• Space of Mine

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!

bsg a level

By Sabine Hutcheson, Head of Sixth Form, British School of Geneva

In a region where we are spoilt for choice in post-secondary education, A-Levels stand out as the true alternative. Recognised as a ticket to universities internationally, the A-Levels programme is very different to other diplomas in its structure and in the way it prepares students for higher education.

Structure and ethos of the diploma

Students taking A-Levels are typically 16 to 18 years of age and the programme is two years long. In the UK, this stage of education is referred to as the Sixth Form. It immediately follows the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) in the UK, obtained at the age of 16 and marking the end of compulsory education.  

In the first year (Year 12), students study 4 subjects for which they are examined in May and June of that academic year. In their second and final year (Year 13), students tend to drop a subject and pursue the 3 with which they feel most comfortable and/or which better fit their chosen university course admission criteria. Some students choose to maintain all 4 subjects to add to the challenge or to keep their options open. A subject taken in Year 12 only will be validated as an AS Level (Advanced Subsidiary Level) and may count towards university applications.

Lcis mindfulness2

By Michela Mantani, La Côte International School

Across the globe, one of the hottest topics in education at the moment is whether we should be teaching our children how to manage their emotional state and be in charge of their own wellbeing. In Asia meditation classes are on the rise to help students cope with stress levels and develop emotional resilience, while in Great Britain recent statistics have shown that an average of 3 children per classroom have mental health issues ranging from anxiety to burn-out, which may lead to low-level disruption.

As our youngsters lead increasingly stressful, over-planned lives, screen time and excessive stimulation have also been linked to the rise of mental disorders in children. The burning question on every educator’s mind at the moment is, without a doubt: “What can our schools do to help students regulate their emotions and improve their daily interactions with others?”

In recent years, a growing number of scientific studies have underlined the benefits of mindfulness exercises for students, based on solid evidence relating to the impact of mindfulness on adults, as well as encouraging indications on the positive impact that a regular practice of meditation and breathing techniques can have on children and young people.

brillantmont 95 500

By Sarah Frei, Brillantmont International School

It’s that time of year again when exams dominate the horizon of many young people. For them, the next few weeks are synonymous with stress and hard work. Keeping a cool head, sticking to a well-organised revision schedule and taking time out to relax are key to a balanced approach. Read our top tips for exam success here:

Start revision sooner rather than later.
Don’t put off exam preparation until you really feel the pressure or your teachers and parents start nagging. By planning ahead and reviewing the materials as you go along, the weeks leading up the exams will be a lot easier. Your confidence will be boosted and you’ll be starting from a good place.

Develop study groups.
Your teachers may offer after school study groups covering particular topics or you may choose to set up such a group with your peers. Working together with friends, in person or via What’s App, can be a useful way to revise and test each other, as long as you clearly define boundaries (so you don’t end up simply chatting!).

Constantly review.
This learning strategy applies to the whole school year and not just to examination time. Whenever you learn something new, go over it at home in the following days to ensure that you have fully understood it. If not, ask you teacher for clarification. If you do this on a regular basis, you won’t come across huge chunks of material which you feel unsure about.

Take notes.
The act of writing notes helps us retain information. Notes are essential to revision. Make them as visual as you need, using spider diagrams, mind-maps and workflows in different colours. Whether you use glorious technicolour or simply black and white, clear, condensed notes should provide effective knowledge triggers in all subject areas.

Brillantmont august2016 1

By Sarah Frei, Brillantmont International School

Hard as it is to think about school when the sun burns bright above, it is nevertheless that time of year again when children are sharpening their pencils, packing their bags and worrying about what to wear on the first day back. Indeed, some may already be back in the classroom.

I'm lucky: my own two children love school and even during the first week of July were talking about the next school year, when frankly I was fed up with hearing the « s » word. However, for many children, returning to school can be a huge source of anguish, giving them a twisted knot in the pit of their stomachs. The root cause may have nothing at all to do with the learning: rather, the fears that torment them are about fitting in, popularity, being one of the crowd.

Middle School students are at a particularly vulnerable age. Look around any Middle School classroom and you'll see what I mean. The flat chested thirteen year old sits next to the eleven year old who still likes to play with Barbies but who struggles to accept that she already has the fully developed body of a grown woman. As for the boys, the one hunched up in the corner, attempting to hide the glaring pimples barely concealed in the dark stubble covered behind his hand, clearly eats industrial strength fertiliser every morning since he grows at least 5cm every night. His neighbour, meanwhile, would be blown over by a sudden gust of wind.

Raching your childs potential make your child happy

By Marianne Salem, Lake Leman International School, www.llis.ch

Your child isn’t reading at the same level as his or her classmates, or perhaps hasn’t as good a grasp of mathematics and science. Is it time to call in the specialists, or track down a tutor and pay for extra classes? We say no. Just like every adult has different abilities, every child is unique and learns at a different pace. It’s not about judging your child against the progress of others, rather it’s about helping them to find their path to fulfilling their own potential.

Education at its own speed
Some children have a natural aptitude for maths, while others have an affinity for the arts. Yet as parents, we may naturally want them to excel at subjects we believe will suit them best in life, gearing them towards traditional professions in law, medicine, engineering and academia.