German Primary - German Swiss International School 德瑞國際學校


German Primary

The German Primary Department is made up of classes K01-K04. There is one year of Pre-school.

The Pre-school and Primary timetable comprises six lessons of 40 minutes every day. It includes enough playtime for younger children. The normal school morning begins at 7:40 am and ends at 12:30 pm.

The Primary Department has fully trained primary school teachers from Germany (with first and second state examination), teachers with comparable qualifications from Switzerland and Austria and a special needs teacher. There are two trained kindergarten teachers and an assistant teacher in Pre-school.


Our schools are German speaking international schools. Our network and our mutual support ensure that students are able to continue their education in any location they might move to. They are places of encounter and intercultural dialogue. The German schools abroad are also a central element of Germany's foreign education policy. This mission statement was developed jointly by all the schools. It ensures their international competitiveness, enabling them to rise to the challenge of the future. It will be evaluated and updated continuously.

1. Our teaching sets high quality standards.

  • The quality standards of our schools meet the highest possible standards.
  • These relate to subject disciplines, education, content, and skills
  • Our courses of study are internationally-oriented, offering a broad range of foreign languages and early, in-depth English tuition, leading to bilingualism
  • Lessons are given by highly qualified teachers
  • Courses of study are based on standardised curricula

2. Our schools take a holistic approach to teaching and learning

This includes, in particular,

  • learning with head, heart and hands
  • individual and social learning
  • teaching of key skills
  • a fair share of mathematics and natural sciences, language, music and sports
  • extracurricular activities
  • differentiated kindergarten and pre-school courses

3. Our buildings and facilities are targeted to meet our ambitious objectives

  • Classrooms, specialist rooms, sports facilities and outdoor areas are built with due regard to modern constructional, educational and environmental considerations
  • They allow modern activity-based learning, as well as social and cultural exchange
  • Basic equipment also includes state-of-the-art information technology equipment

4. Our schools ensure students acquire qualifications recognised in Germany and internationally

Our schools ensure integration into the education system in Germany and transition to other international schools. They offer

  • general education qualifications
  • university-entrance qualifications
  • vocational qualifications

5. Our schools promote cultural dialogue with the Asian environment

German language and culture form the basis of our work. We are committed to the European educational methods and seek cultural dialogue with the respective host country

  • by including local topics in the lessons taught
  • by encountering and exchanging with international and local schools, especially in sports and cultural activities
  • by offering courses in regional studies and specific languages
  • by cooperating with other European schools

6. Our schools provide support for the internationalisation of the economy

  • The courses offered by the schools take into account the requirements of an international economy.
  • Our schools are meeting places for children of different nationalities and thus they learn at an early age to work effectively in an international environment
  • Our schools provide a comprehensive and coordinated educational programme and individual support, making it easier for families to move from one country to another

Our schools measure up to the best performing schools in the region and in Germany

We offer our students excellent educational opportunities

The Primary Department has the task of developing children’s varying talents in a joint education programme. Pedagogical work in this department is intended:

  • To encourage children to be self-reliant, independent and self-controlled
  • To support all children according to their abilities
  • To offer cross-disciplinary activities
  • To practise inquiry-based learning, understanding by doing and facilitate exemplary learning experiences
  • To cultivate behaviour patterns and social etiquette which are applicable for life by using the principle of an attachment figure

Due to the special situation in Hong Kong, our school is also faced with the following tasks:

  • Students who leave our school should be able to change to schools in Germany, Switzerland, Austria or any other German school abroad as smoothly as possible.
  • Our students should learn English well enough to be able to get along in Hong Kong and, if they stay longer, they should be able to become properly bilingual.
  • They should experience such feelings of security in school that they can cope emotionally with classmates, friends and acquaintances constantly changing.
  • They should gain so much self-confidence and spirit that they can quickly find their feet in the new environment.

In coordination with the other German schools in Asia, the Primary Department uses core curricula based on the curricula of the state of Thuringia. The Department meets its educational mission by offering special individualised tuition to help children, especially new arrivals, learn successfully in their new living and learning environment.

Children experience their environment emotionally in festivals and projects and by observing German, international and Chinese customs and traditions (St. Martin’s Procession, St. Nicholas’ Day, Carnival, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Divali, the Chinese New Year or the Dragon Boat Festival).

Students in the German Primary Department get to know students from the English Primary Department at general assemblies, at performances and festivals attended jointly, at play in the playground and in games played in the house system, during library hours spent together and occasionally in language lessons.

GSIS students familiarise themselves with new information technologies from Pre-school on. All children have a weekly ICT lesson. In class lessons the new media are used for different aspects of learning and communication.

From K01 on, the students have as many as four periods of English a week with native English speaking teachers from the English Primary Department.

After regular lessons from 12.30 p.m. on, there are not only fee-paying Afternoon Activities but also a wide range of sports and learning opportunities in the areas of music, drama, art, languages and scientific experiments (free of charge.)
Trips and excursions as well as camps strengthen the sense of community and children’s self-awareness. From K04 our students have the opportunity of going to Europe on an annual skiing trip together with students from the English-medium stream.

Children from multilingual families face great opportunities and challenges in the German Department. These children are already accustomed to switching from one language to another and thus have good prerequisites for taking a bilingual school-leaving certificate like the German International Abitur. On the other hand, children who grow up speaking several languages are not firmly rooted in any language in the same way that children from families that speak only one language are. That is why school and parents must work together closely in order to meet the special learning needs of children from multilingual families.

In Hong Kong our pupils grow up in an environment that is strongly influenced by the English language and offers numerous opportunities to use English outside school. The situation is different as far as German is concerned, as this is a language that children only rarely hear and speak outside school and family. That is why a special coordinated effort is required of parents and school when it comes to learning German. It is basically true to say that

  • the more your child hears and speaks German,
  • the more positive his/her experience of the German speaking aspects of family life,
  • the more closely school and parents work together,
  • the better he/she will learn German.

What does this actually mean? How can you help your child to gain the best possible command of German? The German speaking parent plays a key role, serving as a language model, but the non-German speaking parent can also provide lasting support for the language learning process by showing an interest in and appreciation of the German language and culture.

The following tips and recommendations are intended for families with children in all age groups. Please select those ideas that apply to your family situation.

In the family

  • Spend as much time as possible with your child and consistently speak German with him/her from the start. Play with your child and read German books aloud to him/her.
  • Make sure that communication in German within the family is not limited to just a few words. By setting an example in the way you speak German, you can help your child to express himself/herself in longer, coherent sentences.
  • Avoid using a mixture of languages. Continue to speak in German even if your child answers you in English (or in another language spoken within the family). The more German he/she hears, the better he/she will understand the language and the easier it will be for him/her to develop German language patterns.
  • Explain to your home help why you speak to your child in German even if she does not understand this. Teach her everyday German. If necessary, summarise essential information for your home help in English.
  • Listen to German on cassettes and CDs with your child and watch German DVDs together. Speak to him/her about his/her impressions and questions – in German, of course. You can obtain information about suitable listening material from the school librarians.
  • Watch the news and other programmes together on Deutsche Welle.

Other German speaking families / German speaking institutions

  • Encourage your child to make friends with children from other German speaking families and arrange for the children to visit one another. Do handicrafts with the children and have parties together.
  • Make use of offers outside school where German is spoken, e.g. private playgroups, events put on by the German speaking Protestant and Catholic communities, the German Speaking Ladies Group or the Goethe Institute.
  • Speak to the Head of the Kindergarten if you need advice on expert pre school German tuition.

Contact with German speaking countries

  • Keep in touch with German speaking grandparents and relatives. Have your child speak to them on the phone regularly.
  • Spend your holiday or a part of your holiday in a German speaking country. Repeat stays in places that are clearly different from Hong Kong in a positive way (e.g. at the grandparents’ house, which has a large garden for playing with pets) will help your child to develop an emotional link to the German language and culture.
  • Encourage your child to take part in holiday sports courses, practical social training or practical training in a company in a German speaking country.

