Have a great summer!

We have now reached the end of the school year. While it has been an unexpected start to 2020, I think we have a lot to celebrate and be proud of from when we came together in August 2019.

The school year started strong with the boys bonding well and us seeing a great comradery form. It was great to see returning students help to guide and assist new students and for older students to help out the younger grades. The inaugural Mountain Weekend which we had at the beginning of the year allowed the students to bond over activities and get to know each other. This then allowed us to put forward strong results in the House Competitions in which we held 1st place.

The beginning of the school year seen us enjoy our activities program after school but also at the weekends. This also included our weekend trips and events. We also started our Wellbeing Programme in which we tried to educate our students on being responsible world citizens and also put focus on looking after themselves.

When COVID-19 disrupted our school year this demonstrated the resilience and adaptability of the school and the students. We engaged in a new way of learning and interacting with each other which will only make us stronger.

 

Wellbeing Tutorial

This weeks wellbeing tutorial continued us on the fourth pillar of Making Safe & Responsible Choices

This week we focused on Responsibilities

We discussed with the students that each of us have different responsibilities within our roles here at school. From the teachers, to management, to House Parents, to the students. We focused on what they believed where their responsibilities as students in CDL. We did a brainstorming session on the board to view their thoughts. These included; studying, being good, no fighting or bullying, being nice to everyone, respecting teachers, working hard in class, making parents proud, signing out, using study hall well, having fun, meeting new people and many many more.

We then tried to group these together to find the main themes. These were narrowed down to; Doing well academically, Respecting the rules and having Healthy relationships.

We then focused on Doing Well Academically and looked at an online test hosted by EducationPlanner.org. The test was only 20 questions but helped the students identify what kind of learning style they had. The students found this test quite accurate. However, most importantly the test also provided helpful hints and tips for the students based specifically on their learning style. Such as Tactile Learners, having something to fidget with in class. Visual learners, making sure they use a highlighter on their notes etc.

It was then proposed to the students, that this is an example of their responsibility. Aimed with advice and knowledge on how to improve, would they then take on the responsibility to apply it.

Wellbeing Tutorial

This weeks wellbeing tutorial started us on the fourth pillar of Making Safe & Responsible Choices

This week we focused on the Introduction to the Pillar and Facts about Drugs

For this week we first explored what the fourth pillar would include. This is a vast topic which incorporates many aspects of life. We will be covering drugs, alcohol, vaping, student voice, sexual consent, time management and risk awareness. This is such an important topic for our students at this age. They are surrounded by many influences both online and in real life. There is much temptation and it’s important they develop their own strong healthy morals and ideals.

Drugs

This will be a two-part topic, with this first session being an overall introduction to gather initial thoughts and opinions as to what the student’s perception is towards drugs. We started by gaining the student’s knowledge of what they considered recreational drugs to be. We explored the names these drugs were known by and also the nicknames. We then divided the group into pairs and each pair took a drug to do some research on. They fed back to the group facts about the drugs to break any myths or preconceptions they may have had.

International Dinner- British

On Tuesday night, as usual, we had our celebration of international food. This weeks theme was British. This was of great interest to Mr Morgan and Mr Gordon to see what would be produced to celebrate their culture. There was no disappointment with a traditional Fish & Chips, along with Roast Beef and Baked Potatoes.

February Boarding Assembly

This week we had our monthly Boarding Assembly. A great opportunity for everyone to get together and share news from the month along with any announcements and any accomplishments.

This month was led by Mr Salva and we covered the topics of our News Reporter initiative and the Coronavirus, along with the sharing of good news and information.

We also had our very own Gabriel giving an impressive music performance which can be seen HERE.

 

Christine did a fantastic presentation on the Coronavirus which gave factual information and urged people to not stigmatise anyone else and remain level headed regarding this.

“This is time for science, not rumor,

this is time for solidarity, not stigma”

Mr Rob and Mr James presented the new initiative for the World Reporter. This will be a committee of students who have an interest in world news, current affairs or journalism. They will meet each month to decide which current topics are most relevant to our student population and then present these in our Boarding Assembly.

Gabriels Musical Performance

In our monthly Boarding Assembly, we had the privilege of Gabriel performing for us.

Gabriel has self-taught himself how to use a looping machine. With this device, Gabriel can create a sound with his voice, such as beatboxing, record it, and then have the machine play it over and over while he then records another sound or sings.

Everything you will hear in this video has been made by Gabriels voice recorded live on the evening.

International Dinner- Portuguese

On Tuesday we had our weekly international dinner evening. This time we got to enjoy the delights of Portugal. The best part of the evening, in my opinion, was the Pasteis Nata which are a delectable dessert. Thankfully we can also get these desserts at our local Epicerie Pont-Céard.

Wellbeing Tutorial

This weeks wellbeing tutorial was continuing on the third pillar of Building Positive Friendships

This week we focused on Role Models

For this week we first explored what our definition of a role model was. Although each of us has an understanding of what a role model is, the boys found it difficult to come up with a succinct description. It was easier to compile a list of words regarding what a role model should be. However, we landed to the simplicity of “someone you look up to”. This allowed us then to discuss that this could either be positive or negative and therefore concluding a role model must be a positive influence that we look up to.

