for one of the most<br />

effective prevention strategies today.<br />

Prevention That Works<br />

Social Norms<br />

As adolescents, many of us may recall<br />

hearing slogans like “Don’t do drugs” and

“Just Say No” from anti-drug education<br />

programs implemented by schools in the<br />

1980s. However, research has shown that<br />

prevention strategies based on scare tactics,<br />

moralistic appeals, and simplistic messages<br />

are destined to fail. So what does work?<br />

Prevention Ed recommends approaches<br />

that are evidence-based and grounded<br />

in psychology and behavioral science<br />

to effectively prevent alcohol and other<br />

drug use. The social norms approach is<br />

based on the social norms theory, which<br />

suggests that our behavior is influenced<br />

by our perceptions of our peers’ actions<br />

and beliefs. In turn, when adolescents<br />

overestimate the prevalence of alcohol and<br />

other drug use among their peers, they are<br />

more likely to engage in those behaviors<br />

themselves. Conversely, when adolescents<br />

have an accurate perception of alcohol and<br />

other drug use among their peers, their risk<br />

of using substances declines. Consistently<br />

correcting misperceptions directly leads to a<br />

decrease in alcohol and other drug use.<br />

In almost every community worldwide,<br />

students, teachers, and parents overestimate<br />

the prevalence of substance use among<br />

their peers, emphasizing the need for<br />

accurate information and dispelling<br />

common misconceptions.<br />

To bridge the gap between perceived<br />

substance use and actual use, effective<br />

prevention should rely on real data. Take,<br />

for example, the statistics on 30-day<br />

cannabis use in the United States in 2022:<br />

in year 13, 20% of students reported use,<br />

while 12% of year 11 students reported use<br />

and only 5% of year 9 students.<br />

<strong>Parent</strong> Talking Point: It’s important<br />

to note that these numbers are often<br />

lower than what adults may expect.<br />

Overestimating teen substance use only<br />

perpetuates these misconceptions and can<br />

increase the likelihood of actual substance<br />

use among teens. Sharing the statistics<br />

with your teen can help them realize that<br />

the majority of their peers have not used<br />

cannabis in the past 30 days. They may feel<br />

relief! Remember, for many teens, fitting in<br />

can feel like the most important thing in the<br />

world, and if they make the choice to delay<br />

use, they are already fitting in. So next time<br />

your child claims that “everyone is doing<br />

it,” remind them that the reality is far from<br />

their perception.<br />

Delaying Use & The Developing Brain<br />

Instead of a zero-tolerance “don’t do drugs”<br />

“Studies show that June and July show the<br />

highest rates of first-time use of alcohol, cannabis,<br />

and nicotine among teenagers.”<br />

attitude, Prevention Ed takes the modern<br />

approach that emphasizes delaying the<br />

use of alcohol and other drugs. Research<br />

shows that the earlier a teenager uses<br />

alcohol or other drugs, the higher their risk<br />

of developing an addiction. Each year a<br />

teen delays use, they reduce the likelihood<br />

of future addiction and substance abuse.<br />

Delaying the use of alcohol and other drugs<br />

is the number one protective factor for<br />

teens.<br />

Ages 15-21 are the most formative years<br />

for brain development, with the human<br />

brain reaching full maturity at age 25. The<br />

prefrontal cortex is the last area to develop,<br />

making adolescence a more vulnerable<br />

time for making an unhealthy or impulsive<br />

choice. Think back to a time when your<br />

child got into trouble and you asked them,<br />

“What were you thinking?” and their<br />

response was, “I don’t know.” Believe it<br />

or not, they were telling the truth. This<br />

common experience is explained in part by<br />

the mismatch between the two parts of the<br />

developing brain, the prefrontal cortex and<br />

the limbic system.<br />

The midbrain’s limbic system is similar to<br />

an overcharged Ferrari engine, constantly<br />

seeking pleasure and craving dopamine.<br />

Meanwhile, the prefrontal cortex,<br />

responsible for decision-making and risk<br />

evaluation, is like a set of bicycle brakes that<br />

are not yet fully developed. which can lead<br />

to impulsive behavior and risky decisionmaking.<br />

