École Moser in Geneva. © AURÉLIEN BERGOT
École Moser in Geneva. © AURÉLIEN BERGOT
École Moser
4 Jun 2020

École Moser was founded by Mr Henri Moser in 1961 and is now run by his son Alain Moser. It is one of the last family‑run private schools in French‑speaking Switzerland.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way the school operates. How do you see the school after COVID?

COVID-19 may have emptied and closed the school buildings overnight, but our school opened the very next day ‘virtually’ and not one lesson was missed.  Every teacher and pupil were able to maintain their pedagogic relationship in a stable and secure learning environment, which was very reassuring for all in these unsettling times.

Ecole Moser’s pedagogy has valorised the use of teaching and learning technology for several years.  The school has invested heavily in creating an infrastructure that has integrated ICT seamlessly into the daily experience of teaching and learning. 1:1 technology, interactive white boards, online learning platforms and a dedicated ‘Moser Lab’ ICT hub, have successfully enabled us to breakdown the artificial distinction between the classroom and home. It was this tradition of a more ‘blended’ learning environment that made the transition to distance learning during the recent school lockdown relatively straight forward.

Alain Moser, Director General of École Moser. © École Moser

Alain Moser, Director General of École Moser.
© École Moser

It is located in Geneva, Nyon and Berlin and takes pupils from primary school to pre‑university (pupils from 8 to 18 years old).
In Ecole Moser, the teaching is innovative, multilingual and based on dynamic learning methodologies.

— Alain Moser

Our surveys of parents have confirmed that the effectiveness of our virtual school provision has been highly appreciated. And as the schools gradually re-open, this system is also easing the transition back to normality as pupils take it in turns to come to face-to-face lessons, while the others participate in the same lesson via video link at home or in an adjacent classroom. Based on this successful experience, we plan to further develop online support solutions for our students, for example, expanding our successful interactive video lessons www.matuonline.ch  In brief,  COVID-19 has confirmed the importance and efficacity of the school’s digital strategy and our commitment to the digital future of teaching and learning.

How do you differentiate yourself from other international schools in Geneva and its surroundings?

The ecology of Ecole Moser is on a human scale, adapted to the needs of our local families. Our teaching and learning philosophies reflect this. Our school environment follows the ‘Positive Discipline’ framework. It is rigorous and supportive. Our teaching is child centred and differentiated, our classes are small, and pupils are guided individually. Every day after school from 3.45 to 5.00 pm we offer “appuis” where students can get help and support from their subject teachers.

The agenda for this support time is determined by the students themselves on a basis of individual need.  This personal tuition allows them to, for example, ask questions, practise orals, listen to further explanations or improve their subject methodology.

École Moser in Nyon. © AURÉLIEN BERGOT

The learning of languages in an immersive context (CLIL) is another centrally important characteristic of Ecole Moser. Starting in primary, pupils can learn and access subject content in a language other than French. This system is highly flexible and encourages an impressive level of linguistic ambidexterity.  

For example, in 6e Primary, arts, music and sport are taught in German while history is taught in English. In 7e Primary, arts and geography are taught in German while ‘art of thinking’ is taught in English. In 8e Primary, geography and biology are taught in German while mathematics is taught in English. This logically leads to the possibility for older students to join either of the two bilingual sections (French/German – French/English) in the Secondary school. Over 50% of Secondary 2 students (ages 15-18) in Geneva and Nyon are currently studying in one of the bilingual sections.

Ecole Moser is the only school in French-speaking Switzerland to offer the double diploma which enables the same student to gain both the Swiss Maturité and the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

— Alain Moser 

For many families, the most valued feature of Ecole Moser is our exceptional success rates in the Maturité exams. Our pedagogy in Maturité classes is based on a pre-university system for the last three years. For example, pupils might sit in an auditorium and listen to short lectures and then split into groups to share and collaborate in order to complete their work. Teams of teachers cooperate and co-teach in most Maturité classes; encountering several points of view and having a team of teachers to refer to is an enrichment for all. And now Ecole Moser is offering the possibility for students to prepare for the double diploma of Maturité / IB.

This double diploma combines the traditional subject-based academic rigour of the Swiss Maturity with the 21st century skills-based approach of the International Baccalaureate. Pupils will not have to choose between the two diplomas but will be offered the unique opportunity to graduate in both systems.

Children of international civil servants represent a large percentage of the students enrolled in your school. The rules for the reimbursement of school fees have changed, putting a strain on the budget of some families. Do you plan to take measures to remain competitive with other schools?

Ecole Moser is aware of this new situation for international staff and will maintain what are already some of the lowest school fees in French-speaking Switzerland. We make the joint advantages of a Swiss and international education relatively affordable. But it is important to note that Ecole Moser is fully 21st century orientated. Ecole Moser is a Swiss school that recognises and promotes universal values, social and cultural diversity, whilst providing a uniquely innovative pedagogic environment to challenge each and every child.

* Alain Moser is Director General of Ecole Moser.
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