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Old 27.02.2014, 00:07
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Swiss schools in Kusnacht

Hi everyone,

We're moving to Switzerland from London in April and will most likely end up living in Kusnacht (for various reasons). Being a bit of a dummy in Swiss schooling (though ploughing through Going Local book at the moment), I'm just wondering whether anyone here had any experience with Swiss schools in Kusnacht.

We've got a 5 year old, who speaks a bit of German, so thinking of going the Swiss school route in order for him (and us) to integrate better.

Just wanted to see if there was anyone who had their kids at a school in Kusnacht and could perhaps share their experience?

Apologies in advance, I did use the search button and did read through about a thousand of (very useful) threads here, but just looking for a pretty specific info. A long shot, I realise, but worth a try.

Thanks a lot!
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Old 27.02.2014, 09:12
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Re: Swiss schools in Kusnacht

Küsnacht is on the Goldcoast and these Gemeindes generally have good schools. So you cant really go wrong. I would definitely put a 5 year old in public school. Waste of money to put them in private at that age. Save the money for later when they may have issues in school and private can give you options.
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Old 27.02.2014, 09:45
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Re: Swiss schools in Kusnacht

Welcome to EF.
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Old 27.02.2014, 11:06
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Re: Swiss schools in Kusnacht

Thank a lot for your reply, Tilia, appreciate it.
Yes, we are also thinking of trying the Swiss route first and seeing how it works out for our boy. Do you know by any chance the best way of contacting a school and perhaps arranging a quick visit, or is it completely out of our hands? Just feels a bit weird sending a kid to a school we've never even seen.

Thanks!
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Old 27.02.2014, 11:08
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Re: Swiss schools in Kusnacht

Thank you for the welcome, SOBEIT!
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Old 27.02.2014, 11:08
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Re: Swiss schools in Kusnacht

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Thank a lot for your reply, Tilia, appreciate it.
Yes, we are also thinking of trying the Swiss route first and seeing how it works out for our boy. Do you know by any chance the best way of contacting a school and perhaps arranging a quick visit, or is it completely out of our hands? Just feels a bit weird sending a kid to a school we've never even seen.

Thanks!
If you know whereabouts you'll be living in Kusnacht, you can contact the nearest school, which is probably the one your son will be attending. You can't normally choose, children are allocated a school normally based on proximity but may be allocated a different one in the case the nearest is over-subscribed.

They will arrange a time when you can visit the class, meet the teacher and his would-be classmates.

On the whole, schools encourage parent involvement and seem to appreciate you doing your homework beforehand (pun intended!).
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Old 27.02.2014, 18:06
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Re: Swiss schools in Kusnacht

Thanks a lot, Sandgrounder. Will do just that, hopefully the school will be cooperative enough to let us have a quick look before he starts. Thanks again!
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Old 28.02.2014, 19:09
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Re: Swiss schools in Kusnacht

Dont count on it. It all depends on the Schulleiter. In our daughters case, no way. We didnt even get a personal meeting with the school beforehand. We finally did manage to get a phone call but that was all. So be prepared. Our sons case, who goes to SEK, was totally different.

The experience in the end though has been very, very positive. We also live in a Gemeinde on the Gold coast close to Kusnacht.

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Thanks a lot, Sandgrounder. Will do just that, hopefully the school will be cooperative enough to let us have a quick look before he starts. Thanks again!
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Old 07.07.2014, 16:03
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Re: Swiss schools in Kusnacht

Hello,


We are moving to Zurich this July/August with two kids 7 & 11, will live in Kusnacht. Planning to register kids in the local school, even though they don't speak any German. Can anybody share any recommendation/experiences? Thank you so much!!




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Hi everyone,

We're moving to Switzerland from London in April and will most likely end up living in Kusnacht (for various reasons). Being a bit of a dummy in Swiss schooling (though ploughing through Going Local book at the moment), I'm just wondering whether anyone here had any experience with Swiss schools in Kusnacht.

We've got a 5 year old, who speaks a bit of German, so thinking of going the Swiss school route in order for him (and us) to integrate better.

Just wanted to see if there was anyone who had their kids at a school in Kusnacht and could perhaps share their experience?

Apologies in advance, I did use the search button and did read through about a thousand of (very useful) threads here, but just looking for a pretty specific info. A long shot, I realise, but worth a try.

Thanks a lot!
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Old 07.07.2014, 16:48
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Re: Swiss schools in Kusnacht

Welcome to Switzerland!