<strong>Parent</strong>s should be aware of this<br />

during their teen’s development and work to<br />

provide guidance and support.<br />

<strong>Parent</strong> Talking Point: In order to support<br />

your child’s health, wellness, and brain<br />

development, it’s important to communicate<br />

to them that you care about their wellbeing.<br />

Encourage them to delay the use of<br />

alcohol and other drugs in order to protect<br />

their developing brains, and emphasize<br />

that this is a critical time. By setting clear<br />

expectations around delaying substance use<br />

and prioritizing their long-term health, you<br />

can help your child make healthy decisions<br />

that will benefit them for years to come.<br />


@Switzerland Tourism / Dominik Baur<br />

Stress, the root cause<br />

Stress is the top reported reason why<br />

students say they use alcohol and other<br />

drugs. Adolescents face a tremendous<br />

amount of stress, and their developing<br />

brains are more sensitive to it than adults.<br />

In <strong>2023</strong>, teenagers are navigating a variety<br />

of stressors, from social media pressures<br />

to adjusting to new schools, to asking their<br />

crush out, and everything in between. While<br />

they may not have adult responsibilities like<br />

mortgages or business meetings, how they<br />

learn to manage stress now will impact their<br />

ability to manage it in the future. As models<br />

for handling stress, adults play a crucial role<br />

in shaping their adolescent’s approach.<br />

Something to Consider: How do you<br />

cope with stress in front of your teenager?<br />

Do you reach for a glass of wine or do you<br />

go for a workout, call a friend, or take a<br />

relaxing bath? By modeling and discussing<br />

healthy coping skills, you’re giving your<br />

teen some ideas about healthy stress<br />

management. Encourage your teen to find<br />

activities that work for them and prioritize<br />

self-care as a family.<br />

Having The Conversation:<br />

Tips for <strong>Parent</strong>s<br />

A great place to start the conversation with<br />

your child is by reviewing the five primary<br />

risk factors that increase an individual’s<br />

likelihood of developing an addiction.<br />

These are known as the FACTS:<br />

“When adolescents overestimate the prevalence of<br />

alcohol and other drug use among their peers, they are<br />

more likely to engage in those behaviors themselves.”<br />

Family History<br />

• Individuals with a family history of<br />

addiction are at a higher risk of developing<br />

an addiction themselves. In an ageappropriate<br />

way, share your family’s history<br />

with your child.<br />

Age<br />

• Research shows that the earlier a person<br />

starts using substances, the greater their risk<br />

of becoming addicted. Promote the delayed<br />

use of alcohol or other drugs.<br />

Cravings<br />

• The stronger a person’s compulsion to use<br />

alcohol or other drugs, the higher risk they<br />

are to become addicted. If an adolescent<br />

delays use, they don’t have to worry about<br />

experiencing cravings.<br />

Tolerance<br />

• A high tolerance means the developing<br />

brain is being exposed to higher levels of<br />

alcohol or other drugs and this is a risk<br />

factor.<br />

Surroundings<br />

• What behaviors or messages on alcohol<br />

are teens exposed to? Do they think that<br />

“everyone is doing it”? Do you live in a state<br />

or country where cannabis is legal? What<br />

misinformation about vaping did they get<br />

from TikTok this week? It’s important as<br />

parents, we guide our children to consider<br />

their surroundings and the conflicting<br />

messages and misinformation they may<br />

receive regarding substance use and its<br />

effects.<br />

When it comes to substance use<br />

prevention, it’s not just having one sixtyminute<br />

conversation with your teen, it’s<br />

sixty-one-minute conversations. As the<br />

summer approaches, it’s important that we<br />

have an open and honest dialogue with our<br />

children about our expectations regarding<br />

alcohol, drugs, and their associated<br />

risks. Make it crystal clear what your<br />

family’s rules are on this topic and what<br />

consequences your children can expect if<br />

they make the decision to engage in these<br />

risky behaviors.<br />

Effective prevention requires a<br />

combination of arming our children<br />

with the necessary information to<br />

