Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Family matters/health  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 28.06.2012, 05:59
Aoi Aoi is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 32
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 6 Times in 4 Posts
Aoi has no particular reputation at present
Please help me understand Swiss schooling system!! :)

Ok. So after reading over a bit about Swiss education I naturally have some questions


So I understand now that after Primary school there are all sorts of options for Secondary school, and not all directly lead to University.

We are planning on moving to Switzerland this year. Our child will be 5 by this winter.

We will enroll her in a French Speaking Private school or possibly French Speaking International School (so she learns the local language). She will probably be in Swiss state school while we find an opening at one of the above.



What I am wondering is, how can we make sure that the education of the school she will be enrolled in has a curriculum that is both Swiss and or internationally recognized?


If it is not internationally recognized, and just Swiss, will that be a problem if we move back to the US or to the UK? How have any of you dealt with this? What kinds of things would have to be done to bridge whatever gap there is?

Lastly, what kinds of tests should I be making sure she is taking to prepare her for pre-high school or High school?


The school I am looking at says that she would take the regular Canton exams at the end of her Primary school along with the rest of the children in the Canton. Does this sound like she would be prepared to either go on into Swiss pre High school or High school (public or private) if she passes?


Anything else I need to know to make sure she will be able to go onto high school and then University in either Switzerland or UK/US?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 28.06.2012, 06:56
kodokan's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Phoenix AZ, USA
Posts: 1,299
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 930 Times in 460 Posts
kodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Please help me understand Swiss schooling system!! :)

Go on then, I'll pitch in and help since I'm on the same time zone.

Which canton - the education systems differ, as they're not federal. That said, Harmos is supposed to pulling them closer together. As you've surmised, Harmos is an ongoing project to take the mishmash of cantonal education systems, with their different content, age at which they start, cut-off birthday date at which they start, age at which they stream, do they do one or two secondary streams, etc etc etc, and to align them so that people moving 20 miles up the road don't find that their child is utterly at sea in the new school, in a completely different grade and having no idea how to conjugate the conditional or multiply fractions when the rest of the class did that two grades ago.

At almost 5, she'll go into the first year of enfantine (KG), which may or may not be compulsory depending on your canton. She will probably do 4 mornings and 1-2 afternoons a week, with Wednesdays completely off and home for lunch for at least 2 hours each day.

I'm not sure there IS a French-speaking International school in the French-speaking part of Switzerland..? If you want her to learn the language, the local school will be just fine, or private school if you prefer, perhaps for the increased hours or wraparound childcare. Be aware that the local view of private schools in Switzerland is that they're for children who aren't coping academically or socially in the local system, although of course there may be valid childcare reasons for choosing one.

As for the rest of it... she's 4. Chill. There's REALLY no point fretting about what she'll do in over a decade's time, as you don't seem sure where you'll be living then!

If it helps, I've just moved my English kids from 3.5 years in the local Swiss system to the US, at ages 8 and 12. They are just fine; my 12 year old's just finished 6th grade with As and Bs despite not having written a word in English since he was 8, and my 8 yr old is making rapid strides in reading and writing in English despite being barely unable to sound out c-a-t when we arrived 6 months ago (she was about a year behind the others then but is now perhaps 3 months behind according to her teacher, a difference that'll vanish by Christmas).

I know that the US is all about the grades and the transcripts, but it was really no bother turning up with my kids with no academic records and no education in English for the last few years. The school just shrugged, put them in their chronological year groups, and figured it out from there; I think my daughter's been getting a bit of extra one-on-one reading support, but otherwise they've just slotted in.

The only gap bridging I did was to try and teach my daughter the basics of reading in English, and making sure my son knew about things he hadn't even started in Math in Switzerland but were key in the US, like fractions.

If you stay in Switzerland, you'll have no problems at all. A 4 yr old will be utterly fluent long before she needs to be streamed for secondary education, so she'll either be bright enough to be considered for the university stream, or she won't; you can worry about and research extra support if necessary once she's around 9 or 10.

She won't be streamed based just on exam results, by the way. Again, it's canton specific, but the norm is some combination of her GPA in key subjects like French, German and Math, along with her overall classroom behaviours in things like independent working, self-discipline, etc. If you want, though, you'll probably find examples of the cantonal test past papers online; Vaud definitely has these. That'll show you the sort of expected level.
__________________
'Chance favours only the prepared mind.'
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank kodokan for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 28.06.2012, 08:00
mim's Avatar
mim mim is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ch
Posts: 67
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 38 Times in 11 Posts
mim has no particular reputation at present
Re: Please help me understand Swiss schooling system!! :)

Have a look at haut-lac in vevey ( they also have a campus in St.Legier) it is one of the few bilingual international schools ... Www.haut-lac.ch
It is a cis accredited and an IB school.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 29.06.2012, 05:04
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: near Lausanne
Posts: 378
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 171 Times in 103 Posts
LearningAlways has earned some respectLearningAlways has earned some respect
Re: Please help me understand Swiss schooling system!! :)

Margaret Oertig, who wrote Beyond Chocolate, has a new book out on the Swiss local schools called Going Local. The publisher is Bergli and I got a copy at Payot in Lausanne. She covers the Swiss local schools in general but also with a lot of information on the cantonal variations.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 29.06.2012, 05:20
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: la cote
Posts: 3,608
Groaned at 21 Times in 13 Posts
Thanked 3,257 Times in 1,712 Posts
runningdeer has a reputation beyond reputerunningdeer has a reputation beyond reputerunningdeer has a reputation beyond reputerunningdeer has a reputation beyond reputerunningdeer has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Please help me understand Swiss schooling system!! :)

It is good for you to think about curriculum and what degree it will lead too, as it is often an overlooked issue and some parents find themselves stuck, too late to change direction. Choosing the curriculum will often depend on where you want to be longterm, or where your child will be around the age of 18. While some aspects of schooling in the early years is interchagable, at the higher levels it often is not. Some international schools offer different streams, so you get to choose which way to go at the appropriate time. Having a look at the private or international schools will give you an idea.

