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Old 08.02.2008, 16:55
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International Schools in Basel

We are moving to Basel with two boys age 3-4 and are looking into preschool/kindergarten options, ideally bilingual English/(Swiss) German. How does the International School of Basel compare with the Swiss International School (at Minerva)? It is difficult to get a sense of the pros/cons of each simply based on their websites. Many thanks.
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Old 11.02.2008, 14:52
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Re: International Schools in Basel

I think the ISB program is in English while the SIS is bilingual. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. The schools are also in 2 different worlds. The ISB is very international, heavily British and American in orientation, more academically-oriented. Moms very involved, and with its own social network. The SIS is more Swiss, lower-key, less stimulating, less money to work with. More accepting of kids with special needs.

Sharon
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Old 29.02.2008, 14:10
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Re: International Schools in Basel

Hello
I have been living in Basel since May 2006. I have 3 children 5yr old Boy and 2 girls 10 and 12 years. When we moved here we had the difficult choice to make as regards school. I decided that we would try an International school for a couple of years and then move the kids to local schools. We decided on the Swiss International school as it offered a Bi-lingual programme. I was not happy with the services offered and the morale at the school was awful. My children did learn a little german but not as much as we hoped as they are immersed rather than taught. It did however allow me and them to make some valueable friends which has made the move easier. The ISB is mainly English speaking with a lot of Americans. The facilities are far better and the education system they run is internationally recognised compared to the SIS which was running the English Curriculum, no good if you plan on being here for a long time! We moved our children to local schools which has been a success so far. My son is in the Kindergarten and does not start formal education until he is 7 years, he loves it and he seems really happy with his swiss friends. My daughters have both had extra help with German offered by the local schools and both seem to be coping well. The only problem with the Swiss system is that the kids have strange timetables. Kindergarten finishes at 12ish and the other kids come home for long lunch breaks, so if you are thinking of working the International school would be better. Sorry this is so long but I wish I had been able to have some help from another mother when we moved, I might have done things differently. All I can say is a lot of parents moved their kids from the SIS to the ISB or local schools last year. But, I also have friends that are satisfied with the SIS it depends on your expectations. Hope this helps. Also my kids have not given English up they still have English lessons at a local English School for 2 hours a week, so there are lots of options.
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Old 29.02.2008, 18:53
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Re: International Schools in Basel

Thanks much for the helpful responses. Also, much obliged if anyone would like to elaborate on the warnings about SIS...I'm hearing too Swiss, too laidback or less funds than the ISB but frankly our two boys, 3 and 4, at their age are fine with a roof over their heads, an attentive staff, and kids to play with. Is SIS really that bad? ISB would be more than fine, but we'll be working (and probably living) in the center/old town so my main concern is getting them out there and back everyday. Thanks again.
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Old 01.03.2008, 19:25
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Re: International Schools in Basel

Reference to your response, the SIS went through a bad patch last year due to the Head, but a new Head in place things seem to be getting better. I am familiar with the staff and can say that they are very nice and have the childrens best interests at heart. The geographical area of the school is not the best (rough end of Basel, lots of strange people hanging out!) As your children are quite young then this should not be an issue as you will be collecting and picking up. There are rumblings of lack of funds but you will have to make your own mind up. Travelling by car is easy and the tram network is excellent - so I would not give up on the idea of the ISB. For the same money you get a lot more!
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Old 23.08.2008, 21:44
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Re: International Schools in Basel

I have 3 kids at the SIS, ages 7,6 and 4. We have lived here 10 months. I had heard all the 'warnings' but some parents informed me that with the new administration things had gotten much better so we went ahead and enrolled our kids. We have been very pleased and after not even a whole school year, my kids are learning a lot of German and tracking very well with, if not better than, their US and UK peers. For us, it was a huge missed opportunity to live in Switzerland and put our kids in the ISB. It is clearly a wonderful school, wonderful facilities etc. but not a very Swiss experience.
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Old 24.08.2011, 23:37
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Re: International Schools in Basel