make informed, healthy decisions and<br />

engagement by parents who are committed<br />

to ongoing communication and guidance.<br />

By having these conversations, we can help<br />

our children develop the tools they need to<br />

navigate the challenges they may face now<br />

and persevere in choices for their future.<br />




Addressing Psychosocial Risks<br />

in <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong>s<br />


<strong>International</strong> schools are often viewed<br />

as a gateway to a bright future for<br />

students, yet, the pressure to create a<br />

positive learning environment for them can<br />

weigh heavily on teachers.<br />

In recent years, the issue of teacher<br />

well-being has become a major concern<br />

for educators, school administrators, and<br />

policymakers alike and a study published<br />

during the pandemic showed that 59% of<br />

international teaching staff were considering<br />

leaving the sector due to pressures on their<br />

mental health and well-being.<br />

Measuring well-being in the workplace<br />

has become increasingly common in recent<br />

years as employers such as the UN & ICRC<br />

recognise the importance of creating a<br />

positive and supportive work environment<br />

for their employees.<br />

However, despite the well-known benefits<br />

of teacher well-being, many schools have<br />

been slow to adopt this same approach in<br />

education.<br />

One option to support staff mental<br />

health & well-being would be for schools<br />

to monitor, measure and track data on<br />

psychosocial risks throughout the academic<br />

year.<br />

Psychosocial risks for teachers in schools<br />

refer to the various factors that can<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2023</strong> | 57<br />

negatively impact their mental health &<br />

well-being. Some examples of these risks<br />

include workload, student behaviour, and<br />

their own personal life stressors such as<br />

family problems.<br />

In some countries like Switzerland, did<br />

you know that employers are required by<br />

law to identify and address these risks as<br />

part of their duty of care to protect their<br />

employees’ health?<br />

When teachers are engaged and have<br />

good mental health, it has a significant<br />

impact on their students. Research has<br />

shown that teacher well-being is closely<br />

linked to student outcomes, and that

teachers who are engaged and mentally<br />

healthy are more effective and better able to<br />

support their students’ success.<br />

According to the Teacher Well-being<br />

Index from 2021, almost half (43%) of<br />

education professionals believe that their<br />

institutions did not properly support their<br />

employees who are struggling with mental<br />

health problems.<br />

In a school environment, psychosocial<br />

risks for teachers can come from a variety<br />

of sources. One of the main sources of<br />

stress for teachers is workload. Teachers are<br />

often expected to handle a large workload,<br />

including lesson planning, grading, and<br />

managing student behaviour.<br />

When teachers are unable to manage<br />

their workload, they can experience high<br />

levels of stress and burnout.<br />

Student behaviour is another common<br />

source of psychosocial risk for teachers.<br />

Disruptive behaviour, aggression, and<br />

violence can all contribute to high levels of<br />

stress and anxiety for teachers.<br />

Additionally, teachers who have their<br />

own personal life stressors, such as family<br />

problems or financial worries, may struggle<br />

to manage the additional stress of their<br />

work environment.<br />

For teachers who choose to work abroad,<br />

the stress of being away from their families<br />

and support networks can be an additional<br />

challenge to their mental health and<br />

well-being. Cultural differences, language<br />

barriers, and the need to adapt to a new<br />

educational system can also add to the<br />

stress.<br />

Moreover, international schools may<br />

not always provide adequate support to<br />

their staff, and teachers may feel isolated<br />

and unsupported. It is crucial for schools<br />

to recognize the unique challenges that<br />

international teachers face and to provide<br />

appropriate support to help them maintain<br />

good mental health and well-being.<br />

Many schools offer counselling services<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2023</strong> | 58<br />

