I founded in 2004 Mosaic school. By this act of will, I wanted to offer to a new generation a school mirroring my convictions and my ethics.
My first conviction is that today more than ever we must learn to overcome our preconceptions, to open up to the reality of a multicultural world, through the knowledge and the understanding of one another.
My second one is the added-value of multilingualism in education. This goes beyond the mastering of various languages, it’s the understanding of how languages function, of their role, their history, their evolution, and the relationship amongst them. This is why Mosaic delivers a bilingual teaching, with an openness to German, as well as non Latin languages (Russian, Arabic, Mandarin).
Finally, the third one is the importance of offering a programme which goes beyond a purely academic curriculum, not only to make students aware of artistic and sports subjects, but also and moreover to help the development of other emotional and intellectual abilities. This is the aim particularly of drama lessons in the school programme from the age of 3, but also sailing and hip hop lessons, etc.
The passion I feel would be vain without the essential help from the other partners in this educational adventure: parents who by their trust and their involvement support our teaching, and of course the teachers who translate it in daily teaching acts, with admirable passion and conviction.
And if today Mosaic welcomes children until age 12, we are really aiming at tomorrow’s adults.
I will end with a quote which allies in my view the 3 pillars essential to a human being: his innate skills, the quality of the teaching which will have enabled him to develop them, and the use he will make of them.
If we can access the use of all forms of human intelligence and develop a partnership with our ethics, we will clearly be on the right path to increase our chances of survival on this planet. We will definitely contribute to its prosperity.
Howard Gardner, 1993
Mosaic’s mission is to contribute to the child’s global development in partnership with and in complement to the family. The school aims to stimulate and facilitate the child’s intellectual learning, artistic aptitudes, relational sensitivities, and emotional richness.
In the long term, Mosaic will ensure the emergence, the harmonious development and the mastery by each child of his/her competencies.
In the immediate term, Mosaic aims to stimulate the child’s global vision of life and to provide a comprehensive choice of tools to pursue self-fulfillment, along with the means to face his/her future social responsibilities.
IT All started IN...
2002 - 2004
Start-up of the Mosaic school project: a school aiming to respond to a period of profound changes: migration, new IT, financial, social and educational challenges.
Supported by Fondetec (public foundation of the City of Geneva) and encouraged by Jean-Claude Brès (Directeur of the Institut de Formation Pédagogique), Sylvie Johannot conceptualizes and launches Mosaic
2004 - 2005
Mosaic school opens on August 30th, 2004
44 students from 3 to 6 years; 3 classes from Nursery to 3P
250 m2 on the ground floor of Avenue Dumas 23. A summer of renovations prior to welcoming the first students, but the transformation of the premises is only just starting: nearly every summer we continue to knock walls down and build new ones, to add new classrooms, tutoring rooms, administrative offices …
A team of 6 teachers, 2 assistants, 1 pedagogical director and one school head. Still teaching today at Mosaic: Miss Kate and Miss Sophie.
And, of course, already a bilingual, multicultural curriculum and transdisciplinary education in place, with theatre – taught by Naara Salomon, an actress and a teacher – and dance –taught by Elinor Radeff – already included in the programme.
2005 - 2006
67 students – 4 classes
The hunt for more space starts: we add 40 m2
We take part in our first Escalade race, with 7 runners 6-7 years old: our oldest students!
First participation in the Don du Choeur concert, in favour of children in India
Launch of our first summer camps: the courtyard is transformed into a major playground and Mosaic and external students discover a different Mosaic!
2006 - 2007
82 students, 5 classes, opening of the 4P class
We rent an activity room in the Peschier public school and start moving into Avenue Dumas 21: we rent the cafeteria for our students and … one class!
February 23rd, 2007: Mosaic organizes a seminar at the University of Geneva on “Plurilingualism: which school can still afford to ignore it?”, facilitated by Laurent Gajo, Director of the School of French Language & Civilisation at the University of Geneva and specialist in the didactics of plurilingualism.
Launch of our tutoring programme for our new students aged 6 years and above with no – or little – prior knowledge of French
New subject taught in Cycle 2 by a specialist teacher: Capoeira
First Class Parents act as intermediaries between parents and the head
First private school in Geneva to be granted the authorization to welcome children aged 2.5 years
First end-of-year show on stage at the Cité Bleue: Anne et son Arbre. Music composed by our teacher, Nicolas Rabaeus. An extraordinary performance by children aged only 3 to 8 years at the time!
First Escalade race run for Paint a Smile
2007 - 2008
98 students, 6 classes; opening of the 5P class
We add the last 40 m2, to take over the whole ground floor of Avenue Dumas 23
That year (for the first and last time), we produce two shows: Let it Shine in December, on the beautiful theme of light in religions, and then in June, Around the World in 80 days
We publish our bi-monthly newsletter: Mosaic Gazette
2008 - 2009
We pass the barrier of 100 students!
120 students, 7 classes, opening of the 6P class
We expand to Avenue Dumas 21 and open 2 classes and a tutoring room
After 18 months of preparation, we officially become a “Candidate School to the Primary Year Programme of the International Baccalaureate”. For 2 years, many teachers undertake training in Turkey, Denmark, Amman and Seville.
First quality certification : QSC (Quality School Certificate)
Miss Guislaine, responsible for both projects, prompts Mosaic to take a decisive step by helping us structure our pedagogical and organizational processes.
Launch of the ERP platform that integrates class management, student management and accounting
The Wizard of Oz: the first show in a long series under the direction of Sabrina Gentina and Isabelle Maître, our Theatre teachers
That year Mosaic participates in the Don du Choeur concert, in favour of children in Cambodia
That year too, Mosaic becomes an incorporated company, with Sylvie Johannot as sole shareholder
2009 - 2010
149 students, 8 classes, opening of the 6P class
We triple our premises to over 1,000 square meters! In December 2009, we take over the whole third floor of Avenue Dumas 21 – more than 650 m2 – where we set up the 4 classes of our oldest students: from 3P to 7P. Today, in 2019, we have 9 classes occupying this same surface.
To allow us to start the school year and wait for the building works to finish, from September to December 2019 our students take their lessons in the offices of the CIG (Israeli Community of Geneva) on the 1st floor of the same building.
The school continues to develop its internal structure by creating the first positions of cycle coordinators.
New subject taught by a specialist teacher: Hip–Hop, with Raphaël Smadja, dancer and choreographer
2010 - 2011
174 students, 9 classes
Opening of the 8P class, our first class of graduates! Today, they are at EHL (École Hôtelière de Lausanne), EFPL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), the University of Montreal, etc…
Opening of a second 1P class
Cycle 3 extends its hours by 30 minutes per day
The Geneva Public School fixes its entry cut-off date at July 31st. At Mosaic, over several years, we start to bring ours forward from December 31st to August 31st
2011 - 2012
195 students, 9 classes
Still growing, but lacking space, we install portacabins in the courtyard for sports and capoeira lessons
That year, we withdraw from the IB curriculum and start conceptualizing our own programme, based on the requirements of the Swiss Harmos curriculum and the English National Curriculum
The goal is to become the only school offering a truly bilingual and binational programme, and to be recognized by both governments
Two new key positions: an Admissions Manager meeting hundreds of families throughout the year, and a Special Needs Coordinator, with Miss Sandrine putting a structure in place that welcomes children with special needs, together with the tools allowing them to stay at Mosaic and thrive
New subject taught by a specialist teacher in Cycles 2 and 3: Music
Organization of the first “Parent Coffee morning”, now termed “Mosaic Talks”. An occasion for bringing parents together around topics related to the school. Experts, both internal and external, tackle subjects such as language tutoring, nutrition, psychopedagogical differentiation, theatre and the presentation of secondary schools
2012 - 2013
Opening of a second 2P class
Mosaic presents its new playground: the dragon lands in our courtyard!
Introduction of our new pedagogical bilingual programme, written entirely in-house and fulfilling the requirements of both the Swiss and the English curricula
Introduction of Swimming lessons, first for Cycle 2, and later even extended to 2P students, in order to prepare them for Sailing lessons in 5P and 6P
Introduction of Sailing lessons into the programme: over 6 weeks (now 10 weeks), students become brave sailors, not scared of falling into the water or battling against strong winds, and above all delighted to discover their skills and their resilience when confronted by a universe of which they frequently have no prior experience. The course ends with a two–day field trip on the lake
We start organizing Open Doors sessions once per month throughout the school year, to present our pedagogy and our organization to future parents. We welcome over 240 parents to our Open Doors every year for around 60 available places.
