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  #21  
Old 01.09.2011, 23:13
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Re: UK / Swiss school comparison

My youngest child was born in Bern and went through the Swiss system, and after the 9th year she had average scores.

Her mother then took her to Bournemouth UK, where she went to a poor school (Rather than face the inspection, the headmaster had resigned!) She went down to the 9th year and after 2 years studies she took 10 GCSEs (National exams at age of 16). She was the only child in the school taking French and German! The other 8 subjects were in business studies, computer studies, science and English etc. She passed all 10, with distinctions in 4 subjects.

So even though she was an average student here, (With fluent verbal English) she was a star in the UK after 2 years in an "improving" school (It was under special control and observation).

She then returned to Bern and has now finished a 3 year apprenticeship in business administration, and has just started her first job in Belp airport.
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Old 03.09.2011, 21:09
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Re: UK / Swiss school comparison

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And Wales is different to a degree - Welsh is compulsory from a very young age, for starters.

As with Irish in Ireland.
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  #23  
Old 03.09.2011, 21:54
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Re: UK / Swiss school comparison

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As with Irish in Ireland.
Northern Ireland too? (Because 'proper' Ireland isn't UK, of course.)
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  #24  
Old 03.09.2011, 22:17
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Re: UK / Swiss school comparison

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One huge advantage of having your kids grow up in your home country though is that you at least have a basic understanding of what they are going through - even if you were at school a lot of years ago (like me!) you will still understand what English school is like. And how things like "assembly" and "show and tell" work, and what's expected of you as a parent. What consists a "sports kit" and what sports they might do. I really struggle here with knowing a lot of things that are totally obvious to Swiss parents e.g. the first day at school - I had no idea that there was a big ceremonial party type thing with songs and welcome gifts and other stuff for parents and kids - in the UK you would have dropped your kid at school, perhaps said hi to the teacher and then left straight away and as soon as possible!
This is exactly my problem at the moment,I just dont 'get' some of the tratitional things they get up to here, and Google translate, sometimes just doesnt get it either!

But My daughter is having a ball and has made some fantastic friends. We are currently having the big debate about moveing back to the UK, we are desperate to settle down buy a house and be near family.
Schooling is a big issue for us but I have a feeling Im just scared about the swiss system, I think I have to do more research on how they stream the kids, Im worried for my children to not excel in the traditional subjects and be put in lower sets for everything.
I would like to be more informed but Im not sure where to get the info from (in English)

Im sure we have our rose tinted glasses on but as they say the grass is always greener and this is what worries me if we go back to the UK (or Australia)
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Old 03.09.2011, 22:26
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Re: UK / Swiss school comparison

How old is your daughter Zurich99? Fitting into Swiss education can be extremely difficult if they do not have time to acquire fluent linguistic skills before moving on to Secondary education. If they start young, there is no reason they won't fit in. BUT it is true that kids are still split into sort of 'secondary modern' and 'grammar school' streams aged about 14- so if your children are not academic, and have not acquired fluency of language both written and spoken, then it can be a problem. And would be less evident in the UK comprehensive system.
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Old 03.09.2011, 22:35
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Re: UK / Swiss school comparison

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How old is your daughter Zurich99? Fitting into Swiss education can be extremely difficult if they do not have time to acquire fluent linguistic skills before moving on to Secondary education. If they start young, there is no reason they won't fit in. BUT it is true that kids are still split into sort of 'secondary modern' and 'grammar school' streams aged about 14- so if your children are not academic, and have not acquired fluency of language both written and spoken, then it can be a problem. And would be less evident in the UK comprehensive system.
She is nearly 6, in second year of Kindi, im hoping she will pick up the language well before it becomes a problem (with the serious school stuff) but as we dont speak any german will she ever be that good at it? I dont know? I guess Im happy at the moment and more than content to put all 3 of my kids through the swiss kindi/primary but when it comes to around streaming age (14?) and they seem to be more 'creative' than academic I will be panicking for them.
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Old 03.09.2011, 22:42
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Re: UK / Swiss school comparison

One of my daughters was 6 when she went to the local Enfantine school in Geneva. She had been in primary school in the UK and had no problem at all. In fact her language skill was very quick to develop and she was just about fluent within a short time. She had no problem in going up to the next year.
We had to go back to the UK a couple of years later and it was apparent how behind she had got especially in her maths.
It is interesting that in UK primary reading , writing and maths were taught even at that young age when in Switzerland these subjects seem to be more heavily focused on at a later age..
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  #28  
Old 03.09.2011, 23:05
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Re: UK / Swiss school comparison

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She is nearly 6, in second year of Kindi, im hoping she will pick up the language well before it becomes a problem (with the serious school stuff) but as we dont speak any german will she ever be that good at it? I dont know?
I guess it does depend on the child, but my son started kindergarten with really no German at all. At kindergarten he did the "German as second language" classes which are standard here for kids who don't have much German. He could have continued the classes this year (he started primary this year) but his teacher said he doesn't need to because he is basically fluent (her words not mine!) She said there's only a very small difference between his vocabulary and other German speaking kids his age. We speak only English at home, although my husband does speak Swiss German too, but never to the kids. I think kids really do pick it up much better than us poor old fogies - I really struggle sometimes myself. If they start at Kindergarten age, even without German at home I think there's a pretty good bet that language won't be a problem for them by secondary age.
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Old 07.09.2011, 10:30
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Re: Private Schools

Private schools, also known as independent schools or nonstate schools,are not administered by local, state or national governments; thus, they retain the right to select their students and are funded in whole or in part by charging their students' tuition, rather than relying on mandatory taxation through public funding, students can get a scholarship into a private school which makes the cost cheaper depending on a talent the student may have e.g. sport scholarship, art scholarship, academic scholarship etc.
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