The international school in Seeheim

30 posts in this topic

Had a quick drive-by tonight, having downloaded the relevant bumf from the website. It looks lovely - a school in the woods.

Anyone on here have their kids there, or decided against it, or thinking about it?

How does the admissions policy work in real life? I can´t imagine than Seeheim-Jugendheim is overrun with expat familes, so do they cast their catchment ´net´ a little further?

Obviously I am referring to the primary school.

As always, thanks in advance for any replies.

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I am not sure of the school itself but I do know some people that work there as teachers. Not sure but I think it is a mixture of expats and German children...

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I work there! It's a lovely place for the kids to be. There is a good mix of German/English children, as well as some from other countries. The admittance policy is based on the parents being highly mobile, the child's abilities and the language spoken. The children need to be able to understand English to a good degree and should have one native English speaking parent.

 

The catchment area is wide spread, but priority is given to those closest to school. They have an open day on Saturday 24th January from 10am - 1pm which you should come to.

 

The classes are (in my opinion, coming from the UK) small, no more than about 20 per class. There is a teacher and teaching assistant for each class, usually one German speaker and one English, to cater for the kids needs. All the German speaking staff speak great English too.

 

If you have any questions, you can reply or PM me. :)

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Thanks all for the replies and the PMs, sorry I haven´t got back to you sooner. PMs will be sent shortly!

Regards,

Simon

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I don't know your situation but if your kids don't already speak German this is not the school for you. From what I have heard about the school the facilities for teaching German as a second language are not great.

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No, that's not quite right. We have additional lessons in both English and German for the children that either speak little or none of these. The non-German children who need help, have small group sessions with a German teacher which take place during the normal German lesson. This starts from year 1, and we have had many kids join that don't understand a single word of German.

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Hello - we are also being transferred to Darmstadt soon and are thinking of sending our kids to the Seeheim international school. Does anybody have kids going there and what is their experience of the school? Is the lack of (playing) facilities a problem? is there a good balance between german and non-german kids?

 

Another option for us would be International School of Wiesbaden but my husband would need to commute to darmstadt every day. is that dooable/advisable?

 

Thanks!!

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Hi

What do you mean by lack of playing facilities? The split of German/international kids is about 60/40, but all the German kids speak English to a good enough degree - they have to, to be able to join the school. This means English kids can make friends with anyone there. What year would you child be going into?

 

I don't know a lot about the IoW, sorry.

 

I work at SISS, so if you want to ask me any questions about the school, please feel free to PM me :)

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Well, it's true, the playground is ... very basic. But the children do get by, on that front. They are quite inventive. The school's otherwise fantastic - just pop by to watch the line of haggard looking parents trying to drag their kids away at the end of each day. I have two children there myself, so am speaking from a parent's perspective.

 

The school is still relatively new, and there are still various "challenges" associated with that sometimes, especially in the upper years (year6 is the oldest class right now). However, the curriculum is standard and defined, the staff are flexible and motivated, the parents association is very active, and the children ... well, they sure get up to some weird and wonderful things, project wise. Why don't you get in touch with the school office and arrange a visit? Places are very over subscribed though, so don't leave it too late.

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Bit curious to know,

How many students are there in this school in total?

How is Academics there compared to FIS & ISF in Frankfurt?

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I would average a guess at 140-150 kids in the primary school (years 1-4, 8 classes) and about 40-50 in the secondary (years 5-6, 3 classes).

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Hello,

 

I would love to send my children to the SISS but worry that as we live on the "wrong" side of the Rhine that we may not be considered eligble. Even if my dc got in I would still have to find a way to get them there every day (27km one way). I think that it looks like a great school and would even go as far as to find employment on that side of the Rhine so that I could drop them off on the way to work in the morning. (I am currently working as a qualified childminder from home but could also work as a nanny and also have experience with admin work).

Are there any parents out there that could give me their opinion of the school?

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Sorry to encroach, but I'm confused about all the International schools. My kids go to an International school now in Zurich, but we are moving to Frankfurt soon. I'd like my kids to go to a school that offers a lot of German and follows the IB system, preferably. I'm also open to bilingual schools, but I don't want one that follows the German school style (no reading until age 7, gymnasium, etc) since we will move back to the US in a few years. I've looked into FIS's Wiesbaden branch and into ISF but am a bit concerned with how many times the word "testing" shows up on their website. I also don't know what a "SABIS" school means. What is SISS and the one in Seeheim? Are either of these near Wiesbaden or the Taunus region?