In Spring 2012, the APEM is constituted (Mosaic Parents Association): a real partner in developing our school
Further to a beautiful letter written by our Cycle 3 students, we are invited to take part in the annual football tournament of local Champel Schools: a great integration of the public and private sectors… and well-deserved cups taking pride of place in our trophy cabinet.
Participation in the Don du Choeur concert, in favour of children in Kenya
2013 - 2014
We celebrate our first decade with a special show: The 10 Years of Mosaic. Students interview key members of the school and their notes provide the basis for writing the script. We then relive students on stage mirroring Mosaic adults. A very moving occasion, especially for Sylvie Johannot
We are proud to have become an Associate Member of COBIS, the Council of British International Schools, that encompasses 270 schools and 167,000 students worldwide. Our 4P and 8P students will now sit the SATs exams (Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2); the same exams taken in English schools
Weekly alternation of languages in 1P and 2P to help facilitate access to the 2 languages, promote an acceptation of the second language (or second languages). The students’ oral comprehension skills come on in leaps and bounds!
New subject taught in Cycle 3 by a specialist teacher: Science
We publish our first Yearbook: almost 200 pages retrace the school year, its academic projects, its sporting achievements, its commitment to languages, departing students’ speeches and so many other memories
Parents can now directly register online their children for all extra-curricular activities proposed by the school. They can likewise update their personal details and authorization for outings, photos, etc. A system that is very efficient, fast and reliable
First “Don des Fleurs”, a flower donation initiative organized by students to raise money for the Don du Choeur
2014 - 2015
Students can now be dropped off as of 7:30 am, if parents have other morning commitments to attend to
Weekly alternation of languages in the Nursery classes, as in 1P and 2P
2015 - 2016
We pass the barrier of 200 students: 233 students
Major renovation work on the façade of the Avenue 23 building: we spend the year behind scaffolding!
Introduction of Arabic within the context of our “Foreign Languages and Civilizations” project. A gentle immersion for the younger classes and a more systematic teaching of the language and culture for our older students.
For the 200th anniversary of Geneva’s entry into the Swiss Confederation, our 7P and 8P classes become young ambassadors for Geneva by participating in the “Geneva meets Swiss citizens” project, organized by the Foundation of Geneva. They travelled to Aarau in the Canton of Aargau to present the city of Geneva in its international context
Don du Choeur concert, in favour of children in Madagascar
2016 - 2017
Remodeling the courtyard. We remove the portacabins, install a tower/slide and, of course, reintroduce our good old dragon, much to the pleasure of the young children
Our growth is crying out for more space, so we need to close the Pink class (for 2.5 year–olds) and convert it into an extra activity room
Introduction of Mandarin and Russian alongside Arabic in our “Foreign Languages and Civilizations” project. The 1P and 2P classes follow a 2–week immersion course in each language, whereas Cycles 2 and 3 study each language throughout the year for two consecutive years, to obtain a greater in–depth understanding of the language and its culture
Launch of our new website 2.0
Introduction of the Student Log in our database; a tool that allows all teachers concerned to exchange and keep a trace of any information pertinent to their students
2017 - 2018
Opening of a second 3P class
The school year now starts on a Thursday. This enables students to have two days to settle back into a routine. The Nursery classes spread their children’s start date at Mosaic over two days, in two half-groups
New subject taught in Cycle 3 by a specialist teacher: Indoor Climbing – an activity requiring concentration, but also teamwork, manual skills and courage.
2018 - 2019
Opening of a second 4P class
An additional 400 m2 on the 2nd floor of Avenue Dumas 21. Construction of a double activity room with a professional kitchen. 3 new classrooms. 3 new administrative offices.
We select and obtain a new quality certification: Swiss School Impulse
The Mosaic® brand is registered in Switzerland
Introduction of a new system for re-enrolment; simpler and more efficient
Music is now taught by a specialist teacher in Cycle 1 too.
First participation in COBIS competitions. Our students compete in the Mangahigh Maths Challenge with 18,000 students worldwide.
Our administration is scaled up: we hire a person responsible for organizing events. Over 190 events punctuate our school year: outings, external sports lessons, Mosaic Talks, Mosaic Camps. The management and dissemination of this information requires both technical and communicational specialist skills.
The whole school is equipped with IT (Apple): iMacs for administrative staff, iPads for teachers and classes. Daily management becomes simpler, information is networked and we employ just-in-time methods. A Digital Signage solution is implemented, with 5 TV screens installed in key locations around the school to facilitate communication between school, students and parents.
