• British School of Geneva
  • LCIS La Côte International School - Admissions are open July & August 2020
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  • Haut-Lac International Bilingual School

natalie perrin1

Special offer for knowitall.ch readers includes half price introductory private lesson (more details below).

A new tutoring service has been launched, which is proving popular with both parents and their teenage kids.

Called Optimise You, the service includes English tutoring for Anglophones, as well as UCAS support, career guidance, communication skills and creative writing workshops for teens.

Launched a few months ago by Natalie Adams Perrin, former Head of English at a private international school in Geneva, Optimise You instils a real joy for learning in students that makes them look forward to lessons and come back again…and again!

Asked why she decided to set up her own tutoring service, Natalie told us, “When I left my job, I still had parents contacting me for advice about English, educational choices, and university advice.  Nowadays, there are so many choices available to students and it can be overwhelming.  It is not just about academic achievement either.  We expect students to be excellent all-rounders and this is further highlighted when they have to write their personal statement.  I want to be there to take some of the pressure off both the students and the parents to help them achieve their goals.”

Services offered by Optimise You

Natalie offers general guidance on a wide range of educational topics but her services fall into 6 main categories:

  • Bespoke English services depending on individual needs (this might be for IGCSE English, IB coursework, homework support, essay writing, etc.)
  • 1 to 1 Personal Statement support
  • Extended Essay guidance
  • Study skills, personal organization and coaching for academic success
  • Communication skills and developing EQ (a new service in response to parents asking for further workshops)
  • Coaching for success – time management skills, organizational skills, career planning, developing a vision, and transitioning to university are just some of the services that Natalie has offered in the past.

BSG reception year september 17
While all teachers in the region were preparing for the new school year, those at the British School of Geneva had an extra reason to look forward to the start of term since, for the first time, BSG welcomed a class of Reception year students. These eager four-year olds occupied the front-row, centre spot at the whole-school assembly on Day 1, and have found their place in the school’s happy and busy environment ever since.

This small group of students is led by teacher Isabella Farrar, as well as a teaching assistant. Miss Farrar told knowitall.ch, “In our first few days, we have been working hard to create an environment in which each child feels safe to explore, ask questions and develop their innate sense of curiosity. I’m thrilled to be teaching our new Reception class, and I’m looking forward to helping my students become confident and independent thinkers.”

Since it opened its doors more than ten years ago, BSG has grown steadily and now counts more than 200 students on roll. It remains the only school in the region that brings the English National Curriculum to children from Primary straight through to A Levels (a pre-university qualification), but despite its student body having such a broad range of ages, it has retained its small-school feel. This year, there are more than 50 nationalities represented in its classrooms, which naturally means that students understand what it means to be “the new kid”, and the importance of a warm welcome. This ethos can make all the difference to a young child just starting school.


It was back to school recently for GEMS World Academy Switzerland (GWAS), an international school for children ages 3 to 18, located in Etoy between Geneva and Lausanne. The growing school is welcoming many new families and teachers, as well as returning students and staff.

One returning teacher in particular is generating a lot of excitement at the school; Melissa Pritchard, a grade 4 Primary teacher at GEMS, is just back from competing in the fifth edition of the Transcontinental Bike Race (TCR), a challenging self-supported bike race across almost 4,000km of Europe. Melissa was the first woman to arrive at the finish this year, completing the race in 13 days, one hour and 29 minutes.

Transcontinental Bike Race (TCR}: http://www.transcontinental.cc

TCR is one of the toughest annual ultra-endurance and ultra-distance cycling races.

#TCRNoS began on Friday 28th of July in Geraardsbergen, Belgium and finished in Meteora Monasteries, Greece. Although each participant was free to plan their own route, they had to pass by the following four checkpoints:

  • CPl - Schloss Lichtenstein, Germany
  • CP2 - Monte Grappa, Italy
  • CP3 - High Tatras Mountains, Slovakia
  • CP4 - Transfagarasan Highway, Romania

Although 236 single riders and another 28 paired riders signed up for the challenge, by August 9th, with the effects of heatwave Lucifer, the number of active participants was down to 160 racers. The first place winner, James Hayden, finished in 8 days, 23 hours and 14 minutes.

La Cote Oxbridge 500

La Côte International School has just announced that 2016 graduate Alex Constantinou has been offered a place at Cambridge University. This is the first Oxbridge admission for the school, which saw its first cohort of International Baccalaureate students graduate in 2015.

Congratulations go to graduate Alex Constantinou, who has been offered a place at Cambridge University, one of the most prestigious educational establishments worldwide, and ranked globally amongst the world's top four best universities year after year.

Alex will be joining Clare College, the second oldest of Cambridge's thirty-one colleges, founded in 1326 and located at the heart of the highly regarded British university town.

Wendy Ellis, Principal at La Côte International School, shared her delight with the entire school community: "We were very pleased with the news that Alexander Constantinou, who deferred his university entry by a year as he was too young, has been offered a place at Clare College, Cambridge to read Mathematics and Physics for this September."

La Cote Jardin d Enfants2

A bilingual early years learning programme has been created for children aged 2 to 3 years at La Côte International School in Aubonne. The new programme is a welcome option for parents, especially mothers who are looking for a flexible part-time kindergarten place for their child but who are often not granted a place elsewhere because they are currently not working. The new Early Year Foundation 0 class for children aged 2 to 3 complements the current pre-school offer at LCIS which runs from Foundation 1 (ages 3 to 4) to Foundation 2 (ages 4 to 5).

7 areas of learning

The new programme will be offered by what is effectively a Jardin d’Enfants, set up within the campus of the school. It will be based on the the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) educational programme, which prepares children for the English National Curriculum at Primary Level.  So, in contrast to those creches which adopt a less structured approach, the new Jardin d'Enfants will get children involved in activities that prepare them on a pedagogical level, helping them develop clear milestones and objectives.

Explainining the concept in more detail to knowitall.ch, Principal Wendy Ellis told knowitall.ch, “By observing and recording each stage of their development, our practitioners will guide the children through play and planned activities, to ensure that they gain experiences based on all 7 areas of learning of the EYFS programme, namely: personal, social and emotional development; communication and language skills; physical development; mathematical learning; an understanding of the world; creative development; and, last but not least, a love of literacy!”