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  #21  
Old 24.05.2012, 22:36
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Re: Transferring from UK grammar school to Swiss gymnasium

I have a 16yr old, who finished at international school last year, he has been learning French for 6 years and is still deemed not fluent enough to attend the gym.

We are in a situation now where he can not attend local school (or get on an intensive year - due to closing date in our area being November of the previous year) - or get an apprentice.

If he wasnt applying for his swiss passport I would be sending him back to the uk to complete his education.

If there is an option for you to remain in the UK for another year - please try and do so.
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  #22  
Old 24.05.2012, 22:38
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Re: Transferring from UK grammar school to Swiss gymnasium

Another year in Uk will NOT help in accessing Gymnasium will it though?
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Old 24.05.2012, 22:42
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Re: Transferring from UK grammar school to Swiss gymnasium

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Another year in Uk will NOT help in accessing Gymnasium will it though?
For mine - or the OP's?

For me - no - but it is another way of getting entrance to further education

For the OP - she can finish her GCSE and try and do more german?
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  #24  
Old 24.05.2012, 22:48
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Re: Transferring from UK grammar school to Swiss gymnasium

GCSE's will count for nothing in acessing Gymnasium, I'm afraid. Neither will GCSE German (I taught this for many many years, and the level is not on par for Gymnasium entrance - let alone A'Level (even there the gap is HUGE). Intensive private tuition would really help - but unlikely to achieve the necessary level either. Sorry.
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Old 24.05.2012, 22:51
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Re: Transferring from UK grammar school to Swiss gymnasium

I think you are in a good position to advise

This is why our youngest is going direct into public school.

Good luck to you OP
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  #26  
Old 24.05.2012, 22:54
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Re: Transferring from UK grammar school to Swiss gymnasium

In this do you include children who have been in the Swiss system since early primary? I even worry about my 6 year old, as Germa is really hard and we can't help her,very much!

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From what I've seen, there are just no foreign student coming into Bac/Matu stream at all if the knowledge of the local language is not marvelously excellent. It didn't happen in my years here. From abroad, only Germans and Austrian enter and leave Swiss school with no harm. Even between France and Geneva it's a pain. Otherwise, I wouldn't move students at that age, if possible. Most importantly: do the high school in the country where you want to get into university. Really.
I can not insist enough on the necessity to be a good language student in the other national language. Really. English is just a good thing on top of it.
Otherwise, your posts says it all. Listen to Odile, people!
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  #27  
Old 24.05.2012, 23:05
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Re: Transferring from UK grammar school to Swiss gymnasium

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We've thought about leaving my daughter (many times)

Unfortunately we don't have any family close by and both my parents were diagnosed with cancer last year so not really an option for her to go and stay with them. She'd also have to move schools in order to live with them
How about one of her friends' parents? It may seem a bit odd, but I have known it to be done successfully.
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  #28  
Old 24.05.2012, 23:11
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Re: Transferring from UK grammar school to Swiss gymnasium

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In this do you include children who have been in the Swiss system since early primary? I even worry about my 6 year old, as Germa is really hard and we can't help her,very much!
Depends very much on your attitude and lifestyle. Is German part of your everyday life as a family, do you read in German, etc?
Due to the very selective system here in CH, and the absolute need for a very high level of German (F/I) for the academic streams, I am often surprised that many ex-pats still insist on their own mother-tongue being the family language- especially if only a few years from selection time. I can understand this, of course, but if you are here long-term- I am not sure that in every case it is the best policy, as it may have a high price to pay at selection time. I am fully aware that this may not be a popular statement to make here - but perhaps worth a ponder?

Last edited by Odile; 24.05.2012 at 23:24.
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Old 24.05.2012, 23:16
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Re: Transferring from UK grammar school to Swiss gymnasium

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In this do you include children who have been in the Swiss system since early primary? I even worry about my 6 year old, as Germa is really hard and we can't help her,very much!
No no no, don't worry. For a 6 year old child, German is not hard at all.
My pessimistic comment was for adolescents coming quite late in their school career to a new country with a new language. If a child starts middle school here or even a bit later repeating a year if necessary, it will go fine, provided the academic teaching is the child's cup of tea.
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  #30  
Old 24.05.2012, 23:27
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Re: Transferring from UK grammar school to Swiss gymnasium

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How about one of her friends' parents? It may seem a bit odd, but I have known it to be done successfully.
The daughter of friends of ours (who moved to the States) went to live with her best friend and her family for sixth form college. The mums were already good friends and it didn't seem odd in the slightest and worked well.

And here in CH, our next door neighbours are looking after the daughter of another neighbour who died last summer. The girl's father lives now in Graubunden (separated from the mum) and as the girl had only 2 years left in gymi, it seemed the natural thing to do to take her in. The girl was already really good friends with the 3 girls of our neighbours and I know when her mother was really poorly and knew she would not survive, she encouraged and helped sort out the arrangement.
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Old 24.05.2012, 23:33
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Re: Transferring from UK grammar school to Swiss gymnasium

No, German isn't part of our daily life really and I'm rubbish at it (French is a different matter!). My daughter watches German language TV and she goes to non English groups (swimming clubs, music etc). We speak only English at home and I've been told to stick with that - her English level is excellent!