And finally, the internal development of the Mosaic Stock App, which enables us to register the school’s complete inventory and make resources easily available to the teachers. It is now possible, from any teacher’s iPad, to place an order and receive delivery of these items directly in class within a few minutes, without ever having to move or leave the students, and thus lose out on precious teaching time.
Don du Choeur concert, in favour of children in Mexico.
2019 - 2020
Opening of a second 5P class
We expand our premises to Avenue Dumas 20, gaining 3 new activity rooms for sports and art activities.
Mosaic improves its digitalization, procedures and digital communications: website 3.0 and creation of a mobile app (iOS, Google Play Store)
A 360° management interface (website, screens, app) is developed for different departments (Events, After-school and Extra-curricular, Reception), in order to improve management, follow-up and communications.
We bring forward our Mosaic entry birthdate cut-off to July 31st, to be aligned with the Geneva Public Schools.
2020 - ...
300 students … and 330 students by 2022
We continue to open two classes per grade, to achieve two 8Ps by 2022
Opening up a third class per grade?
Extension of our premises to accommodate new students
We obtain the highest level of COBIS accreditation: Patron’s Accreditation and Compliance
Discover the 10 values that make Mosaic a unique school.
1. A strong and clear identity
- Multiculturalism: In a world where migration – voluntary or imposed – becomes normality, Mosaic school aims at making children aware of the richness of our differences and prepares them from the very beginning of their school experience, to develop an in-depth knowledge of their own culture as well as of those they will be in contact with.
- French-English bilingualism: Our bilingual programme gives our students the opportunity to master both French and English throughout their primary classes, and offers them a wide choice of secondary schools, with a French, English or bilingual programme.
- Multiple Intelligence: The school system, as well as society in general, values logical and language intelligences. However, research by psychologists and neurologists indicate that humans use a much wider scope of intelligences. Each is particular and requires a specific environment to develop. Mosaic school supplies this.
Academic, artistic and multisensory education.
2. Teach respect and learn autonomy
Ethics are in the centre of Mosaic’s values : respect and autonomy. Respect is a right, autonomy is a duty. When an individual chooses to free her/himself, as much as possible, from her/his conditioning, he becomes autonomous.
The ethical question is “what should I do?”
We are all responsible—families, teachers, schools and students—because each acts as a role model for the other. Individual decisions, actions and omissions bear consequences.
Tolerance is essential because no rule exists that fully directs the student, nor anyone else, to develop a conciliatory attitude enabling him/her to act responsibly, honestly and righteously.
It does not stop “here and now”, but remains a collective global biological, cultural, historical, geographical and social process.
Autonomous judgments must come with the capacity to take responsibility for one’s own choices.
Central to our teaching, cultures are carriers of knowledge and stand witness to the idea that individuals belong to a larger community.
3. A bilingual programme recognised by 2 governments
In order to allow each child to fully benefit from Mosaic’s bilingual program, the school has set up a compulsory language tutoring program for students from 3P (6 years old) who will not have spent 3 full school years in a French / English bilingual education.
Our academic program is supported by three projects (Foreign Languages & Civilizations, Science – in cycle 3, and free project in cycles 1 and 2 – and the End of Year Show) which bring the school together around transdisciplinary subjects.
We also take into account the diversity of intelligences and offer our students an enriched program of theater, dance, music, non-Latin languages (Arabic, Russian and Mandarin) and various sports (swimming, sailing, climbing, PSE).
Furthermore, our programme answers the challenges of a changing world (migrations, artificial intelligence, social networks, etc…) by developing attitudes and skills in students that will be increasingly valuable in tomorrow’s world.
A first opening on the world.
4. A quality
Mosaic is a private school accredited by the Geneva Education Department. Mosaic is member of the Geneva Association of Private Schools (AGEP) and the Swiss Federation of Private Schools (FSEP). Since September 2013, Mosaic is also a member of the COBIS (Council of British International Schools), the only Swiss bilingual school to have obtained such accreditation. Furthermore, Mosaic has a Swiss quality certification, first with QSC (Quality School Certificate) – May 2009 till 2018, and Swiss School Impulse certification since 2019.
5. An essential leading thread: Drama lessons
These classes of theatrical expression at Mosaic are part of our school project to integrate multiple intelligences in the students’ experience. Because if learning is also inventing, imagining, listening, getting rid of certainties, and risking new experiences, then theatre is truly an educational tool.
