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 10 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 DUMOULIN David 76da9 GABIOUD Maya 1a486

Joseph Gabioud

President of the Groupement Suisse
des Internats privés

David Dumoulin
Deputy principal

Maya Gabioud
Financial director




GABIOUD Anne 877c0 MAGNIN Cedric 9efae PLANES Delphine f2bdd

Anne Gabioud
Doyenne and responsible for Junior high school pedagogy



Cédric Magnin
Doyen of high school

Delphine Planes
Doyenne of Primary section





DRUEL Marie Line 5d60a GAULT Pascal c13a7 CHAIB Sihame 1 ef17e

Marie-Line Druel
Head of pastoral care



Pascal Gault
Responsible for Quality control


Sihame Chaib
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 year of primary school, i.e. 8P Harmos in the Swiss system, CM2 in the French system (the equivalent of Year 6 in the English system 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.


    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.