School and parents

  • Take advantage of the Afternoon Activities offered by GSIS.
  • Show an interest in the progress your child makes with the Antolin reading programme used in the Primary Department. Encourage your child to read fiction and non-fiction on topics that interest him/her. You can find recommendations on what books to read in GIST, the monthly circular sent out by the School Management. Books in German are available from the school library and in the school shop.

Die Vorschule stellt das Bindeglied zwischen Kindergarten und Grundschule dar. Sie bereitet behutsam auf den Besuch der 1. Klasse vor und legt den Grundstein für einen gleitenden Übergang in die Grundschule. Damit die Kinder die Einschulung nicht als Einschnitt, sondern als natürliche Fortsetzung ihrer Entwicklung erfahren ist der Unterricht in der Vorschule so gestaltet, dass den Kinder die Lern- und Lebenswelt der Schule schrittweise nahe gebracht wird. Unter Berücksichtigung des Entwicklungsstandes und der persönlichen Besonderheiten werden die Kinder mit den vielen Unterschieden zwischen Kindergarten und Schule vertraut gemacht. Zum Beispiel sind das Veränderungen im Raum- und Zeiterleben, Veränderungen im didaktisch-methodischen Arrangement sowie Veränderung der Sozialbeziehung.

Die beste und nachhaltigste Vorbereitung auf die Schule schaffen wir dadurch, dass wir das positive Selbstbild der Kinder unterstützen und damit deren Leistungsbereitschaft erhalten bzw. noch erweitern. Des Weiteren wird durch sanfte Hilfestellung das Fundament für weitere Entwicklungsprozesse in den Bereichen Selbst-, Sozial-, Sach-, und Methodenkompetenz gelegt.

Der Bildungs- und Erziehungsplan der Vorschule beinhaltet folgende Bereiche:

  • Sprachliche und Schriftsprachliche Bildung
  • Interkulturelle Bildung
  • Motorische Entwicklungsförderung
  • Ästhetische und künstlerische Bildung
  • Mathematische Bildung
  • Naturwissenschaftliche Bildung
  • Musikalische Bildung
  • Fremdsprache – Englisch
  • IT - Unterricht


Children in DVOR and K01 have two English lessons per week and in K02-K04 four English lessons per week.

After students have learnt how to read and write at the end of K01, students will learn Englisch in different groups. The aim of these groups is to match the student's knowledge and capabilities. There is one group called 'EAL' (English as an additional Language) and 'NL' (Native Literacy).

Students in the 'EAL' group have good verbal, written and elementary English skills and will deepen their knowledge als second language or additional language. Students without English language skills also join this group and receive individual support.

Students in the 'NL' group can follow classes in an english speaking international school setting easily, which refers to the verbal and written English language. This programme is based on the UK National Curriculum which is slightly adjusted to take the limited time into account.

Both groups are observed continuously and evaluated. The teaching staff discusses the student's progress several times per term.

Both programmes combine the four key elements for language learning: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.

The programmes contain the following activities:

Speaking and Listening

  • Discussion of general topics and selected and tales of well-known authors
  • Listening, repeat and present stories
  • Highlight new vocabulary from stories or discussions
  • Experimentieren mit Sprachstrukturen bekannter Geschichten und Gedichte
  • Language and listening games
  • Songs and theatre plays to extend impression and language skills
  • For movers: language activities for EAL learning
  • Class presentations in front of the class on certain topics (for older students) and learning of constructive criticism


1. Reading together

  • Reading a story or a non-fiction text on the interactive white board
  • Mark new words, sentences and simple spelling rules
  • Understanding and Discussing of the text

These activities are led by the teacher.

