Is Swiss gymnasium right for my child?

Is Swiss gymnasium right for my child?

In the last two years of primary, many parents and their child start to think about pathways in secondary school. If your child is has good grades and shows academic potential, you might consider Gymnasium.

While academic performance is very important for Gymi, there are other criteria you need to consider when trying to decide if Gymi is the right school for your child.

Gymnasium guideline

EOS Zürichberg published a helpful guideline for parents called ‚Sek oder Lang-Gymnasium?‘ The below guideline aims to support parents and their children in their decision-making process.

  • Your child should be a very motivated student and have the desire to attend Gymi.
  • An average grade of at least 5.25. in German and maths. Evidence shows children with lower grades are more likely to fail the exam or the trial period. The trial period is very challenging as the children will undergo constant tests and checks to make sure they can keep up in Gymi all the way up to matura. 
  • Your child should show very good academic ability and performance, although a high IQ in itself is not sufficient
  • Your child should have a good/very good working attitude, ie the ability to solve tasks independently and of her own volition. She should also demonstrate a love for learning and be well organised.
  • Your child should be curious and versatile
  • Your child should enjoy reading
  • Overall good grades in primary, even in subjects in which there are no grades or that do not count for the exam (such as French or NMG)

Also imporant to consider:

  • A high level of maturity and self-reliance is also very important. Students need to travel by bus to their school and the day is very long, with only a short lunch break. While there is a cafeteria, students have to cater for their own lunch. Furthermore, Gymi schools are usually very big schools, with dozens of classes and teachers for each subject. This implies that your child will be taught by 10 or 11 different specialist teachers and will have to change classrooms frequently.
  • A good grasp of languages is an advantage, since your child will be studying up to four languages in lower Gymi ​​(German, Latin, French, English in the first 2 years of Gymi).

(Source: Vereinigung der Elternorganisationen im Schulkreis Zürichberg)

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