Bilingual all-day school in Fellbach

First Swiss International School in Germany
Fellbach, 04.08.2008 | 

The Stuttgart Region’s first private bilingual school with classes running all day will open in the 2008/09 school year. With all bilingual classes and school activities in German and in English as well as German and international school-leaving qualifications, the Swiss International School (SIS) is geared toward highly mobile German and international families. Pupils can attend the school from pre-school level, through primary and secondary school, finishing with the entrance certificate for general higher education institutions.

When it opens its doors in September 2008, the SIS will have a mixed pre-school group for three to five-year olds, as well as first and second grade in the primary school. There is already interest in third and fourth grades; if more interest is expressed, the school will also be able to offer these grades in 2008 already. Initially the secondary school will start off with fifth grade, and the other grades may be added in the future. At the moment a total of around 30 places are still available.

The SIS Swiss International School is a joint venture between the Stuttgart Klett publishing group and the Swiss educational group Kalaidos Bildungsgruppe Schweiz, which has been running bilingual all-day schools with an international focus in Switzerland since as far back as 1999. The new school in Fellbach is SIS’s first project in Germany. Further locations are to follow.

SIS is a non-denominational school. "We consider values such as honesty, respect, responsibility for one’s actions and commitment to be important", emphasised Christian Zindel, a co-owner of Kalaidos. Philipp Haussmann, a member of the Board of Directors of Ernst Klett AG, reiterates: "Our primary aim is to reinforce the identity of the pupils in order to allow them to become global citizens and at the same time to get involved in their direct surroundings."

SIS’s organisational model for bilingualism is based on trained native-speaker teaching staff, equal use of English and German and what is known as "immersion’: According to Mr. Zindel: "Total immersion in a language is the only way to gain access to all of the dimensions of the target language".

It was the Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation (Wirtschaftsförderung Region Stuttgart GmbH - WRS) that introduced the SIS to the Fellbach location on its real estate portal. Fellbach’s mayor, Christoph Palm, is very pleased that Fellbach was chosen as the location, and has emphasised the large catchment area as a special incentive: "The SIS is also accessible to pupils from the entire Rems-Murr district, the municipalities of Ludwigsburg and Esslingen and of course from the region’s capital, Stuttgart". The school received start-up financing from the city’s budget for economic development.

After the International School of Stuttgart, the SIS is the second international private school in the region. Like other private schools, the SIS also charges school fees. The monthly cost is between EUR 500 and EUR 650. The Eisele Foundation in Fellbach will provide up to EUR 50,000 annually in the form of scholarships for gifted children from Fellbach.

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