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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:

  • Michela Mantani
    Communications Manager at La Côte International School, Michela is passionate about education and the impact that different learning styles can have on a child’s learning journey. She has been researching and writing about the various educational options available in the Lake Léman region since relocating here from London in 2008.

  • 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.

  • Julie Tompkins-Wagner
    Julie Tompkins-Wagner is an active concert pianist, music educator and administrator with over 40 years of experience, 27 of them in the International environment. She is passionate about the benefits of making music, bringing young musicians together and working with young people of all ages in order to help them gain the life skills that they will need for their future.

  • Marianne Salem
    Marianne Salem was the Executive Director of the Lake Leman International School (LLIS) in Morges, Vaud. Founded in 2011, the school offered education to students aged between 3 and 11, with flexible teaching that matched each student's needs and a strong focus on community engagement for both pupils and their families.

  • Sara Dubler is responsible for advertising, digital marketing, and communications at Haut-Lac International Bilingual School in St-Légier-La Chiésaz near Vevey and also for developing the alumni network.  She is a marketing enthusiast who is passionate about the digital world and enjoys combining her knowledge and skills to boost the vibrant school community and watch it thrive and develop.

  • Denise Nickerson - Educational Consultant
    Co-author of Know-it-all passport’s Education Guide Switzerland, Denise has been a speaker in over 300 international schools in 30 different countries. Working as a college and university counselor, and as an educational consultant helping families around the world, she also provides training and development for educators in schools and universities, and is passionate about international education!

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Submitted by Sabine Hutcheson, Education Consultant at TutorsPlus

As some readers may know, TutorsPlus is part of ASC Education Group which, for more than 40 years, has been providing high quality language training to private individuals, corporate clients and young learners in Geneva and Vaud. Having grown up with three languages in both English- and French-speaking countries, language learning is a subject near and dear to my heart. I’ve invited guest blogger Sandra Bialystok, polyglot and traveler, to share her thoughts on a topic which will surely touch most of you.

The advantages of language learning; or, what learning Italian taught Sandra Bialystok other than how to order the perfect pasta

Many years ago – when I was young and had few obligations – I went to Rome to live with my boyfriend (now my husband) and to learn Italian. My French boyfriend had been sent to Rome for his work, and after a crash course in the language, he was immediately expected to converse with the local employees. I, on the other hand, could learn the language in a more leisurely manner, even though I was eager to also become fluent.

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By Sabine Hutcheson, Education Consultant at TutorsPlus

Earlier this year the Economist Intelligence Unit compiled a report for Pearson which showed the UK coming into the top 10 education systems in the world. This is a much better score than last year’s PISA report which can be partly explained by the fact that Pearson looked at the rate of students continuing into higher education; a mere detail perhaps but a significant one. This poses the question of an education system’s raison d’être. If we explore this issue, the English curriculum, on offer in many private schools in the Switzerland, certainly ticks all the boxes.

The English curriculum does not grade students in the same way they are graded in Swiss or French schools.  It is based on a set of competences that each individual child acquires throughout their education.  These translate into levels. At the end of primary school some children may have ideally reached a level 5, while others are at level 3. The levels pertain to a child’s acquired skills in literacy and numeracy.  Because students are rated against their own progress and achievements, as opposed to a benchmark or their peers, they move on unhindered until the age of 14. At this point, they will be guided to a choice of qualifications suitable for their academic level and/or vocational aspirations, most of which can lead to university.  

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By Sarah Frei, Brillantmont International School

The sun is shining and it’s that time of year when we’re all thinking ahead to the long awaited summer holidays, daydreaming of a break in the routine, whether in colder or warmer climes.

Swiss Public schools break for summer in the next couple of weeks, but children in private schools, may already be on holiday. This means a break of anything between 7 to 12 weeks, depending on the kind of school they attend.

Some would argue that having worked hard all year and in some cases prepared successfully for examinations, children deserve to spend their holiday weeks lounging around. Of course, we all need some rest and relaxation, but there’s no reason why the summer holidays should mean switching off completely. Let’s not forget too, that many working parents may have limited or no holidays so they put their childcare juggling skills to the test!

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Here we are, the last stretch before the dreaded final exams. You have worked hard (hopefully) for the last two years and now your efforts are going to pay off. Many of you students out there will be given study leave to revise for your exams, but how should you organise yourself efficiently in order to maximise your time and performance?

First of all, let us understand that no amount of last minute revision will replace consistent work over the entire course. Having said that, if you haven’t felt confident so far or feel that you are ready to tackle those tricky bits, it isn’t too late to put some of it right. Last minute stage frights are good as they give you the boost of energy you need to make it through the final 3 months. The key is mainly organisation. For each subject, list the topics you need to cover and then for each topic, list the sub-topic. This will be enough to get you started as you will have broken down what you need to cover into small, manageable chunks.  This also makes it easier to find and work examples for each subtopic. For example, in Physics, lay out the formulae and expand them to show how they connect to each concept, emphasising similarities and differences of when they are applicable. To make sure you have understood how and why to use a particular formula, introduce one change in the example and see how this affects the equation. In History, it can be a list of key events, in which case you could draw a diagram of how they are connected, then use this information to answer a practice question, using 1 or 2 sources for reference.

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By Sarah Frei, Brillantmont International School

With examinations looming on the horizon, many students are looking ahead, considering the next stage in their academic life. Many of the international curricula offered in Swiss private schools provide an element of choice with regard to subject combinations  and therein lies the difficulty. If you’re agonising over which course to choose, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Choose subjects you enjoy
Maybe your Dad is an incredible mathematician whilst mum’s a talented biologist. You want to keep them both happy,but what you really enjoy is history and languages. In that case, go for it! For the next two years, you‘ll be devoting a lot of energy and possibly a few sleepless nights to the subjects you choose, so the least you should do is like them! Choosing subjects to please others risks leaving you frustrated, unhappy and quite simply, out of your depth. Similarly, don’t choose a subject just because your best friend has chosen it !