A Parent and Child’s Journey

Most children will have attended a playgroup or childcare setting before they reach the age of five. There are many theories on whether or not early socialization is effective in determining children’s future academic success. Some say that a warm and responsive home will provide the child with enough benefit to become well balanced and…

Why Do We Choose Forest Schools?

The term “forest school” may conjure up romantic ideals of childhood, especially in cultures where parents are working hard and feeling pressured by deadlines, competition or hectic schedules. So what is a forest school really like and what do children do there? And if schoolchildren go to the forest every day, how will they learn…

Comedy and Control in the Classroom

Comedy is in the surprising; there is quirkiness and unpredictability in the lightness of humour. We laugh at an unexpected event, and therefore, it is undeniably funny to challenge authority. Perhaps the tension required to keep on track with our serious adult lives needs a release, whereas children’s daily routines at school are designed to…

The Schools in Your Neighborhood

I have lived in three quite diverse Swiss neighbourhoods since arriving here in 2002. The differences among them, in hindsight, are further accentuated for parents considering schools for their children. Any school has implications for a child’s future, so unless the parents gain an understanding of how their children learn, which style of learning and…

Developmental Daycare: Care with a Difference

To many of us working parents, the term “daycare” (Kindertagesstätte, Kita or Krippe in the German-speaking part of Switzerland) simply means taking responsibility for the safety and happiness of our children while we are working. In a developmental daycare, however, the backgrounds and training of the childcare workers lead to care with a difference. Good…

What Makes Children Happy At School?

This may seem an impossible question to answer. By reflecting on our own experiences and identifying what happiness at school or lack of it meant to us, we sometimes identify the key factors at certain periods of time in our own school careers. Some parents refer to particular classes, teachers, or extra-curricular activities that were…

Special Education Matters

When a teacher reports that a child is not progressing or fulfilling her potential at school, the parents suddenly have to face the emotional and turbulent challenge of exploring what the problem might be. Given that up to 20 percent of pupils develop problems with learning, schools have experience year on year with strategies that…

Long Travels with Children

We often wish that summer holidays could go on and on… well, they can! For this summer issue Monica Shah, our education columnist, interviewed mothers who have organised family super-breaks and sabbaticals. Perhaps this will tempt the travellers amongst you to organise an amazing opportunity – and give the armchair travellers something to dream about!…