HOLIDAYS 2020 - 2021


Boarding school opens Wednesday 26th August from 2pm
Classes start Thursday 27th August 8:15am
“Jeûne Genevois” bank holiday Thursday 10th September
Mid-term grades 16th October approx.
Half term holiday Friday 16th October 5pm to Monday 26th October 8:15am
First term report 23th December approx.
Christmas holiday Wednesday 23th December 12am to Monday 11th January 8:15am
Half term holiday Friday 12th February 5pm to Monday 22th February 8:15am
Second term report 26th March approx.
Easter holiday Friday 26th March 5pm to Monday 12th April 8:15am
Ascension holiday Wednesday 12th May 5pm to Monday 17th May 8:15am
Pentecost (Whit Monday) Monday 24th May
End of year report 25th June approx.
End of school year Friday 25th June 11am
Summer Camp 2021
12th to 30th July
Classes start Thursday 2nd September 2021 (Boarding school opens Wednesday 1st September from 2pm)


HOLIDAYS 2021 - 2022


Boarding school opens Wednesday 1st September from 2pm
Classes start Thursday 2nd September 8:15am
“Jeûne genevois” bank holiday Thursday 9th September
Mid-term grades 22nd October approx.
Half term holiday Friday 22nd October 5pm to Monday 1st November 8:15am
First term report 22nd December approx.
Christmas holiday Wednesday 22nd December 12am to Monday 10th January 8:15am
Half term holiday Friday 11th February 5pm to Monday 21st February 8:15am
Second term report 8th April approx.
Easter holiday Friday 8th April 5pm to Monday 25th April 8:15am
Ascension holiday Wednesday 25th May 5pm to Monday 30th May 8:15am
Pentecost (Whit Monday) Monday 6th June
End of year report 24th June approx.
End of school year Friday 24th June 11am
Summer Camp 11th to 22nd July
Classes start Monday 29th August 2022 (Boarding school opens Sunday 28th August from 2pm)


Lycée Rodolphe Töpffer is a French lycée that was founded in Geneva in 1954. It is a cosmopolitan establishment that welcomes approximately 220 students aged from 9 years old and over to our day and boarding school. Along with our experienced approachable staff we form a motivated, dynamic team. The family-like environment enables us to accompany students in a personalised setting, taking into account both present needs and future aspirations.

Educational Objectives

Our students are fully prepared for:

  • entry into the Genevan junior high school (cycle d’orientation).
  • entry into the Genevan high school (collège), engineering schools, art schools, business schools, etc.
  • the French baccalaureate, which enables entry into all Swiss and foreign universities
  • Foreign language assessment including Cambridge, TOEFL, IELTS, Goethe-Institut, DELE, etc.

Both dynamic and demanding, lycée Töpffer aims to offer its students high quality teaching support, a thorough learning programme and solid learning methodology. Personal growth and academic success are the cornerstones of our teaching and philosophy.

In the footsteps of Rodolphe Töpffer

The humanist educator, Joseph Gabioud senior, founded his school in 1954, naming it after the illustrious Rodolphe Töpffer (1799-1846). This Genevan writer and artist was also a school teacher whose pedagogical approach is reflected our own beliefs:

a traditional and structured teaching approach
a friendly, family-like atmosphere which enables personalised support for each student according to his or her present needs and future aspirations
the importance of academic progress as well as thriving through curiosity, an analytic mind and creativity
frequent sporting and cultural activities

Since 1992 the school has been run by Joseph Gabioud junior, combining tradition and modernity in a constant quest for pedagogical and technological improvements.

“Nothing is as common as methods, nothing as rare as conscience.”
(R. Töpffer)

A growth mindset is essential; rather than being restricted by rigid methodology, we believe in following the rhythm of each student’s progress in an individual manner. Gifted and talented students choose the lycée Rodolphe Töpffer for our experienced teaching staff who are well trained in differentiated education, which prioritises the interest of the student. The pleasant setting, small class sizes, wide range of subjects and many extra-curricular activities promote personal growth and give meaning to learning.

“To love school today is to love life tomorrow”
(R. Töpffer)

Here at lycée Töpffer we do all we can to stimulate curiosity and foster a desire for learning in a motivating context. Beyond simply providing results, the work undertaken by students enables the development of a solid and extensive base in general knowledge.