Quote:
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Hello
I have been living in Basel since May 2006. I have 3 children 5yr old Boy and 2 girls 10 and 12 years. When we moved here we had the difficult choice to make as regards school. I decided that we would try an International school for a couple of years and then move the kids to local schools. We decided on the Swiss International school as it offered a Bi-lingual programme. I was not happy with the services offered and the morale at the school was awful. My children did learn a little german but not as much as we hoped as they are immersed rather than taught. It did however allow me and them to make some valueable friends which has made the move easier. The ISB is mainly English speaking with a lot of Americans. The facilities are far better and the education system they run is internationally recognised compared to the SIS which was running the English Curriculum, no good if you plan on being here for a long time! We moved our children to local schools which has been a success so far. My son is in the Kindergarten and does not start formal education until he is 7 years, he loves it and he seems really happy with his swiss friends. My daughters have both had extra help with German offered by the local schools and both seem to be coping well. The only problem with the Swiss system is that the kids have strange timetables. Kindergarten finishes at 12ish and the other kids come home for long lunch breaks, so if you are thinking of working the International school would be better. Sorry this is so long but I wish I had been able to have some help from another mother when we moved, I might have done things differently. All I can say is a lot of parents moved their kids from the SIS to the ISB or local schools last year. But, I also have friends that are satisfied with the SIS it depends on your expectations. Hope this helps. Also my kids have not given English up they still have English lessons at a local English School for 2 hours a week, so there are lots of options.
Hello,
I'm really interested in your situatuation and wondered if you could advise me. Do all public schools in Basel offer German integration/support for non-German speaking pupils? Where do I get a list of contact numbers for the local primary schools in Basel?
Which areas in Basel have better public schools?
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Old 25.08.2011, 08:07
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Re: International Schools in Basel

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Hello,
I'm really interested in your situatuation and wondered if you could advise me. Do all public schools in Basel offer German integration/support for non-German speaking pupils? Where do I get a list of contact numbers for the local primary schools in Basel?
Which areas in Basel have better public schools?
You may not get a response from the person you are asking. This is quite an old thread and the person who started it hasn't posted anything in the forum in over a year. Others may be able to offer some help with the numbers and information on the schools.
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Old 13.09.2011, 17:12
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Re: International Schools in Basel

Quote:
View Post
Hello
I have been living in Basel since May 2006. I have 3 children 5yr old Boy and 2 girls 10 and 12 years. When we moved here we had the difficult choice to make as regards school. I decided that we would try an International school for a couple of years and then move the kids to local schools. We decided on the Swiss International school as it offered a Bi-lingual programme. I was not happy with the services offered and the morale at the school was awful. My children did learn a little german but not as much as we hoped as they are immersed rather than taught. It did however allow me and them to make some valueable friends which has made the move easier. The ISB is mainly English speaking with a lot of Americans. The facilities are far better and the education system they run is internationally recognised compared to the SIS which was running the English Curriculum, no good if you plan on being here for a long time! We moved our children to local schools which has been a success so far. My son is in the Kindergarten and does not start formal education until he is 7 years, he loves it and he seems really happy with his swiss friends. My daughters have both had extra help with German offered by the local schools and both seem to be coping well. The only problem with the Swiss system is that the kids have strange timetables. Kindergarten finishes at 12ish and the other kids come home for long lunch breaks, so if you are thinking of working the International school would be better. Sorry this is so long but I wish I had been able to have some help from another mother when we moved, I might have done things differently. All I can say is a lot of parents moved their kids from the SIS to the ISB or local schools last year. But, I also have friends that are satisfied with the SIS it depends on your expectations. Hope this helps. Also my kids have not given English up they still have English lessons at a local English School for 2 hours a week, so there are lots of options.

Hiya, I agree totally. We looked at the ISB too and although we were very impressed we felt that after some consideration that a local school to where we are living was more important to us as we are planning on staying here long term and the ISB is for more short term families. Our daughter is now in an integration class in a local school and is already reading, writing and understanding a fair amount of german and we have only been living here 4 weeks! We are very impressed with the local school and all the activities and trips that they do. Our daughter is very happy there and is learning all aspects of Swiss german life, culture as well as the rest of the world.
We also never had anyone to help us with info etc. But we do feel we have made the right decision, the same as you.
It is a personal decision at the end of the day for each family.
Good luck with your choice. Sarah
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