Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Education  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05.10.2016, 18:17
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Vaud
Posts: 9
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 8 Times in 5 Posts
Char H has no particular reputation at present
Public school experiences for young UK children

Hi

We are moving to Lausanne in the New Year and have a 4 year old and 2 year old. Our 4 year old has just started school this September. We are intending to transfer her into a Swiss public school. It will be a steep learning curve as she does not speak any French. Anyone have any experience of how this age group fair in public school setting and any tips for making the transition as smooth as possible?

One of my biggest concerns is that she will not learn to read and write in English at the same rate as she would in the UK and it will be up to me to try and keep this learning going. Have others had extra English lessons in this situation or do you just do what you can and catch up if we ever decide to come back? I think we will probably stay out there 3-5 years or if we love it longer. We did briefly consider international school but we have heard these are very expensive and given the age of our children we think they will do OK in public school, but I do have a niggling worry if we did want to come back and they have been following Swiss curriculum.

Any advice or reassurance would be much appreciated.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Char H for this useful post:
  #2  
Old 05.10.2016, 18:41
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Public school experiences for young UK children

There is quite a big selection of threads on here dealing with that exact theme (as you can imagine it comes up a lot with people moving over here with kids). The search function is fairly straight-forward to use.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05.10.2016, 19:19
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: ZH
Posts: 8,153
Groaned at 97 Times in 78 Posts
Thanked 12,623 Times in 5,121 Posts
doropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Public school experiences for young UK children

Hi Char H
Welcome to the Forum.
I'm sure you can imagine that, as Sandgrounder wrote, many questions are asked over and over again.

At first, many new users don't (as I didn't, for a long time) find the "search" function.
It is at the top right-hand side of your screen. There, if you enter "school" or "children" or "local school" or similar, you'll get a whole list of threads. Some are current, others will not be. Even so, you might have a look to which of those users who posted, back then, are still in Switzerland, and write a PM to them.

The search function one way to find previous threads with similar topics.
Another way is to scroll right down to the bottom of this screen, and the Forum will suggest "similar threads" to you.

Hope that helps you find some other people's experiences about schooling in Switzerland.

My own view is that the single most important thing you can do for your children - with regard to language aquisition and skills - is to live out what you would wish for them. If you get stuck into learning French, and show them that this is a happy experience, and fun, and a great opportunity, and we're so lucky to have the chance, and laugh at your own mistakes, and try, try, try again... they will model their own adaptation on your behaviour. Similarly, if you would like them to read English, then do so with them. If they see that you know how to switch between reading the two languages, and that both are good skills, they will come to think of this as normal, too.

Your children are too young for school, in Switzerland. The elder will go to kindergarten, the younger stay at home or go to a play-group. There, they will automatically learn French.

Yes, you are right, it will be your responsiblity, and that of the children's other parent and other English-speaking contacts, and perhaps of an extra lessons teacher if you pay for one, to teach them to read and write English. They may well have English lessons at school, but English will be a subject that comes later, certainly not at the levels they now are. Even when they do have that subject, it is unlikely to bring them up to the level that you could show them every night with the bed-time story.

I commend you for choosing the local schools! That's an excellent way for the children to make local friends, and for you to get in touch with other parents.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05.10.2016, 19:47
NotAllThere's Avatar
Modulo 2
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Baselland
Posts: 14,198
Groaned at 256 Times in 224 Posts
Thanked 21,076 Times in 8,559 Posts
NotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Public school experiences for young UK children

In Basel/Baselland, there's a not-for-profit verein (HSK) that works to provide mother-tongue language lessons, in cooperation with the Cantonal education authorities. Not free, however, but at local schools, and with class teacher involvement.

There may be something similar in Vaud.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank NotAllThere for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 05.10.2016, 19:56
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Public school experiences for young UK children

Perfect age and timing for them to adjust really quickly. Plenty of other Brits in the Lausanne area- so it would be easy to get a group together for speaking, but also reading and writing skills with a fun group.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 05.10.2016, 20:03
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Public school experiences for young UK children

Quote:
View Post
Hi

We are moving to Lausanne in the New Year and have a 4 year old and 2 year old. Our 4 year old has just started school this September. We are intending to transfer her into a Swiss public school. It will be a steep learning curve as she does not speak any French. Anyone have any experience of how this age group fair in public school setting and any tips for making the transition as smooth as possible?