The staff of Lycée Rodolphe Töpffer

Joseph Gabioud

Anne Gabioud

David Dumoulin

Joseph Gabioud Anne Gabioud David Dumoulin

General Principal

President of the Groupement Suisse des Internats privés

Assistant Principal

Dean of the 11th Harmos and 3rd French classes

Deputy Principal

Dean of classes from primary to 10th Harmos



Cédric Magnin

Pascal Gault

Delphine Planes

Cedric Magnin Pascal Gault Delphine Planes

Dean of the baccalaureate classes

Responsible for quality labels

Head of Primary



Marie-Line Druel

Mayeli Gabioud

Aurélie Donne

Marie Line Druel Mayeli Gabioud Aurelie Donne

Senior Education Advisor

Administrative director

Head of boarding school

Our educational objectives

Our educational priorities are:

  • creating a climate of trust between students and teachers
  • generating pride in work and effort
  • empowering students through their work and participation in school life
  • developing a sense of morality and solidarity
  • whetting curiosity through a wide variety of activities and teaching methods

In order to attain these objectives, which are inseparable from academic success, the lycée ensures:

  • a high-quality, personalised education provided by a team of competent, experienced and motivated teachers, chosen for their educational values and growth mindset
  • the constant availability of teachers, regular assessment and online access to homework and results
  • close collaboration between parents, teachers and students
  • daily private study periods supervised by teachers, in order to reduce the load of homework, integrated into the daily timetable of students
  • refresher and advanced level classes available upon demand and integrated into the students’ timetables weekly according to their needs and requests
  • high expectations that assume students are able to balance:
    • memory and invention
    • reason and imagination
    • concentration and autonomous learning
    • a respect for rules and resourcefulness

Our classes and curricula

The lycée Töpffer follows the official Genevan school programmes up to the end of obligatory schooling, then the official French school programmes until the baccalaureate (high school diploma).

  • The primary section:

    We accept children in the last two years of primary school, i.e. 7P and 8P Harmos in the Swiss system, or CM1 and CM2 in the French system (the equivalent of Year 5 and 6 in the English system and 4th and 5th grades in the USA).

  • The lower secondary section:

    We follow the programmes of the Swiss system (known as 9ème, R3, 10ème and 11ème LS), which correspond to the three years of junior high school in Geneva (known as Cycle d’Orientation). These classes are also referred to as 6ème, 5ème and 4ème, which correspond to the French system (Years 7, 8, and 9 in the UK and 6th, 7th and 8th grades in the USA).

  • The upper secondary section:

    Students are prepared for the French baccalaureate for four years in classes called “3ème, 2de, 1ère and terminale” (Years 10 to 13 in the UK and 9th to 12th grade in the USA).

    Lessons and optional classes

    French, German, English, Spanish, Italian, Latin, maths, physics, chemistry, biology, history, geography, philosophy, economy, I.T., sport and physical education. The lycée is well equipped, especially for science subjects in our laboratory. The classrooms are equipped with beamers, tablets, and interactive whiteboards, etc. The material in the computer room (which is also used as a language laboratory) is regularly updated. There is also a library for students’ use.

    • Daily private study periods and homework support given by teachers.
    • Refresher and advanced level classes every Friday afternoon.
    • Optional art lessons are offered in addition to timetabled art classes: practical classes, drawing, history of art, theatre and musical education. A wide variety of international culture is present in Geneva and we make the most of the opportunities provided by a cosmopolitan city, including conferences, visits, exhibitions, theatre and musical performances, concerts, cinema, etc.
    • Preparatory and foundation courses for students in their final year who are planning to study science at universities such as the Swiss Federal Institute of technology in Lausanne (EPFL).
    • Advanced English classes for native/excellent speakers.
    • French as a foreign language: these classes enable non-francophone students to follow our mainstream classes.
    • Chinese: optional, initiation, intermediate or higher level lessons, preparation for Chinese option in French baccalaureate.
    • Other languages are available upon demand: Arabic, Hebrew, Russian, etc.
    • A wide variety of sporting activities: following the adage “a healthy mind has a healthy body”, sports play an important role in the wellbeing of our students (such as skiing, hiking, climbing, swimming, skating, athletics, cross-country running, etc.).
    • Many extra-curricula activities are offered, such as the robotics workshop, study trips, international events such as poetry day, the francophonie festival, the Kangaroo Maths quiz, science festival, talent week, a workshop to develop a start-up, end of year trips, etc.

    Summer Camp

    For French speaking or non-French speaking students: morning refresher classes (French, maths), and intensive language courses (French, German and English) with varied sporting and cultural activities in the afternoon.


    One of the criteria for stimulation and academic success is finding oneself in a homogeneous group. In order to ensure the perfect fit when registering new students, we study the latest school reports and may ask the student to sit an entrance exam where necessary.
    The lycée is not designed to help students with difficulties to catch up. Rather than seeing this policy as a selection, these entrance conditions should be considered a guarantee of the successful acclimatization into a new class and of future academic success.


