Alumni News

Aurore Alefsen -The things I know about learning and working at GES
Aurore Alefsen -The things I know about learning and working at GES

Aurore Alefsen has been PA to the Headmaster at GES for over two years, but this isn't the first time Aurore had been part of GES as she explains:

"My first time at GES was as a child in 1981! I studied here for four years until I moved to secondary in 1985. Prior to that I had been living with my family in Barbados where my dad worked with the United Nations. When we returned to Switzerland (my home country), my parents wanted me to continue my learning in English, which I'd been doing in Barbados, and so I came to study at GES. The school was smaller then and on a different location, but in so many ways it hasn't changed.

GES made me self-assured with my peers, and respectful of myself and others. It made me confident in my ability to learn, and the teachers made learning interesting. Sports played a big part in school life and I really enjoyed being part of a team. None of that has changed within GES today.

Back when I was a pupil at GES, there was a young teacher called Madame Blondeau and although I never had the chance to be taught by her, I always wanted to. Everyone loved her. She is still here today and still just as lovely! Even though she was never my teacher, she recognised me when I came for my interview. That sums up GES so much; every teacher knows every child and that creates such a wonderful community for us all.

A picture of my class photo when I was in Year 3 at GES in 1982.
I am wearing a GES T-shirt which is now considered a vintage collectible!

The GES Community

Many people; teachers, children, governors and parents, comment on this community feeling at GES. There's much demand for places at the school and I'm sure part of the reason is because of our school size and community spirit, just as much as our strong and consistent academic reputation. Our families like the fact that GES has kept its primary relatively small (280 children). We have a waiting list for admissions in some years but we believe our size is one of our best features, giving the children a strong sense of belonging and, as a result, empowerment.

Team work and mutual respect are our core values and these are helped so much by the fact that everyone knows each other. We would like the new GES Secondary to follow this same feel, creating a secondary school of a manageable size that feels personable for everyone. As an ex-pupil, I would have loved to have stayed on in such a learning environment. I can't tell you how thrilled I am about the new secondary school; it really is great to see this developing and to hear about the opportunities it will offer for secondary pupils. As PA to the Headmaster, I've been able to see these plans coming to fruition.

Supporting every pupil

In my role, I am aware of the priorities of our Head, Mr Meunier, that many people don't realise. As well as high level decision-making, meeting parents, leading assemblies and other such activities, he spends a lot of time discussing each pupil with appropriate staff; their achievements and challenges, their wellbeing and progress, and how we, as a school, can help them. Most people don't realise just how much we look out for every child at GES to make sure they are all doing as well as they can.

Mr Meunier is a very friendly Head. The children find it easy to talk to him and he does a great job communicating with the pupils and making them feel empowered. He promotes the community spirit and participates in the school council to hear what the children have to say and to give them all the encouragement and support they need.

Remaining a part of the GES community

I am proud that I'm a long-established part of the GES community. As a former pupil, I am a member of the GES Alumni platform. I love exploring the platform and looking at the old photos from the 1980's! I've been able to invite my old classmates to join and it's been great to reconnect with my former flatmate. I'll really enjoy the platform as the alumni grows.