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Local Teachers who Blog for knowitall.ch

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. 

vertical tutoring photo

By Valérie Fournet, LCIS

In a bid to develop relationships and to foster a real sense of 'family' and community within La Côte International School's existing House system in the Secondary school, we restructured our pastoral system and implemented the Vertical Tutoring model.

Peter A. Barnard, author of "Vertical Tutoring" writes: Mixed-age tutor groups are an ideal preparation for the development of student leadership and mentoring.

The LCIS House structures remained unchanged, our Homerooms were modified to include students from mixed age groups, as opposed to a more traditional Homeroom structure determined exclusively by academic year groups.

Each vertical Homeroom now comprises of 15-20 students from different academic groups in Lower or Upper Secondary. Each of the four Houses is led by a Head of House, whose important role involves developing a dynamic and exciting team spirit and fostering healthy competition.

Healthy competition is an important part of our Vertical Tutoring. When students compete for their House, there is a genuine sense of belonging and a desire to be part of the team.

We believe that introducing the new Vertical Tutoring system will foster a friendlier, more cohesive and supportive social environment, which would provide students with leadership opportunities.

For example, students from all Homerooms cooperate and work together on a number of House Challenges throughout the year, and this enables our House captains to guide and lead younger students.

The feedback and results so far have proven very positive and the implementation of the new Vertical Tutoring system has resulted in a unified community within our school community in which all the students are proud to belong and where students of different age groups can get to know each other better.


By Mark O'Brien, La Côte International School

The International Primary Curriculum, commonly known as IPC, is a comprehensive, thematic and creative curriculum with specific learning goals for every subject. What makes the IPC stand out from other curricula is the strong focus on developing students as global citizens and becoming internationally-minded. International learning goals are unique to the curriculum and help students to develop an increasingly sophisticated national, international and intercultural perspective. IPC is now taught to over 1,000 students across 90 countries around the world, with many opportunities for students and teachers to share their experiences and learning.

The IPC has been designed to ensure rigorous learning, whilst providing both students and teachers learning opportunities that are exciting, meaningful and active. Through the IPC, the following subjects are covered:

- Geography
- History
- Science
- Art
- Technology
- Computing
- Physical Education
- Music
- Society
- International Learning

The curriculum is split into 3 Mileposts: