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  • British School of Geneva - BSG THE ARK - Preparing autistic teens for life - International school with English curriculum

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Montessori Seeds of Knowledge was started in 2011, where there were 12 students aged 3-6 in a classroom in Tartegnin, and 7 students aged 6-12 at a class in Les Fontaines, Nyon. By 2012, the school had grown to include a 3-6 classroom in Nyon as well. In 2015, the school needed to expand further and moved to Vich, where it stayed for 5 years. Then in the summer of 2021, the school moved to custom built premises in Etoy. With the recent move to an amazing space, it was time to catch up with the founder of the school, Marie Littman.

Why did you start the school?
When Madame Littman started working in education, she felt that the common focus of the school establishments was often on financial turnover or the needs of the adults. And so, it was her dream to create a school that was truly child centered, where the child was the absolute focus.

What was the inspiration?
When Madame Littman was doing her ecole educatrice training, she discovered the Montessori pedagogy, and thought it was absolutely marvellous. She was inspired to create a real Montessori school, where the adults were happy to come to work and the children were engaged in their work and wanted to attend.

What is the biggest obstacle that you have had to overcome?
Trying to find a beautiful building that could offer everything that the pedagogy requires and an outdoor space has been challenging. The buildings were either unsuitable or the communes were not keen on the idea of having a school set up in the proposed premises. Now the school has moved to Etoy, which is slightly outside of the Nyon area where the school had an established reputation, so we must start to build up the reputation again. However, the new premises are magnificent with lots of light and space. Through this, Madame Littman’s dream is being realised. Currently, the new playground is being installed, and the children are very excited about this. Whilst the move has been challenging, with a new catchment area and lots of shipment delays due to the COVID pandemic, the student, parent and teaching community are very happy.

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In April of last year, the British School of Geneva became part of International Schools Partnership whose network of schools is recognised across local communities and the global education sector for amazing learning. ISP’s key principles, as highlighted on their website, include:

  • Treat everyone with care and respect; we look after one another, embrace similarities and differences and promote the well-being of each other.
  • Begin with our children and students; our children and students are at the heart of our business. Simply, their success is our success.

The Ark Centre for Autism
Launched in September 2020 at the British School of Geneva, The Ark, is unique in Geneva: an English-language centre for autistic teens, part of a mainstream school, teaching the English National Curriculum as well as the life skills these students will need as they prepare for adulthood.

This specialised unit is dedicated to providing English-speaking teens with autism an opportunity to develop their academic, social, personal and employability skills.

In addition to delivering the English National Curriculum, BSG is registered with ASDAN, whose programmes and qualifications help young people develop knowledge and skills for learning, work and life. Based on students’ levels and needs, ASDAN modules taught could include such topics as Expressive Arts, Preparing for Adulthood and Living Independently.

The daily schedule in The Ark is designed to best accommodate students’ learning, sensory and social skills needs.

David Duffy, the new music teacher at The Ark
New this year at The Ark: music is an important part of the curriculum thanks to weekly visits from David Duffy who brings with him a selection of instruments, his marvelous singing voice, and good humour.

A charismatic performer, multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, David takes great pleasure in sharing his love of music through teaching children and adults of all levels, on a variety of instruments (violin, vocals, mandolin, banjo, guitar, bass, saxophone, piano, and drums) and in various styles (Irish Folk/Tradition, Country/Bluegrass, Classical, Pop and Rock). Having always been passionate about the therapeutic value of music for those living with illness and disability, fatherhood has brought him an even deeper appreciation for the power of imaginative and mindful practices to allow children of all ages to appreciate and enjoy music. David has an uncle with autism and he has had a big influence in his life as well.

David’s technical ability is matched only by his enthusiastic and personable approach, the unique combination of which allow him to instil technical and transferable skills in his students, whilst developing a positive, lifelong association between music and joyful expression.

