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Old 24.01.2011, 22:09
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High German school near or in Geneva

Hi - We are considering moving to or near Geneva. Our children speak English and high German. We are looking for a compulsory school that only teaches in High German. I've read that most compulsory schools start teaching High German in the 3rd year. When Swiss websites refer to the third year of compulsory school, how does that translate to state side grades? is the third year of Compulsory school 2nd grade (k, 1st, 2nd) or does kindergarten not count as a compulsory year? Also wondering if there are private HIGH German speaking only schools? I'm not really interested in bi-lingual schools. Currently my children are taught in High German and speak English at home. My son started language immersion school in the states starting in Kindergarten at the age of 6 and now by the middle of 1st grade he is nearly fluent. If you could help me figure out how the school system works in Switzerland, particulary in and or near Geneva, I would be so grateful. Any names of specific schools would help out greatly. Also, would like to know where a 5 year old fits into the school system - would 5 yrs old be put into preschool, kindergarten, or compulsory school. Again, any names of schools and info would be a huge help! Many thanks!
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Old 24.01.2011, 22:15
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Re: High German school near or in Geneva

I know that there is one as some friends (now living in HK) put their kids in the German school.

The easiest thing if someone on EF does not come up with the name would be to call the German consulate in Geneva to ask them where they send their kids. They would know the name for sure.

German Consulate - Chemin du Petit-Saconnex 28, 1209 Genève, Switzerland +41 22 730 11 11

Good luck.
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Old 24.01.2011, 22:29
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Re: High German school near or in Geneva

Maybe it's this Deutsche Schule Genf one. I cannot imagine there would be too many to choose from.
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Old 24.01.2011, 22:57
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Re: High German school near or in Geneva

There are usually two years of kindergarten and they start at about 5 years old, so children usually go into first class at seven. Most public schools tend to ignore previous school experience when deciding what class to place foreign kids in as they feel that the social aspect of being among children of the same age is more important. That was certainly our experience and that of our friends and neighbours. Further on that can be dealt with if it doesn't work out, in exceptional cases.
I doubt there are many German primary schools near Geneva as the state schools would be French speaking, only learning German later as a second or third language.
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Old 25.01.2011, 09:32
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Re: High German school near or in Geneva

Geneve being in the french-speaking area, the public school would be in French, not German. Yes, German is taught later, not exactly sure about the Geveve public schools, but around age 8-9, but as a second language. As such, your child would need to have French first, and then German would only follow slowly if in the Genve public schools. Also, Geneve public schools start at age 4, will be compulsory now with HarmoS, and there are 2 years of enfantine, ie. ages 4 and 5.

For private schools, in German, there is Deutsche Schule Genf, which is probably the only one with high German following the German school curriculum. If wanting to study German for the Swiss matura, or another curriculm, probably one of the other schools would be more appropriate. Please check the sticky at the top of the page to search the private schools in the area. But from my knowledge there are some others that at least do bi-lingual but some do more. There is Ecole Topffer, a Rudolf Steiner school, ecole Moser, etc. There is also a public international school just over the border in Ferney-Voltaire which also does German last I knew. If wanting to live in nearby canton Vaud, there are again some more options.
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