to students, but often these same services<br />

are also available to staff members who<br />

may be experiencing mental health<br />

challenges. However, some teachers may<br />

be hesitant to access these services due to<br />

concerns about confidentiality, particularly<br />

if the counsellors are primarily focused<br />

on students. Did you know that 80% of<br />

employees are too afraid to share their<br />

mental health concerns with their manager?<br />

As a result, they may choose to suffer<br />

in silence rather than speak out, which<br />

can exacerbate their mental health issues.<br />

It’s important for schools to address these<br />

concerns and provide confidential support<br />

to staff members to encourage them to seek<br />

help when needed.<br />

Other psychosocial risks in schools can<br />

include a lack of support from senior<br />

leadership, a lack of job security, and a lack<br />

of opportunities for career development.<br />

All of these factors can contribute to high<br />

levels of stress and anxiety for teachers and

“Teachers who are engaged and mentally<br />

healthy are more effective and better able to<br />

support their students’ success.”<br />

can negatively impact their mental health<br />

and well-being.<br />

Research has shown that men and women<br />

may experience and respond to mental<br />

health challenges and well-being differently.<br />

In general, women may be more likely to<br />

report symptoms of anxiety and depression,<br />

while men may be more likely to engage in<br />

risky behaviours or struggle with substance<br />

abuse. These differences can also impact<br />

how men and women seek help and support<br />

for their mental health challenges.<br />

In the context of teaching, it’s important<br />

to consider these gender differences and<br />

how they may impact teachers’ experiences<br />

and needs when it comes to mental health<br />

and well-being. For example, female<br />

teachers may be more likely to seek out<br />

support and resources for their mental<br />

health, while male teachers may be more<br />

hesitant to do so. Additionally, male<br />

teachers may be more likely to experience<br />

stigma or feel that their mental health<br />

struggles are not taken seriously, which can<br />

discourage them from seeking help.<br />

By recognizing and addressing these<br />

gender differences in the context of<br />

teaching, schools and educators can better<br />

support the mental health and well-being of<br />

all teachers, regardless of gender. This may<br />

involve creating tailored support programs<br />

or resources that cater to the specific<br />

needs and preferences of male and female<br />

teachers, as well as fostering a culture of<br />

openness and understanding around mental<br />

health in the school community.<br />

<strong>School</strong> leaders also face significant<br />

pressure to create positive learning<br />

environments and support their staff’s<br />

mental health and well-being. In addition<br />

to managing student and staff expectations,<br />

school leaders must also navigate everchanging<br />

policies, curriculum requirements,<br />

and budget constraints.<br />

The constant demands of the job can<br />

lead to high levels of stress and burnout,<br />

which can have negative impacts on both<br />

the school community and the leaders<br />

themselves. It’s crucial for school leaders<br />

to prioritise their own mental health and<br />

well-being, seek support when needed, and<br />

foster a culture of support and openness<br />

that encourages staff to do the same.<br />

Investing in the emotional well-being is<br />

not only the right thing to do, but it’s also<br />

the smart thing to do. Research has shown<br />

that teacher well-being is closely linked to<br />

student outcomes, and that teachers who<br />

are engaged and psychologically resilient<br />

are more effective and better able to support<br />

their students’ success.<br />

Ultimately, by supporting a proactive and<br />

data-driven approach to teacher mental<br />

health you can provide an environment that<br />

will directly influence the mental health of<br />

those you have a duty of care for, not just<br />

for now, but for the rest of their lives.<br />

OTII® offers tailored, term by term well-being solutions that are designed to address the<br />

specific needs of each school community.<br />

We focus on promoting ‘whole school’ well-being, encompassing not only students from<br />

Grade 3 and up, but also teachers, support staff and even the mental health literacy of<br />

parents.<br />

Our evidence-based insights are curated by the Occupational Health Psychologist who<br />

helped to assess global well-being for over 40,000 UN staff. With a focus on prevention,<br />

our insights and data-driven dashboards provide a comprehensive overview of your school’s<br />

