Frequently asked questions

Some questions regularly come up when we talk to parents interested in our school. Please find the answers to these questions below. For any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail or phone to arrange a consultation. We are looking forward to talking to you.

A bilingual education provides an exceptionally strong pathway for internationally mobile families and parents looking to ‘tune in’ to the rich culture of the local community. Nowadays it is empirically proven that bilingual students match or surpass the abilities of their monolingual counterparts. Since the turn of the century this form of education has grown tenfold, which is linked to the successes of student achievement. It’s hardly surprising that bilingual education is seen as the only way to educate children in the 21st century. (Garcia 2011)

At Academia Bilingual School (ABS) a consistent approach to immersive education is embedded in our routine operation of a more individually orientated learning environment. In kindergarten and primary, our instruction is split evenly into half German and half English weeks with respective native-speaker class teachers. These class teachers working together as a team is paramount to the successful delivery of our curriculum. All subjects are taught progressively in a balanced way by both teachers through both languages.

We are a small school by design with a strong commitment to the individual. We cap our class sizes, invest in support teachers, embed regular language booster hours into the timetable each week alongside homework support to create a soft landing for each and every new student. It goes without saying that we like to have fun along the way.

In kindergarten through primary our maths texts are translated so as students have the luxury of following a clear pathway lead by both class teachers. On a German day students view a German textbook and use an English text on an English day. Much reflection goes into supporting our students to develop connections between languages too.

We have a broad student body in our school with over 20 different nationalities represented. We have noticed in the last years  that more monolingual families are taking up the option of bilingual education. Typically around 35% of our students are native German speakers, 35% native English and the remaining from all corners of the world.

We are not a special needs school but our class sizes and sense of community make us an attractive option for students needing to be well cared for. Although a bilingual curriculum provides no greater motivation than that of a monolingual school, for some students the transition into this type of schooling can be challenging. At ABS, support services are additions to the school fee structure. We offer specialist reading recovery programmes in school with our qualified team, however, other services like speech therapy, dyscalculia support etc. are organised with external specialists at parental expense. Naturally we do offer rooms in school for students requiring such services and private tuition can also be arranged by our team, at times drawing on the specialists in our language and learning schools.

Most certainly. Sport is an integral aspect of our curriculum. Our classes have 2–3 sports lessons/week with the sports hall and a heated swimming pool directly across the street from our primary school campus. After-school clubs, which are optional, include mixed sports, swimming, yoga and football at various times throughout the year. Secondary sport lessons are generally a short walk from our main building in the city centre.

Students also enjoy our annual week-long ski camp and outdoor education camps from grade 3.

Weekly music and art lessons are embedded within the curriculum throughout ABS. In the Canton of Basel-Stadt, French also begins from grade 3.

As an international bilingual school following both the local Swiss national curriculum and the Cambridge international curriculums, our teachers are qualified and experienced professionals. Our teaching staff are drawn from Switzerland, Germany, United Kingdom, America, Australia and Canada. Aside from their experience and qualifications, one of the most important attributes we look for in our teachers is a sense of care, commitment and willingness to reflect on their teaching practice.

«My introverted kids felt welcome from the first day. We, as parents, felt home right away as well.»