Bilingual kindergarten, primary or secondary schools in or around Heidelberg

46 posts in this topic

I had a good friend who worked at F + U & she left because it was horrible. Not as horrible as MIS, but to be fair, no school or kindergarten is worse than MIS. Whatever you do, do not send your children to any of the MIS schools!

HIS is a great school, but rather expensive.

Englische Institute has a good reputation. A friend of mine is sending her daughter there. So far, they are happy.

 

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Hi All,

 

As I couldnt find a recent topic about schools around Manheim (please correct me if I am wrong) - we may move to Manheim/Heidelberg Area this summer. Kids are 5,7 and 9 and I try to find more information about schools. We prefer English or Bilingual (but HIS is too expensive). Any experiences with HPC or the English Institute in Heidelberg? Other options around Manheim? (Neustadt international is also too expensive)

 

I also found the International Grundshule Heidelberg - but as far as I understand it is not bilangual?

 

Thanks so much.

 

Anne

 

 

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Both my kids go to EI and are in classes 4 and 8. The Grundschule is very good and the Gymnasium is about average for Heidelberg ... the standard here seems quite high here. The classes are small-ish (about 20 kids). As you can imagine there is a lot of English but don't forget that it is still a German school so they will need to be able to speak German ... or learn relatively quickly. Some lessons are in German, others in English (Music, sport etc). It will also help if you speak German, especially for parent evening!

 

It's a very international school. There are obviously a large number of German kids but also lots of others from the UK, Ireland, US, India ... all over. I think this is the influence of having EMBL and SAP in the area. Also be aware that it is quite a 'sheltered' environment as most of the kids come from backgrounds where the kids are very well educated and/or well off. Don't be surprised by the Porches, Ferraris and Bentleys dropping off kids. Saying that, I wouldn't say it was snobby. In my experience most of that is left at the school gates. 

 

There is actually a large number of men teachers which is nice as they get a good mix of men and women. Classes have a main and a support teacher. Each subject area tends to have its own teacher though. In my experience the teachers have been incredibly supportive when we needed help. In fact, one fought tooth and nail to make sure our daughter was ready for applying for Gymnasium. 

 

One thing that I haven't heard of anywhere else is the first and second classes. Years 1 and 2 are mixed. As a Year 1 child comes in, they are assigned to a Year 2 child who looks after them and helps them get adjust to the school. This is particularly important in the first few weeks, but they are also there for them during the entire first year. Then, as the Year 2s go into class 3, the first years become Year 2 children and look after the new Year 1 children. Again, I think this is a really nice idea as the new kids have someone to look up to, while they get a taste of responsibility when they have to look after the new kids the following year.

 

The approach at EI is to help the kids become self sufficient. They get a weekly plan of what they have to achieve in Maths and German and it is up to them to organise themselves in the 'homework' periods to plan what they have to do, make sure it gets done, and do any extra work if they can. I think this has mixed results. Some kids revel in it - others still needed a little bit of pressure to make sure they don't get distracted. 

 

There are a lots of school fairs and trips. Occasionally they have people coming in from outside to talk to the kids. I think last week SAP were in my daughters class doing things with coding and robots. Overall it's quite a lovely experience. I wish I'd been in primary school there.

 

On another note, be aware that the catchment for EI is very large, which means that your kids are going to have friends coming from Mannheim, Waldorf, Wiesloch etc etc which can put a bit of a strain when you start to have to organise play dates etc. So other clubs more local to where you decide to live might help. I seem to be the eternal taxi driver. 

 

Overall we have been very happy with the Grundschule. However, I would encourage you to apply as soon as possible if you decide to go for EI as demand is very high - doubly so for the Gymnasium as EI is one of the few schools in the area that does G9.

 

I can't say that I have a great deal of experience with other schools in the area so my view is a little limited. However, I would say for Grundschule you can't really go wrong with the EI if you are looking for bi-lingual. Talking with other parents it seems like it is better than a lot of the schools. By the time you get to looking for secondary schools, you'll have more time to look around as some of the other schools have slightly different focuses that might match your children's goals. I think Helmholtz are more focused on sciences, for example. Saying that, we were keen for both our kids to go to EI Gymnasium. 

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On 5/14/2018, 8:08:55, AnBesA said:

We prefer English or Bilingual (but HIS is too expensive). Any experiences with HPC or the English Institute in Heidelberg? Other options around Manheim?

 

 

I believe HPC (Heidelberger Privatschulcentrum) is another name for the F+U lunablabla mentioned. I don't have direct experience of the F+U but have heard many negative things about it -- at least when it comes to their primary school.  You understand correctly about the Int'l Gesamtschule Heidelberg: it is not bilingual.

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