FAQ

Is the French teacher mother tongue French and the English teacher mother tongue English?
Yes, they are

Are all subjects taught in French and English?
Yes, the teachers cover all the subjects in both languages. They plan ahead together to make sure they cover all the academic objectives.

What nationalities are the teachers?
They are Swiss, French, American, English, Irish, Italian, Brazilian, Australian

And the students?
They come from 35 different countries, from all continents. Often they have two nationalities, and maybe two cultures, two religions.

Which curriculum do you follow?
We have developed & written our own curriculum, which covers the expectations of both the Swiss programme (Plan d’Etudes Romand) and the British National curriculum. The programme is accredited by both governments, and our students take the exams of both countries.

Do the students do sports, dance, theater, music, arts?
Yes they do. Most of these subjects are taught by single subject teachers (theatre from age 3, dance and sport from age 4, music from age 6). They also do capoeira, hip hop, swimming and sailing also with single subject teachers.

Do you give grades?
There are no grades in the nursery, the students receive a photo assessment report with teachers’ comments about social skills, bilingualism and motor skills. From Grade 1P to 4P, the teachers evaluate the student’s overall achievement in each subject with a letter grading representing below expectations, meets expectations and above expectations. From Grade 5P to 8P, the overall achievements are marked from 1 to 6, with half-points. The passing mark is 4 out of 6.

How can I help my children settle into school?
We encourage the development of adaptability as an essential quality, an asset for your child’s whole life (school, professional career, personal life), but it takes time and effort to acquire it. A lot of encouragement is necessary, and empathy for his/her struggles, an understanding it’s not easy to adapt to one or two new languages, a new environment, way of teaching, friends, etc. Teachers are there to help, but also the other parents who will make you part of this new community, organising play dates for your child, taking part in the school activities (presentations, outings).

How can I help my children with homework?
There is no homework before Grade 3P. A basic guideline to the time
expected to be spent on homework assignments and individual study is:
Primary Grades 3P to 5P: 30 minutes, 6P and 7P: 45 minutes, Grade 8P: 1 hour maximum every evening.
Find a peaceful moment, after an afternoon snack, or his afterschool activities. Don’t try to do it for him/her! The importance of homework is to give the possibility for the teachers to see if your child manages to re-apply alone what he learned at school. Consider enrolling him to after-school homework with our supervising teachers if you feel any conflict of doing it at home.

What if I am worried about my child's progress?
Please contact the teachers, they will be happy to discuss your child’s progression. Remember that when a child is learning a new language, his progress in his mother tongue may slow down for a while, before picking up again. It’s a known learning curve.

Do you accept students with special needs?
Yes Mosaic is an inclusive school. For children with special needs, there are many benefits to an inclusive learning environment. Regardless of their ability level, children learn from one another. In an inclusive classroom, children with special needs have the opportunity to observe their peers, who serve as positive role models by demonstrating the skills that the teachers and therapists are trying to teach. Being an equal member of a classroom community provides many important social benefits as well, including increased self-esteem and the formation of friendships.
There are also many benefits for typically developing children, including learning tolerance, developing empathy and gaining an appreciation for diversity. The real world is a diverse mix of people with a wide range of abilities. At Mosaic, we feel that the sooner we start preparing pupils for this, the better.

Do you accept students at school when they are sick?
We follow the recommendations of Geneva Health Department
 (Service de la Santé de la Jeunesse). We ask parents to not send their child if he/she has a fever. Any medications that the child takes must be accompanied by a doctor’s prescription.

How does the school handle bullying?
The teachers are sensitive to this issue and proactive when working with the students to prevent this situation from happening. But we know it’s a reality in every school community, this is why we have limits and tools to prevent and react when bullying occurs: such as weekly class councils, the “How Full is Your Bucket” resource, it can also be mean having an external expert coming to talk to the children.

Is there WIFI in the classrooms?
Yes, with a password. Students are not allowed to have a portable phone in the school. They can access internet on school computers under teachers supervision and only in order to learn and to do research during class time.