This is the last week of school for this area, at least. It might be worth contacting the school authorities and letting them know you will be coming so they at least have names to add to their lists.

Your seven-year old will go into the second or third class depending on his/her birthdate. It might be worth pushing for the first rather than the second class, to allow more time for your child to comfortably learn German. There was a boy in my daughter's first class who started with no German at all who now, end of the third class, is speaking fluently and completing all class work.

For your eleven-year old it is a bit trickier. At that age most kids are in either the fifth class or sixth class, which are naturally more intensive than the earlier classes. After sixth class children either go into Gymnasium if they've passed the exam, or to Sek A or B. If they are in Sek A they have the option of doing the Gymi exam again in the second and third year, but it is harder to do this from Sek B.

There are three years of Sek, after which, if your child does not go to Gymi, they must find an apprenticeship (available in a very wide range of fields), and which also involve additional further study in college-type situation. There are alternative ways to enter university but any way will be extremely difficult without fluent German. I'm by no means an expert in this as my daughter isn't yet at this stage, but there will be other people on this forum who can tell you more.

So with this in mind, I would give your eleven-year old as much time as possible to pick up German, meaning aim for a lower class if you can.

Both kids should be offered additional German help, and you can supplement this with immersion in some out of school activities, as well as just general playing with the neighbourhood kids.

The alternative is international school (English) or bilingual school (German/English).
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Last edited by tildaoz; 07.07.2014 at 17:15. Reason: added something
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Old 12.07.2014, 22:39
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Re: Swiss schools in Kusnacht

Dear tildaoz,


thank you so much for your detailed reply! I will describe the details as it may help others and I welcome sharing other experiences with me, too.


I have already arrived and have been contacted by the local school's principals. It looks like they have decided to place each of my kids to different schools.


My 11yo daughter (turning 12 in Oct) will start by attending an intensive German language school at Allegra school, until October, possibly longer. After that she will join the local public school (located a bit further from us) where only 18 kids are in her classroom (6th grade), and will be receiving extra German classes.


My 7yo boy (turning 8 in Oct) will go straight to the local public school where he will be receiving extra German classes. The principal told me that he has not made the decision yet if to put him again to the first grade or to the second grade. I believe he will learn the language quickly and may not be good to place him with younger kids (he is a tall boy) if he knows how to read/write/math already. He is fluent in two other languages and understand third one; German will be his fourth language.


Thank you for all your input.
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Old 05.08.2014, 00:51
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Re: Swiss schools in Kusnacht

We have a 5 year old who will start in the public school this August after a year in bilingual private school. Anxious, nervous but happy about our decision after meeting the faculty and knowing the facilities are great. Let the adventure begin
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Old 12.04.2016, 01:30
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Re: Swiss schools in Kusnacht

How is it going with your schools in Kusnacht?
Can you recommend your public schools after attending for some time now?
What is the name/address of the school?

Looking for appartment, so willing to pick a school first and then search nearby.
My kids are 10 and 5.
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Old 12.04.2016, 11:21
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Re: Swiss schools in Kusnacht

We live in Erlenbach - the next village along, slightly cheaper and more diverse. I'd recommend the place and the school.

The primary school is excellent, and being "local" means you get to meet the other families in your village, feel part of the community, and don't get stuck in the expat bubble.

Erlenbach school has an excellent principal, teacher and community, and also very diverse international community here in Erlenbach, so during school or classroom gatherings you will find around 1/3 to 1/2 of parents can converse with you in English, which is a great help until you pick up enough German to get along.

I know someone who before bringing his family literally visited and checked out each school along the Gold coast, and also the international schools, and settled on Erlenbach. Seperately, I have also heard of a substitute teacher who says the school is excellent, when compared with other schools.
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Old 12.04.2016, 11:40
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Re: Swiss schools in Kusnacht

Thank you for the great review!

Is it the school you are talking about? :
Primarschulhaus Hitzberg
Schulhausstrasse 59, 8703 Erlenbach, Switzerland
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Old 12.04.2016, 15:57
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Re: Swiss schools in Kusnacht

We also live in Erlenbach, and my daughter has been attending the local KG for the past 1.5 years - it is excellent, and we have been told by various sources that the primary school is also very good.

I'd absolutely agree about the diversity - in our daughter's KG class last year, out of 18 students there were 8 different mother tongues.
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