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gems oscars
Image from Vimeo © California Film Institute

Juan-Felipe Pardo, an educational facilitator and audio-visual technician at GEMS World Academy Switzerland, has produced the main theme music for one of the foreign films nominated at this year's Oscars ceremony.

Called ‘Embrace of the Serpent’, the film was directed by Ciro Guerra and received a nomination in the Foreign Language category. Last year, the film also received the Art Cinema Award at the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs in Cannes. Click here to watch the video clip for the main theme music by Juan-Felipe Pardo

Set in the heart of the jungle, the film tells the story of a shaman who meets an American ethno-botanist in search of a mysterious sacred plant. Born in Columbia, Juan-Felipe is passionate about the Amazon forest, indigenous medicinal plants and traditional healing songs, making him the ideal candidate to share his music for this film.

“This is a real honour for me. I am proud that Ciro Guerra asked me to use my music for his film. The Amazon means a lot to me and to compose music using traditional elements of my country is a real inspiration,” declared Juan-Felipe Pardo. “To tell a story and transmit a message in music or film you need to hear and see with your heart, feel with your guts and then just do it.”

GES newschool1

Geneva English School welcomes Year 7 pupils from September 2016 and opens new secondary campus from September 2017.

A new British international secondary school is set to open its doors to English-speaking expatriate and local students in Geneva.  Building on the success of the highly popular Geneva English School for primary and early years children aged 3 to 11, the new secondary school will welcome Year 7 pupils at its existing campus in Genthod from September 2016, and will open a new secondary campus in the neighboring vicinity from September 2017.

Established in 1961, Geneva English School (GES) has a small school ethos, with a reputation for a strong community spirit and high academic standards. Even with the recent opening of a new nursery section and the creation of parallel classes in most year groups, the school has succeeded in keeping student numbers below 300. With the addition of the new campus, the school plans to restrict numbers to about 500 students in total.

Mark Williams, Chairman of the GES Board of Governors, told knowitall.ch, “By limiting the student population to around 500, we are confident that both the personal and academic and needs of every individual child can be met. Our research tells us that there is a market for expatriate and local families wanting their children to move into a secondary school that has the same atmosphere as the current GES, with the same approach to driving up excellent academic standards and providing all-round experience, which is stimulating and appealing to young people as they grow up through their teenage years. Our new secondary school will provide an alternative choice amidst the many expansive international schools within the region, some of which have student populations in excess of 1,500,”

LLIS Hamamy

Lake Léman International School (LLIS) has just announced that the future development of the school is now assured through the support of MHM Swiss Educational Services SA, a new Swiss company, headed by the well-respected Hamamy family. Owners of ten schools in Egypt, the Hamamy family is proud to make this new connection with LLIS, which will provide a platform in Switzerland for further expansion.

Executive Director, Marianne Salem, told knowitall.ch, "The ethos of LLIS will remain unchanged whilst the Hamamy family assures the school's growth for many years to come. We will also continue to develop and enhance our programme as much as ever, with the latest addition being weekly Music and Drama lessons led by a specialist teacher."

lacote flashmob

Early this week, passers-by at the Place de la Palud in Lausanne were treated to an impromptu performance. Fifty brave students from La Côte International School, gave life to their school motto - "Be Ambitious" - and took the streets of Lausanne to perform a singing flashmob. The young singers, aged between 12 and 14, popped out from all directions in Lausanne old town and moved towards the Fountain of Justice singing "Best Day of My Life."

The flashmob idea came about following news that the school choir has been selected to perform in "Champions!", an extraordinary show taking place on Friday, 20 and Saturday, 21 November in the Place de la Riponne in Lausanne to mark the 100 years anniversary of the IOC in Lausanne. Nearly 100 students will participate in the performance and sing in the finale. Students are looking forward to take part in this once in a lifetime experience and perform in a large-scale artistic production alongside pop singer Bastian Baker and Olympic Medalist Stéphane Lambiel. Encouraged to push their limits by their Performing Arts teacher, they have made a bold move before the show and turned the streets of Lausanne into their stage.


Earlier this month, an inauguration ceremony took place at the International School of Lausanne (ISL) to mark the official opening of a new, widely expanded campus in Le Mont-sur-Lausanne. ISL is an international IB English language not-for-profit school, currently educating 820 students of 66 nationalities.

The new campus is the result of a Fr. 46 million investment by the school in a 2-year project, which has seen the floor area double from 11,300 to 23,300 metres square, and the total area of the campus increase to 42,300 metres square.