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Old 19.05.2011, 10:57
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Volksschule - Elementary School Curriculum - Zurich

Hi,

I am thinking of Elementary School education of my son as one of the implications of me thinking of moving to Zurich from Britain. Is there any website that details the schooling system in Switzerland (Zurich in Particular). What subjects are taught at what age. Are there English medium schools? If not, is English taught at schools are?

What are the implications of me deciding to come back to Britain after a few years in the context of my child's education - given the fact that the language media are different etc are the things I want to have a clarity before making further plans.

Please kindly direct me information on Elementary Schools.

thank you
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Old 19.05.2011, 11:09
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Re: Volksschule - Elementary School Curriculum - Zurich

Quite apart from learning to read in a different language, which is a challenge in itself, as the "code" you learned ("a" sounds like "a", "w" sounds like "w" etc) has to be relearned, you have the additional challenge of learning maths in the new language.

Now if you are visual, and "see" the numbers, it isnt as much of a challenge? But studies in Australia with immigrant children from parents of languages other than English, are have shown that these children have to be just a little more astute than the rest, in order to get average grades.
(i cant quote you websites, as I have this information from a "textbook"

And if you dont speak German, you can only help to a limited degree.

That, and the sexy school system here, that has the children coming home for lunch every day...

"For the children and the school system" is not the reason people move here...


Let the debate begin...


EDIT: Oh yes- the elementary schools in English in Zurich? I know of 2: http://www.issh.ch/.. http://www.zis.ch/
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Old 19.05.2011, 11:10
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Re: Volksschule - Elementary School Curriculum - Zurich

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Hi,

I am thinking of Elementary School education of my son as one of the implications of me thinking of moving to Zurich from Britain. Is there any website that details the schooling system in Switzerland (Zurich in Particular). What subjects are taught at what age. Are there English medium schools? If not, is English taught at schools are?

What are the implications of me deciding to come back to Britain after a few years in the context of my child's education - given the fact that the language media are different etc are the things I want to have a clarity before making further plans.

Please kindly direct me information on Elementary Schools.

thank you
Do you speak German to understand the curriculum?
I'd call up the cantonal office of edu, Zurich, here is the contact.

Ah, I see, the international schools, that will be much easier. Here are 11 threads to get info from.
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Old 19.05.2011, 11:23
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Re: Volksschule - Elementary School Curriculum - Zurich

Thanks for the contact. I don't speak German. My son would be the first German speaking person in my family if I put him in a school in Zurich when he starts his school soon :-)

While doing my masters in computers, I had the opportunity to work as a private tutor to nearl 10 school going kids teaching Maths and Science, and it was painful to see when they feel difficulty to understand some concepts.

For a kid, sometimes, the language becomes tougher than the concept itself. Be it Mathematics, Physics or Chemistry. So, if the medium of instruction itself changes from German back to English (in the event of me deciding to come back to Britain - for some unforeseen reason) it will be difficult for my son to cope with the subjects.

Does my concern make any sense? Can people who have gone through similar experience validate my understanding?

thank you
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Old 19.05.2011, 11:29
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Re: Volksschule - Elementary School Curriculum - Zurich

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Thanks for the contact. I don't speak German. My son would be the first German speaking person in my family if I put him in a school in Zurich when he starts his school soon :-)

While doing my masters in computers, I had the opportunity to work as a private tutor to nearl 10 school going kids teaching Maths and Science, and it was painful to see when they feel difficulty to understand some concepts.

For a kid, sometimes, the language becomes tougher than the concept itself. Be it Mathematics, Physics or Chemistry. So, if the medium of instruction itself changes from German back to English (in the event of me deciding to come back to Britain - for some unforeseen reason) it will be difficult for my son to cope with the subjects.

Does my concern make any sense? Can people who have gone through similar experience validate my understanding?

thank you
Your concern totally make sense. I have worked for many years with kids who had trouble with the media rather than the matter they were learning.

Your child might not be this case, but might be. You know your child.

If he is a trooper and easily adjusts, social, verbal, etc., put him in the local school since he more likely picks up the language faster.

If you have any concern regarding him having a difficulty coping with the language and plan on returning back to UK in a couple of years, have the means to pay thousands for international school or it is covered by employer, I'd put him in a high quality international or private, local bilingual school.

Just be aware that while the local system is obligated to place your child to one of the classes, there might be long waiting lists for intern/bilingual, private schools.
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Old 19.05.2011, 11:57
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Re: Volksschule - Elementary School Curriculum - Zurich

There are lots of threads already on this subject as has already been suggested. A good read through them should help you see both sides.

Do you know which area of Zurich you would be living? It seems that not all areas have an integration programme so this would also make a difference to the type of schooling.

How old is your son? We have a 12 year old son and an 11 year old daughter. Both are in a local school in the integration class and are doing quite well. Our son settled in and just got on with it, although our daughter struggle initially but is now doing really well also. Think boys are far more 'cock sure', where as the girls are a little more reserved, emotional and can be quite shy. Also for the boys there is the international language of soccer, which is how my son earned his brownie points with the other kids.

So the integration class itself is still hard going, intensive German, whilst carrying on their other subjects. But it is also the system that can be quite a shock. They have a far different approach to things than the UK and US, this can also take some getting used to.

Have contributed to some of the other threads on this subject so there will be more detailed info on them, but feel free to send me a message if you would like to talk about things in more detail.

For us local school has been a good experience for the children so far, they speak German, settled in well and will be leaving the integration class in the summer. Far better than I could of hoped for. But then we also expect to be here long term so worked of that basis.
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Old 19.05.2011, 14:55
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Re: Volksschule - Elementary School Curriculum - Zurich

Probably what you are looking for is the Canton education plan, it gives what is taught or what is expected at each level (year). I know where the one is for Vaud, but this probably won't help you. Hoping one of the Zurich members of the EF will be along to tell you where to find the equivalent for Zurich. It is unfortuanately one of those things that is Canton specific.
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Old 24.05.2011, 12:26
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Re: Volksschule - Elementary School Curriculum - Zurich

As Clarejane said, lots of Threads on here. The Sticky at the top of this sub-forum gives some of the official basic stuff and links to other helpful sites.
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