    For any information or registration, please contact the administration:

    Joseph Gabioud, principal
    Lycée Rodolphe Töpffer
    21, avenue Eugène Pittard
    1206 Geneva, Switzerland
    Telephone: +41 (0) 22 703 51 20
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    Our certification and partners

    • The lycée Rodolpe Töpffer is a well-known establishment with a reputation for excellence:
    • ISO 9001 certification.
    • QSC label (Swiss quality certificate for general education schools).
    • Member of AGEP (Genevan association of private schools) and FSEP (Swiss Federation of private schools).
    • Member of GSIP (Swiss group of private boarding schools)
    • Member of GESBF (group of Swiss schools preparing the French baccalaureate).
    • Registered and recognised as a quality Swiss private school by the Swiss Confederation and the public education department of Geneva (DIP)
    • Under the convention of the Academy of Grenoble.
    • Partner of “die Deutsche Schule” for the Goethe-Zertifikat (German as a foreign language exams)
    • Certified examination centre for Cambridge Assessment, Geneva.
    • Certified Eco-School.
  • HOLIDAYS 2022 - 2023


    Boarding school opens Sunday 28th August from 2pm
    Classes start Monday 29th August 8:15am
    “Jeûne genevois” bank holiday Thursday 8th September
    Mid-term grades 19th October approx.
    Half term holiday Wednesday 19th October 5pm to Monday 31st October 8:15am
    First term report 21st December approx.
    Christmas holiday Wednesday 21st December 12am to Monday 9th January 8:15am
    Half term holiday Friday 17th February 5pm to Monday 27th February 8:15am
    Second term report 7th April approx.
    Easter holiday Friday 7th April 5pm to Monday 24th April 8:15am
    Labour Day bank holiday Monday 1st May
    Ascension holiday Wednesday 17th May 5pm to Monday 22nd May 8:15am
    Pentecost (Whit Monday) Monday 29th May
    End of year report 23rd June approx.
    End of school year Friday 23rd June 11am
    Summer Camp 10th to 21st July
    Classes start Monday 28th August 2023 (Boarding school opens Sunday 27th August from 2pm)


    School equipment

    le lycee fornituresAt the start of the school year each student must bring the following equipment: a school bag, homework diary, complete pencil case, coloured pencils (small box), compass, simple calculator (until class of 3ème and afterwards a Texas Instrument TI-83 CE PYTHON edition), ruler, set square, protractor, A4 squared paper. We recommend students use medium width A4 ring binder with two rings (as opposed to four), with coloured dividers and plastic sleeves. Each teacher will also give students a list of specific equipment depending on their subject.

    • Textbooks will be given out during the first few days of term. The invoice for books, along with a flat rate for photocopies and educational material will be sent to parents.
    • Primary students will receive a separate list of necessary equipment.
    • The students have lockers assigned nominatively by the school assistant, all they have to do is bring a padlock.

    Daily timetable

     (*concerns the boarding house):

    7am/7:15* Wake up and breakfast
    8:15am Lessons start (each lesson lasts 50 minutes)
    10am-10:15am Morning break and snack
    12-1:05pm Lunch break
    1:05pm Lessons start
    3:50pm- 4pm Afternoon break and snack
    4pm – 5pm Study hall monitored by teachers
    6:45pm* Evening meal
    7:30-9pm* Study hall monitored by teachers or school trips and visits
    10:15pm* Bedtime

    NOTICE: The daily timetable may be altered depending on individual or class timetable

    Weekly timetable

    • All-day schooling from Monday to Friday; supervised study hall is obligatory for every class, except for upon specific parental request.
    • Wednesday: lessons finish between midday and 5pm depending on the options chosen by the student and the class timetable.
    • Friday: lessons finish between 2pm and 5pm depending on extra classes taken by the student.

    Academic Organisation

    le lycee info generalesIn order to closely follow the progress made by each student, various evaluations are frequently organised throughout the school year. These evaluations may be:
    -formative or self-evaluating, to identify skills acquired and to assess areas that need extra help.
    -summative evaluations that validate learning acquisition in relation to educational and career options.

    A mid-term report is sent to parents in October and at the end of every term families receive a detailed report containing the grade averages of every subject along with a comment from each teacher. A general comment relating to work, results and behaviour is written by the class teacher. Parents can consult results and homework online at any time using our Pronote intranet program and parent-teacher meetings are organised yearly. The class teacher follows closely the academic progression of students in their class and helps in the elaboration of an individualised educational and career project. This tutor-teacher is the preferred contact person for both students and their parents/legal guardians.

