• 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:

  • 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.

  • 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.

sabine revision2014

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 !

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By Denise Nickerson, Educational Consultant

Are you a parent of a teenager or a high school student? Do you find the thought of applying to universities stressful? It shouldn't be! It can be an exciting and fun experience for your whole family. If you are an international person, knowing how to begin the process is the key. How do you create a reasonable list of universities from literally thousands of global choices? What are the first steps? Some families decide on a country first, others let ambition guide them. I suggest a long first list, including many options that can be investigated - if you have the luxury of time. This info-graphic is designed to help you narrow down your choices without limiting yourself. You will find some tips about circumstantial parameters that ultimately make the choice easier. Enjoy, and give me a call if you'd like more guidance on the way to the right choice for you.

Click on the image if you would like to see a larger version.

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English and International Curricula – leading up to secondary school

In English-speaking classrooms at international schools throughout Switzerland, students will be following the International Baccalaureate curriculum. This begins at age 5, with the IB Curriculum Primary Years Programme (PYP), designed to equip children up to the age of 11 with all they need to begin the Middle Years Programme (MYP).  A large proportion of students continue studying the MYP until the age of 16, when they will have completed their secondary education. Then they will make the decision whether to go on to study the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB DP) or perhaps to switch to the English curriculum’s A Levels, depending their preferred style of learning.

Secondary school: GCSE or MYP?

Although many students and their parents are aware that there is a choice to be made between the IB DP and A-Levels following secondary school, fewer look critically at the option of MYP versus GCSE. In Switzerland in international schools, many students do continue the MYP until they are 16. However, some students, particularly those looking ahead to a place at an international university, may opt out of the MYP for the more structured iGCSEs.  The choice depends not only on the offering of the school, but the future plans of the student and their ability and study habits. Knowing what kind of student you are dealing with can be the difference between success and failure in choosing which curriculum they should follow.  

certificate transcript

By Denise Nickerson, Educational Consultant

It’s December, and for millions of high school seniors, or students in their final year of secondary school, it’s crunch time for college and university applications. Many colleges and universities (and even UCAS, the UK higher education application clearinghouse) have January deadlines for application materials. Before they take their IB, AP, Bac, or Matu exams, they are preparing the first job applications of their lives – applying to become uni students in the fall. For all students, but especially for international students, transcripts are a very important, heavily weighted part of the university application file.

What are transcripts?
Official transcripts are academic records. They are documents issued by a school or university that provide an educational record. They include dates, subjects studied, some kind of indication of how much time was spent studying each subject, and grades or evaluation received for each academic subject. On a transcript, it should be obvious if the student in question successfully completed his courses or not. Academic credit received may also be evident. Transcripts exist in almost every country, and are used by schools and universities all over the world. They cannot be created by a parent or a student, but must be issued, printed, certified or created by an educational institution (a school, college, university, or other professional institute). Report cards or grade reports can be made into transcripts if a school does not have a transcript system in place (usually with stamps and signatures obtained officially at the school).