The German Swiss International School (GSIS) is a leading private international school in Hong Kong, offering a through-train, co-educational model for around 1,300 students from diverse ethnic backgrounds.
A dual-language school, GSIS operates two streams from Kindergarten to Secondary School and prepares for the German International Abitur and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, following IGCSE examinations. Students can also pursue dual-professional training through the school’s Business College.
GSIS offers a rigorous academic programme within a vibrant, creative and caring community. Fostering an open-minded world-view, we guide students towards becoming responsible and critical-thinking citizens.
Our curriculum provides learning opportunities for every student commensurate to their needs and stage of development. We teach a programme that gives students the opportunity to experience success, yet challenges them to achieve their full potential.
GSIS is certified by the German Federal Government as an “Excellent German School Abroad” and by the International Baccalaureate Organisation as an IB World School.
LEARNING AT PRIMARY SCHOOL
GSIS is part of the worldwide German Schools Abroad network, which consists of over 140 schools, governed by the Central Agency for German Schools Abroad (Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen, ZfA) of the German Federal Office of Administration and teaches to German educational standards. The curricula is based on the core curricula for German schools in South-East and East Asia, which in turn are based on the curricula of the German state of Thuringia.
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 and it includes plenty of 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 as well as teachers with comparable qualifications from Switzerland and Austria. There are two trained kindergarten teachers and an assistant teacher in Pre-school.
GSIS English Primary Department offers a distinct educational experience where students are valued as individuals and learn to value and respect others. Our supportive learning environment enables children to develop personal responsibility, cultivate resilient learning habits, and a build positive attitudes about themselves and the world around them. We nurture this throughout our curriculum by promoting principles of respect, intellectual inquiry for understanding, healthy relationships, courage, and optimism.
We follow the United Kingdom National Curriculum, but with enhancements and adaptations to suit the unique needs and requirements of our international student body and context. Our curriculum is designed to provide the highest academic quality of education. Our English Primary department has classes from Year One to Year Six with two classes in each year band. Our teachers emphasise the enjoyment of learning and the mastery of skills; all content areas are integrated across the curriculum subjects whenever appropriate.
LEARNING AT SECONDARY SCHOOL
GSIS is part of the worldwide German Schools Abroad network, which consists of over 140 schools, governed by the Central Agency for German Schools Abroad (Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen, ZfA) of the German Federal Office of Administration and teaches to German educational standards.
As per the Resolution of the Education Ministers’ Conference (KMK), GSIS is authorised to award the German International Abitur Examination at the end of K12, the Realschule leaving certificate (at the end of K10) and the Hauptschule leaving certificate (at the end of K09).
The curricula for the eight-year Gymnasium are based on the core curricula for German schools in South-East and East Asia, which in turn are based on the curricula of the German state of Thuringia.
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. The German International Abitur examination is also recognized by universities in Switzerland and Austria, possibly with certain restrictions. The Abitur is internationally respected and provides access to British and American universities.
The English Secondary Department (ESD) is similar to a traditional English grammar school as we have high expectations of our students. However, we are unique in that we form part of the German Swiss International School and so are able to provide our students with enhanced exposure to the German language and to the culture of German speaking countries.
We currently prepare our students for the UK I/GCSE and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. Both sets of qualifications are well regarded by universities worldwide.
The teaching staff in the ESD are drawn from the English speaking world, predominantly coming from the UK and Australia. They are very experienced and committed and use a variety of styles, methods and technology to engage and stimulate the students. Throughout the department, lessons are interactive with students expected to participate actively in discussions, questioning the material and developing their critical thinking skills.
Years 7 to 9
For the first three years in the ESD we determine our own curriculum, which aims to give students the strong foundation of knowledge and skills that they will need for their later studies. Our curriculum is broadly based on the National Curriculum of England but it has been adapted and extended to suit the selective and international nature of our students, drawing upon best practice in education worldwide.
Strong emphasis is placed on learning the German language, with French and Mandarin available as second foreign languages. The foreign languages (from Y07) and Mathematics (from Y08) are taught in streamed groups, which cater to the varied strengths of the students and allow us to offer accelerated programmes in these subjects. In addition to the more traditional subjects, classes in Art, Drama, ICT and Music enhance the students’ creativity and presentation skills.
Years 10 and 11
Over the course of these two years, students are prepared for the International/General Certificate of Secondary Education (I/GCSE) in eight to ten subjects. The Examination Boards in the UK determine the syllabus for each subject and set and mark the public examination papers. Students must study English Language and English Literature, Mathematics and German.
They can then select an additional four to six subjects, which must include one from science and one from the humanities, to ensure sufficient breadth of study. In response to the interest and ability of our students, GSIS offers the single award sciences, allowing students to choose, one, two or all three of the science disciplines.
Students in our accelerated programmes, who sit for their I/GCSEs early, are able to continue their studies at AS level in Mandarin and German. Our accelerated programme in Mathematics may lead to the Additional Mathematics I/GCSE qualification.
Years 12 and 13
At GSIS, we strive to enable our students to access opportunities that will see them grow into balanced, intelligent, global citizens. The programme of study in Y12-Y13 is the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). A student taking the IBDP must follow the Core of the programme and take six subjects, one each from six subject groups.