Learning

Primary School - German Curriculum

Quick Facts

Language of instruction is German. English is taught on three differentiated levels.

There are over 90 different CCAs on offer as part of the after school programme.

Our Vocal and Instrumental Programme offers one-to-one lessons with experienced music teachers.

As part of our Language Enrichment Programme (LEP), students get a chance to strengthen their mother tongue languages in an immersive setting.

The primary school at GESS is the place where the foundations of learning are built. Our curriculum is aimed at students aged 6 to 10 years.

Languages
Curriculum
Class Structure/ Sample Timetable
Pedagogical Concept
Eingangsstufe
Learning and Language Support
Technology
Additional Programmes
Buddie-System
Enrichment Activities
Transitions

Languages

The language of instruction is German. English is taught as a second language and is offered 4 hours a week, from Grade 1 to 5, on three differentiated levels:

  • Foreign Language (EFL)
  • English Intermediate Level (EIL)
  • English Near Native(ENN)

In the "Eingansstufe", English is taught on two differentiated levels: EFL and ENN.

The Language Enrichment Program (LEP)takes place on Wednesdays, in the 9th and 10th periods. As part of LEP, students' existing knowledge of their mother tongue language can be strengthened in an immersive setting.

Curriculum

The current curriculum is based on the Thuringian education plan. Work is currently underway to adapt the primary school curriculum according to the Baden-Württemberg competence-oriented education plan of 2016.

The following subjects are taught as part of the curriculum:

  • German
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Social Studies / Science
  • Art
  • Music
  • Religion / Ethics
  • Sports and Swimming

From Grade 2 onward, additional hours are dedicated to the instruction of:

  • Independent Work ("Eigenverantortliches Arbeiten" - EVA)
  • Cooperative Learning
  • Methodological Skills

Class Structure/ Sample Timetable

Our Primary School runs from Grade 1 to 5 and students in these grades are between 6 to 10 years of age. While Grade 5 still falls under the Primary School section, it is the transitional grade to Grade 6 in Middle School. For this reason, it is taught according to the Middle School Curriculum but in homerooms, as is typical for the Primary School.

The school day starts at 8 am and each class period is 45 minutes long. The class size is usually limited to 24 students.

Pedagogical Concept

Lessons are based on the requirements that schools and students currently have to meet to learn successfully and live autonomously in the 21st Century. Additionally, good command of German, which is the language of instruction in our school, and English is of value within our host country Singapore.
Our pedagogy also creates competencies in these areas:

  • Critical thinking
  • Communication
  • Cooperation
  • Creativity

In order to achieve this in the best possible way for our students, we define different priorities in our school development and accordingly, develop suitable pedagogical concepts, which are regularly evaluated.

Cornerstones of lesson development:

  • Competence-oriented teaching
  • Autonomous Work ("Eigenverantwortliches Arbeiten" - EVA)
  • Cooperative learning
  • Systematic development of methodological competence
  • Promotion of the German language
  • Purposeful use of the latest technology in classrooms
  • Safe and responsible use of digital media
  • All children in “Eingangstufe”, Grade 1, 2, 3 and 4 will receive two additional German support lessons (German +).

Eingangsstufe

The "Eingangsstufe (EST)" gives children who are 5 years old, until 31 July, the opportunity to progress directly from Kindergarten to Primary School. The "Eingangsstufe" is usually taught as a two-year programme. After completion of the programme, children progress to Grade 2 of Primary School.

The "Eingangsstufe" syllabus is the same as in Grade 1, but the daily routine is highly adapted to the needs of the children:

  • A sufficient amount of physical activity is guaranteed.
  • Playful and action-oriented learning and time allocated for free play, strengthen the children's personalities and promote social skills.
  • In the "Eingangsstufe", children learn to read, write and calculate right from the start.

Children between the ages of 5 to 7 learn together. In the purposefully mixed age group, children learn with each other and from each other and are guided towards independent behavior and learning.

Every year in August, about 12 new students are admitted to the "Eingangsstufe". The class is taught by two teachers and the language of instruction is German.

Admission criteria:

  • Fulfillment of the age criterion
  • Social and emotional readiness for the school environment
  • Good command of German

Learning and Language Support

Our Support and Guidance Center (FBZ) organises various support measures (at an additional cost) conducted by experienced Learning Support teachers – for example for students diagnosed with dyslexia/dyscalculia, language support for students who grow up bilingual or multilingual, and offers concentration training. School assistant teachers (teacher trainees from Germany) support students under supervision from our experienced teachers during lessons. The FBZ works closely together with the student counsellors.

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Technology

In addition to traditional media and learning tools, all students from Grade 1 to 5 learn how to use a tablet to work actively, cooperatively, creatively, and critically to fulfill the learning goals and competence expectations of our curriculum. In Grade 5, our students are provided with additional 2 laptops per class.

We have a very balanced approach towards new media and use it wherever it, in comparison to traditional media, facilitates work, makes it more efficient and improves learning.

All our students in Primary School also maintain a digital portfolio (Seesaw) to document and reflect on their learning milestones. Throughout this reflection process, the children also interact with their classmates and teachers. Parents have access to their children's respective platforms and this provides additional motivation to children and adds meaning to their learning journey.

