The German Secondary Department leads to Abitur after 8 years (G-8). It is structured as follows:
Orientation level is limited to K05. Here, students have the opportunity to try out academic-track learning content and working methods and to qualify for Gymnasium, or to indicate that they are better suited to a vocational-track approach in Realschule/Hauptschule. In this class, particularly close contact with parents is essential in order to ensure they receive information and advice on students’ development, attainment levels and progress in good time. At the end of the K05, a decision is taken on which school type students should attend from K06 on.
From K06, internal differentiation is practised. Students at all school types will generally remain in their own class. However, the school tries to help weaker students and make it easier for new students at intermediate level to adapt to the German Swiss International School (GSIS) by offering support to compensate for existing deficits (parallel classes in German, English, and Mathematics, catch-up lessons, support and extension classes).
On the basis of a Resolution of the Education Ministers' Conference (KMK), GSIS is authorized to award the Hauptschule leaving certificate (at the end of Class 9), the Realschule leaving certificate (at the end of Class 10) and Abitur following the German International Abitur Examination at the end of Class 12.
In terms of providing proof of eligibility for admission to universities in Germany, Abitur certificates earned at GSIS are equivalent to Abitur certificates earned in Germany. They are also recognized by universities in Switzerland and Austria, albeit with certain restrictions.
Experience has shown that GSIS students who pass Abitur may also be admitted to British and American universities.
The GSIS Big Band has been an institution at the school for many years. Well known for jazz interpretations performed at events like the annual Christmas bazaar, the Big Band is also in demand at many events in Hong Kong.
Many of our students already join the school choir in Primary. Students in K05 to K08 can take part in the cross-stream Junior Choir, which sings at numerous events during the year. From K09, they can join the cross-stream mixed choir.
The school has a very ambitious orchestra, which appears at many school events. New members are always welcome.
There are various excursions and class trips for students during the school year. Of particular note is Discovery Week, a joint project week organized by the German and English Secondary Departments, the China trip in Class 9 and the trip to the Asian region in K11.
Each year teachers and senior students choose about 12 students from Year 13 and Class 11 to act as prefects. The prefects are expected to set an example for the younger students. They participate in many school events, collect money for charity and help their peers in a variety of ways.
GSIS has a large number of cross-stream sports teams: e.g. basketball, football, rugby, tennis, swimming, hockey, volleyball, squash, table tennis and badminton. Especially our tennis and swimming teams can look back on many successes. In addition to the above-mentioned competitions, GSIS also participates in interschool swimming and track-and-field competitions. For further information on places and times for these activities, please follow this link.
Each class elects two representatives to the Student Union. It is their task to represent the class in Assembly and to represent the interests of their class. In their final year, students may stand for election as Presidents of the Student Council.
Careers and University Counselling
A member of the teaching staff offers counselling on careers and university entrance to students in the German Stream. If students wish to study in Great Britain, the USA, Canada or Australia, additional support is offered by the careers and university counsellor from the English Stream.
The Hong Kong Higher Education Fair is held each March, and various European Universities present themselves at the fair. Shortly after or before this exhibition, some universities from German-speaking countries visit K11 & K12 students at GSIS.
Children from Multi-Lingual Families
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.
Pool of senior students for private tuition from the GSD
Please click here to download the document (German only).
Each class is supervised by a class teacher and a deputy class teacher. Class teachers discuss organizational matters with their class, such as planning events like outing day and the bazaar. If possible, class teachers teach two subjects in their class, thus ensuring they see their students regularly and get to know them better. In K05 to K10, there is an additional class period each week. If there are problems, students and parents should first approach the class teacher, who will provide advice and support.
The class teacher is an important link between parents and the school. GSIS parents and teachers are expected to maintain close contact and to inform each other in the event of problems.
School Education Worker
The duties of the school education worker are very varied. She is not only a point of contact for the needs and concerns of children and parents; she also supports and encourages group processes in individual classes, for example by setting up a class council. The aim is to strengthen class community and individuals. Students should experience school not only as a place to learn but also as a place to live.
Students in K05 are given a LEAP (Life Education Activity Programme) presentation against smoking by the Hong Kong Education Department.
In K07 and K08, students take part in an anti-drug workshop.
Every year, the students choose two teachers from the German Stream and from the English Stream as trust teachers. These teachers support the Student Union, their main task being to act as a point of contact for all students. The term “trust teacher” emphasizes the fact that student matters are treated confidentially by the teachers.
As far as is possible, the German Secondary Department provides extra lessons for students with special needs or a need to catch up. Thus, there are support and extension lessons for students who do not speak German at home and catch-up lessons in English, French or Latin for students who do not meet the requirements to actively participate in the classroom in their track.