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Old 22.02.2008, 16:24
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Re: Advice is needed: how to get a child to year 2 of Swiss Kindergarten?

Lana,

I think I would suggest you go back to the drawing board and think about what you are trying to achieve. There are many ways to crack a nut...

The Kindergarten system in Switzerland is all about social skills learning and not really academic. As such it does not really make a huge difference if your child attends a Swiss kindergarten or some other form of preparatory education. However, your children will encounter some small difficulties at the start of school if they attend a state school as their classmates will speak Swiss German with each other even if the lessons are primarily in high German.

So I guess the question is really how many Swiss speaking friends do they currently have. If the answer is less than 3 I would suggest quite strongly biting the bullet and following the system. If on the other hand they have quite a few friends "from the neighbourhood" I don't see why you should not just send them straight to school.

Note the early entrance to school is a multi-component assessment. The components consist of social skills, psychological and academic tests and references. This test is rather against the child, but it is quite comprehensive and fair so if your child is bright there should be no problem. Note that the ability to read and write is not particularly relevant but cognitive development is. A child needs to demonstrate being at least in the transition to concrete operational stage. eg a test to sort rings in order on a stick to form a cone etc

But in any case you have no need to rush and I would strongly advise spending time talking to kindergarten teachers and even going to the kindergarten for a day.
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