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Below you will find a selection of the most recent entries from bloggers in our Education section.

To view the entries from individual bloggers, click on the links below:

  • Local Teacher Bloggers

    Instead of asking teachers or staff from one particular school in the area, we've decided to host all of them under one heading. We expect great things to happen on this page, so make sure to check often to read their stories, insights, explanations, and thoughts on education for children, adults, special needs, or extra-curricular.

  • Philippa Dobree-Carey is an adept project manager for an international organization in Geneva. Author of the award-winning student guide "From High School to Uni", Philippa successfully steers students step-by-step through the process of packing, preparing for and thriving in the university environment. This firsthand perspective has driven her to create a library of well-defined, pragmatic resources aimed at facilitating the transition to university life. Discover a treasure trove of invaluable resources by visiting her website www.fromhighschooltouni.com.
  • Trudi Hayes
    She is the Director of Swiss Language Group in Geneva, which comprises of three schools. Wall Street English, Swiss French School and Ecole Suisse d’Allemand. Trudi has a background in client relationship and service management and is a qualified English teacher. She and her team of language consultants help students find the best language courses for them, according to their individual objectives and requirements.
  • Sandra Steiger
    TutorsPlus Academic support manager, Sandra and has over 10 years’ experience teaching English at various schools in Switzerland. During her 6 years at the International School of Geneva, she was also the Service Learning programme Coordinator, Homeroom Mentor and Head of Year 8. Now she helps parents and students get the academic support they need.
  • Sarah Frei
    Head of Marketing and Communication at Brillantmont International School, Sarah is excited by the opportunities created by technology not only to communicate with the multicultural, far-flung school community but also to share knowledge and experiences about educational practice.
  • Sabine Hutcheson
    Sabine Hutcheson is a British-trained school teacher, with over a decade’s teaching experience in Switzerland, UK and neighbouring France. She has taught a variety of subjects to children from 5 to 18 years old, as well as to adults. After working as an Educational Consultant at TutorsPlus, Sabine is now Head of Sixth Form at the British School of Geneva.

study

By Philippa Dobree-Carey, From High School to Uni

 
Test anxiety can make exams stressful for students, but using a strategic, consistent approach using effective study techniques can boost their confidence. Here's how to keep calm and prepare effectively.
 
Start Early 
  1. Spread out revision of each subject over 5-10 days.
  2. Create a study plan (days 1-7). Plan daily reviews with a mix of broad overviews, deep dives into complex topics, and revisiting older material. Here's a sample schedule:
    Day 1-2: Big picture review, identify the areas that need more attention.
    Day 3-4: Tackle the more complex topics, using active recall methods.
    Day 5-6: Review both new and older material to maintain memory retention.
    Day 7: Focus on areas of difficulty, refining understanding with active recall.
  3. Organise revision sessions into manageable chunks to improve retention. Use spaced repetition (reviewing at increasing intervals) and active recall (testing yourself) techniques, such as:
    — Write down questions from your notes or textbook and answer them without referring to the source.
    — Practice explaining concepts: Imagine you're teaching the material to someone else and explain it out loud or write down a clear explanation. 
    — Make flashcards with key terms on one side and definitions or explanations on the other. Have the student test themself or have someone them while having breakfast, going to school in the car, travelling on the bus or train, or during break-times.
  4. Practice test-taking techniques on past papers under timed conditions to help develop a time management strategy for the actual exam.
  5. To avoid burnout or being overwhelmed, it is important to balance study time with downtime.
Students talking copy
 
By Philippa Dobree-Carey, From High School to Uni
 

In the final year of high school, it's imperative for students in Year 13 (or equivalent) to devote a significant amount of time to their studies, and structuring a study schedule that includes both coursework and dedicated revision periods is essential.

Crafting Your Revision Schedule
Students need to ensure that their revision periods consist of reviewing known material and should not be learning new content at this point, which could indicate a gap in their knowledge base.

Studying without Distractions
Developing a distraction-free study routine is crucial to success.

