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Old 09.03.2008, 23:24
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Anyone care to recommend a state primary school in Zurich?

Hi all,

Apologies for starting up yet another thread on schools - I'm moving to Zurich from the UK next week (hurray!) to start a new job, and have three months to sort out accommodation and schooling for the rest of my family, who will be coming out to join me in early June.

So.....as I understand that the Swiss send their children to the local schools, would anyone care to recommend a state primary school/kindergarten near Zurich? My children will be 4 and 7 in June. I've already looked around this forum a fair bit for advice and wisdom; despite some of the horror stories I took the view that my kids should be learning Swiss German in Swiss schools as soon as possible as the advantages of bilingualism and integration for them was a big factor in my deciding to move out. If I can get a recommendation or two on a decent enough primary school then I'll start looking for accommodation in that area (or as near as is affordable).

Thanks in advance!
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Old 15.03.2008, 00:25
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Re: Anyone care to recommend a state primary school in Zurich?

Hi
You're message has been on for a while, so I thought I'd be the first to take the plunge! Your question is a hard one to answer, for all the obvious reasons. I assume that even if I recommended our local state Kindergarten/Primary school (which we are very happy with so far), you'd find a lot of people who aren't happy with their children's schools. Unfortunately, it's a bit of pot luck as to whether the school is OK! Obviously, as well as the school, the child's teachers play a very major role on how happy the kids are and how well they integrate, learn, etc.
Don't know if this helps at all. If you'd like more info then PM me.
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Old 15.03.2008, 09:23
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Re: Anyone care to recommend a state primary school in Zurich?

Obviously I don't know anything about Zurich schools as we live in Zug. I think that you will have to sort out somewhere to live before you try to find a school. There is no point in tracking down a fabulous school in Spreitbach only to find there is no accommodation available there. find a flat first and then proceed to education.
Good luck
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Old 15.03.2008, 20:50
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Re: Anyone care to recommend a state primary school in Zurich?

Thanks for the replies - point taken about accommodation, but was going to see if anyone could point me to a good experience that they've had in moving their children to a Swiss school. As a complete newcomer, I could then maybe gauge if paying more to live in one particular area over another (and having a greater commute) would be worthwhile for the family. I'm also lucky enough to have three months here to try to sort out accommodation (and schooling) while the rest of the family stays in the UK.

Einalem - thanks - will PM you!
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Old 16.03.2008, 10:34
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Re: Anyone care to recommend a state primary school in Zurich?

I know three months sounds like plenty of time to sort out accomodation but it actually isn't. Most of us can tell you stories of spending 6 months trying to find accomodation and waiting to move in.

Start looking at properties, find an area where you feel comfortable and that appears to have good facilities around for children and take it from there. Also start applying for places as soon as you can as it sometimes can take several months from being accepted to moving in.
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Old 16.03.2008, 11:31
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Re: Anyone care to recommend a state primary school in Zurich?

We took the decision to put our kids (9 & 11 when we moved) into Swiss school when we came to Basel a little under a year ago. Obviously I can't say anything about Zurich schools but our personal experience with the system here in Basel has been totally positive. The schools here provide extra tuition in German to support non-native speakers, but we have also supplemented this with additional private tuition. It also helped that Swiss kids are also starting to learn high German as a "new" language (as distinct from Schwiizer Duutsch) at about the same stage as our kids are at. While not quite fluent yet they know more than enough to cope well with the other subjects and develop friendships. Given our experience I have no doubt your kids, being a little younger, will pick up the language very quickly and perhaps they will surprise you (as ours surprised me) with how easily they adapt to big changes in their lives.

Clearly schools, teachers and of course kids all differ, and what may work well in some circumstances may not in others. Kids grow and change of course too and no school (regardless of country or language) is a problem free zone all the time, but if you are prepared to support your kids through the inevitable "bumps" (fallings out, like/dislikes of subjects, teachers, other students, homework etc) and work with the school, then I think the Swiss system has a lot to recommend it.

I would also second the recommendation to sort your accommodation out first, then get in touch with the Rektorat of the schools in the Gemeinde where you will be living.

Good luck!
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Old 16.03.2008, 12:03
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Re: Anyone care to recommend a state primary school in Zurich?

