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Old 27.01.2016, 00:38
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Schools in Zug area

Hello

I would greatly appreciate any information that you can give me about schools in the Zug area.

I have 2 children : Emma (age 12, currently primary year 6) and Alex (age 10 and primary year 5). We moved from the UK to Wengen 18 months ago and they have been to the local Wengen village school. They are taught in german and are getting on well and fairly fluent. Their scores for the key subjects maths, german, french are good.

In September we are moving to Zug. I am aware that whilst the education system in Switzerland is good, some schools are excellent and others less good. It is very important that we choose the correct ones at this stage.

I understand that we do not choose, but are allocated a school depending on where we live. The plan is to gather information on which areas have good schools, and which to avoid, and then use this in apartment hunting.

So, what we are looking for is a last year in primary for Alex, and starting sec for Emma (She hasn't yet had the sec/ real grading....but we are hopeful)
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Old 13.02.2016, 13:25
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Re: Schools in Zug area

I wish you all the best.


We lived 6 years now here but need to consider US state Department involved and file law suits against certain government officials here in Cham, ZG.


We had one son in the Sekundarschule in Cham. They have in some courses different levels, called "Niveaukurse" here. When a kid moves up from level B to A, in this case it was in French, the normal case and government rules are that this kid is getting a so called "Liftkurs". This is a side class/course to make up for the knowledge difference compared to the other kids already in Level A.
In the case of my son, this course was denied by the school and city principle with no explanation or reasoning. I filed then an official complaint according to the guidance of the city council against the principle as in our opinion this is completely against the model of this Levels A and B in multiple classes (Kooperative Oberstufe). The answer was not satisfying as the city school president (which hired the principle) would not give a reason either for the decision.


Now, since I did not agree with the principle of Cham, he involved the KESB, which is a Agency under scrutiny similar to social services where kids are getting displaced, usually kids that are beaten, abused etc. It is not clear righ now but they try to cause problems, in my opinion a pure act of revenve, and try to convince the state government that my appeal to their decision is causing my son psychological damage and he suffers in school. Interestingly my son has average and stable grades and he even got an internship starting this summer after he finishes the Sekundarschule.




If you come here and want your kids to go to public schools, it is at your own risks. Zug writes on the own website, that Zug is regarded as having one of the best schools in the world. If you ask the government how they measure that, there is no answer. I did ask so I know that there is now answer.
Paper takes everything. I wouls say it is OK to send the kids to primary schools. After that, private schools are the solution, we have seen the difference with our three boys here.


Anyway, if you can, stay away from Zug. They are completely out of money and the schools are getting worse. I am convinced that they did not provide that course to my son for financial reasons but never could disclose that because it is not in line with the school model and if a father complains, then the revenge is to get the KESB involved. This, before the case is even over. Sick People here in Cham, very sick, what a scandal actually for Zug and supposedly the best Schools in the world..
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Old 13.02.2016, 16:26
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Re: Schools in Zug area

I think that the idea of a what makes a good school can be very different from one family to the next and what fits one child, may not fit the next. What is important to you? A rigorous curriculum? A warm atmosphere? Do you prefer a very multicultural school? Sometimes it isn't even the school that makes the difference, but the individual teacher. At our school (not in Zug) we have teachers that excel in some areas but not in others, some fit well with my kids, some not so much. I would think that academically most schools in the area will likely perform about the same. What I would do though, is have a look at the individual websites of the schools if you can find them, try to get a feel for school culture. Maybe even call the principal of each school and ask them: What makes your school great? Good Luck!
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Old 13.02.2016, 19:17
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Re: Schools in Zug area

My 11.5 year old son is in Grade 5 and attending a local school here in Oberwil, Zug. We've moved from Canada exactly a year ago, so we're relatively new. So he went cold turkey from an English-speaking country/school to a German-speaking one. He's doing well, with lots of coaching from dad, and a teacher specially assigned to him at school. I do agree that it really depends on the teachers. I love his teachers, and we have constant contact with them (via email & phone). We have had a one-on-one parent/teacher conference to discuss my son's progress. The school also have special days for parents to sit-in during lessons to observe. There was also an evening when parents were invited for a session to learn about the learning track moving up to secondary school. There was an English brochure for me (since they know I can't understand German). Feel free to contact me for more details. Yes, the teachers have mentioned about the budget cuts and heavy workload, but they are definitely passionate about their work.

Good luck in your choice.

Cheers,
Tracey
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Old 14.02.2016, 08:40
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Re: Schools in Zug area

Thank you everyone. I have heard a little about the financial problems in Zug, it sounds like it is having a big impact on the schools. I hope things work our for you, Mullet. We are going to have to make a few visits.
Best wishes
Alison
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Old 15.03.2016, 12:37
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Re: Schools in Zug area

We too are moving to Zug later this year. We also have to make the decision as to whether public or international school would be best.

We are moving from Geneva area. We have already been advised that our son would have to re-do a year if he goes to public school. His grades are above average to high in the main subjects. However, he only started German at school (here) this year. So not sure that the level of German would be sufficient to move up to sekondar when the time comes.

Reading the above comments are very useful - especially about the budget cuts affecting schools - concerning.

Can anyone from the Zug area provide some insight on the public vs international school choice pls? (pros/cons).

We have been told that the level at the international schools is not as high as the public schools. Is this true?