We then shared a worksheet with the boys that asked a number of questions, here is a summary of some of the answers (repetitions have been omitted);

What are the characteristics of a good role model? 

honest, helpful, successful, humorous, wise, smart, respectful, loving, interesting, ambitious, achiever, caring, happy, kind, doesn’t do bad things, nice, friendly, social, a leader, strong, fair, hard-working, peaceful, open-minded, loyal, brave, never gives up, encouraging, calm, inspiring, genius, ambitious, talented, iron-willed, great, polite, likeable, thoughtful, rich, handsome, healthy, good appearance, power, cool, chilled, funny.

Who is a role model for you in your life?

Julias Caesar, My Dad, Bill Gates, My uncle, JoySad, Captain America, Henry, Parents, Lebron James, Warren Buffett, My grandfather- (the majority choose their parents)

Why are they a role model for you?

he is honest; they are successful; they have the qualities above; because he is rich and successful; I look up to his achievements; they reached everything they could wish for because they worked hard; because he has the spirit to win and works hard which encourages me; if you watch the Marvel movies you would know; because he is perfect; because he is the best support for everything and always helps people and never gives up; he gives me good advice and helps me in and out of school; he earned alot from using a clever mind; they worked hard; because I want to make him proud; he was the greatest ruler of all time; he is funny.

Who is your role model within your peer group/boarding community?

Adam; Minghe; Tom; Henry; House Parents; Mishaal; Zihao; Mr Usher and Salva

Do you think you are a good role model?

No – 3    Yes- 11    Not Sure – 12

What characteristics of a role model do you have?

I am smart; to be honest; everything; nice, good, respectful, wise; caring, loving, pure-hearted; im kind, helpful and people look up to me; Friendship, cleverness, strongness; success and I’m clever; nice, smart, helpful; friendly; funny; kind; handsome and helpful; smart; helpful, a good friend and brave; calm; intelligent, shrewd, talented, wise; chill;

 

This was a great exercise to do with the boys as it not only taught them; what a positive role model should be, it also got them to appreciate those that they do have in their life and to reflect on whether they were presenting themselves as a role model to others.

Ski Day in Villars

On Saturday the students had another opportunity to go skiing or snowboarding. This is in addition to our two mountain weekends. We had 4 people from Leman 1 choose to take advantage of this and they had great conditions for a good day on the piste. They went to a new location in Switzerland called Villars. We will offer another two ski days in March.

CDL Talks

On Tuesday we had our 3rd instalment of CDL Talks. This was with guest speaker  Ismael Fernandez who came to talk about “How to turn your passion into your job”

 

Crans Montana

Last weekend we had our first Winter Weekend up in Crans Montana. This is an annual opportunity for the students to get to experience the snowy mountainous area. They had the options to Ski, Snowboard or take part in a varied amount of other activities.

We will have a 2nd weekend in Crans Montana at the end of February.

Wellbeing Tutorial

This weeks wellbeing tutorial was continuing on the third pillar of Building Positive Friendships

This week we focused on Friendship Groups. 

For this week we looked to the animal kingdom to help understand and compare the different types of roles there are in Friendship Groups.

Chickens

Chickens form a tight group and it is very difficult for a new chicken to be added to the group. In most cases when this happens, the group will attack the new chicken and peck it to death. In addition, bigger stronger chickens will peck other chickens into submission to be the more dominant- hence the phrase ‘pecking order’

Dogs

Dogs like to be in company, they like to be part of a pack. However, within a pack, there is always one who takes the lead. This is known as the ‘top dog’ and it is not necessarily the biggest or strongest. Relating this to humans, there is also normally a hierarchy, but this could be the eldest, smartest, most well-liked etc.

Chimpanzees

Chimps always want to be together. They do not survive well alone or being outcast from the group. Chimps are altruistic and are always helping each other out.  They epitomize the phrase- ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ 

Geese

Geese stick together and stay in formation when flying. This is because they are better together as one. Flying on mass in formation helps with air resistance and also protection. They also take in turns taking the lead and ensure that the less strong flyers are kept between others. In essence, they ‘flock together’.

 

Quokka

The Quokka is an unusual animal found in Australia. They love attention and when given it always appear to smile. They are positive and inquisitive animals that enjoy company. And their smile is infectious.

 

There are thousands of more animals we could study.

However, when we look at these animals and how they operate in their groups, we can see that there are similarities with our friendships groups. There is normally a top dog, and a pecking order, we like to flock together, we like to support each other, we also enjoy company. We asked the students to think about what role they play in their group and ultimately whether they are a positive influence in their group or not.

