What is PHORMS School in Munich like?

Any problems? Any praise?


Rooibos
HI
I am planning to send my son to PHORMS in a few years' time. Recently I have heard that they are not yet accredited by the local authorities for the abitur. Also their website looks amazing. It seems almost too good to be true. Are they really all that?

I would love to hear from folk who have contact with the school on your experiences. Good or bad.

My son is already in the German educational kindergarten stream and is more German than anything else, but his English proficiency is really important to us as we are both native English speakers. I am concerned about the "harsh" Bavarian school system- but I am not financially capable of affording MIS/BIS. So its Phorms or German school for us. I am clear on the differences between the two systems but I really would like to hear first hand experiences of the PHORMS school.

Thanks!
lil96
I am curious what is PHORMS?
kathik
have you been accepted and have a spot? I have heard that they are full and hard to get in to...

PHORMS is a private school
chumbawumba
We also initially looked at PHORMS and made an application. For our 20€ they were supposed to get in touch up to 7 days later and have a quick chat with us. Months later in October we get a mail for a invitation day, unfortunately this clashed with some holiday plans & even before that a German neighbour told us about an article on PHORMS having some financial issues overall in Germany. We did have an American friend whose children go there but they neither rave or have anything bad to say about it.
Anyway we are still getting invitations so it can't be that full but I'm writing to say we are no longer interested. What I did like was that fees are linked to income, however our friend hinted that the higher the income the more likely the response.
westvan
Depsite the title, this thread has opinions on PHORMS schools in general --> Teaching at a PHORMS school?
Rooibos
thanks for the inputs. PHORMS as I understand from their website is a private bilingual school in Munich. We are on the waiting list and after I also struggled to get in touch with them several times, I was assured that my son is on the list and that he will be invited to the open day and test in October.
I have a good friend who also really struggled with them. The children were put on the list even given secured spots but then pushed down again.
I am really keen on the additive bilingual teaching they offer, otherwise I wouldn't bother with all the red tape.

As I said before I have heard they are not accredited by the local authority to offer the Abitur.

Any more views on this would be great
thanks
Kazalphaville
Read the other thread also. That was part of the reason why the PHORMS school in Köln closed down.
kato
I am really keen on the additive bilingual teaching they offer, otherwise I wouldn't bother with all the red tape.
Which is only really particular for elementary level. From their website, their bilingual components in secondary school don't really exceed those of a German state school with a bilingual track by much.
DDBug
Considering how much English the kids get in normal German schools, but English at home, easy accessibility to English books, movies and people, do you think a bilingual school would add a lot more or be easier? (Just curious)

One advantage our kids have in the "normal" system is that they can relax a bit more in one class and concentrate on the others. But if they are native speakers in a bilingual school they may not get that little advantage.

I've had people recommend a couple of different private schools and most of them were only genehmigt, not anerkannt (btw. the international schools are also not completely anerkannt, meaning an IB or abitur from them does not necessarily qualify for University in Germany). Depending on where your kids live when they finish school, and what they really want to do, the whole anerkennung thing may or may not be relevant.

All of the schools we have been looking at during 4th grade "rush week" (or "hell week" if you prefer ) offer a "ganztags" option - until 4 pm including lunch. The city sponsored schools (most of the realschulen and about a third of the gymnasium) have an extra hour for learning skills.

Is anyone here looking at schools in Schwabing? Would be interesting to see if anyone is at the info abends this week.
Rooibos
What the last two posts say makes real sense. The reason I am interested in this particular school is because my son has to cope with three languages. My mother tongue (Afrikaans), my husband's ( German) and the language he started school in back home (English). After three years in Germany he speaks German really well, he speaks my language okay and he understands and speaks really basic English. Since English is a world language its most important that this be supported well.

How well would he be supported in English in the German state schools? Any advice on this?

I think three languages are really difficult to support, but its a situation we landed in by default when we moved. back home, it was never the plan that German should be his main language. My language, Afrikaans is probably the least useful of the three, but my relationship with him is now built on this and it upsets him if I try to only speak English.

I am really keen to get a good impression of what PHORMS is/is not. It will require traveling far every day, cost etc. But if its the best for my son and we are offered a spot I will definitely do it.

Your advice is appreciated
CDMexpat
I heard that the school has a new Head Master. The school's curriculum and teaching has changed over time since the school opened. English is not being emphasized as much. Not many native English speakers. You are charged by your income level. They were suppose to build a new school in the south of Munich but that has been postponed. I don't think the school is as popular as it use to be and the wait lists are getting smaller.
hdwest
I'm glad to see all the responses on the school and other opinions on the German public schools as well. We had also looked over the Phorms school jut to get an idea of the schools in Bogenhausen where we will likely end up. But after reading more things around TT and just our own experience of living in Germany that past year, I find that people who haven't studied English since finishing "high school" 20 years ago can still get by rather well when speaking with me in English. So I actually have a lot of confidence in the German public school system to have plenty of opportunities to learn English really well.

Back when I lived in the US I was a high school coach for several sports and we often had a couple German exchange students each year and they were stellar in school and performed as well, if not better in all the different subjects than the American kids.

Since we are lucky enough to have moved here with our son just 3 years old, our original idea that we needed him to go to a bilingual school to keep up with English and learn German has gone out the window. We take him to both English and German dance classes, playgroups, etc and while we might end up doing a private bilingual kindergarten when we first move, we definitely plan to do the German public schools 6 years and on.
bumpkin
Time after over four years to do a bit of an update:

Phorms Kindergarden; running smoothly, relatively high fees but as good as any other bilingual kindergarden in Munich, with native English speaking teachers and relatively structured curriculum.

Phorms Primary; now following the classic and demanding Bavarian curriculum plus bi-lingualism.The school is not recognised by the German authorities, meaning in 4th grade if the children want to leave the school to go to a different Realschule or Gymnasium they have to do a test for entry into any other school, except the Hauptschule.Not all children are automatically accepted into the Phorms Gymnasium. For this reason some children have left the school in in 4th grade to go to a regular state school so they will automatically get a average grade that could allow them into a recognised Gymnasium or Realschule.

Phorms Gymnasium goes to Year 8 at moment. The school will have to enter students for 3 years (2016-2019) in a row into the Abitur before it becomes recognised and then gain a 75% pass rate. Some rumours are, that standards are not high enough for pupils to get a good point score average in the Abitur as the school has allowed students into the Gymnasium that are not of Gymnasium standard.This would perhaps have the result they will not be entered for the Abitur as it would effect the 75% pass rate. At the moment there are apparently no plans in place for an IB programme or IGCSE to provide students with alternative qualifications.

Rumours too of budget problems, cuts in staff numbers, limited resources (particularly at secondary level no science lab for example)

All in all not quite as straight forward as the original marketing blurb,

Hope this is helpful
LaurenM
Very helpful; thank you. The amount of information on their website for each level seems to correlate with their strength in offering it.
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