Hot off the press

Meet George Gavrias – Executive Chef

Hello everyone, I’m happy to introduce myself to you via Pulse.

I was born in Germany 46 years ago, but I grew up in a small city in northern Greece. After high school, I decided to do culinary studies, but I never imagined how wonderful this trip would become. After finishing my culinary studies on the island of Corfu in Greece, I continued my studies in Strasbourg, France, on a scholarship from the Greek tourism school.

For more than 25 years, I have exercised my favourite hobby as my profession. I feel very lucky to be able to do what I love; I love cooking and sharing my knowledge with others. My drive to develop myself has led me to work in large kitchens in numerous hotels and catering companies, in smaller kitchens for restaurants, as well as being a private chef. My passion to share my cooking skills also drove me to develop a parallel profession for more than 15 years as a culinary instructor in the biggest chef school in Greece.

I first came to Monaco in 2003 as a private chef on a superyacht. I then spent 7 years in Greece overseeing the R&D department for two very large food companies. This experience gave me the opportunity to travel the world and to experience culinary trends in many different countries. At the end of 2015, I accepted a job offer from one of the bigger restaurant groups in Monaco, and I worked at the SONG-QI restaurant for 4 years as Executive Chef.

I have now been working at ISM for 2 years. It has been a rewarding challenge for me to work in a place that at first glance might seem straightforward but in fact has many special requirements. ISM’s cafeteria is a place where I know I must pay very serious attention to my “clients”. Children are very strict judges, and when they do not like the food, they tell you. The multinational profile of the school and the big differences in the ages of students makes the job even more challenging, but the ISM catering team and I enjoy meeting this challenge each day. One of my highlights every week is most certainly holding cooking classes with students, as I enjoy interacting with students and seeing them expand their cooking knowledge and skills in the process.

Outside of the kitchen, I spend my free time cooking for friends and for my family. I am also passionate about camping and all outdoor activities.

My objective for ISM’s cafeteria is to continue developing and improving the quality of the food and services that we offer, and as always, we value the input of all students, from the youngest to the oldest. The catering team and I wish you all a pleasant summer, and we look forward to more culinary adventures together in the next academic year!

ISM Class of 2021 graduation ceremony

Please join us in congratulating the ISM graduating Class of 2021! Here is a sneak peek of the graduation ceremony, which was held on Thursday, June 24th at the Yacht Club de Monaco. Congratulations to each and every one of our graduating students – we are so proud of you all, and we wish you all the very best for the future!

Message from ISM’s IT Team

Dear Parents, just a quick note to let you know that the ISM IT team will be communicating further with you around August 15th regarding the delivery of new devices for all students. We will be explaining where, when, and how to come pick up your children’s new school MacBook and iPads. Please stay tuned and have a lovely summer. Thank you!

ISM Art Festival presents: The Show(case) Must Go On!

Around the world, people have turned to the Arts as a way to escape from the daily constraints and have a chance to switch off.

After having to cancel last year’s ‘The Wizard of Oz’ due to confinement, as well as this year’s live performance ‘The Best Night Of Our Lives’ due to the ongoing health situation (along with the annual LAMDA Musical Theatre Showcase, Christmas Concert, Piano Recital, and Summer Recital), the decision was made to find a way that we can still share musical performances with the school community, as many of our students here have continued with instrumental lessons and LAMDA exams, showing that some sense of normality can persist.

Therefore, The Show(case) Must Go On!

We are delighted to share with you a selection of musical numbers that would have appeared in our various recitals throughout the year. Thank you to our students for continuing to make music throughout these challenging times, and thank you to you all for your continued support. We very much hope to be back on stage next year, so please watch this space…

For organising and preparing performances, an immense thanks also goes to Ms Dina, Colette Marx-Nielsen, Adrian White, Fabien Chénier, Bojana Nislic and Jacques Cosnac.

Please click here to view the ISM Art Festival’s video The Show(case) Must Go On!

Enjoy the show!

IBCP Enterprise and Entrepreneurship – One year on

WOW…….what a year it has been in the IBCP learning space! COVID restrictions, isolating students, online learning and hybrid lessons certainly have provided us all with some challenges. However, from challenges come opportunities to grow, as we develop our skills in resilience, communication, self-management and problem-solving. Our IBCP students have risen to this challenge and have emerged as a group of individuals ready to take their final steps at ISM before leaping out into the wider world. Today I would like to celebrate and share with you a selection of their successes.

Each student has conducted research into a business idea. They have evaluated market conditions, examined potential risk and reward, analysed their own entrepreneurial skills and qualities and produced a comprehensive business plan. They will launch and run their new business in September. The range of businesses include:

  • Beast Snacks – a school based healthy snack bar
  • L – E – T – I – a casual clothing line for young people
  • Luma – a concierge service based in Monaco
  • SMART 4 – providing sustainable portable power solutions to the small and remote events industry
  • dg by Indigo Ltd – a casual clothing line with an emphasis on exclusivity and design
  • Tennis For All – a non profit social enterprise that organises Tennis tournaments for underprivileged children who would otherwise be excluded from the sport
  • Shania Swimwear – a range of swimwear for sunseeking young people
  • SportSport – a fitness, coaching and motivation app

The Reflective Project is an opportunity for the students to explore an ethical dilemma in the world of business from a range of perspectives. They are required to produce a body of work that represents their research and lines of arguments. This can be in the form of an essay, documentary, photo essay or presentation. This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to explore and develop their ethical beliefs and understand that they may differ from those of other people from different socio-cultural and cultural backgrounds. This year, students are exploring ethical dilemmas in the context of:

  • The impact of AI on human labour and the future jobs market
  • The gender pay gap in football
  • Gender socialisation in the toy industry
  • Supply chain ethics and issues
  • The gender pay gap in basketball
  • The relationship between fashion models and an increase in self harming amongst young girls

I am really looking forward to sharing their completed work with you next year.

The IBCP is driven by, and built around, the development of skills. One such skill is embedded into our school mission statement: ‘Communication’. The IBCP students have been fully committed to the development of their communication skills. Not only are they acquiring French as a second language, and for some this is a third or fourth language, but they are also developing their knowledge of Spanish and Spanish culture as part of the IBCP Core.

Finally, I would like to celebrate the achievements of our first graduating student Davina Geiss. Davina achieved a Distinction* International Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. A fantastic achievement, as a result of hard work and dedication. Next year, Davina will be running the business that she created during her IBCP experience and will receive mentoring support from her family who have achieved success in the clothing industry. I look forward to seeing her brand grow and wish her the best of luck.
(Image source: dg by Indigo, marketing)

We are all looking forward to continuing our individual growth and celebrating our successes with you next year. Until then, may I wish you a safe and happy holiday.

Tania Leyland – IBCP Coordinator


ISM-King's collaboration video

We invite you to view our latest video, presented at the recent AGM, outlining the excellent collaboration and work that ISM has done with King's College School Wimbledon this year. We look forward to even more fantastic collaboration with King's in the next academic year!

ISM x King’s Climate Change Challenge

Over the last 8 weeks, our students from years 9 to 12 have been taking part in an ISM x King’s Climate Change Challenge.

They have been taught by King’s students how to use MIT’s enRoads climate simulator in order to generate solutions to meet the Paris Climate Agreement’s target of a less than 2°C (and preferably below 1.5°C) rise in average global temperatures by the year 2100. Students worked in pairs, using the simulator, to deliver creative presentations to staff and student leaders at King’s. Their models included solutions such as carbon taxation, electrification of transport, and carbon capture technologies.

The four groups impressed the judges with their presentations. Overall, they felt that Georgie and Olivia’s (year 10) presentation was most impressive, as they had used the simulator very effectively and explained their ideas well. The runners-up were Anais and Isaac (year 9), whose ideas were thought to be both creative and realistic.

Students who are interested in participating in the project in the future should express their interest to Mr Ross.

ISM-King’s French debating competition

Last week, some of our students had the fantastic opportunity to collaborate with their peers from King’s during our first joint French Debating Competition. Each ISM student was paired with a counterpart at King’s, and they worked together to prepare debate topics such as animal experimentation and vaccine passports.

The debates were lively, insightful and exciting! The atmosphere was buzzing with ideas, and it was such a pleasure to see all students not only developing their debating skills but also forming positive and long-lasting relationships.

Well done to the winners, Eulalia (ISM) and Joseph (KCS)!

Eulalia and Joseph have put together an overview of the event for you here:


Joutes-Oratoires KCS-ISM Juin 2021 

Eulalia & Joseph  

Le 22 juin 2021, les élèves de King’s College School Wimbledon et de l’école Internationale de Monaco ont pris part dans un débat sur les actualités pressantes dans notre société. Étant la première activité organisée entre les deux écoles, on avait tous hâte de faire la connaissance de nos partenaires de l’autre école. Les débats ont commencé à treize heures, et on a rencontré nos partenaires pour le débat pour faire la préparation finale de nos arguments. Quand nous étions prêts, les professeurs nous ont séparé en groupe pour commencer l’argument de la première motion. Le débat a été féroce des deux coté et le groupe gagnant a toujours été difficile de choisir. Malgré la difficulté d’être dans des pays différents, et tous s’est déroulé à merveille.

Le premier débat était sur l’expérimentation animale.

Nous étions du coté pour l’interdiction de cela. Après avoir eu quelques minutes pour discuter nos points de vue, nous étions facés contre Rayan et Isabela. Ils donnaient des arguments valables et bien présentés. Malheureusement pour eux, nous avions gagnés mais pas de beaucoup. Nous avions trouvé qu’ils étaient des adversaires très préparés et intelligents.  

Le second débat était sur l’égalité entre les hommes et les femmes. Nous étions du coté qui débattait que ceci était un rêve plus qu’une réalité. Nous étions contre Isla et sa camarade. Eux aussi étaient des adversaires bien préparés et avaient une bonne connaissance du sujet.  

Pour le dernier débat, c’était uniquement nous deux contre Rayan et Isabela. Ce débat était sur le thème du passeport vaccinale. Notre côté a reçu l’aide de certaines filles très gentilles et compétentes avant de commencer. Ce débat final était le plus amusant et difficile personnellement car le thème était beaucoup plus complexe que les autres. 

Pour conclure nous aimerions remercier tous les organisateurs de ISM et de KCS pour avoir fait une journée très amusante et parfaite pour apprendre de nouvelles choses.  


On the 22nd of June 2021, the students of King’s College School Wimbledon and The International School of Monaco took part in a debate on pressing current affairs in our society. Being the first event organised between the two partner schools, we were all looking forward to meet our partners from the other school. The debates started at one o’clock and we met our partners for the debate to do final preparation for our arguments. When we were ready, the teachers separated us into groups to start the first motion of our debate. The debate was fierce on both sides and the winning group was always difficult to pick. Despite the difficulty of being in different countries, it all went smoothly.

The first debate was about animal experimentation. We were for the banning of this. After a few minutes of discussing our points of view, we were up against Isabela and Rayan. They presented good arguments well. Unfortunately for them, we won, but not by much.

The second debate was about equality between men and women. We were on the side debating that this equality was a dream more than a reality. We were against Isla and her debating partner. They were also well prepared and had good knowledge of their subject.

For the final debate, it was just us two against Rayan and Isabela. This debate was about vaccination passports. Our side received help from kind and competent girls. This final debate was the most fun but also the most difficult personally, as the topic was more complex than the others.