Photography Time with Admir

On Saturday I went to the lake with Diana the photography teacher. I spent two and a half hours taking photos and enjoying the nature. If you want to take good photos it takes time to work on it. I took over 400 photos but I am only happy with 10 of them. It is normal to take lots of photos and then to choose the best quality. To make a good photo you should have good attention to your surroundings and try to see more than the average person. You need to pay attention to the detail of everything that’s within the frame. Sometimes you don’t know you’re taking a good photo until you see the result. Sometimes it is just a feeling that you get when you are in the right place at the right time. Sometimes I feel like I am in a different world when I look through the camera.

By Admir Tashakori

Hiking with Huskies

Today I went hiking with huskies in the mountains. It was really nice because it was snowing so it gave the whole experience a ‘Games of Thrones’ vibe. The hike was around an hour and a half but it felt a lot shorter because it was really fun. The Huskies were fun but at the same time not too energetic so the experience also felt really balanced. The snow meant that you also had to look out for slipping. Overall it was a fun experience, especially if you are fond of dogs as much as I am.

By Adam Kallali

 

 

 

Wellbeing Tutorial

This week we advanced with our wellbeing tutorials onto the third pillar of Building Positive Friendships.

This pillar will include the topics of;

  • Friendship groups
  • Sociability
  • Internationalism
  • Positive role models

For our first session, it was important for us to share with the boys an introduction into this. We facilitated this by posing questions to the students and letting them decide within the group, which answers they thought fit best with the questions.

We explored- What are the qualities of a good friend? What are the qualities of a positive friendship? What is the purpose of friendships vs acquaintances? How do we know if our friendship group is positive?

This helped open up the student’s minds to reflect more upon what the purpose and benefits are. We all say we have friends, we all understand what we like in another person- but what is the purpose of friendship? We purposed that friendships are a mutual partnership with a like-minded group of people who support us, bring out the best in us and make us feel happy.

 

Wellbeing Tutorial

This weeks wellbeing tutorial was continuing on the second pillar of Protecting against Bullying and Respecting Diversity.

This week we reflected again on Respecting Diversity. Here is an essay written by Matei sharing his thoughts on this topic.

 

Respecting diversity

In my opinion, respecting diversity is one of the most important aspects of living in a healthy boarding community, as this is a place where we make contact with people from all over the world.

First of all, if you want to build long lasting friendships and meet new people, you need to be open to learn about other traditions and respect them. If you are not willing to be open minded to other’s people cultures and traditions, they might feel like they don’t belong and therefore they won’t enjoy their time with you. However, if you accept them and learn about their different traditions you might realise how fascinating they can be.

Another very important reason why you should respect diversity is that if you can manage to fully accept it and not judge a person for their origins, you will learn about their traditions and customs. For example, last year I had a Chinese roommate and the fact that I was very open minded and willing to learn about his country helped me learn a lot of interesting things. I found out about their traditional foods, about their writing system, about the fact that their government prohibits the use of Facebook in order to encourage local social media apps such as We Chat and a lot of other interesting facts.

By respecting diversity, you will realise that a lot of the stereotypes you heard about some countries are actually false and you will be able to change your impression about the certain culture. You will also make a lot of new connections and meet people from all over the world, making important friendships and maybe even some business connections.

The most important reason why diversity should be respected is because by accepting other people’s religions, cultural values and traditions you also make them feel welcomed and give them a sense of belonging. Imagine you are from XXXX and come to a new country where everybody associates you with negative stereotypes. Would you feel like you belong there? No, because the stereotypes about your country will influence people’s opinions about you.

In a diverse community you will have increased productivity and creativity because some people will see things in a different way than you because of the way they were raised. They might have solutions to some problems that you didn’t even think about and they will have a wider range of skills. By spending time with somebody from a different background, you will learn some basic words from their language and valuable skills.

If you want to respect diversity but don’t know how, my advice is to try to talk to the next person with a different origin and background and ask them about their customs while also sharing some of your traditions. In my opinion, this is the best way to start a friendship in an international community and trust me, you won’t regret all the facts you learned about their culture. Maybe one day you visit the country that you learned about and instead of wondering around clueless, you will know what food to try out, what places to visit, what is considered rude or offending and you might even be able to put in practice the language skills you acquired by socializing with other nations.

In conclusion, I think having a wide variety of friends from all over the world is one of the best advantages of living in an international community because when you meet new people you basically open up your whole world and expose yourself to so many opportunities and life experiences.

 

 

 

Europa-Park Trip

This weekend we had the 4th School Trip of the year. The destination was Europa-Park in Germany and we had Luther from Leman 1 joining the group. They travelled by bus on Friday and returned on Sunday evening. They had a guide and members of the Boarding staff with them and were able to enjoy a day at Europa-Park followed the next day to a local Christmas Market. The weather was not spectacular but that did not dampen spirits and everyone enjoyed themselves.

 

We still have 6 more trips this year going to Rome, Barcelona, Vietnam Cambodia & Laos, Madrid, Copenhagen and Berlin- so please do keep this in mind.

CDL Rugby Team

This Saturday our CDL Rugby Team braved the weather to compete in a local tournament. Unfortunately, the result was not as would be desired, but the boys played brilliantly and should we proud of their efforts. Well done to Léman 1 boys, Minghe, Mikhail and Raphael