well-being pulse. Visit www.otii.io to find out more.<br />


Create a sense of<br />

belonging with your<br />

global family<br />





Ihave lived in 4 different countries with<br />

my husband and our 3 children (2 of<br />

them with additional needs) over a<br />

period of 23 years now<br />

Each time we enjoyed the process of<br />

belonging and connecting with where we<br />

were.<br />

A sense of belonging is crucial to our<br />

children’s satisfaction in life, their happiness,<br />

and their physical and mental health,<br />

including their confidence and self-esteem.<br />

But also, it makes your experience living<br />

overseas so much better, calmer and easy.<br />

What is belonging<br />

Belonging is when your family is able to<br />

adapt to the core beliefs, attitudes and<br />

behaviours that make up your new place.<br />

It is when you help them to understand<br />

what is going on around them, not just the<br />

language but the habits, cultural values and<br />

traditions as well.<br />

All the tips below are very important<br />

if you have a child with additional needs.<br />

Children on the spectrum often struggle<br />

to adopt to new places so you will need<br />

to place a lot of focus on the preparation<br />

stage, so they feel they know what’s going<br />

to happen and not taken by surprises when<br />

getting the flight to your new home.<br />

1Do your research together<br />

When I support families moving<br />

overseas, I often suggest that they sit down<br />

with their family and do some cultural<br />

research together. This can be done<br />

BEFORE you go to your new home but<br />

also when you are there:<br />

• Religion(s): what do they believe in and<br />

worship, where do they worship (church,<br />

temples etc.), how many Gods do they have<br />

and what are they called and what are their<br />

‘purpose’ etc.?<br />

• What languages do the country have,<br />

is it one or several languages? What<br />

will you attempt to learn? You might even<br />

like to try listening to some music or the<br />

radio in that language to get your ears used<br />

to it.<br />

• Cultural night: you can have a family<br />

cultural evening where you cook some<br />

‘local’ food, set the table with the local<br />

colours, add a local flag and listen to some<br />

local music. Why not invite friends over and<br />

enjoy an evening together.<br />

• Try to explore what special traditions<br />

they have and special celebration days. In<br />

China we celebrated ‘Chinese New Year’.<br />

In India you can celebrate ‘Diwali’ so on.<br />

Once you and your family have<br />

developed more cultural knowledge you<br />

will feel that you start to understand what<br />

is going on around you. You don’t have to<br />

be surprised when some ‘odd’ food arrives,<br />

or one day everyone starts dancing in the<br />

streets or a sound from a temple rings out at<br />

midday. You can say, ‘I know what that is,<br />

or what it is about’, and you can share the<br />

experience with the locals around you. Your<br />

family will be less likely to feel like outsiders<br />

when you know the core beliefs, habits, and<br />

what drives people around you. And more<br />

likely to accept, enjoy it and maybe even<br />

join in – belong.<br />

Understand, don’t judge<br />

2 When you move with your family to<br />

“It is so important that they still feel that they<br />

belong to their people at home. Organise weekly online<br />

‘playdates’, with your child’s friends.”<br />


a new place you will be exposed to new<br />

things that you might think are weird. But<br />

don’t judge what you see based on your own<br />

culture.<br />

STOP and reflect with your kids on<br />

WHY they do what they do. What is the<br />

meaning behind it?<br />

When we lived in China I remember my<br />

kids were horrified that the adult Chinese<br />

would wear PJs in public: ‘how can they?’,<br />

‘they are so lazy they don’t even want to<br />

change’, ‘they are dirty’… AND the men<br />

didn’t even bother to cut their nails – they<br />

let them grow long – yuk! Hold on kids, let’s<br />

explore WHY they do it, I am sure there is<br />

a meaning to it all. And there was. Chinese<br />

men grow their fingernails long to appear<br />

“rich”, as someone with long fingernails<br />

clearly isn’t working in the rice paddies or<br />

doing any other sort of manual labour.<br />


The <strong>Parent</strong>ing Community App is an online diverse and inclusive community that helps<br />

navigate parenting with confidence, courage and self-awareness no matter what your<br />

family setups and challenges are.<br />

We support you to raise independent and resilient children who can grow up to become<br />

confident and well-adjusted adults.<br />

Our <strong>Parent</strong>ing Community works very closely with all schools who wants to create a<br />

confident parenting community.<br />

The community is all about the 4 C’s:<br />

• Connection: not just an app – at our online monthly meet-ups and through a private<br />

support group we provide real life personal support.<br />

• Community: you gain access to an established community of likeminded parents and to<br />

our broad panel of trained experts around the globe.<br />

• Confidence: our community will help you gain confidence in yourself as a parent so you<br />

can stand by your values and boundaries and still respond with respect and fairness.<br />

• Creativity: all children are individuals and are all families are unique. The <strong>Parent</strong>ing<br />

Community helps you to create a parenting style that works for YOUR specific family. and<br />

become a creative parent who dares to do what is right for your child, your family and your<br />

values.<br />

The <strong>Parent</strong>ing Community has been built for YOU so that you can access what you need,<br />

when you need it.<br />

Hear from a few active members...<br />

• The <strong>Parent</strong>ing Community App came just at the right time for my parenting journey. There<br />

is a wealth of information on the web but to be able to go to what is essentially a ‘one-stop<br />

shop’ in the <strong>Parent</strong>ing Community for all things parenting/family related makes it seem<br />

less overwhelming. - Gemma, mother of two.<br />

• The app has given me the support, time and processes to implement various strategies,<br />

making life not so daunting.<br />

• Being a part of this wonderful community has enabled me to be calmer and in particular<br />

I have loved being involved in the chat rooms sharing experiences not just with my ADHD<br />

child but other life’s ups and downs too!<br />

Link to the community: https://mettetheilmann.com/<br />

We look forward to becoming part of your parenting journey or support your school.<br />