What is the daily routine of a 3 year old?
Morning welcome time is essential. Children have till 9 am to settle into their classroom. They need time to transition from home to school. At 9 am teachers start the morning circle time followed by classroom activities. By mid-morning, they stop for a snack where we emphasize the use of the day language, and general table manners, followed by morning recess. After washing hands, dressing up, undressing, going to the bathroom, there is time for another activity before lunch time. For those staying for the whole day, there is a nap till about 3 pm. Artistic activities, snack and recess time will follow till 4 pm and the end of the day.

Do children have to be potty trained?
Not in the nursery class. But we do request the use of pull-ups. The teachers will work with parents ensuring that the child is potty trained by the end of school year.

Do you have a full day option in the nursery?
Yes, the choice is half day (8 to 12), half day with lunch (till 1 pm), or full day (till 4 pm, or 5.45 pm).

If my child does not speak French or English, how will he/she manage?
The teachers are used to having a child or children in their class who do not speak the language they are teaching in. They use a lot of pictures, objects and gestures to communicate with the children and will also encourage them to repeat the words and sentences to develop their speaking skills and vocabulary. The teachers also give a lot of praise when the children are starting to understand and speaking, this gives the child confidence and motivation to continue to learn.
The school offers a language tutoring programme starting in Grade 3P for the students who are not at the academic level of French or English. These students are taken out of class and put into small ability groups to develop comprehension, vocabulary, speaking, reading and writing skills.


How do you become bilingual?
During the first 3 years (nursery, grade 1P, grade 2P), the children alternate language on a weekly basis. There is an initial phase of adapting to the new language. The adaptation phase will vary from child to child, it can take from 2 weeks to 4 months for it to happen. During this time, we will help him/her understand for example by having another child translate. We discourage the translation by the teachers. If the child doesn’t speak any French or English, we may organise “buddies” from other classes who speak his/her language to come and spend some time with your child, so as to help alleviate the feeling of loneliness. After this stage, understanding will come fast and we will encourage the children to gradually start communicating in the new language. Speaking is not easy, as it requires self-confidence and risk-taking, we help that by separating the class regularly in small groups in order to promote speaking. Reading and writing are more technical, however children quickly understand how to use the skills in their native language to apply them to the new language. (For older children, see the question below about the language tutoring programme).

After how many years will my child be fluent in both languages?
In general we expect it to take three years for a child to acquire, develop and master the new language. The school has set up a structure supervised by the Head of Pedagogy to accommodate children with little or no knowledge of French and/or English.
As in the reception classes of public schools in Geneva, from Grade 3P, the children are taken out their class. A French or English tutor then work with the children from a period ranging from 2.5 to 6 hours weekly.

I work full time, till what time can my child stay at school?
Classes finish at 4 pm, but we have afterschool activities till 5.45 pm and 4pm on Wednesdays. Likewise, we have a morning welcome from 7.30 to 8 am.

Where do your students go after Mosaic?
Some move onto bilingual schools (Ecole Moser, International school of Geneva), others to purely French speaking schools (public school cycle, French baccalaureate programme), English speaking schools (British school of Geneva) and international schools abroad. We encourage parents to inform us of their choice in grade 7P so that we can help prepare a smooth transition into the new system.
Also, every other year, we organise a “coffee morning” on the thematic of Secondary schools and invite parents to meet with our guest speakers : heads and pedagogy heads of various private secondary schools of Geneva.

Do you have a gymnasium?
We have 150 sqm room dedicated to physical activities (gym, theatre, dance, capoeira, hip hop). We also organise outside school activities such as swimming lessons (from Grade 3P to 6P) and sailing lessons (for the Grade 7P and 8P)

Is there an uniform?
There is a Mosaic gym outfit which we require the children to wear on sports day.

Is my child going to mix up languages if we already speak two other languages at home?
No, languages are complex, not complicated. Child can make the difference between all the languages. We recommend that parents continue to speak and use their mother tongue(s), and introduce reading and writing in those languages too.

How can we participate in the school life?
At Mosaic, we value greatly the partnership with parents. This is why we have 2 class parents per class, who are the link of communication between teachers/school & parents. There is also a Parents association that helps us in organising events such as making costume for end of the year show and a yearbook committee.  We organise regular presentations at school where parents & families are invited, as well as exhibitions and plays. Parents are welcome to help during our various events (sports day, Escalade race, outings).  We also encourage parents to come in to classrooms and share stories, traditions, and special skills.