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Are you ready to explore graduate programmes in a free and welcoming environment? Then it’s time to get proactive about your future at the Access Masters online event on 1st December in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

For the past 12 years, Access Masters has helped thousands of prospective graduate students find the best programme that meets their needs. Now you can finally enjoy the variety of options too. On 1st December, you will have the opportunity to talk to representatives from top-ranked and accredited schools from France, Canada, the US, and more.

The event is so full of new activities and interactive formats that you are sure to leave with a study plan in mind. But if you want more, you can have it. Participants can ask more questions and organise more meetings with schools even after the date of the event. Map your exciting future in just over two hours!

Top 3 event benefits everyone enjoys at Access Masters:

1. Personalised guidance and school orientation
Graduate schools are not a one size fits all. You need a Master’s programme that matches your needs and preferences. During the event, you will have a personal education adviser to guide you to the best programmes for you in Business, Management, and Finance. Whether you are just starting your search, or you already have some idea of what you want to study, the online event will make your choice easier.

2. Diverse workshops, presentations, and discussions
Webinars are not enough to help you pick a school. At Access Masters, you take part in a lively and interactive event with many different formats. Talk to school representatives from around the world, including ESMT Berlin, ESSEC Business School, and Hult International Business School, during personalised video tape meetings. Learn the most interesting details about various Master’s programmes during school presentations. Get ready for GMAT and other tests during practical workshops. You choose how to get to know top universities in an easy and insightful way.

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We were thrilled to recently visit Surval, an all girls boarding school above Montreux. The school offers comfort and luxury but with a cosy and friendly family atmosphere. Stunning lake views are had from every room. On the occasion of Surval's 60th anniversary, we met with the new Principal, Nicola Dudley, who was happy to give us more information about who she is and the advantages of an all-girls education.

Ms Dudley, please tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
Proud to call Scotland my home, I also enjoy the fascination and adventure of working and living internationally. After spending the early part of my teaching career as a French and German teacher and senior leader in schools in Scotland, I moved into wider leadership roles in education, and most recently I have been based in Hong Kong. How have I come to be in Surval from Hong Kong, you may ask. The school in Hong Kong could not be more different in context, scale and setting to Surval Montreux. I was both intrigued and excited by Surval, a place where I find all the elements which are important to me coming together in one unique school - the individual attention to each student, the emphasis on enrichment for personal development, the blend of culture, languages, travel and global perspectives, and all in this beautiful corner of Switzerland where I also get to revive my French! As an outdoor pursuits enthusiast, I am looking forward to exploiting the authentic opportunities for personal development provided by the beautiful outdoors environment on our doorstep.

Who has been an inspiration to you personally?
I think back to the first Headmaster I worked for and recognise the impact he had on the development of my educational philosophy. He instilled in me a deep belief in the importance of a holistic approach in schools where each member of staff has a role to play in the academic, social, emotional and wider development of the students, and the belief that every student can succeed in the right environment with the right support.

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Do you want to take your career to a new level and uncover your leadership potential? Then join the Access MBA free online event in Switzerland on 11 October 2021, 17h-20h15. Sign-up now as Access MBA need time register the profiles of the registrants in order to match them with the universities.

Access MBA educates, matches, and connects prospective MBA applicants with accredited and top-ranked business schools from around the globe. On 11 October you will have the ideal opportunity to learn more about the world’s most recognised business degrees.

Speak with admissions directors of leading international institutions from Switzerland, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and more. Participating universities are:

  • HEC Lausanne
  • IMD Lausanne, MBA & IMD EMBA
  • Copenhagen Business School
  • IESE Business School
  • University of St. Gallen MBA-HSG
  • Imperial College Business School
  • Strathclyde University – Switzerland
  • HEC Montreal
  • WU Executive Academy
  • HEC Paris
  • HEC Executive - HEC Paris EMBA
  • MIP - Politecnico di Milano
  • ESCP Europe Berlin
  • University of Geneva
  • IE Business School
  • HULT International Business School
  • ESCP Europe Berlin – MBA
  • University of Zurich
  • Manchester Business School
  • Duke University - The Fuqua School of Business
  • Esade Business School - Fundacio Esade
  • IESE Executive MBA Munich
  • IESE Global Executive MBA