Mette and the <strong>Parent</strong>ing Community Team<br />

And it’s a status symbol to wear pyjamas in<br />

public. It says, ‘Look at me, I am so well off<br />

that I don’t need to work. I don’t need a suit<br />

or anything fancy – I can just stroll around<br />

in my PJs enjoying life.’<br />

Suddenly my kids looked at them in a<br />

different light, because they understood<br />

why they did what they did. This<br />

‘understanding’ creates a sense of bonding<br />

and belonging with the people around<br />

them. ‘Now that I understand why people<br />

around me do what they do I feel more<br />

connected to them, I might even try it<br />

myself ’. And yes, my kids did want to wear<br />

PJs for a full weekend.<br />

Be curious and open minded<br />

3 Tune in to, understand, stay curious<br />

and respect the country and culture we have<br />

been allowed to share with them.<br />

You and your family will see, hear and<br />

smell new things and that is the beauty<br />

of living overseas with a new culture.<br />

And teach your kids that it is OK to ask<br />

questions, explore and stay open minded.<br />

Most people don’t mind you asking: Why<br />

do you do that? What is that? How do you<br />

say it? What does that mean? etc.<br />

I remember my kids being puzzled by<br />

the Chinese walking around in the park<br />

making slow movements and tapped<br />

themselves. Next time we were in the park<br />

we met a young couple and asked what<br />

that was. They loved to explain it in detail<br />

to us, they even made us try it! Walking<br />

slowly backwards is good for balance and<br />

coordination, small jumps are good for joint<br />

mobility, self-tapping is good for blood flow<br />

and relieves stiffness.<br />

It is something we really took to – it is<br />

relaxing to do when getting up or waiting<br />

for the bus. Although it does look a bit<br />

out of place in the middle of London, but<br />

maybe people around are curious too!<br />

So, encourage your kids to explore, ask<br />

questions and stay open minded to what<br />

is around them. This way they will not<br />

feel out of place, confused or maybe even<br />

scared when they are confronted with new<br />

cultural habits as they know they can ask<br />

and learn and maybe even be part of it.<br />

This too creates a sense of belonging, we<br />

break down the barriers between ‘them and<br />

us’. We invite ourselves into their beautiful<br />

world, step in and become part of it. And<br />

of course they will benefit hugely from this<br />

amazing opportunity to see the world in a<br />

more global and open minded way.<br />

4Find your tribe<br />

You don’t have to go totally native I<br />

also believe that it’s important that our kids<br />

find their kind of friends, their tribe. Where<br />

they don’t have to think about anything but<br />

can just life and have fun together.<br />

Maybe your child’s language is good<br />

enough to join a local football, ballet or<br />

riding club – amazing. If not, find your<br />

child’s tribe, where they can chill and be<br />

themselves.<br />

In China we found an English-speaking<br />

riding club which my daughter loved. My<br />

son who is in a wheelchair enjoyed the<br />

table tennis club in the American school.<br />

My daughter also had a need to be around<br />

people who understood and accept her as a<br />

queer. We found groups where she felt free<br />

and even joined a local rainbow parade.<br />


5Belong to your own culture<br />

But it is not only belonging to where<br />

you are living now with your kids. It is<br />

also supporting them to retain a sense of<br />

belonging to their own culture at home,<br />

their tribe, your tribe.<br />

Most of us will at some stage move on<br />

to another country or go home to our own<br />

one. We want our kids to be able to connect<br />

with our family without having to try too<br />

hard to fit in again. Or when we are home<br />

for holiday they can enjoy it without feeling<br />

like a stranger. So how can we, as an expat<br />

family, work towards belonging somewhere<br />

new. While still remaining who we are, with<br />

our own culture and family values. Still feel<br />

a sense of belonging to the new country<br />

without having to give up who we were<br />

when we arrived.<br />

How to still belong to your own culture<br />

• Speak from your heart: What does<br />

your heart speak? Speak it to the kids. I<br />

know it can be tempting to speak to our<br />

kids in another language. But you can help<br />

them to feel a continued sense of belonging<br />

to your culture and home by staying<br />

connected to your language and accent.<br />

It might be hard work now, but later on<br />

believe me they WILL thank you. And your<br />

family will find it easier to connect with<br />

your kids once you’re back home, which<br />

instils a deeper sense of belonging.<br />

• Celebrate your traditions and<br />

special days: It is equally important that<br />

you help your kids remember your special<br />

days and traditions. Invite their new friends<br />

over and celebrate together and let your<br />

kids show them their special traditions and<br />

feel proud of it. We have always celebrated<br />

‘Fastelavn’, a Danish tradition, and St.<br />

Patrick’s Day as my husband is Irish. We<br />

even had two ‘Christmas Days’ the Danes<br />

and the Irish. Again, once our kids are back<br />

in either country, they know about it all and<br />

can join in and feel connected, not out of<br />

place and confused.<br />

• Stay connected with family and<br />

friends: It is so important that they still feel<br />

that they belong to their people at home.<br />

Organise weekly online ‘playdates’, with<br />

ABOUT ME<br />

I’ve supported parents for over 18 years, working closely with schools,<br />

companies and family solicitors. So, I can say with absolute confidence,<br />

that the <strong>Parent</strong>ing Community and my parenting coaching is based on a<br />

depth of experience and study, plus a huge passion for supporting parents.<br />

I am Danish, married to an Irish man and together we have 3 children (age 21, 23 and 25).<br />