    Conditions for passing the school year

    promotionOn a progressive scale from 1 to 20, a general grade average of 12/20 or more is needed to pass into the next class. In the case of an average of between 10/20 and 12/20 the class council (composed of subject teachers, class teachers and representation of the administration board) will decide if a pass by way of derogation can be awarded. In the case of a grade average lower than 10/20 the student cannot pass the year.

    School Rules


    The Rodolphe Töpffer Lycée is an academic and educational establishment where an attitude of tolerance and respect is expected from everyone. Politeness and respect for others, for the environment, for equipment and belongings are an integral part of the school rules.

    Arriving late:

    Whatever the reason for a late arrival (alarm clock issues, traffic, etc.) parents must IMMEDIATELY inform the school assistant by phone (022 703 51 23) or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    A maximum of 3 non-justified late arrivals are accepted per term, beyond this an expulsion warning will be given, accompanied by a one-day suspension. A maximum of 3 warnings will be accepted during one school year. The school assistant has the right to give a detention for any non-justified late arrival. In case of a non-justified late arrival, the student must wait until the study hall to re-join his or her class during the next break. By justified we mean explained and excused by parents and/or legal guardians.

    The number of late arrivals (justified or non-justified) appears on the school report.


    Pre-planned absences can only be requested for serious reasons, in writing, at least three days in advance. Requests must be made to the school administration. All students are expected to have caught up on class and homework upon return to class.

    Whatever the reason for an absence (illness, accident, etc.), the school assistant must be informed immediately by phone (022 703 51 23) or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    A medical certificate is required to justify any absences during the end of term exams and those that take place on Wednesday/Friday afternoons for the lycée Year 11  to 13 in the UK system, and 10th to 12th grade USA) Without this justification the result of 0/20 must be given by the teacher. Given the nature of continual assesment in the baccalaureate, this is also the case all evaluations for the classes of premier and terminale, moreover every hour of non-justified absence will be sanctioned by one hour of detention on the Friday afternoon. In cases of extended absence the lycée reserves the right to suspend or expel the student concerned.
    Parents will be informed by phone of any non-justified absence. Every student must catch up evaluations that take place during their absence, whatever the reason for this absence. Absences are counted in half-days, any amount of time inferior or equal to a half-day will be counted as one half-day and a complete day counts as two absences. The total number of absences (justified or not) features on the school report.

    interditOther Rules:

    • Permanent markers, chewing gum, knives and blades are forbidden.
    • In class, caps, food, soda and music players are not accepted.
    • All music is forbidden during study hall periods.
    • The use of mobile phones, tablets or computers are forbidden between 8.15am and 5pm within lycée premises except for during lunch break or with express permission from a member of staff, upon penalty of confiscation in which case the device must be collected by the parents of the student concerned.
    • Mobile phones must be used responsibly. Any publication of slander, vulgarity or insulting material on Internet or elsewhere will lead to sanctions including expulsion. It is also forbidden to charge mobile devices in the classrooms.
    • Alcoholic beverages and the consumption of alcohol are totally forbidden at all times.
    • Students are not permitted to smoke, inside or close to the lycée at any time of day. If this rule is not respected the student will be suspended or expelled. This includes electronic cigarettes and any smoking device.
    • Bringing any amount of drugs, or equipment related to their consummation, use or sale of drugs will result in immediate and permanent expulsion; no forewarning or appeal is possible.
    • Ripped or holed trousers, trousers that are unsuitably low-waisted, uncovered midriff, tattoos, visible piercings, hair fancy shaved or dyed in unnatural colours, and for boys earrings and long hair (not tied up) are forbidden. In general, appropriate clothing is required.
    • The students in Primary through to 4ème class (Year 5 to year 9 UK system, 4th grade to 8th grade in USA) included are not allowed to leave the campus until the end of the school day, including lunchtime, unless they eat at home.
    • Students in 3ème (Year 10 in UK system, 9th grade in USA) and above are allowed to leave the campus between lessons and during lunch break, unless a specific request is made by parents.
    • It is forbidden to picnic in the lycée except in room 16 during lunch break.
    • Day students are not permitted to enter the boarding area, especially the bedrooms.
      Parents are asked to remind their children of certain rules relative to community life, including punctuality, hygiene, politeness, tolerance of others and of differences. Initiatives that aim to develop a spirit of perseverance, intellectual curiosity, creativity and supporting others will always be encouraged.
    • Off campus students are under the responsibility of their parents. During school trips the school rules apply and students are expected to adopt exemplary behaviour.