To conclude, we would like to thank all of the teachers from ISM and KCS who were involved in organising the debate for making it a fun experience and a great opportunity to learn new things.

ISM students participate in Monaco’s Journée Olympique

Bravo to our five students from Year 5 who were selected to represent ISM in the Journée Olympique that took place last Wednesday. We were delighted to be invited to this special event, organised by the Comité Olympique Monégasque and attended by HSH Prince Albert II and his children as the special guests. All students participated in a range of athletic events and were presented with medals and certificates to recognise their success. We are so proud of them all!


New Appointment – Head of Houses 

With the relaunch of our House system this year, we are very pleased to announce that Mr Thomas Ross will take up the position of Head of Houses in August.  Thomas has been with the school for 2 years as a member of the Science department. He is excited to develop this area of school life.

“In the coming year I am excited to work with students from the Early Years, Primary, and Secondary School as they lead their houses through a series of academic, sporting, and super-curricular activities. For some students, the scope of activities offered from their Houses can enable them to find kindred spirits. The sense of community and identity built during these events can last a lifetime. Students of Shackleton, Earhart, Baret, and Grimaldi have an exciting year to look forward to as the House Competitions begin afresh.”

– Mr Thomas Ross, ISM Head of Houses

This role will allow ISM to develop a whole-school approach to the House system and will develop further collaborative opportunities with King’s College School, Wimbledon.

Primary School Engineering Club does test drive

Bravo to the Primary School’s Engineering Club students, who constructed a mini Formula One car with Mr. Lobley and had fun testing it out. We had one-lap and two-lap time trials to see who could set the fastest lap. It was a fantastic design, and we might have discovered some future race stars!

Class 6 exhibition – Exposition des classes 6

Au cours des deux derniers mois, les élèves de classes 6 ont préparé une exposition bilingue pour terminer en beauté l’école primaire. Cette année, le thème était “Les pays du monde”. Ce projet bilingue permet aux enfants de mettre en pratique leurs compétences depuis la recherche d’informations jusqu’à la présentation de leurs découvertes.

Après avoir mené des recherches sur un pays de leur choix, les élèves ont écrit un texte reprenant les informations essentielles. Puis, ce texte leur a servi de base pour rédiger un discours qu’ils ont illustré avec Google slides. C’est finalement mardi 22 juin que les enfants ont eu l’opportunité de présenter oralement leurs découvertes à leurs camarades de classe. A cette occasion, même si pour beaucoup d’entre eux, le stress était au rendez-vous, il a rapidement laissé place au sentiment du devoir accompli une fois le discours prononcé.

Vu les circonstances sanitaires, nous n’avons pas pu vous inviter à venir assister à cette présentation. C’est la raison pour laquelle nous vous proposons d’en visionner le film où chaque élève présente, en français et en anglais, le pays sur lequel il a travaillé ces dernières semaines. Installez-vous confortablement et laissez-nous vous emmener à la découverte de contrées tout aussi intéressantes et surprenantes les unes que les autres. 

Bon voyage …


Year 7 students participate in Indian dancing and cooking sessions

Year 7 students have been learning about the past, present and future of India, and this past week the Lower Secondary School organised some fun dancing and cooking events to give them an additional glimpse and understanding of the Indian culture. Last Monday, students had the opportunity to try Indian dancing on the Digue. In parallel, students were also treated to a hands-on cooking class with George, our school chef, who taught them how to make a delicious chicken masala!

Indian cooking class video    Indian dancing video



Primary students welcome Manga artist Sonia Leong for Book Days

Our Primary students were excited to welcome Manga artist Sonia Leong as part of their Book Days last week. Sonia’s workshop initially looked at what manga is and the different styles and layouts of Manga comics. She then shared the process of creating a manga comic and demonstrated how to draw Manga characters, both headshots and full length, from various angles. Students then went on to tell their own story in Manga or comic form from scratch or adapted a story they already knew into this format.

Primary celebrates “Dress Up As Your Favourite Character Day!”