We have lived in 4 countries and travelled all over the world. With years of experience<br />

supporting parents, my educational background and having raised 3 very different<br />

children I feel capable of supporting all family setups and challenges.<br />

I have a deep passion for nature, history, creativity, travelling and my family.<br />

Link to my website: www.mettetheilmann.com<br />

All the best, Mette<br />

your child’s friends. Encourage them to<br />

write letters, send parcels to their friends<br />

and family, make sure the connections<br />

stay strong. So, when you go back home<br />

they will find it easier to feel an instant<br />

belonging because it ‘never felt like they<br />

were away’.<br />

• Tune into what happens at home in<br />

their world – TV programmes, music,<br />

etc: What TV programmes are kids the<br />

same age as yours watching there now?<br />

Watch them. What music are they into?<br />

Listen to it together.<br />

You are beginning to get the point; it is<br />

all about familiarity. Once our kids know<br />

what is going on around them, they will feel<br />

relaxed, free to join in and get a sense of<br />

‘belonging’.<br />


How to Make Invisible Careers<br />

Visible to All Pupils:<br />

Overcoming Systemic Biases and<br />

Increasing Diversity Awareness<br />



“In the case of STEM fields, there is a persistent gender<br />

gap, with women and girls often being discouraged from<br />

pursuing careers in these areas.”<br />

As students progress through their<br />

education, they’re often asked to<br />

consider what they want to do<br />

when they’re older. But for many young<br />

people, the answer is not clear. They<br />

might have limited exposure to different<br />

industries or careers, or they might not fully<br />

understand the educational requirements<br />

and job prospects of various professions.<br />

This lack of awareness can be particularly<br />

acute for students from underrepresented<br />

backgrounds, who might not have access<br />

to the same networks or resources as their<br />

more privileged peers.<br />

It’s important to recognise that this a<br />

global issue that impacts young people<br />

from all corners of the world. Students in<br />

different countries and cultures may face<br />

different barriers and have limited exposure<br />

to certain career options that are considered<br />

invisible – but, despite these differences,<br />

there’s a job for everyone in education to<br />

do, wherever in the world they work - to<br />

create a more equitable and inclusive future<br />

for all.<br />

Exploring Invisible Careers<br />

One of the key challenges that<br />

underrepresented students face, all over<br />

the globe, is the lack of awareness of<br />

certain careers, particularly those that<br />

are considered invisible - professions that<br />

are not widely known, talked about, or<br />

understood by many students.<br />

Examples of invisible careers that are<br />

often overlooked by students include careers<br />

in STEM (science, technology, engineering,<br />

and maths) fields, as well as careers in<br />

creative industries such as animation,<br />

software design, or game development.<br />

In the case of STEM fields, there is a<br />

persistent gender gap, with women and<br />

girls often being discouraged from pursuing<br />

careers in these areas. This can be due<br />

to various factors, including societal<br />

stereotypes and lack of representation in<br />

the media.<br />

By challenging these biases and providing<br />

more visibility and encouragement<br />

for underrepresented groups, we can<br />

help ensure that all students have equal<br />

opportunities to explore a diverse range of<br />

careers and pursue their passions.<br />

Addressing Teacher Bias<br />

Teachers, like all individuals, have unique<br />

experiences and perspectives that shape<br />

their biases and privileges. While some<br />

biases are beneficial and help teachers<br />

connect with and understand their students<br />

better, some may be harmful. Teachers<br />

may not intentionally discriminate against<br />

certain students, but their unconscious<br />

biases can still impact the way they perceive<br />

and interact with them and the career<br />

advice they deliver. Their own experiences<br />

can also impact their understanding of<br />

possible jobs (or portfolios of jobs), what<br />

employers are currently expecting and what<br />

Gen Z wants from the world of work.<br />

Professional development and training<br />

represent the first step in creating<br />



ut it also provides pupils with examples<br />

of diverse professionals who have made<br />

significant contributions to their sector.<br />

By promoting diversity in the curriculum,<br />

schools can help to challenge stereotypes<br />

and provide pupils with a more realistic and<br />

accurate view of the world of work.<br />

“Seeing someone who looks like them and has<br />

succeeded in a certain profession can help students to<br />

envision themselves in that same role, or to be a<br />

pioneer in another field.”<br />

opportunities for inclusive approaches<br />

