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 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 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.


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 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’.



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

Marking Period 1 Awards

This week we had our Boarding Award Ceremony to celebrate some of the achievements made during 1st term. We acknowledged those in each House who showed outstanding enthusiasm, motivation, and involvement in the Boarding Activity program. We also had an award for Boarding Life, for those who exhibited all the qualities we would wish for in a global citizen and who are good role models through their actions within the boarding community.

From Leman 1, winning the Activity Awards were Mikhail and Junqi. These boys enthusiastically participate in the afternoon activity schedule along with enjoying the sports facilities on offer during social time in the evenings. They also eagerly participate in the weekend program, taking advantage of the trips on offer or the activities offered.


Winning the Boarding Life award were Henry and Gabriel. Both these boys are polite, respectful, and courteous to both their peers and staff. They are held in high regards within the House. They are happy and willing to assist the House Parents and often take on extra responsibilities within the house. They also willingly volunteer their time to help others and to participate in the Boarding House events.

The 42nd L`Escalade race Geneva.

Well done to the boys that completed this years Escalade race in the centre of Geneva. The weather was far from perfect but this did not dampen spirits and even raised the satisfactions levels on completion as it required that little extra grit and determination.

Wellbeing Tutorial

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

This week we moved to the topic of Charity.

Firstly we started out by gaining a definition of what Charity was to us. The answers from the boys ranged from ‘giving money‘ to ‘helping someone in need‘ to ‘helping the poor be less poor

The definition that we will use is A charity is an organisation set up to provide help and/or raise money for those in need. Charities usually raise money through donations and have volunteers that help

We then wrote down on the whiteboard as many different charities that we knew. This was quite surprising by how few actual charities the students collectively knew. However, it also did highlight some charities that students were actively giving to or had a liking to.

The students were then shown a list of fictional charities;

They were asked to state which of these charities they would most likely give to. The top charity was ‘Hug a Dog‘. This then led to a discussion as to why they would choose to support animals instead of humans. The explanation from some was that humans can help themselves whereas we have a responsibility to look after the animals.

The second most popular choice was ‘Train the Teacher‘, students felt that educating the next generation is of vital importance. That if lower economic countries also had better education that their countries economy would benefit in the future. They also felt that having better-educated children in less developed countries would lead to an impact on all of the above-mentioned charities.

The third most popular was ‘Forest friends‘. These students felt this issue had global importance and would have an impact on more people. As with declining forests, this will have an impact on climate change which affects everyone.

We finished our tutorial by posing the question of whether we had a greater responsibility to be giving to charity as we have the ability and means to do so. This was summed up as a personal choice but also the point was made that charity is more than just giving money. We can give time to help someone. We can educate someone. We can donate clothing. We can reach out into the world and spread happiness.

Happy Thanksgiving

Today celebrates Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Day is an annual national holiday in the United States celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year. Thanksgiving occurs on the fourth Thursday in November.

Today Mr Usher and his wife hosted our American community for a wonderful meal in their home.

Aquatis Trip

On Sunday this past weekend, our excursion was to Aquatis in Lausanne which is a spectacular Aquarium. Here you can travel around 5 continents of the world making your way through 12 different environments. Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and South America are represented with wildlife and specifically fish from those regions on display. Our students went on a guided tour around these zones and learnt about these elaborate and delicate ecosystems.

Paris Trip

This weekend we had the 3rd School Trip of the year. The destination was Paris and we had Luther from Leman 1 joining the group. They travelled by train on Friday and returned on Sunday evening. They had a guide and members of the Boarding staff with them and were able to see all the sights of Paris. The weather was not spectacular but that did not dampen spirits and everyone enjoyed themselves.



We still have 7 more trips this year going to Europa Park, Rome, Barcelona, Vietnam Cambodia & Laos, Madrid, Copenhagen and Berlin- so please do keep this in mind.

Tomohisas Day out to the Patek Philippe Museum

On November 23rd, CDL borders visited the Patek Philip Museum in Geneva. Unfortunately, we couldn’t take pictures inside the museum. But there were many valuable and expensive watches there. At the museum, the guide picked up some interesting watches and explained them one by one in an easy-to-understand manner. And not only did we see the watches on display, but we also saw a repairman repairing a watch in the workplace. Even though we were looking at the repairman, he was working on the repair of the watch. I saw it and thought that professional watch repairmen were much more focused than when we were studying.

It was a very interesting and important experience. I strongly recommend going there.

By Tomohisa



Wellbeing Tutorial

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

This week we continued on our topic of Community Service.

Following our discussions on this last week, it was time for the boys to put words into actions. Our time was limited and our opportunities were also slim, however, the boys were challenged with doing something for someone else for the next 40 mins. Some took to this task with pride and others reluctantly ventured into an area that was obviously uncomfortable for them. This in itself was a great insight into the fact that some students do not actively share our vision of living in a community and doing things only for the sake of helping others. This highlights to us the importance of the Wellbeing Tutorials in challenging some of the student’s internal dialogue.

Overall though, the boys put thought and energy into their efforts. Some helped others clean their room, others tidied the communal areas, some did litter picking up outside, some cleaned the kitchen, others taught someone else a skill..etc.

Tomohisa`s day out to the Natural History Museum

On Sunday 17th from Leman 1, students went to the Nature museum in Geneva.  At the museum there were exhibitions of creatures ecosystems and how they work.  For example, there were exhibits explaining dinosaur fossils and the lives of people in the primitive era.  And the museum staff explained to us a lot of exhibits very clearly.  The staff taught us how creatures live in their ecosystem, how they hunt, and their success rate, using several predators as examples.  The staff also showed us what the prey eats, how it escapes from the predator, and how it benefits the ecosystem.  There were many other interesting exhibits at the museum.  They will have a very positive impact on students’ desire to study science.

Wellbeing Tutorial

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

We focused this week on Community Service. One way of showing respect to others is helping and serving others regardless of their differences to you. We promote community service within the Boarding House and also in the wider boarding community. As part of the student’s academic REACH program, they must also obtain a certain amount of hours of Responsible Citizenship per year.

Therefore we focused the students on what different acts they could perform in order to obtain these community service hours. It opened up a debate for some students on what is goodwill for themselves and what is goodwill for others. Touching slightly on the aspect that just like charity it should be done selflessly without the need for reward. While this is true, in this instance the reward is achieving the necessary hours and therefore not quite selfless.

The students were also reminded that we have a Community Service group within Boarding. This is a Whatsapp group that the students could voluntarily join and as and when different initiatives arise they will be notified and can opt-in as they choose.