There is the swiss maturity, which swiss private schools gear to, and some other private/international schools. Then there is the French system, the British system, the American system, and finally the IB. Search a bit around the forum and the web to learn about the differences. Some universities recognise the IB, while I understand others do not or do not give it high regards. If wanting to study british A-levels this will likely be difficult here, but not impossible.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 29.06.2012, 05:40
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: basel
Posts: 2,358
Groaned at 24 Times in 16 Posts
Thanked 2,426 Times in 1,164 Posts
biff has a reputation beyond reputebiff has a reputation beyond reputebiff has a reputation beyond reputebiff has a reputation beyond reputebiff has a reputation beyond reputebiff has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Please help me understand Swiss schooling system!! :)

Quote:
View Post
Some universities recognise the IB, while I understand others do not or do not give it high regards. If wanting to study british A-levels this will likely be difficult here, but not impossible.
The IB is well recognised in top USA and UK universities. I personally know ex students who, having completed the IB programme, have gone on to Ovford, Cambridge, Yale and Harvard for example.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 29.06.2012, 05:41
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: near Lausanne
Posts: 378
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 171 Times in 103 Posts
LearningAlways has earned some respectLearningAlways has earned some respect
Re: Please help me understand Swiss schooling system!! :)

Quote:
View Post
It is good for you to think about curriculum and what degree it will lead too, as it is often an overlooked issue and some parents find themselves stuck, too late to change direction. Choosing the curriculum will often depend on where you want to be longterm, or where your child will be around the age of 18. While some aspects of schooling in the early years is interchagable, at the higher levels it often is not. Some international schools offer different streams, so you get to choose which way to go at the appropriate time. Having a look at the private or international schools will give you an idea.

There is the swiss maturity, which swiss private schools gear to, and some other private/international schools. Then there is the French system, the British system, the American system, and finally the IB. Search a bit around the forum and the web to learn about the differences. Some universities recognise the IB, while I understand others do not or do not give it high regards. If wanting to study british A-levels this will likely be difficult here, but not impossible.
Agreed, RunningDeer, but for a child as young as the OP's, it may be difficult to predict where the family will be living 10 years later, or where the child may want to attend university. I think the best plan is to make the decision for a young child based on short term considerations and then pay attention to the points when it gets harder to change your mind, and re-evaluate your decision ahead of them.

For example, the IB diploma (which is very widely recognized though some universities require a specific minimum score) is a two-year program and a student could theoretically transfer into an international school just in time to start it, although that assumes strong English skills. Starting an international school in year 9 would give a student two years to hone academic English skills before starting that program.

Alternatively, as has been discussed many times in various threads, it is best for students who are not fluent in the language of instruction to enter the Swiss local system in time to adjust and prepare for the secondary streaming decisions that take place in year 6 (depending on canton).
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 29.06.2012, 17:21
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: At home
Posts: 4,167
Groaned at 208 Times in 133 Posts
Thanked 6,403 Times in 2,719 Posts
Faltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Please help me understand Swiss schooling system!! :)

International school with education in Switzerland:
http://www.ibo.org/school/search/ind...d_schools=Find
I guess one has to clic one's way onto each school's website to find out where the program is taught in French. I am pretty sure that there is one campus in Geneva with French as teaching language. Things can change so I don't dare to be definite. Good luck looking it up!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 29.06.2012, 17:54
Carlos R's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Roundn'about Basel
Posts: 7,232
Groaned at 105 Times in 95 Posts
Thanked 9,934 Times in 4,178 Posts
Carlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Please help me understand Swiss schooling system!! :)

There a book about this that I saw t'other day:

http://www.bergli.ch/100/con_liste.a...StartPageNext=

Going Local - your guide to Swiss schooling
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 29.06.2012, 19:02
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Aargau
Posts: 62
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 64 Times in 34 Posts
amch has no particular reputation at present
Re: Please help me understand Swiss schooling system!! :)

There is also a combi program offered at some of the public schools: Swiss Matura+ IB. Not sure how well it works, but at least in theory it provides lots of flexibility for university admission anywhere in the world.

In general, if the employer is not footing the bill, tuition at an international school is such an extreme financial burden for most families that I am surprised anyone would choose this path if they didn't have to. We just finished paying for 2 teenage kids (60k per year), and it required sacrifices and discipline. For a fraction of the cost of the tuition we can travel, pay for any programs the kids want, etc.
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can someone please help me to understand this Type D visa? logout Permits/visas/government 7 26.11.2012 15:39
Help Me Understand the Cuisine here.....PLEASE!! jerallie Complaints corner 133 23.01.2012 17:22
Please someone enlighten me on the swiss system [German speeding fine enquiry] l2thez Transportation/driving 13 21.12.2010 10:34
Please help me understand my landlord's response to my request for satellite marymartha TV/internet/telephone 29 24.10.2010 13:02
help me understand the swiss postal system... smilesllb Complaints corner 10 06.04.2009 15:32


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 02:38.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0