2. Guided reading

  • Reading in small groups
  • Both teachers and students comment on the text

3. Independent reading

  • Students find their own reading material and read at home (with our without help)
  • Written summary of the text
  • Visual display of the text
  • Creating of a 'Reading Record" book

4. Reading for further education and experience

  • Knowledge development about famous English authors and their books
  • Different author styles
  • Recognise certain types (genres) of literature in the English language area
  • Development of literary abilities
  • Recognise certain literary specialties und the trial to write own story in this style (flyers)


1. Exploring writing

  • Free writing - students try to use their phonetics knowledge
  • Offering correct spelling
  • Free writing
  • Identification of issues, which could be improved

2. Genre writing

  • Drafting a text
  • Correcting a text
  • Finalize a text

3. Literature writing

  • Put focus on particular literature
  • Development of advanced literacy capabilities
  • Identification of a certain genre
  • Identification of a certain style of different authors
  • Writing a story in a special style

The German Primary school offers Mandarin classes in K03 and K04. These classes introduce the Chinese language and writing and suitable work and learn methods. Children learn all aspects of the Chinese language, such as speaking, listening, reading, writing and translating. We target to teach them the basics.

In addition, we make them aware of a deep connection between the Chinese language and culture: the development of the Chinese script, the use of language in the daily life and the regional differences, such as festivals and events.

The Mandarin classes cover three sessions per week, with two classes in the morning and one class in the afternoon. Children are obliged to attend these classes regularly.

The Mandarin classes run for two years, hence an entry in K04 with no Mandarin knowledge is not possible. If a student joins our school only in K04, he could join the voluntary Mandarin programme in K05 in the German Secondary.

Those children who do not attend Mandarin classes are offered two classes of Chinese regional studies held in German. Students primarily learn more about the country China, its population und culture. We teach our students about the location, cultural characteristics, famous people und latest developments. For example, we show them the landmarks of Beijing and Forbidden City, the Chinese Great Wall, and the Terracotta-Army of Xian. Children get a first glance into the life of the people.

China is known for traditions and innovations. It has many distinct landscapes and different population groups with unique languages, religions and customs. During the Chinese regional studies children learn more about how the Chinese work, live and how they spend their leisure time. Due to immigration and trade many inventions and the Chinese cuisine were introduced all over the world.

The objective of the Chinese regional studies is to inform and excite children about the country and its culture.


Swiss children from K02-K04 can join the ECA Swiss regional studies which contains content such as history, geography and culture. Children will learn more about their home country Switzerland, develop additional interests and common grounds with other Swiss students and identify with their origins.

The programme is flexible and open. Activities vary and also take into account the wishes and needs of all participants. The ECA is held in Swiss language and also open for Swiss children from the English International Stream.

We consult, accompany, teach, encourage and demand

  • individually
  • in small groups
  • within the class

with the goal to best support children with the development of their potential.

Due to the holistic approach of our school we offer parents and children the following professional partners for guidance and support.

In addition to the regular classes we offer our Primary students support classes in small groups or individually. These classes are conducted in collusion with the class teachers und runs at the same time as the regular classes. 

"Our school offers a holistic learning culture"

Prospect and Contents
During the physical education classes at GSIS we consider and teach the following prospects and contents:

1. Pedagogical prospects of physical education

  • Improve awareness ability, and enhance movement experiences Wahrnehmungsfähigkeit verbessern, Bewegungserfahrungen erweitern
  • Create movement, fine-tune body gesture
  • Develop sense for health, support health
  • Cooperate, compete and communicate
  • Experience, understand and assess personal capacity ability
  • Dare to so something, take responsibility

2. Physical education contents

  • Be aware of the body and enhance mobility
  • Running, jumping, throwing = athletics
  • Water movement = swimming
  • Gym equipment movement = exercises
  • Design, dance, display = gymnastics, dance and movement
  • Explore play and use of play areas
  • Play with rules = sports games
  • Slide, drive, roll = roll and boat sports
  • Ring sports and fight = duel sport
  • Acquire knowledge of the own body, improve self confidence
  • Understand health and social aspects of sports

Every year we offer our parents and children a sports highlight - The Sports Day - an athletics competition across both streams.

There are two art classes every week taught by a specialist or the class teacher.

The centre of our pedagogical work is personal development. Every child has room to grow its creativity individually. The teacher helps to create individual, partner or group works with a variety of topics. Project work is most important to us.

We continuously teach basic skills such as concentration and perseverance and we train perception function such as shapes, sizes and spacial position. The basic techniques of visual design are taught and we pay attention to fine motor skills and aesthetics.