One of my biggest concerns is that she will not learn to read and write in English at the same rate as she would in the UK and it will be up to me to try and keep this learning going. Have others had extra English lessons in this situation or do you just do what you can and catch up if we ever decide to come back? I think we will probably stay out there 3-5 years or if we love it longer. We did briefly consider international school but we have heard these are very expensive and given the age of our children we think they will do OK in public school, but I do have a niggling worry if we did want to come back and they have been following Swiss curriculum.

Any advice or reassurance would be much appreciated.
I only know about the Basel area but several Spielgruppe re-open in the afternoons specifically to tutor 4-6 year olds in English and Maths so as to bridge gaps or provide extra support etc.

If you're worried, you can also pick up Letts workbooks (there are others too but I can't put my hand on them right now) which cover English (and other topics) from age 4 up. The pound shops /Home Bargains places often have them too for a lot cheaper than Smiths or Waterstones or even the interweb. They are very accessible, skills based and usually have a sticker reward system included.

You would also be able to find a tutor, although I would look for one experienced in early years education. Good luck.

Last edited by RufusB; 05.10.2016 at 22:09.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 05.10.2016, 23:27
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Vaud
Posts: 9
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 8 Times in 5 Posts
Char H has no particular reputation at present
Re: Public school experiences for young UK children

Many thanks all for your really helpful advice and suggestions. I feel a lot more reassured already that there will be support out there and there are other people in this position.

Also thanks for telling me about search. What is the etiquette as I had a look through and there was a current thread about primary school and language barriers. Do I just jump on this and ask anything additional- I wasn't sure whether it's OK to do this or if not exactly what I wanted to know start a new thread?

Thanks again all
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Char H for this useful post:
  #8  
Old 05.10.2016, 23:42
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Public school experiences for young UK children

A word of 'warning' though. Early years education in Switzerland is very different to the UK - there is less emphasis on traditional 3Rs and more on socialisation, etc. Formal reading, and 3Rs tend to be pushed after the age of 6- so don't be put off by this- in fact, this will help your children to acquire more French before this happens.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 06.10.2016, 02:52
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: ZH
Posts: 8,153
Groaned at 97 Times in 78 Posts
Thanked 12,623 Times in 5,121 Posts
doropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Public school experiences for young UK children

Quote:
View Post
Also thanks for telling me about search. What is the etiquette as I had a look through and there was a current thread about primary school and language barriers. Do I just jump on this and ask anything additional- I wasn't sure whether it's OK to do this or if not exactly what I wanted to know start a new thread?

Thanks again all
How pleasantly polite you are! Thank you.

In general, if the thread is along the same lines as your enquiries, and close to your own situation, then it is a good idea to add your post there, rather than starting a new one.

This works expecially well if your first post in an older thread makes reference to what you've already read there (so people know you've taken the trouble), and you point out what is similar to and differnt from your situation, and then you pose your new questions based on that. That way, too, you are more likely to harvest questions which address your own specific needs.

Bonne chance!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06.10.2016, 05:15
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Public school experiences for young UK children

Quote:
View Post
In Basel/Baselland, there's a not-for-profit verein (HSK) that works to provide mother-tongue language lessons, in cooperation with the Cantonal education authorities. Not free, however, but at local schools, and with class teacher involvement.

There may be something similar in Vaud.
The Verein/association that NotAllThere refers to is called HSK English. Unfortunately it's only just over a year old and is currently active only in BS and BL, not yet in Romandie or in other parts of Switzerland. However, in BS and BL there are several other privately-operated alternatives for teaching and/or maintaining native English skills, most priced in the ballpark of the HSK classes, and I would imagine that similar offerings would exist in the farthest-flung reaches of Switzerland, even as far as Vaud.

A little effort on the part of the parents plus at least a couple of hours of English school (where the children get to mix with other native English-speaking kids) works wonders.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06.10.2016, 08:28
NotAllThere's Avatar
Modulo 2
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Baselland
Posts: 14,198
Groaned at 256 Times in 224 Posts
Thanked 21,076 Times in 8,559 Posts
NotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Public school experiences for young UK children

Quote:
The Verein/association that NotAllThere refers to is called HSK English. Unfortunately it's only just over a year old...
In fact it's been around rather longer than that - it's only in it's current form that it's one year old.