OK - points taken! Will focus on getting accommodation first, and work things out from there.

Thanks for all the best wishes!
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Old 16.03.2008, 12:28
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Re: Anyone care to recommend a state primary school in Zurich?

You may want to go through this thread on where to live in Zurich City (if you haven't already) , you will find lots of opinions on what members here think about the various neighbourhoods - with or without children.

For what it's worth, we live in Kreis 7, near Kreuzplatz and are very happy with the local school(s). But there's always someone at one of the parents' evenings who has something to moan about. I'm sure that's the case all over, so it's difficult to just recommend a school to you...

There are a lot of English-speaking families in Kreis 7 and 8, but accommodation is hard and/or expensive to come by. I have friends (also English-speaking) in Witikon who are happy with their school - and there's a great adventure playground there. I've heard that the infrastructure (daycare and such) is very good for families in Kreis 6 (near university).

Other than that, I can only offer the advice to look for parks and playgrounds, and look for an easy way to school - so that the children can walk by themselves to school and back home again (and I don't mean the 4-year old, here )
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Old 19.03.2008, 23:50
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Re: Anyone care to recommend a state primary school in Zurich?

Hi,
This link has information regarding schools administrative as well as school lists in Zurich.
http://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/internet...hulkreise.html
Unfortunately, it is only in German...maybe you can use the online translator.
I don't think you can really state which school you want to put your kids. The local school admin will decide based on where you leave.
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Old 02.04.2008, 14:48
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Re: Anyone care to recommend a state primary school in Zurich?

Hi-
We live outside Zurich but still in Zurich Kanton. We're in Bonstetten about 20 minutes by train to Zurich HB. I've been really happy with the school. I was worried they wouldn't have programs but they have helped us so much. They give our son private German lessons 4 times a week. They have also met with us to give us progress and updates. He has picked up on the language really fast. It has been a challenge making new friends but as for the school they have been really great.

PM me if you want more information.
Thanks
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Old 06.04.2008, 16:21
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Re: Anyone care to recommend a state primary school in Zurich?

Are there any links to schooling in Zug Canton?

I have been reading the post from memetester with interest as I think we will be moving to Zug in August with our 2 small boys. Despite the horror stories posted, I am very keen to find out about swiss state schooling as we would like them to be bi-lingual. BUT:

Is Swiss state schooling - the nearest school to where you live?
And if so - are schools better in more expensive areas? (as in the uk- where a good state school means that everyone fights to live near it?)
Does Zug Canton have school league tables/ school inspections or are the best schools known only through recommendations/word of mouth?

My GCSE German is not good, but I do have a very good German friend who could translate for me - in between the demands of her 4 children!

Any help or info from anyone would be great
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Old 08.04.2008, 12:59
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Re: Anyone care to recommend a state primary school in Zurich?

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Hi-
We live outside Zurich but still in Zurich Kanton. We're in Bonstetten about 20 minutes by train to Zurich HB. I've been really happy with the school. I was worried they wouldn't have programs but they have helped us so much. They give our son private German lessons 4 times a week. They have also met with us to give us progress and updates. He has picked up on the language really fast. It has been a challenge making new friends but as for the school they have been really great.

PM me if you want more information.
Thanks
Hi, we plan to relocate there this summer from Singapore. We are a Swiss family, but have been ex-pats for many years. I have a 6 year old daughter who will be attending primary school in Bonstetten from August.

I was so glad to hear you like the school. What year is your son at?
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Old 08.04.2008, 13:40
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Re: Anyone care to recommend a state primary school in Zurich?

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OK - points taken! Will focus on getting accommodation first, and work things out from there.

Thanks for all the best wishes!
8 Months down the line, my kids speak(fairly well) and understand German, well enough to cope at school. We live in Adliswil, 12 mins away from Zurich city by train. I have found the teachers to be extremely helpful and caring. One of my daughters (10) is sponsored to learn German by the school, this, while the rest of the class is learning English (yes, they do teach English!). The younger ones (7) and (6) just 'swam' with it, and caught on. I was worried sick that my kids wouldn't cope but now it looks like it is I that needs to cope. My kids are doing well at school, and are quite comfortable. So much so, that I am getting past that stage where I kept wondering whether we should return home.

