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Old 11.06.2007, 16:37
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Rämibühl Realgymnasium Zurich? [experience with?]

Hi,

I wonder whether anyone here has had any experience with the bilingual Rämibühl Realgymnasium in Zürich.

We (originally from Germany) are planning to move from the UK to Zürich with our 2 English native speaker kids. Our daughter (15) understands (almost) fluently Hochdeutsch and speaks broken Hochdeutsch (she doesn’t write German though). Our son (as is often with the second one) ‘doesn’t do German’ (though he might have some latent German knowledge given his parents’ occasional German conversations).

We were thinking of Rämibühl since they offer the bilingual option (from year 9) with the IB at the end. Apparently, they run geography, maths and biology in English, with English itself as a major subject (not surprisingly); in fact, their English literature options look pretty similar to what’s currently being done at GCSE/A-levels in the UK.

Does anyone know (a) about the general quality of the bilingual stream (e.g., as compared to the ‘normal’ altsprachliche or neusprachliche option), (b) about the English abilities of relevant staff (any native speakers?), and (c) whether there are also a few (percentage?) ‘foreign’ kids who use this option in order to stay in touch with their ‘old’ language? As for the latter point, the question is especially whether the English native speaker kids basically just help lift the English abilities of the Swiss kids or whether this stream is of genuine benefit for them.

If anyone has any information, even if only in general terms about the general reputation, particular intake, etc. of Rämibühl, I should be very grateful.

Cheers,

H.
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Old 11.06.2007, 18:33
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Re: Rämibühl Realgymnasium Zürich?

Hi,

As an addendum to my original message - just discovered there's also the "Literargymnasium" Rämibühl in the same building. So any comments on that part of the Gymnasium would be welcome as well...

Thanks,

H.
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Old 12.06.2007, 17:14
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Re: Rämibühl Realgymnasium Zurich? [experience with?]

Hi Hannah
My husband (Geography teacher) used to teach Geography at the Realgymnasium Rämibühl. The school, by the way, has a very good reputation (both the Real- and the Literargymnasium). He's now moved to another Gymnasium in Zurich (Kantonsschule Enge) where they have a similar bilingual program. He teaches Geography in German for most classes and one class in English. I think the students have one science subject (Phys./Chem./Geog.), Maths and possibly history (not sure about that) in English. They'll be doing their Matura (Abitur) in those subjects in English, so they have to be up to grade, both in the subject AND in the language. I can't speak for Rämibühl, but the prerequisites to teach your subject in English are pretty strict at the Kanti Enge. If I were you, I'd contact the school directly and speak to the Rektor - he'd probably be most happy to help with any info.
Tel. No. for Math.-Naturwissenschaftl. Gymnasium Rämibühl
Switzerland 0041 44 265 6464
Good luck!
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Old 12.06.2007, 21:08
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Re: Rämibühl Realgymnasium Zurich? [experience with?]

Hi Möpp,

Many thanks for this valuable info. Do you think your husband might, by any chance, remember what percentage of kids roughly were 'genuine' English native speakers at Rämibühl as opposed to admirably clever Swiss kids embarking on this course (the percentage at his current school would be likewise interesting, just to get a feel for it, really)? Also, how would he characterise the intake background- and location-wise at Rämibühl (unfairly generalising of course)?

Actually, I was wondering what the difference is between the Literargymnasium and the Realgymnasium. When I asked the Realgymnasium they seemed to dismiss it slighly embarrassed (?) out of hand; however, reading through the various online self-representations of both schools (incl. alumni pages), it seems the Literargymnasium is the more high brow and also more 'international' of the two; their (historical) altsprachliches profile plus the calibre of their Schulleitung would also seem to underline a more ambitious high achiever mindset. Would this be a totally wrong impression?

Sorry for dumping more questions on you - those desperate parents, they'll never stop…

Many thanks again & best wishes,

H
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Old 13.06.2007, 10:19
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Re: Rämibühl Realgymnasium Zurich? [experience with?]

Hi Hannah
I've sent you a PM on your questions.
Regards
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Old 13.06.2007, 13:05
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Re: Rämibühl Realgymnasium Zurich? [experience with?]

Quote:
In den immersiv unterrichteten Fächern wird am fachlichen Niveau festgehalten. Das Angebot richtet sich deshalb an besonders interessierte und leistungsfähige Schülerinnen und Schüler.
This text leads me to the conclusion that mainly Swiss students with an elevated interest in English use this offer. Not to say that the English standard suffers from this; the students already "survived" two years at a Gymnasium before year 9, need good language marks to get accepted to the program, and I expect the teachers to have good qualifications before they teach in a foreign language.

I've had a chat yesterday with an LG Rämibühl graduate, and despite the English lessons only beginning in year 9, both LG and RG are Langzeitgymnasiums designed to attend from year 7-12. If it's possible to join at this stage, an entrance examination is likely required and as möpp suggested, the rectorate should be asked about this.

As far as differences in mentality and quality between LG and RG are concerned, she said that they don't really matter. I'd look at minimal differences in the course of instruction between the two schools, and carefully reason which Matur profile is the best.

The entire bilingual Matur is a fairly new concept in canton Zürich (pilot projects), but there are other Gymnasiums in the city and canton of Zürich who have bilingual classes.
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Old 11.03.2012, 18:23
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Re: Rämibühl Realgymnasium Zurich? [experience with?]

Hello Hannah

did you ever send your child to this school and if so how was their experience. I am looking at gymi schools for my daughter. Thxs
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Old 11.03.2012, 19:07
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Re: Rämibühl Realgymnasium Zurich? [experience with?]

we had all those questions last year before moving! in the end my daughter (german native speaker) has been accepted at Literargymnasium Rämibühl, IB class and we're really happy with the school. the director proved very helpful and friendly from the start. do not hesitate to call him for further information regarding your individual situation (my impression is that don't cater for non native german speakers, but I really think it's important to think individually)

you're welcome to PM me.
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