We have also been told that if going to an international school that there is 'little' social interaction for children outside of school. Is this true?
Is there much 'snobbery'? Is there much bullying? Or is there a generally good atmosphere to the international schools?
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Old 15.03.2016, 14:45
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Re: Schools in Zug area

There is generally an excellent, caring and family atmosphere to international schools. There has to be, kids move from country to country, which is very difficult emotionally and academically; the pastoral care has to be great.

For the same reasons as above, there has to be a lot to do socially outside school and international schools are usually thriving communities. There also has to be a robust, globally recognised curriculum- like the international baccalaureate. The standards of education in established IB schools are very high. In my experience, they are more challenging than the UK or the Swiss public/ local systems.

Keep an open mind, look at the schools and the curriculums they offer closely and decide what best fits your children's needs.

Good luck.
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Old 16.03.2016, 14:12
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Re: Schools in Zug area

Thank you for your helpful reply JAMOL.

I agree with your points & this is what I would expect of an International school. So I was surprised to hear otherwise, hence the reason for my post.
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Old 16.03.2016, 14:43
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Re: Schools in Zug area

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We have also been told that if going to an international school that there is 'little' social interaction for children outside of school. Is this true?
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There is generally an excellent, caring and family atmosphere to international schools. There has to be, kids move from country to country, which is very difficult emotionally and academically; the pastoral care has to be great.

For the same reasons as above, there has to be a lot to do socially outside school and international schools are usually thriving communities.
I wasn't sure what is meant by the original question here. Out-of-school hours activities taking place in the school buildings and/or organised by the school, or social activities with 'outsiders'? As far as I've seen there are many activities connected with the school, but precisely because of this and slower local language acquisition, plus having different timetables and different holiday weeks from the local schools it can be slightly more difficult for the children, and, to a certain extent, their parents, to integrate into a local community.

Last edited by Longbyt; 16.03.2016 at 17:44. Reason: Typo
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Old 16.03.2016, 17:13
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Re: Schools in Zug area

Our experience from a non-Swiss private school (not in Zug) was that it was quite detrimental to integration: German teaching was poor, high turnover of kids, and a different daily schedule and school calendar which made it close to impossible to enroll in extra-curricular activities outside the school. I also spent my time in the car, driving him to and from playdates. The environement wasn't particularly caring (nor uncaring, but rather rigid).

We're still in private school, but in one following the Zürich calendar and schedule, where teaching is in German and English (50/50) and most kids live in the neighbourhood. We've gone from being guests to living here, we've met loads of people who are here to stay and our German has improved a lot.

Next step for us if we stay will be the local school. But I'm also worried about the state of local schools in canton Zug, which is why we live in Zürich even if Trollefar works in Baar, so I get your dilemma.
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Old 17.03.2016, 11:01
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Re: Schools in Zug area

I think private schools and international schools are two different things. International schools do a very specific job. I wouldn't expect a huge amount of integration with the local community at an international school- although there will be some.I would expect holidays and term times to be different to the local schools-just like the curriculum is. I would also expect teaching to be in English. Most kids at international schools will return either to their home country or will move on, after a few years, to another country and another international school- usually one that will follow the same curriculum. Most well established international schools here will be part of the SGIS group- and their philosophy is similar. They are accredited using the same criteria and generally the standards are very good.

I don't know much about private schools in Switzerland, I'm sure there arrange and that they offer all sorts of different curriculum combinations. I'm sure some are excellent. They don't aim to offer an international curriculum to an international community in the same way as an international school. They offer alternative curriculums, perhaps teach differently and have a different educational philosophy to the local system of a country.

Local schools are the way to go if you want the local language to be learnt, connections to the local community as a family and to stay as a family in Switzerland.
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Old 18.03.2016, 16:55
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Re: Schools in Zug area

Yes I specifically did not mention private schools as that is a whole different kettle of fish. Not looking to go down that route. Thanks.
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Old 18.03.2016, 17:49
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Re: Schools in Zug area

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Yes I specifically did not mention private schools as that is a whole different kettle of fish. Not looking to go down that route. Thanks.


You havent posted on this thread before, and you live nowhere near Zug. What are you talking about?
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Old 08.05.2016, 00:41
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Re: Schools in Zug area

I guess in Zug the international school would be ISZL. My kids have been there 2.5 years and our experience is great in many ways. One thing you will miss though is integration to local community - how important that is to rach one could make a difference when choosing school. Other is of course financial aspect; international schools are ridiculously expensive in Switzerland, easily > 30kCHF per kid per year (normally you paid about 1/3 for similar schools outside Switzerland). I think in most cases the fees are paid by companies. I have friends whose kids attend local school and are very happy as well e.g. local school in Unterägeri seems to be quite ok. Good luck with finding the school, was very important for us as well when we moved in.
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Old 13.05.2016, 23:47
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Re: Schools in Zug area

Hello AlisonH,
How are you getting on with your investigations into schools in Zug. We are likely to be relocating to Zug (husband currently commutes from the UK) so I'm in a similar situation. We have two children, aged 7 and 5. They speak no german (and neither do I) so the prospect is a little daunting. I know if we move we will get allocated a school depending on where we live so I've been trying to find out where the schools are in Zug, however with little success. We're currently renting an apartment in the centre of Zug, which is handy for my husband's work and the train, but I'm not sure this is the best place for the nearest school. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
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Old 14.05.2016, 07:47
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Re: Schools in Zug area

http://www.stadtschulenzug.ch/de/schule/primarschulen/

On the list on the left you will find all the primary schools by name in th city of Zug.
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Old 16.05.2016, 22:45
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Re: Schools in Zug area

Great, thank you swisscanmom!
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