German Primary

The German Primary Department is made up of classes K01 – K04. There is one year of Pre-school.

The Pre-school and Primary timetable comprises six lessons of 40 minutes every day. It includes enough playtime for younger children. The normal school morning begins at 7:40 am and ends at 12:30 pm.

The Primary Department has fully trained primary school teachers from Germany (with first and second state examination), teachers with comparable qualifications from Switzerland and Austria and a special needs teacher. There are two trained kindergarten teachers and an assistant teacher in Pre-school.

School Year 2018-19

The classes of the German Primary:

Our schools are German speaking international schools. Our network and our mutual support ensure that students are able to continue their education in any location they might move to. They are places of encounter and intercultural dialogue. The German schools abroad are also a central element of Germany's foreign education policy. This mission statement was developed jointly by all the schools. It ensures their international competitiveness, enabling them to rise to the challenge of the future. It will be evaluated and updated continuously.

1. Our teaching sets high quality standards.

  • The quality standards of our schools meet the highest possible standards.
  • These relate to subject disciplines, education, content, and skills
  • Our courses of study are internationally-oriented, offering a broad range of foreign languages and early, in-depth English tuition, leading to bilingualism
  • Lessons are given by highly qualified teachers
  • Courses of study are based on standardised curricula

2. Our schools take a holistic approach to teaching and learning

This includes, in particular,

  • learning with head, heart and hands
  • individual and social learning
  • teaching of key skills
  • a fair share of mathematics and natural sciences, language, music and sports
  • extracurricular activities
  • differentiated kindergarten and pre-school courses

3. Our buildings and facilities are targeted to meet our ambitious objectives

  • Classrooms, specialist rooms, sports facilities and outdoor areas are built with due regard to modern constructional, educational and environmental considerations
  • They allow modern activity-based learning, as well as social and cultural exchange
  • Basic equipment also includes state-of-the-art information technology equipment

4. Our schools ensure students acquire qualifications recognised in Germany and internationally

Our schools ensure integration into the education system in Germany and transition to other international schools. They offer

  • general education qualifications
  • university-entrance qualifications
  • vocational qualifications

5. Our schools promote cultural dialogue with the Asian environment

German language and culture form the basis of our work. We are committed to the European educational methods and seek cultural dialogue with the respective host country

  • by including local topics in the lessons taught
  • by encountering and exchanging with international and local schools, especially in sports and cultural activities
  • by offering courses in regional studies and specific languages
  • by cooperating with other European schools

6. Our schools provide support for the internationalisation of the economy

  • The courses offered by the schools take into account the requirements of an international economy.
  • Our schools are meeting places for children of different nationalities and thus they learn at an early age to work effectively in an international environment
  • Our schools provide a comprehensive and coordinated educational programme and individual support, making it easier for families to move from one country to another

Our schools measure up to the best performing schools in the region and in Germany –

We offer our students excellent educational opportunities

Children from multilingual families face great opportunities and challenges in the German Department. These children are already accustomed to switching from one language to another and thus have good prerequisites for taking a bilingual school-leaving certificate like the German International Abitur. On the other hand, children who grow up speaking several languages are not firmly rooted in any language in the same way that children from families that speak only one language are. That is why school and parents must work together closely in order to meet the special learning needs of children from multilingual families.

In Hong Kong our pupils grow up in an environment that is strongly influenced by the English language and offers numerous opportunities to use English outside school. The situation is different as far as German is concerned, as this is a language that children only rarely hear and speak outside school and family. That is why a special coordinated effort is required of parents and school when it comes to learning German. It is basically true to say that

the more your child hears and speaks German,
the more positive his/her experience of the German speaking aspects of family life,
the more closely school and parents work together,

the better he/she will learn German.

What does this actually mean? How can you help your child to gain the best possible command of German? The German speaking parent plays a key role, serving as a language model, but the non-German speaking parent can also provide lasting support for the language learning process by showing an interest in and appreciation of the German language and culture.

The following tips and recommendations are intended for families with children in all age groups. Please select those ideas that apply to your family situation.