Last Friday, after numerous Book Week activities such as welcoming manga illustrator Sonia Leong, a “Who’s Hiding Behind the Book” competition, and a teacher Readathon, our Primary students ended Book Week with a fun “Dress up as your Favourite Character” Day! Can you recognise the characters they chose?

Year 6 students also enjoyed a story read to them by Mrs. Minnis – this just goes to prove that you’re never too old to listen to a story! 

Year 9 explores Film Music

This trimester, Year 9 students have been exploring Film Music. They looked at how film music came to be, analysed themes to see which musical devices were used to create them and what it communicates to the audience, and explored how the composers communicated the Director’s intentions. Moving onto composing, students were given a 60-second clip from ‘The Perfect Storm’ to interpret, composing their own music to enhance the emotional intent of the scene.

All videos were shared with the students and teachers, who were asked to vote for their favourites from each class. The top three are:

  • 9A – Marie and Sophie
  • 9B – Riccardo and Filippo (voted the overall favourite)
  • 9C – Micol and Audrey

Which one is your favorite?

9A Sophie and Marie ‘Perfect Storm   9B Riccardo and Filippo – The Perfect Storm  9C Micol and Audrey – The Perfect Storm

Year 12 holds Theory of Knowledge exhibition

What is the relationship between knowledge and culture? Can new knowledge change existing values and beliefs? Who owns knowledge? What role do material tools play in the production of knowledge? Are some things unknowable?

On the last Friday of the school year, Year 12 students put on their Theory of Knowledge exhibition as the culmination of the first half of their IB TOK programme. Teachers, Year 11 students, and a Year 8 History class were able to hear from the Year 12s about the three images of real world objects they had each chosen and displayed, along with their written thoughts on them, on a variety of questions like these. It was an enjoyable experience for both students and teachers, showing a great example of curious, engaged students applying questions to the world and their experience of it. Congratulations to the year 12s, who were thoroughly involved and a little hoarse after 2 hours of talking about their displays. A huge thank you as well to TOK teachers Mr Thom, Mr Elliott and Mr Carley for their support and guidance of the students.

Year 12 students work on their Chemistry IA

How much caffeine is there in arabica and robusta coffee prepared using different brewing methods? Here is a glimpse of one of our IB Chemistry students researching this question by using iodometric back titration, as well as a Year 11 student practicing his techniques before beginning IB Chemistry next year. In parallel, another of our IB Chemistry students is using the Winkler method to investigate the amount of dissolved oxygen in seawater at different temperatures. This experiment enables him to explore and learn more about the consequences of thermal pollution and global warming on marine life. We look forward to hearing about their final results!

Primary students celebrate end of year with mug memento and ice cream!

To celebrate the end of term and the beginning of a long, relaxing summer break, Primary students had the opportunity to decorate a mug to keep as a memento of their school year using a selection of colourful pens. The mug and pens were very kindly offered by the PTA, who also organised an “ice cream break” from Santo Gelato Monaco for students and teachers for the end of term – we are truly spoiled! The Primary School staff and students would like to thank the PTA for their continued behind-the-scenes hard work and unwavering support throughout this school year. It is really very much appreciated!

Primary Assembly focuses on student wellbeing and coping strategies

What a delight to welcome our School Counsellor, Stephanie, to our recent Primary School virtual Friday assembly. She gave us lots of different strategies for coping when feeling worried, including belly breathing, which we practised together! The students recorded their preferred coping methods and Stephanie then finished by reading a lovely story illustrating her talk. A perfect way to finish off the school year!

Primary students visit Oceanographic Museum

This week, after immensely successful visits by Year 4 and 5 students, it was the turn of the Year 6s to enjoy the wonders of the sea at the Oceanographic Museum! Two special visits per class took place, involving turtles and a “jeu de piste” by the aquarium!

