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Old 23.06.2012, 22:06
Aoi Aoi is offline
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State Schools in Geneva Questions Questions Questions! NEED advice!

Hi Everyone,

A little about us:
Husband UK citizen. I'm US citizen. We both lived abroad in Japan for a few years. Have a 4 1/2 year old. Should be moving to Geneva by end of this year if not before.


I think the quality of the state schools in Geneva is undeniable. From what I've heard the education quality is high, the teachers motivated, it's FREE, my child will become fluent in French, and be immersed in the culture.

These are all pluses in my eyes.


But,

My few reservations/ questions are:

1) I've heard some say that the state schools in Geneva, while excellent, are rule oriented, and the education is assembly-line, and test oriented'.

While i myself and all for a solid foundation and aclemating children to the reality of tests for University, I like a school to implement a more holistic approach to education.

So far the International School in Geneva allegedly implements the exact type of learning I am after:

"The programme is built on the promotion of intercultural awareness, communication and holistic learning through an integrated approach to teaching and learning provided by learning contexts, known as “Areas of Interaction”. We aim to teach the child to become an independent life-long learner through the “approaches to learning” (learning how to learn) that provide students with transferable skills."

But I have not yet researched what kind of educational model the state schools implement.

Could anyone tell me if they have this approach? Or is it more the teachers lectures to children model with little interaction (something i saw in Japan while working there)?


2) This is not a [I]huge deal breaking issue, but is it hard having your child go to school in French, if neither parent can speak French (husband is only functional French)? I worry I won't know what is happening at her school, won't be able to help her with her homework, read the school calendar etc.

I will be taking up French upon arriving, but obviously I won't be fluent by the time she starts school

3) Lastly, because the state school is in the very international city of Geneva, do the state schools reflect this?

Are there many kids from all over in the schools whose parents have decided to enroll them in the state schools?

I know it wouldn't be the multicultural education of an International School, but would you say it's still quite multicultural in the state schools in the center of Geneva because of their location?

Thank you everyone for reading this and i look forward to any advice you can give!

I also have two other threads, one of issues that non-french speaking parents face with kids in french speaking schools, and one on International schools. So if you have something really specific you'd like to add to those topics you can add it there if you'd like.

Thanks again!
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Old 24.06.2012, 01:21
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Re: State Schools in Geneva Questions Questions Questions! NEED advice!

Quick answers ...

1) Geneva state schools are not especially excellent. Not rule oriented or assembly line and test oriented. Broadly speaking they are pretty much like state schools in other Western European countries, like the UK, and if anything a little less academic at primary level.

2). No, not at all. Schools in Geneva are used to dealing with non-francophone families. Some of the teachers even speak a little English!

3). Some. Relative to most other places, yes. But the schools are not flooded with expat children. It depends also on where you live. There are districts of Geneva with more or less expats. One of my daughter (in the state system) has 3 best friends at school, one with one Russian and one French parent, one with one Mexican and one Swiss parent, and one with one Italian and one Swiss parent. Her class also has 2 children with a Brazilian parent, and 1 with German parents. About half of her class speaks 2 languages fluently, including french. A few have a weaker 3rd language.
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Old 24.06.2012, 01:23
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Re: State Schools in Geneva Questions Questions Questions! NEED advice!

What is the difference with this thread...?
Difficult to have child in French speaking school if parent doesn't speak French?
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Old 24.06.2012, 02:49
Aoi Aoi is offline
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Re: State Schools in Geneva Questions Questions Questions! NEED advice!

madfuzu,

Thank you for your input. That is why I love these forums I like hearing all the different opinions.
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