Revision Schedule (with short regular breaks for food and downtime)
— Monday to Friday: 6pm - 9pm
— Weekends: 10am - 4pm

Coursework Deadlines
Students should divide their tasks into different categories and allocate time accordingly — List of subjects and their associated submission dates
— Allocation of extra time slots one month prior to deadlines

SwissChangeLisaCirieco

By Philippa Dobree-Carey, From High School to Uni

Have you started to search for the perfect student pad to suit your budget? Before you embark on the stressful hunt for rented accommodation, make sure you have the essential ammunition - knowledge of student rental scams.

If you're not planning on living in halls of residence, or if you're heading into your second or third year of university, finding a place to live can be a challenge.
Students are a prime target for rental scammers who exploit students’ newfound independence and panic about finding a place to live.

Imagine finding a place that looks fabulous, the rent is within your budget, and the location is close to town or university. Sounds Ideal, right? Scammers love to dangle the carrot of incredible deals in front of unsuspecting students.

Beware of these tempting but unrealistic offers that are too good to be true

In the age of online transactions, scammers prefer to stay in the shadows. If your potential landlord avoids face-to-face meetings and insists on doing everything online, pull the plug. Any reputable landlord will take the time to meet a prospective tenant. After all, they want to know that you will respect their property.

If you ask for a meeting and are met with excuses, drop it and keep looking

Have you ever experienced the fear of missing out? One of the most common tactics used in rental scams is for scammers to create a false sense of urgency and heighten a student's anxiety.
"Multiple offers are pouring in!" they claim. "You need to send your deposit to secure the tenancy". "If you can pay me a month's rent today, I can reserve the flat for you".

SwissChangeLisaCirieco

Photo credit ©Lisa Cirieco Swiss Change

By Philippa Dobree-Carey, From High School to Uni

The first question every parent asks me, an experienced mum whose children have successfully navigated university with no student debt, is “how do you create a budget”?

A survey conducted amongst students in 2020 revealed that over 70% of them worried about making ends meet, and yet at least 10% of students had never even attempted to compile a budget.

If you don’t know how or where to start, read on. By following these tips and using the interactive budget calculator on my website, you will be able to calculate what works best for you, within your means, and learn how to budget successfully.

Why do you need a budget?

If you’re going to be receiving a scholarship or student loan – that means you have a bottomless pit of funds, right? WRONG! You need to make your finances stretch to cover all essentials, from rent to food, to mobile phone costs to socializing. It may be fun to have a night out clubbing, but if that means eating crackers and drinking water for the rest of the month, was it worth splurging on alcohol, or could you budget appropriately to make sure you know how much your social funds can cover?

Typical uni room

A typical student bedroom with desk chair and bed

By Philippa Dobree-Carey, From High School to Uni

Moving into University Halls of Residence is a huge adventure for Freshers - perhaps their first taste of independence! First time managing a budget, first time cooking for themselves, first time organizing their lives with no assistance from parents. In addition, their new life may be in another country, with a different culture and customs, a new space with complete strangers, and it will take some time to adjust to the new environment.

To make this process less daunting, and help make the experience moving into Halls enjoyable, follow these tips below:

DO pack your suitcases efficiently. Before you leave home, organise your belongings into categories (like clothes, desk stuff, bathroom toiletries, shoes, etc.). This will make it so much easier to unpack efficiently and organise your room quickly.

DON’T lock yourself in your room whilst unpacking. Wedge your bedroom door open to say hi to other residents and get a chance to talk with your new flat mates immediately. The sooner you start chatting, the sooner you will start to make friends.

DO unpack your room straightaway as soon as you have picked up your key or badge from the University admin office. You will feel more settled and comfortable once you have your own space sorted.

DON’T drag out the goodbyes with your parents if they have dropped you off. It's normal to feel emotional when they leave, but don't let that stop you from enjoying your new independence!

DO be friendly and supportive getting to know your flat mates who may be shy. Invite them to join you for an exploratory walk around the university campus or go have lunch or dinner together in town.

DON’T isolate in your room. Whilst it is tempting to just curl up by yourself and watch Netflix, go out and get to know your flat mates. This is an exciting time - embrace the challenge!