ISM students place in Monaco’s road safety final

The final for the Monegasque education on road safety was held last week at the Terrain de l’Abbé. Congratulations to our student finalists from the Primary School:

  • Georgia (Y5) – 2nd place
  • Miya (Y5) – 3rd place
  • Arthur (Y6) – 7th place
  • Sebastian (Y6) – 18th place
  • Maxime (Y6) – 24th place
  • Viggo (Y5) – 32nd place

Sketching outing to the Japanese Garden for Years 7 & 8

Our students in Years 7 & 8 participated in sketching activities at the Japanese Garden this week. It was a great opportunity to explore and observe light, tones, shades and texture on beautiful trees, ponds, water lilies and fish. Even our teachers released their creativity and gave it a go! What a great closure of the year!

Success for ISM students in Monaco’s national show jumping team

Congratulations to ISM students Chloé Bertolini, Anastasia Nielsen, and Katarina Repetto for their recent successes in competitive show jumping as members of the Fédération Equestre de la Principauté de Monaco (FEPM) team. Comprised of students from schools throughout the Principality and coached by Philippe Rozier, Olympic Gold medalist in show jumping for the French team in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, the Monaco team has been working diligently with excellent results in competitions throughout Europe in recent months, including events in Belgium, France, Germany and Italy.

This week, the team is competing on their home turf in the 15th edition of the Jumping International de Monte-Carlo, organized by the FEPM in Monaco from July 1st – 3rd. They will then head to Vilamoura, Portugal to finish off the season by competing in the prestigious European Youth Championship from July 18th-25th. We wish them the best of luck!

Photo credits: © Longines Athina Onassis Horse Show

ISM student takes 1st place in the Nacra15 Italian National Sailing Race

Congratulations to our student Lucas Frederiksen, who represented the Yacht Club de Monaco in the Nacra15 Italian National Sailing Race recently in Lake Iseo, Italy. The three-day event consisted of 12 races in difficult conditions, and Lucas and his teammate finished in first place.

Lucas commented, “The sailing was exciting, especially because the conditions were tough with changing winds. It was very competitive throughout the 3 days, but we were determined and never gave up.” Bravo, Lucas!!

Photo credits:
© Associazione Nautica Sebina

Success for ISM student at the San Remo International showjumping competition

We would like to congratulate Millie Banks Clark (5C) on a victory in the National section of the San Remo riding competition this past weekend. Millie achieved a double first competing with a new horse for the first time; she surpassed her previous jumping height and won. Well done, Millie!

Summer Reading Challenge for Primary students

As you most likely are aware, research shows that reading is critical to a student’s educational success and also that it can increase empathy, improve relationships with others and improve wellbeing. In order to encourage Primary students to keep reading in both French and English over the summer, we are setting them a Summer Reading Challenge! Children have taken home a paper copy to record their reading on and will earn a housepoint for each challenge they complete. We ask you to support your child in taking part in as many challenges as possible. Have fun and maybe even try the reading challenge yourself; after all, being a good reading role model shows the importance of reading to your child! Please note that children who do not have any overdue books from the school library will be able to borrow books over the summer holidays.

Summer Reading Challenge Primary

Social Fund distributes end-of-year gifts to all staff

This week, members of our Social Fund had the pleasure of distributing gift bags to all teachers and staff at ISM to thank them for their wonderful work over the past academic year. Thank you, everyone, and have a wonderful and restful summer!!

Reminder: order your school uniforms from Schoolblazer now!

Dear parents, please remember to order your children’s school uniforms on the Schoolblazer website as soon as possible to ensure that your items arrive in time for the next academic year. Although Schoolblazer is committed to ensuring a timely delivery for all orders, Covid and Brexit-related issues can cause delivery delays in some cases. Also, as sizes may vary according to the type of article ordered, please allow ample time for exchanges (free of charge) if needed. Please click here to visit the Schoolblazer website.

Dress code flyer

We wish everyone a wonderful summer!

See you on August 30th!

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