The decoration and traditional craftsmanship in the textile sector unites to a colourful palette.

Our students have an interesting and enriching time during their art exploration journey. This creative time has a motivating and relaxing effect and stimulates thoughts and conversations.

Technical equipment

The school has laptops, MacBooks, Chromebooks, iPads, Dash and Dot Roboter, Lego Mindstorms EV3 as well as access to a variety of learning programs and websites. All Peak students have access to MacBooks and Chromebooks in the library whereas Pok Fu Lam students have access to computer stations, laptops and Bee Bots.

In addition, every classroom comes with a large interactive whiteboard with touch function, built-in computer und Internet connection as well as a 'Visualiser'. Students and teachers can directly interact with technology in order to research information, present, work together, edit and share.

Objectives of computer science

Information and communication technology plays a very important part in the curriculum. Students get prepared for an ever-increasing technology development in a globalised world. The necessary basic skills in managing new media are learnt in a playful way.

Our task is to teach students...

  • Information and communication tools
  • Media competency

Understand concepts and risks when using the Internet and social media (copyrights, cyberbullying) and to know how to handle difficult situations.

Zudem wird ein Bewusstsein für mögliche gesundheitsschädigenden Auswirkungen der übermäßigen Nutzung von Screen Technologien entwickelt und es werden entgegenwirkende Verhaltensweisen gefördert. Das bedeutet auch, dass die Nutzung von Technology im Schulalltag themen- und projektspezifisch zielgerichtet und authentisch ist. Schüler erlernen

  • Dokumente, Bilder, Videos zu erstellen, zu bearbeiten und zu teilen,
  • Informationsquellen, Informationen und Medien kritisch zu bewerten,
  • altersgemäße und entwicklungsfördernde Verhaltensweisen zu erwerben, und
  • gesundheitsschonende Verhaltensweisen im Umgang mit neuen Technologien.

Durch Projektarbeiten werden mit der Zeit einzelne Fähigkeiten zielgerichtet erworben, geübt und vertieft um Informationen zu finden, zu erforschen, zu analysieren, auszutauschen, zu verarbeiten und sie in verantwortlicher, kritischer und kreativer Weise mit anderen zu teilen oder zu präsentieren.

In den Klassen 1 – 4 sind für das Fach Musik je zwei Unterrichtsstunden vorgesehen. Die Grundschule verfügt über einen Musikraum, ausgestattet mit Klavier, verschiedenen Trommeln, audio-visuellen Medien und Orff-Instrumenten.

Der Musikunterricht in der Grundschule orientiert sich an den Arbeitsbereichen „Musik hören“, „Musik machen“ und „Musik umsetzen“. Außerdem werden die Kinder vertraut gemacht mit den für diese Bereiche notwendigen musiktheoretischen Grundlagen.

Musik hören

Die Schüler sollen lernen, verschiedenartige musikalische Gestaltungsmittel sowie musikalische Zusammenhänge und Abläufe zu erkennen. Ihre Fähigkeit, aus dem musikalischen Angebot ihrer Umwelt auszuwählen, soll gefördert werden.

Musik machen

Die Schüler sollen im vielfältigen Umgang mit Melodien, Rhythmen, Texten und Instrumenten Musik erfahren und deren verschiedene Darstellungsmöglichkeiten in Sprache, Notierung, Bewegung und Spiel erlernen.

Musik umsetzen

Die Schüler sollen befähigt werden, Musik einzeln, in Gruppen oder im Klassenverband darzubieten.
Die DSIS bietet ein Zusatzangebot an musikalischen Aktivitäten.


In der Grundschule gibt es zwei Chöre. Der Junior-Chor steht den Schülern der ersten bis dritten offen. Für Schüler aus der vierten Klasse besteht die Möglichkeit, am Senior-Chor teilzunehmen. Die Unterrichtssprache ist in beiden Chören Englisch.


Die Grundschule verfügt über ein Grundschulorchester, an dem alle Schülerinnen und Schüler mitwirken können, die ein Orchesterinstrument ausreichend beherrschen.

GSIS Fact Sheet

The German Approach – A Bilingual Education