Schooling & local school culture

Schooling & local school culture

The Swiss school system

For those parents coming from countries outside continental Europe, the Swiss school system will seem very different. Here are some of the features of the Swiss system:

  • Children walk to school on their own from as young as 4 years old and parents are discouraged to drive/walk their children to school.
    Formalised learning starts later: Kindergarten and early primary school is about intellectual, social and cognitive rather than academic development
  • Very little involvement from parents
  • All children learn at least two foreign languages, apart from the official language.
  • No single comprehensive secondary school model. Around the age of 12, children are streamed into different school forms, classes and achievement levels.
  • Marks are determined by classroom behaviour, attitude to learning and motivation as much as academic achievement.
  • No school league tables or ranking and very little information on schools.
  • Only 20% of all pupils choose an academic pathway, over 70% of Swiss school children do an apprenticeship

Do you need more information about the Swiss school system? Do not miss my upcoming seminars:


Navigating the Swiss school system in Kanton Zürich
30 Oct, 19:30 – 22:00 Zürich

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