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GSIS Gazette – Issue #24

11th September 2020

Clare Chiu
Managing Director

Early Release Pass
Free and Voluntary Covid-19 Testing

From Head of German International Stream

Grit Cichon
Deputy Principal / Head of German International Stream

Kindergarten Corner

Primary Corner

Secondary Corner

From Head of English International Stream

The Future of Schools

It was with great sadness that I heard of the recent passing of one of my educational heroes, Sir Ken Robinson, whose TEDTalk on creativity in schools is one of the most-watched of all time (currently just half a million short of the population of the UK!). He had long been an advocate of moving schools away from an industrial model of education towards a more personalised system focused on inspiring students to engage with dynamic learning rather than standardised testing and rote learning. His books, Out of Our Minds and The Element, encourage us to seek to achieve our creative potential and outline how finding our passion can change everything. Both certainly worth a read.

Robinson spent the last ten years examining how schools might evolve away from the reliance on testing and dogmatic learning, which can have the combined effect of disenfranchising students from their own education. Whilst I am confident in the impact and effect of a GSIS education, we still need to be responsive to an ever-changing world and ensure that our students are developing the economic, cultural, social and personal skills necessary to confront the challenges ahead.

Dr. Conrad Hughes, Campus Principal at the International School of Geneva and senior fellow at UNESCO’s International Bureau Education, has identified three ‘challenges to humanity’ of which we should take note as they will influence the skills, aptitudes and personal qualities that we need to build in our children:

  1. Human economic and consumerist activity is modifying and ultimately destroying the planet.
  2. High-performing algorithms, the exploitation of behavioural surplus by tech companies and the outsourcing of human labour by artificial intelligence is challenging what it means to be human and the skills that will be needed in the market place.
  3. The gap between rich and poor is widening, extremist ideology is on the rise in many countries and conflicts break out regularly across the globe.

Hughes, C. (2020) The Universal Learning Programme


Date accessed: 25th August 2020

This is the world that our children will need to navigate so we must equip them appropriately, not just academically but also, through the synthesis of everything we do, to ensure that each child develops the resilience, integrity, self-respect and self-awareness to ensure their intellectual, emotional and physical wellbeing.

Our challenge is to transform GSIS into an increasingly dynamic place for learning and teaching for all students and staff supported by an inspiring environment and a dynamic infrastructure. Our collective aim is to evolve into a continuously self-improving school that understands what it does well and what it needs to do to improve. The school’s Strategic Development Plan will ensure progression towards these goals and will drive our decision-making over the next twelve months as well as bringing our horizon into sharper relief.

KPR Elections & Communication

Thank you to all the parents who joined the Klassenpflegschafts-Representative (KPR) meetings over the past two weeks in the English International Stream; I look forward to working with you over the coming months. The role of the KPR is an important one that helps support open communication between the school and parents, serving a vital function as we seek to rebuild our community over the coming year.

Nevertheless, we would again like to urge parents to contact school directly with any individual issues to do with their child as we are best placed to deal with any concerns. Also, we would encourage you to please think carefully about what you share on school-based WhatsApp group chats. I do not belong to any of these myself but some of the comments that have been shared with me have been quite inflammatory whilst others are downright disrespectful. As a community, we need to commit to open, honest and respectful communication.

I offer the following suggestions for group chats that might help promote a more positive atmosphere for communication:

Try not to write or send anything in a moment of heightened emotion.

Check facts before posting.

Never write a post about someone that you would not be willing to say to them directly.

Please challenge any inappropriate use of group chats and in extreme cases bring them to the attention of the school.

Return to school

And finally, we are all very excited at the prospect of seeing some of our students again next week during our soft opening phase and in increasing numbers the following weeks.

With kind regards

Simon Misso-Veness
Deputy Principal / Head of English International Stream

Kindergarten Corner

Primary Corner

Secondary Corner