I am thinking that I am going to have to do a lot more German studies to support her (but this fills me with dread)
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  #32  
Old 24.05.2012, 23:33
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Re: Transferring from UK grammar school to Swiss gymnasium

One of my 6th Form students lived next door. She'd been at boarding school for years and hated it, and had begged her parents to let her go to the local 6th Form. They agreed and after one term, when she was really settled, had made many friends and was doing well in her studies - father had to move for his job. The girl was devastated- and after a week it was clear she was going to really suffer. I went to see the parents and offered to foster here till the end of the year (without telling her of course, in case they said no)- and they were delighted. At the end of the year it was clear that transferring to another school would be very tough, both socially and academically, so Isobel stayed for another year. Great for our girls to have an older 'sister'. Worked brilliantly.

Last edited by Odile; 25.05.2012 at 12:49.
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  #33  
Old 25.05.2012, 11:08
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Re: Transferring from UK grammar school to Swiss gymnasium

As I am Swiss and German is my mother tongue I am not able to tell you about any personal experience but I would like to ask you different set of questions.

Will you be relocating to Zurich? Is that sure? Because as you've read on the forum before education systems vary a lot from canton to canton. While many imputs given are valid none was for the canton of Zurich! When you went to the Kanti Enge did they tell you that can enter the class directly? Does she have to sit an exam? How does this work with the one year as guest? Will she not get any grades for exams? Is there a possibility that she can do that guest year again (repeat class) at the end of the year and be graded afterwards? Did you ask them if they have had experience with cases like that? What happens after that first year as a guest? Will she have to do a test (Aufnahmeprüfung) or can she stay in the class no matter what? Would she definitely go to the Kanti Enge? Could she take part in a bilingual class? Kantonsschule Enge offers a bilingual class where some classes would be taught in English. This would be a great advantage for her. Again check here http://www.mba.zh.ch/internet/bildungsdirektion/mba/de/maturitaetsschulen/unterrichtsthemen/immersion.html

These things were not clear from your post and could make all the difference. While I agree with others that German (and if you stay in Zurich French but not Italian) are very important, English is also a graded class and this will give her good marks. In order to STAY in class (I am not talking about Aufnahmeprüfung - the hard thing is to get in, mostly not to stay once you're in) an average of all the graded classes of 4 (grades go from 1 to 6 with 1 being the lowest) and not more than 3 grades below 4 check the link for the exact details: http://www2.zhlex.zh.ch/appl/zhlex_r.nsf/0/C645939A7E9EB1F2C12578A800208750/$file/413.251.1_10.3.98_74.pdf

I am not saying it's easy but I would like to know more details in order to advice. If you need help with German you can also PM me.

This is really not an easy decision so good luck to you whatever you decide!
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  #34  
Old 25.05.2012, 22:09
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Re: Transferring from UK grammar school to Swiss gymnasium

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I have a 16yr old, who finished at international school last year, he has been learning French for 6 years and is still deemed not fluent enough to attend the gym.

We are in a situation now where he can not attend local school (or get on an intensive year - due to closing date in our area being November of the previous year) - or get an apprentice.
Yes,he can. Pm me if you want details.

Basically,it's the route I mentioned.

There is something called Ecole de perfectionnement. It serves kids who for whatever reason fell through the cracks, failed tests,don't speak the lingo,need more help or time,or have personal reasons for taking a year to either get back into the ademic stream,or find an apprenticeship. It used to be called 10th grade. It's super efficient,you have to register at the dept of postobligatory edu.

I just got a few new auditeurs a few weeks ago,will be keeping them next year as regular students,and they will either continue to study after 10th grade,or, get more voccationally orientated.

It is pretty amazing how much effort and support these teens get,and it is a mix of local and foreign kids. One thing is clear,though,it is an immense amount of work in that one year,and,super fast. There are no champions and super stars,street cred is completely irrelevant,it is hardcore survival. Grown up stuff. No coddling.
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  #35  
Old 25.05.2012, 22:54
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Re: Transferring from UK grammar school to Swiss gymnasium

Thank you - have pm'd you
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  #36  
Old 26.05.2012, 12:00
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Re: Transferring from UK grammar school to Swiss gymnasium

If you are in the Zurich area there are similar places.
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Old 26.05.2012, 17:18
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Re: Transferring from UK grammar school to Swiss gymnasium

Do you mind if I pm you Phoenix5...in very similar circumstances with slight variation.
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Old 26.05.2012, 19:37
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Re: Transferring from UK grammar school to Swiss gymnasium

My 15 year old son is entering a program like MusicChick has mentioned. Although the studies do not start until August, there is a whole process now to identify the gaps that need to be closed, set a individualized plan for next year, get a solid choice of a future path. They are amazingly serious and expect a full commitment from the kids. We were late with the application (official deadline was March 1st), but it did not seem to matter.
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