In the family

  • Spend as much time as possible with your child and consistently speak German with him/her from the start. Play with your child and read German books aloud to him/her.
  • Make sure that communication in German within the family is not limited to just a few words. By setting an example in the way you speak German, you can help your child to express himself/herself in longer, coherent sentences.
  • Avoid using a mixture of languages. Continue to speak in German even if your child answers you in English (or in another language spoken within the family). The more German he/she hears, the better he/she will understand the language and the easier it will be for him/her to develop German language patterns.
  • Explain to your home help why you speak to your child in German even if she does not understand this. Teach her everyday German. If necessary, summarise essential information for your home help in English.
  • Listen to German on cassettes and CDs with your child and watch German DVDs together. Speak to him/her about his/her impressions and questions – in German, of course. You can obtain information about suitable listening material from the school librarians.
  • Watch the news and other programmes together on Deutsche Welle.

Other German speaking families / German speaking institutions

  • Encourage your child to make friends with children from other German speaking families and arrange for the children to visit one another. Do handicrafts with the children and have parties together.
  • Make use of offers outside school where German is spoken, e.g. private playgroups, events put on by the German speaking Protestant and Catholic communities, the German Speaking Ladies Group or the Goethe Institute.
  • Speak to the Head of the Kindergarten if you need advice on expert pre school German tuition.

Contact with German speaking countries

  • Keep in touch with German speaking grandparents and relatives. Have your child speak to them on the phone regularly.
  • Spend your holiday or a part of your holiday in a German speaking country. Repeat stays in places that are clearly different from Hong Kong in a positive way (e.g. at the grandparents’ house, which has a large garden for playing with pets) will help your child to develop an emotional link to the German language and culture.
  • Encourage your child to take part in holiday sports courses, practical social training or practical training in a company in a German speaking country.

School and parents

  • Take advantage of the Afternoon Activities offered by GSIS.
  • Show an interest in the progress your child makes with the Antolin reading programme used in the Primary Department. Encourage your child to read fiction and non-fiction on topics that interest him/her. You can find recommendations on what books to read in GIST, the monthly circular sent out by the School Management. Books in German are available from the school library and in the school shop.

The Primary Department has the task of developing children’s varying talents in a joint education programme. Pedagogical work in this department is intended:

  • To encourage children to be self-reliant, independent and self-controlled
  • To support all children according to their abilities
  • To offer cross-disciplinary activities
  • To practise inquiry-based learning, understanding by doing and facilitate exemplary learning experiences
  • To cultivate behaviour patterns and social etiquette which are applicable for life by using the principle of an attachment figure

Due to the special situation in Hong Kong, our school is also faced with the following tasks:

  • Students who leave our school should be able to change to schools in Germany, Switzerland, Austria or any other German school abroad as smoothly as possible.
  • Our students should learn English well enough to be able to get along in Hong Kong and, if they stay longer, they should be able to become properly bilingual.
  • They should experience such feelings of security in school that they can cope emotionally with classmates, friends and acquaintances constantly changing.
  • They should gain so much self-confidence and spirit that they can quickly find their feet in the new environment.

In coordination with the other German schools in Asia, the Primary Department uses core curricula based on the curricula of the state of Thuringia. The Department meets its educational mission by offering special individualised tuition to help children, especially new arrivals, learn successfully in their new living and learning environment.

Children experience their environment emotionally in festivals and projects and by observing German, international and Chinese customs and traditions (St. Martin’s Procession, St. Nicholas’ Day, Carnival, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Divali, the Chinese New Year or the Dragon Boat Festival).

Students in the German Primary Department get to know students from the English Primary Department at general assemblies, at performances and festivals attended jointly, at play in the playground and in games played in the house system, during library hours spent together and occasionally in language lessons.

GSIS students familiarise themselves with new information technologies from Pre-school on. All children have a weekly ICT lesson. In class lessons the new media are used for different aspects of learning and communication.

From K01 on, the students have as many as four periods of English a week with native English speaking teachers from the English Primary Department.

After regular lessons from 12.30 p.m. on, there are not only fee-paying Afternoon Activities but also a wide range of sports and learning opportunities in the areas of music, drama, art, languages and scientific experiments (free of charge.)
Trips and excursions as well as camps strengthen the sense of community and children’s self-awareness. From K04 our students have the opportunity of going to Europe on an annual skiing trip together with students from the English-medium stream.

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German Swiss International School 德瑞國際學校