All the best in your move.
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Old 29.04.2008, 10:24
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Re: Anyone care to recommend a state primary school in Zurich?

Thanks for that!

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8 Months down the line, my kids speak(fairly well) and understand German, well enough to cope at school. We live in Adliswil, 12 mins away from Zurich city by train. I have found the teachers to be extremely helpful and caring. One of my daughters (10) is sponsored to learn German by the school, this, while the rest of the class is learning English (yes, they do teach English!). The younger ones (7) and (6) just 'swam' with it, and caught on. I was worried sick that my kids wouldn't cope but now it looks like it is I that needs to cope. My kids are doing well at school, and are quite comfortable. So much so, that I am getting past that stage where I kept wondering whether we should return home.

All the best in your move.
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Old 20.05.2013, 00:51
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Re: Anyone care to recommend a state primary school in Zurich?

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Hi-
We live outside Zurich but still in Zurich Kanton. We're in Bonstetten about 20 minutes by train to Zurich HB. I've been really happy with the school. I was worried they wouldn't have programs but they have helped us so much. They give our son private German lessons 4 times a week. They have also met with us to give us progress and updates. He has picked up on the language really fast. It has been a challenge making new friends but as for the school they have been really great.

PM me if you want more information.

Thanks
Hi ,
You did not mention age of your kids. We are about to move there but heard that they make kind of selection in shools in year four. Our kidds are 10 and 9 now and we do not know if they will be able to pick up good level of language to continue with 'Gymnasium' later on....What do you think about this?

Neda
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Old 20.05.2013, 05:32
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Re: Anyone care to recommend a state primary school in Zurich?

Neda, I think a move at 9 or 10 gives enough time to be able to do gymnasium, if your child generally is a good student, and does well with language in her native tongue.
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Old 20.05.2013, 11:51
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Re: Anyone care to recommend a state primary school in Zurich?

Even if they don't go to Gymnasium (Langgymnasium - 6 years) after grade 6, they have the option to apply for a transfer to do the short-gymnasium (Kurzgymnasium - 4 years) after two or three years in the local Secondary school.

Our daughter went from Montessori bilingual school after finishing grade 6, to the top stream of the local secondary school, where she is now in grade 7. We decided that we did not want to put her into the highly competitive gymnasium (pressure to pass exams or be kicked out) - academically she's capable, but she is benefiting from having time to adapt to being in the local system, immersed in German, social challenges of the local school and being an adolescent, and the biggest advantage is that she is walking distance from home to school and travels independently to/from, including coming home for lunch break 4 days per week.

Just to point out, it's not 'all' there is.

Oh, and we used to live in Witikon, and it's a nice area, if you can find something in your budget range, and far more 'swiss' than some other suburbs, so the kids will be most likely in a swiss-german mother-tongue dominant environment, which is not a bad thing, because it makes every other child a role model for the language. Hottingen is more diverse and high socioeconomic, and we are in Adliswil now, which is much more diverse than Witikon, and are extremely happy with the support that the school system has given our daughter for the transition and this year (including transferring a bully that was harrassing our daughter, from one school to the other).
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Old 20.05.2013, 12:12
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Re: Anyone care to recommend a state primary school in Zurich?

Mine is about to start kindergarten this year. From what I've heard and seen there isn't the huge difference between the schools like in the UK where you have problems with the inner city schools. I've never heard about a bad school, well at least not a bad state school. Don't worry to much about where you end up.
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Old 20.05.2013, 23:08
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Re: Anyone care to recommend a state primary school in Zurich?

abi_bouw, there are differences depending on the socioeconomic scale of things though certainly nothing like in the UK or other large countries.
Good luck to your little one
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Old 21.05.2013, 12:40
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Re: Anyone care to recommend a state primary school in Zurich?

I live in a cheap(er) area of Zurich Stadt, with a very high Auslander population. I would guess that the local schools would be socio-economically speaking not so great, but I'm pretty sure the teachers and the infrastructure are as sound as the rest of the Canton. Not seen a teenage gang yet, (except that one walking with a young boy (brother?) to Kindergarten), and I know kids get into Gymnasium from there.

Seriously, the schools are pretty equal. I put it down to the size of the cities, Zurich has a population <400K and is pretty safe. It's not really big enough to have an inner city so there are no inner city schools
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