Interpersonal Advantages: respect of the other
Students need to concentrate, listen, and have a receptive attitude facing a partner’s proposition. Students also need to find inside themselves the resources that will allow them to respond to propositions in a creative and constructive way.
… and Personal Development: self-confidence, courage and autonomy
The setting of the theatre classes promotes self confidence and self-esteem. To dare, to risk confronting the look of others, to speak, to improvise in front of an audience as well as communicating and sharing common emotions: theater encourages risk-taking, first in a group, then in pairs and finally by themselves.
6. END-OF-THE YEAR SHOW
End of June, all the students are on stage for a show mixing languages, dancing, singing. The theme is chosen one year ahead by the whole team, pedagogical and administration. Teachers introduce the theme into their programme and work on it in class so that beginning of November the students presents their reflections to their classmates through exhibiting their work or acting them.
The theater teachers are there to observe, they take their inspiration to write the script of the show which is given to the students in February/March. Rehearsals start in April, at school first, and then on the stage of the theater of the Cité Bleue, in preparation of the 4 nights of show.
The poster of the show is made every year by the 4P class, in collaboration with the designers of a marketing agency.
7. An inclusive school
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.
For children with special needs, there are many benefits to an inclusive learning environment. 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 teaching. There are 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 accepting our mutual differences, developing empathy and gaining an appreciation for diversity.
Mosaic does not undertake to provide for all special educational needs such as severe learning difficulties, but in all grades Mosaic can provide for moderate special educational needs under the responsibility of our psychopedagogical coordinator.
8. An educational partnership
To promote values and other norms, a constant dialogue is necessary, with the help of these tools:
Parents are invited to thematic presentations, live or by podcast. The themes cover: What are the choices of secondary schools in Geneva? What is an inclusive school? How to approach exams with serenity?
Every year, 2 parents per class are chosen for that role. Their role is to assist the class teachers in a positive communication with all the parents of that class, returning parents and newcomers.
Its mission is to create bonds between parents with activities for children and parents (new parents welcome, Halloween party, cake & book sales), collect parents’ opinions on matters related to Mosaic and cooperate with Mosaic in the organizing of certain events.
Her role is to coordinate all school events. She collaborates with teachers, administration and parents.
Teacher duo meetings
The success of any bilingual teaching depends on the quality of the partnership between both class teachers: each pair of teachers meet every week to elaborate jointly the class projects and to analyse the academic progression of each student.
Students Assembly & Class Representatives
From 4P onwards, each grade elects 2 representatives. Their mission is to come up with creative and constructive ideas and to develop & manage them as school projects. They are also co-presenters for the assemblies that gather once a month the students of Cycles 2 and 3, and on the occasion of the themes also Cycle 1.
9. Mosaic students’ commitment !
Part of our school mission is to participate in the children’s global development and encourage attitudes such as empathy and open-mindedness. This is why this school year the students of Mosaic have been working with different associations on many humanitarian or civic projects.
Paint a Smile
Since 2006, our students team up with the Team of Colours from the Paint a Smile Foundation. Paint a Smile’s mission is to reduce the anxiety of children and adults in hospital by giving them a reassuring and welcoming environment.
Paint a Smile comes to present their projects to our students, and our older ones have gone to visit their work.
Don du Choeur
The Don du Choeur association organises since 2004 concerts in support of a humanitarian project, with a choir of some 350 children afrom Geneva’s private schools.
Our students have sung for children in India, Cambodia, Kenya, Madagascar and Mexico.
And through the years:
- In the nursery classes, the students have been learning about protecting the environment, sorting and recycling with the association J’aime ma planète.
- The students explored, learnt about and developed the theme of community life with the association Young Enterprise. This project aimed at making them aware of the roles, tasks and responsibilities of the various actors of a town.
- The 8P class organize every year a flower sale to raise funds for the charity Le Don du Choeur.
- Cycle 3 students go to sing in old people’s homes
10. And what have they become ?
Our students graduated at age twelve, at the end of their primary studies. We have trained them so that they can integrate in any type of school system: francophone, anglophone or bilingual. But above all, we have developed in them a capacity of adaptation, courage in front of the unknown, and self-confidence.
Discover the Mosaic team
Specialists and assistants
open-mindedness, the right to respect and the duty of autonomy.
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