    Sanctions have a role in the educational process. They enable students to understand limits and take both personal responsibility (classwork not carried out for example) and responsibility as part of a larger community (not following community life). Staff will explain the reason behind such sanctions to the students to enable them to understand and learn from their errors. Detentions are exceptional in nature and are thus accorded the importance they deserve.
    Whatever the reason for a detention, if a student receives more than three in one week (from Thursday to Thursday) an official warning and a day’s suspension will be given, as is the case if a student does not undertake any detentions given. The third detention will be fined 70,- CHF. The student will be expected to have caught up on missed work including homework before his or her return and will re-sit any evaluations missed during this suspension. A maximum of three warnings are accepted before a definitive expulsion.


    Personal homework and study is an integral element of learning and is therefore obligatory.
    A student who has been absent should phone his or her “correspondant” (– a classmate chosen at the start of the school year who will collect work for an absent student) and check the online homework diary in order to be up to date upon their return to school.
    We ask parents to ensure their child has a calm area and sufficient time available to develop the habit of doing homework with the necessary concentration.
    Indeed, parents play an important role in ensuring homework is done correctly; we encourage them to check the homework diary and incite their child to produce neat work to the best of their abilities. We also encourage parents to give positive attention to any school work brought home, this boosts a feeling of pride in work well done that will serve students throughout their schooldays and beyond.

    Important evaluations must be signed by the parents or legal tutor of students in every class up to and including the “seconde” (Year 11 in UK, 10th grade USA). These evaluations will be numbered so both parents and students can keep a track of results.

    Sports class:

    sportInstilling a drive for exertion and for bettering oneself is one of our pedagogical aims and we count on the support of parents to ensure this in sports class.

    Each student must bring the necessary kit including specific sports shoes with non-marking soles. Failure to do so will mean the student must remain in supervised study hall during the two-hour sports lesson. If the student forgets his or her equipment more than once a term, they will receive a detention. If it becomes apparent that a student is purposefully forgetting their kit then a meeting with the parents will be organised to discuss this and find a solution. In all cases, the student must attend the roll call of the sports class. For security reasons the sports hall and changing rooms will remain open, therefore valuable objects (mobile phones, money, etc.…) should remain safely in the student’s locker at school.

    Exemption from sports class:

    • For one lesson: an exceptional request can be made accompanied by parental justification (letter, email, etc.).
    • For a medical appointment the student should provide the supporting documents from the doctor the next day.
    • For an absence longer than one lesson: a medical certificate must be presented before the second class.
    • A student who is exempt from sports class will remain in supervised study hall for the duration of the class; depending on the health of the student concerned they may be allowed to return home after a written request by the parents has been taken into account.
    • In every case, the student must attend the sports class role call.
    • For students in premier and terminale classes a yearly medical certificate exempting sport does not conform to baccalaureate requirements. Students must attend sports classes, where an adapted programme will take into account their injury or disability.

    School Transport :

    In order to ensure the security of our students we expect the following rules to be adhered to:

    • Wait for the bus on the pavement, not the road.
    • Attach the seatbelt as soon as seated and keep it attached until arrival
    • Speak quietly, no shouting or whistling in the bus
    • Do not eat or drink in the bus
    • Do not put head or arms out of the window
    • Do not throw things from the window
    • Do not leave litter or any objects in the bus
    • Do not damage seats or any part of the bus

    These rules apply to all students, whatever their age. The school administration, represented by Maya Gabioud and Joseph Gabioud reserve the right to undertake any sanction deemed necessary in the case non-respect of these rules, with no possibility of appeal.

    Extra Information

    • Insurance: Parents are responsible for insuring their child in case of illness, accident and civil responsibility; these will not be covered by the lycée’s insurance.
    • The lycée refuses responsibility in case of loss or theft. Students are advised to leave valuable belongings and money at home or leave them at reception for safekeeping. Any school material lost or damaged by a student will be replaced at their expense.
    • School attestation: will be provided for each student upon request at the Secretary's office.
    • Student card and class photo: will be given to each student in September and billed for.
    • Confidentiality: The staff and administration respect the confidentiality concerning all personal information related to students and their families. Photos taken during our various school activities will not name students and will be present on our social networks, our website and our publicity. Please contact the Administration office in writing if you wish to withdraw your tacit agreement to this policy.
    • Parental authorisations concerning various aspects of school life may be given by email.
    • Religion: lycée Töpffer is secular school open to all cultures and religions. We are open to particular provisions that may be requested.
    • Car Park: except for spaces reserved for visitors, parking space is only available for members of staff and employees. This is to guarantee access for emergency vehicles, deliveries and the school buses. Parking for motorized scooters and motorbikes can be found at the entrance gate and there is space within the campus to leave bicycles, scooters, etc. (students are advised to bring their own lock).