In 2005 two Centrepoint members, Judy Gundy and Wendy Olum Roth, started a middle-school class at Kaltbrunnen school. It grew over time to offer classes for children from Kindergarten through primary school and into middle school. However, teachers were working without an organising structure and community support and the effort was not sustainable. In the fall of 2014, the last remaining teacher, made an appeal for an association to be formed by interested parents. What emerged from that is the HSK English Association, chartered in March of 2015, with a motivated board of eight volunteer parents who are passionate about this valuable community resource. The all-volunteer board creates strategy and the mandate to hire and oversee the teaching staff, and manage the registration, finances and curriculum. The only paid positions in HSK English are the teaching staff.


But yes, BS and BL only at the moment. However, perhaps there are similar in VD.
__________________
Down with racism. Long live miscegenation!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06.10.2016, 09:05
JagWaugh's Avatar
RIP
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eglisau
Posts: 7,248
Groaned at 46 Times in 45 Posts
Thanked 14,131 Times in 5,506 Posts
JagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Public school experiences for young UK children

Quote:
View Post
Many thanks all for your really helpful advice and suggestions. I feel a lot more reassured already that there will be support out there and there are other people in this position.

Also thanks for telling me about search. What is the etiquette as I had a look through and there was a current thread about primary school and language barriers. Do I just jump on this and ask anything additional- I wasn't sure whether it's OK to do this or if not exactly what I wanted to know start a new thread?

Thanks again all
If, or rather when, you find an old thread which deals with the same question as your own, just jump right in with an additional question.

For your specific question, if the thread is a few years old you can also ask whoever it was who was facing the same question 3 years ago how things have turned out. You can ask the question publicly, or privately, or both.

You can start a new thread, but it makes it easier for subsequent posters to locate a specific thematic discussion if it is grouped in a single, or only a few threads. The mods will often move a new thread and merge it with an existing thread to achieve this end, but it would be better if you did that yourself.

In response to your original question, streaming your little ones in the public system will integrate and socialise them more than a private school. Their English will not be as good as if they were in an English speaking school in an English speaking community, but it will be a lot better than their French would be if you moved from France to Scunthorpe and put them in a public school there.

If you speak and read English with them their English comprehension will be fine. The best would be to learn French yourself with them, reading a mix of French and English - if home becomes an isolated island of English then both their English and their French may be a little behind and need remedial help.

Not all children turn out to be bookworms, if you are one yourself (or you are very lucky) and yours are, then the issue more or less takes care of itself. Both my children went through the public system, we spoke German and English at home, one child loved narratives, but was anything other than a bookworm, the other was a bookworm who didn't really talk a lot. Both (now 18 and 21) are perfectly fluent in both, although the odd Germanism or spelling mistake occurs in their English writing.
__________________
If everyone you know agrees with you consistently, they are either not listening, or not capable of critical thought.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank JagWaugh for this useful post:
  #13  
Old 14.10.2016, 17:16
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Vaud
Posts: 114
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 10 Times in 9 Posts
CuppaTea has made some interesting contributions
Re: Public school experiences for young UK children

Hi there, I'm in a very similar situation!


We're moving to the Vevey area in Jan 2017 with our 2 daughters who will be just 5 and 2.5. Our eldest has just started in Reception here in the UK this September and we are aiming to put her in a local school in Switzerland.


It seems that 1P and 2P in Switzerland seem to be very play-based with no or little formal reading/writing/maths etc, which I think will be a good thing as it will give my eldest time to get her head around French rather than dealing with a new school, new language and reading/writing all at once...


But the return to the UK bit is a small concern because I think if it was only 2-3 years down the line she'd potentially be very behind. If it was more like 4-5 years I suspect her French reading would be pretty good by then so may be less of an overall concern, but then we are in an 11+ area here in the UK so I do worry about the disadvantage being out of the UK system will be if/when it comes to that.


So I think our plan will be to continue to do UK phonics stuff at home. Her teacher is going to give us all of the learning outcomes for YR and Y1 so we've got something to go by and give us some good websites and any resources she can so that we can keep stuff up whilst we're away. On a FB group for the Vevey area there are a few British nannies/childminders who are ex-English teachers who offer additional tuition or English speaking group activities so we may give them a go if we feel the need.