Additional Programmes

  • The music programme in Grade 3 allows all students to learn string instruments such as violin, viola or cello in an eight-week intensive program.
  • In Grade 5 a wind class programme is offered and this allows children to learn a new wind instrument.
  • The students in Primary School also have a large selection of after school activities to choose from.

Buddie-System

Each new child is assigned a volunteer buddy from their own class, and this helps them make new friends easily and find their way around the school grounds and adapt to the school routine.

Each primary school class within the German Curriculum Stream is also assigned a buddy class from the IB Curriculum Stream. For special school events such as project week, sports day or swimming week, mixed groups combining students from both streams are be set up. Children from the German and IB stream work and learn with each other and from each other and this strengthens the sense of unity within the school.

Enrichment Activities

  • In Grade 1 and 2, a group evening event or a group overnight stay is organised at the school.
  • In Grade 3, students enjoy a class trip, inclusive of an overnight stay within Singapore.
  • The Grade 4 trip will consist of a 2-nights stay within Singapore.
  • In Grade 5, the students will travel to Malaysia by bus for a 4-day (3 nights) trip.
  • Grade 5 trip to Malaysia for
  • The day trips for individual grades serve to strengthen the cohesion within the class community and are planned according to the current needs of the curriculum within the respective grade level teams.

Transitions

The transition from Grade 5 in Primary School to Grade 6 in Middle School is done in close cooperation between the respective class teachers from both grades. In addition to a transition day, whereby the Grade 5 students spend a day with Grade 6 students to get to know their future subjects and teachers and get a taste of a day in the school life of the older students, the class teachers of both grades are involved in the handover from Primary School to Middle School.

At GESS, apart from the direct pathway to the "Abitur", there is also the possibility to take the "Hauptschulabschluss" as well as the Realschulabschluss"

Social Projects

Kits for Kids Project
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Kits for Kids Project

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KITS FOR KIDS - Providing Learning Materials for Kids in Need.Every year, since 2012, the Primary School students have been packing hundreds of school bags filled with school supplies and handwritten letters for their less fortunate counterparts in neglected Indonesian islands. These bags are transported by Captain Shane Granger and his wife Meggie who sail out to these islands on their 120-year old sailing ship, the Vega, and personally hand out these items. The students later witness the impact of their actions through well-documented videos and photos.

The Blue Dragon Foundation
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The Blue Dragon Foundation

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THE BLUE DRAGON FOUNDATION - Swimming Lessons for Street Children in Vietnam

The Blue Dragon Foundation supports street children in Vietnam. Every May, the school organises a swimming gala for Grade 4 students as part of this venture, whereby parents can donate money per lane swum by their children. The donations are used to pay for swimming lessons for street children in Hanoi. Many children in this area perish by drowning because they have never had the chance to learn how to swim.

Once a year, the head of the organisation Blue Dragon visits GESS together with a child that has received support. This gives the Grade 4 students the chance to directly ask questions and find out more about the life of street children in Hanoi.

Website: www.bluedragon.org

What our Parents and Students Say

Our holistic approach to learning

Entry Requirements

To enrol in Grade 1 your child needs to be 6 years old by 31 July and near-native or native command of German language is compulsory.

Further Information

School fees

School fees

School Fees

Fee element Fee (SGD)
Entrance fee* 2,945.00
Tuition per year 18,880.00
Development levy² per year 4,890.00
Learning materials & excursion fees³ 200.00
Grade 5 - Wind Programme 1,827.00 per year

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* Entrance fees consist of an enrolment fee of S$2,000.00 and non-refundable registration fee of S$945.00
² First year only, from second year onwards and for the third child onwards, it’s reduced to S$2,445.00
³ Learning materials & excursion fees are chargeable at the beginning of the academic year


Miscellaneous Charges (if applicable)*

Fee element Fee (SGD)
Learning Support per semester for two weekly lessons 695.00
Excursion Grade 3 200.00
Excursion Grade 4 300.00
Excursion Grade 5 650.00
ENP Grade EST - 1 (Mon, Thu, Fri) 780.00
ENP Grade 2 (Mon, Fri) 520.00
ENP Grade 3 (Tue) 260.00
ENP EST - Grade 5 (Wed [additional day]) 260.00
CCA / LEP fee per semester per course 260.00

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* Fees are approximate, based on 2017/2018 academic year costs
ENP: Extended Afternoon Programme
CCA: Co-Curricula Activity
LEP: Language Enrichment Programme

Holiday Calendar & Academic Year
Bus information
School Uniform

Holiday Calendar & Academic Year

The academic year (approximately 180 school days) comprises of two semesters. The first semester begins in August and ends in January. The second semester begins in February and ends in June. All Singaporean public holidays are observed.

Bus information

GESS has a local school transport provider, who provides coverage of the main island of Singapore. All seats in every bus are fully equipped with safety belts and there are bus attendants on board. The children will be picked up at your home and brought back safely to your doorstep every day or to the nearest possible pick up point around your house. In addition, the school bus service also offers home drop-off after the Co-Curricular Activities (CCA). Registration for bus service can be done directly upon school registration, but is possible at any other time as well.

School Uniform

Like all schools in Singapore, GESS has a dress code. Students are to remain in school uniform for the entire school day, when on campus after school, as well as, during school trips, unless taking part in a CCA that requires a specific alternative attire.

All items of the GESS uniform are embroidered with the GESS logo. The full uniform is available at the GESS school shop.