to career assistance. By understanding<br />

unconscious bias and its impact, teachers<br />

can work towards creating a more inclusive<br />

classroom environment. Additionally,<br />

recognising and addressing their privilege<br />

can help teachers to better understand the<br />

experiences of their students.<br />

Of course, tackling bias and privilege<br />

is an ongoing process. It’s not about<br />

blaming or shaming teachers - but rather<br />

empowering them to recognise and address<br />

these issues in order to better support their<br />

students in understanding the range of<br />

options open to them.<br />

Promoting Diversity in the Curriculum<br />

Promoting diversity in the curriculum is<br />

crucial in making invisible careers visible<br />

to all pupils. One way to achieve this is by<br />

highlighting the contributions of people<br />

from diverse backgrounds in different<br />

careers, including those that are often<br />

overlooked. For example, students can<br />

be exposed to the stories of successful<br />

professionals who overcame obstacles<br />

related to their race, gender, religion, or<br />

other underrepresented and intersectional<br />

identities. Through exposure to such<br />

stories, students are exposed to different<br />

perspectives and encouraged to think<br />

outside the box.<br />

In addition to highlighting diverse<br />

professionals, exploring the role that<br />

diversity plays in different industries is<br />

another potential route to success. For<br />

instance, when teaching STEM subjects,<br />

a teacher could introduce their students to<br />

various pioneers from underrepresented<br />

communities who contributed to the field of<br />

computer science. This not only makes the<br />

curriculum more engaging and relatable,<br />

The Importance of Role Models<br />

Having visible role models who have<br />

pursued careers in these fields can be a<br />

powerful way to inspire and motivate<br />

students. Seeing someone who looks like<br />

them and has succeeded in a certain<br />

profession can help students to envision<br />

themselves in that same role, or to be a<br />

pioneer in another field.<br />

Of course, it’s important to ensure<br />

that these role models represent a diverse<br />

range of backgrounds to show students<br />

what’s possible both in the present and<br />

future lived experiences. This includes<br />

people from different ethnic, cultural, and<br />

socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as<br />

those living with disabilities or who identify<br />

as LGBTQ+. By providing a diverse<br />

range of role models, schools can help to<br />

challenge stereotypes and provide pupils<br />

with a more realistic and accurate view<br />

of the world of work. This can also help<br />

to create a more inclusive and welcoming<br />

environment for all students, regardless of<br />

their background or identity.<br />

The future’s bright for all students<br />

In short, schools must take proactive steps<br />

to make invisible careers visible to all pupils.<br />

This requires a multifaceted approach that<br />

addresses systemic biases, promotes diversity<br />

awareness, and provides equitable resources<br />

and opportunities to underrepresented<br />

students.<br />

In order to create a more equitable and<br />

inclusive society, we must work together<br />

to make sure that all pupils have access<br />

to the same opportunities, regardless of<br />

their background or identity. By promoting<br />

diversity, breaking down barriers, and<br />

creating a supportive and inclusive<br />

environment, we can help to ensure that<br />

every student has the tools and resources<br />

they need to achieve their full potential and<br />

pursue their dreams.<br />

www.thegec.education<br />

Twitter: @GECcollect<br />

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<strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> was created to inform, inspire, and engage the<br />

<strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> Community through informative content. We always welcome<br />

having new writers join our contributor pool. You must have a strong desire to produce<br />

quality content with actionable advice that readers can apply in their own lives.<br />

What kind of content do we publish?<br />

High-quality: Convincing analysis, Well-Presented and Actionable. Always have in mind what<br />

the reader can take away from your article.<br />

Originality: If you are writing about well-covered issues, bring a new perspective that others<br />

may have missed.<br />

Compelling title: Your title should reflect the content of the article and tell readers why they<br />

must read the article.<br />

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do, which topic areas you have expertise in, and<br />

point us towards some of your existing written work.<br />

If you think this is for you, then contact us today: content@internationalschoolparent.com<br />


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Pilatus, Lucerne-Lake Lucerne Region, © Michael Sidofsky<br />

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