Good luck with your move
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank CuppaTea for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 14.10.2016, 17:54
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Vaud
Posts: 2,459
Groaned at 175 Times in 122 Posts
Thanked 4,947 Times in 1,902 Posts
Mikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Public school experiences for young UK children

ours are in local school and we're not worried. they learn french, counting, conversation and all that stuff at school and at home we speak english and so on. they still learn, kids want to learn. if we go back to the UK I think ours will be at the same level or better as the UK.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Mikers for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 14.10.2016, 17:56
GenevaSculler's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Geneva
Posts: 1,251
Groaned at 7 Times in 5 Posts
Thanked 1,033 Times in 534 Posts
GenevaSculler has a reputation beyond reputeGenevaSculler has a reputation beyond reputeGenevaSculler has a reputation beyond reputeGenevaSculler has a reputation beyond reputeGenevaSculler has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Public school experiences for young UK children

It might be worth investigating the Montessori schools in the area you will move to: ours is bilingual English/French and whilst it is clearly a private school the prices are somewhat more affordable than the international schools from what I have seen.

The learning style is also seems somewhat different from the Swiss public shools, with them starting on reading, writing and maths from the beginning at 3 years old.

In any case our eldest loves it and number 2 (just turned 3) is settling in well so far.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank GenevaSculler for this useful post:
  #16  
Old 15.10.2016, 22:56
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Vaud
Posts: 9
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 8 Times in 5 Posts
Char H has no particular reputation at present
Re: Public school experiences for young UK children

Thanks again for the reassurance and advice. Will take a look at the Montessori schools when we look at the mix.

Cuppatea your situation does sound very similar to me. We are also moving in Jan and the Vevey area is at the top of our list. Which Vevey forums are you on? Pm me if you fancy a meet up with the kids who are similar age to yours when you get there. Where are you based now?

Charlotte
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Char H for this useful post:
  #17  
Old 15.10.2016, 23:33
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Public school experiences for young UK children

If you think you might stay long-term, I'd personally advise to put them in the public system straightaway- as it will prepare them better for strict selection at 11, between academic and vocational streams.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank for this useful post:
  #18  
Old 16.10.2016, 15:15
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: ZH
Posts: 8,153
Groaned at 97 Times in 78 Posts
Thanked 12,623 Times in 5,121 Posts
doropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Public school experiences for young UK children

Quote:
If you think you might stay long-term, I'd personally advise to put them in the public system straightaway- as it will prepare them better for strict selection at 11, between academic and vocational streams.
If you're considering the Montessori schools, well, they can be wonderful!

You might do well to consider Odile's point, though, that the transition can be a big leap. Perhaps, at around the child's age 9 or 10 you might need to get some extra support for the "drill" aspect of school, for drumming in, for learning off by heart, for acquiring the skills to cope with being forced to struggle with grasping content in which one has absolutely no interest.

Better still, teach your children from the start that there are many different styles of learning and growing. Montessort can be a fabulous start, and a way to keep the child's spirit unbroken. It's just that one has to put some planning into the subsequent transition into the state schools.

It is, of course, also possible to do it the other way round, and let the children attend state schools, while YOU be the ones to show them that all sorts of other, more individual, more experimental, more fun ways of learning and experiencing are also valid.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 02.11.2016, 13:11
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Vaud
Posts: 114
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 10 Times in 9 Posts
CuppaTea has made some interesting contributions
Re: Public school experiences for young UK children

Quote:
View Post

Cuppatea your situation does sound very similar to me. We are also moving in Jan and the Vevey area is at the top of our list. Which Vevey forums are you on? Pm me if you fancy a meet up with the kids who are similar age to yours when you get there. Where are you based now?

Charlotte

I've just PM'd you
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Swiss public primary school back to UK primary school ambula Education 22 27.10.2015 17:49
Stagiaire [young professionals] permit - any experiences? asmpic Permits/visas/government 2 30.06.2015 00:00
UK to Zurich, Which school, area to pick for children to blend in easily? hareemkhawer Housing in general 10 28.12.2014 08:50
Public Kindergarten experiences ( Zurich area)? splishsplash Family matters/health 2 15.07.2012 15:22
Course or teacher of German for 2 young English Children waiting to start school? Myken Language corner 3 18.09.2011 14:19


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 01:23.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0