 

Thanks for any input!

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Well, the good news is that there are a lot of options in and around the Frankfurt area. A lot will also depend upon the age of your children.

 

For IB Schools:

 

1) The Frankfurt International School (FIS) is the oldest IB school in the suburbs of Frankfurt and goes from preschool through High School. The school is English based, but there is a German Immersion Program in the Elementary School and a German Immersion Class in Middle School, in addition to German foreign language classes.

 

2) The Metropolitan School is a newer IB school in Frankfurt which goes from preschool through 4th grade (will have a 5th grade starting next year). It is also English based but tries to follow the German curriculum and has German classes.

 

3) The Strothoff International School is a brand new IB school in Dreieich (south of Frankfurt) which also goes from preschool through 9th grade (currently). Don't know much about it, but the buildings look very impressive.

 

Non-IB schools which may be of interest:

 

4) The Rhein Main International Montessori School (RIMS) is a bilingual school in the suburbs of Frankfurt which goes from preschool through High School. Although it follows the German curriculum, it is also a Montessori, and therefore, kids learn at their own pace (i.e. they can start learning to read and write at age 3 if they are ready and willing. :) ) One English teacher and one German teacher in each classroom, and Spanish classes starting in 1st grade.

 

5) The International Bilingual Montessori School (IBMS) is a Montessori school in Frankfurt which follows the German curriculum but is also a Montessori. There is a German division and an English division. Most classes are in one language but there are cross subjects for the other language so that children also learn the other language fluently. The English division only goes up to 4th grade, but children fluent in German can attend the German division in 5th grade.

 

6) The Accadis International School is a bilingual school in the suburbs of Frankfurt. It uses an immersion method from preschool to elementary school to teach the other language. The Secondary School is supposed to open in the Fall and it will follow the curriculum of the University of Cambridge International Examinations. They also offer Spanish classes starting in 2nd grade.

 

If you look through this forum, you will find additional threads on international schools in this area.

 

Good luck! (Can you tell I spent a lot of time researching schools to find the best fit for my kids? :) )

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To clarify the selection process.

Kids applying for the reception classes are tested on their ability to speak and understand English well enough to get by and they are also checked to see if they are 'school ready' so even kids with good English may not be accepted if they are not considered mature enough to cope.They can always apply again the next year.

Kids attending the associated pre-school are not given preference but they may have an advantage if their mother tongue is not English as the pre-school works in English. Other criteria for selection are, I believe, that one or both parents are native English speakers or the parents are 'mobile', i.e. that they have been or are likely to be working outside Germany.

Kids who have a basic level of English have the opportunity to work with a very good EAL (English as an Additional Language) teacher and usually they catch up fairly quickly.

The school has been open about 5 years now so the primary school is well tried and tested. The oldest kids are now at secondary school level and a new secondary school building is being built.

Link to admissions policy (in English) http://www.schuldorf.de/source/interschul/start.html then click on Schuldorf SISS and Aufnahme. There are also some useful docs under 'Downloads'

There's also a site which contains information about EAL - http://sites.google.com/site/sisseal/Home

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What Reception classes? They start at Year 1 and not at Reception. The selection process is dodgy. What is "school ready" when the child is 6 years old (Muss-Kind), bilingual, and went to the int'l preschool? This is not pertaining to my child so this is not personal.

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I think Doomstadt meant Year 1. School ready also has social aspects of it. If a kid won't socialise, talk to others or is very immature, they are not school ready. The selection process isn't dodgy at all, what do you think is dodgy about it??

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I strongly urge parents who are making this sort of investment in a childs future to be made aware of the following:

 

1) Make sure the school your child goes too has a board of directors and heads of departments. This is important to ensure accountability and quality of education. Often schools that are registered as an GMBH are more operated as a business than a school

 

2)Make sure the school is accrediated and is part of the European International School System

 

3)Be sure that teachers at the school are qualified and certified, it can sometimes happen that some schools will just hire a person who just can speak English and they are not certified teachers.

 

4)Check if the school has been provided sponsorship through major corporations or by the city. It is best to send your child to a school that is operated as an non-profit.

 

5)Question if the school is well equipped and had resources, dont be afraid to ask to see a standard lesson plan.

 

hope this helps

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