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.

The Academia Bilingual School maintains a warm and open relationship with all stakeholders. We value regular interactions and exchange of information between parents, teachers and the school management. Respect, cooperation, trust and goodwill distinguish our school community.

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.

Classes at Academia Bilingual School are colourful and diverse; our students come from many different nations. In recent years, more and more monolingual families have chosen bilingual education for their children. Around 45 percent of our children speak German as their mother tongue, 20 percent English, and all the rest have a different mother tongue. Our students have normal or above-average aptitude. They have good learning habits and strong social skills. The final admission decision is based on the admission interview, an academic assessment and feedback from the trial week.

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 in the immediate vicinity to our school.  After-school clubs, which are optional, include mixed sports, swimming, yoga and football at various times throughout the year.

Students also enjoy outdoor education camps from year 3 and an annual week-long ski camp (Basel only).

Weekly music and art lessons are embedded within the curriculum throughout ABS. In the Canton of Basel-Stadt French also begins from year 3, in the Canton of Zurich from year 5.

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, Canada and New Zealand. 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.