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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:

  • 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.
  • 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
    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!


© Elargis Tes Horizons

By Denise Nickerson, Educational Consultant

On November 16th at Uni Mail in Geneva, nearly 400 girls participated in a day of workshops, interaction with women scientist mentors, a career fair and lunch. The girls, all age 11-14 were enjoying the third Elargis Tes Horizons event to come to Geneva since 2009. Many of them found out about the event through flyers that were distributed to girls in the Geneva area public schools. Girls from other cantons, France, and private schools were also welcomed. Incredibly, this event was entirely free of charge.
35 interactive workshops were offered, all led by women working in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math careers, or STEM careers. Workshops were offered in French and/or English. Each attendee was able to attend two workshops of her choice, and have one workshop period to visit the career fair and talk with professionals working in the sciences. Over 80 volunteers were on hand to help the girls register and find their workshops. Parents were also welcomed to interact with a panel of experts about how to support their daughters in the pursuit of scientific study and professions.

By Sarah Frei, Brillantmont International School

brillantmontblog schoolchoice1

The autumn holidays are already upon us and by now most children are nicely settled back into the school routine. Yet, there may be some children for whom, despite the best efforts of their teachers and their family, the start of a new school year has brought heartache. Perhaps the decision to relocate to Switzerland was a last-minute one, resulting in hastily-made decisions, based on spaces available rather than a real feeling of connection with the school. Perhaps there are other more complex questions of friendships and peer integration at play, which are having a negative impact on your child.

Everyone has their child’s happiness at heart, so whilst deciding to change schools might be a daunting task, it is not impossible. It may mean losing a school year, but is that such a big deal in the long-term? For those faced with this dilemna or for others in a less urgent situation, here are a few tips to help you choose the right school for your child.

By Sarah Frei, Brillantmont International School

brillantmont drama

There’s an English saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy “ to which I wholly subscribe! Education is not just about what goes on in the classroom. Of course, knowledge is important and we all want our children to achieve at school. However, let’s not forget the importance of “play” in a child’s developmental process. Extra-curricular activities provide the opportunity for children to thrive in a non-classroom situation, to develop new interests and discover new talents. Some children may find school challenging but can be transformed when taking on the leading role in a drama production or captaining the village football team.

In the Lake Geneva region we are lucky to have an incredible range of activities, sporting, cultural, artistic, creative right on our doorsteps (see Know-it-all passport for suggestions). So rich is the offer that simply choosing an activity becomes difficult. A word of advice however: whilst you may have been a talented dancer, forcing your daughter to take ballet when her heart’s set on rock-climbing, is going to generate some serious family discussion.

LIA May 2013 web

Léman International Academy in Cologny, Geneva

By Denise Nickerson, Educational Consultant

When it comes to educational choices here in Switzerland and neighboring France we have a dizzying array – for ourselves and our children. Families relocating to the area from all over the world want to know all about the schools before trying to figure out basics like cars, housing, even finding a local family doctor. Because children grow and change so fast, parents who are established in the area go through similar anxieties at each stage of a child’s life, questioning school choice and other educational decisions at the start of new scholastic levels. Just when we are comfortable with how our kids are doing and what they are learning, the end of an academic year comes around and we wonder what would be best for next fall. Have the needs changed? Will the homework be more challenging? As a parent, will I be able to help or even know what is going on at school?

Before becoming overwhelmed, there are some steps we can take to make sure we are actively supporting a quality education for our kids. I’ll start with the obvious ones in case the mere topic of education has you hyperventilating with stress.

By Sarah Frei, Brillantmont International School

Brillantmont Graduation 2012 027 web

For many students across the world approaching the ages of 15 and 16, it will soon be time to decide which route to take to university and for some that involves a choice between two highly respected programmes – British A Levels and the International Baccalaureate (IB).

What are A Levels?

Receiving its name from the ‘advanced level’ at which it is said to be undertaken, an A Level is a two-year course of study in a given subject that is offered in schools around the world. Students usually choose three or four ‘AS Level’ subjects for the first year of study, before taking full ‘A2 Level’ examinations in the second. Universities usually ask for three full A Levels, but some students may choose to take more.

How does the IB compare?

The IB offers three stages of international education for students aged three to 19. The third-stage Diploma Programme, for those aged 16 to 19, is a two-year university entry programme comparable to A Levels. Students study six subjects at higher level or standard level, choosing from five distinct subject groups – languages, social studies, the experimental sciences and mathematics. The sixth subject may be from Group Six – the Arts – or the student may choose another from Groups One to Five.