German Swiss International School

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German Swiss International School
Deutsch-Schweizerische Internationale Schule
HK Peak Guildford Road German Swiss Intl School.JPG
Location
Secondary: 11 Guildford Road, The Peak
Kindergarten/Lower Primary: 162 Pok Fu Lam Road, Pok Fu Lam,
Upper Primary: 30 Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai
Business College: 1/F Kaiser Commercial Centre, 18 Centre Street, Sai Ying Pun

Information
Type Private, international, kindergarten, primary, secondary, vocational, co-educational.
Established 1969
Principal Annette Brandt-Dammann
Enrollment approx. 1250[1]
Years Kindergarten, Klasse 1–12,
Years 1–13, Wirtschaftskolleg
Website
German Swiss International School
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 德国瑞士国际学校
Traditional Chinese 德國瑞士國際學校
German name
German Deutsch-Schweizerische Internationale Schule

The German Swiss International School (GSIS) is an international school in Hong Kong established in 1969 by German and Swiss families looking for a bilingual German-English education in an international setting. Beginning with 73 students in its inaugural year, GSIS now has approximately 1,250 students[1] from over 30 countries.

Curriculum[edit]

GSIS enrolls students from kindergarten to secondary in two parallel streams known as the English Stream and the German Stream. It also has a Business College (German Wirtschaftskolleg), which offers Wholesale & Foreign Trade and Transport & Logistics Management training programmes.

English stream[edit]

Primary department[edit]

The official Primary curriculum of the English Stream offers English/Language, Mathematics, General Studies (covering science, history and geography), Library, Learning Technology, which is known as ICT to students, Music, Physical Education and Religious Studies, although GSIS has no established religion requirement. The German language is taught from Year 2 and remains compulsory until after Year 11. Chinese (Mandarin) is introduced in Year 4. Science is also introduced in Year 5.

Secondary department[edit]

The English Stream currently follows the British education system, completing GCSE and I/GCSE examinations at the end of Year 11. Exams will be taken at the end of Year 13. The examining boards are Cambridge and Edexcel, depending on what subject is being taken.

At GCSE/IGCSE level, compulsory subjects include English Language, English Literature, German and Mathematics. Students also choose electives from the following subject pools:

  • Languages (French and Mandarin)
  • Humanities (Economics, History and Geography)
  • Sciences (Physics, Chemistry and Biology)
  • Arts (Art, Music, Drama)

Additionally, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is also available as an elective. The same subjects are available at AS-Level and A-Level with the exception of English Language, which is only offered to AS level, and Music. There are no compulsory AS- or A-Level subjects, only that a minimum of three A-Levels are taken. Many students also take the SAT I/II or the Sprachdiplom for applications to universities in the United States or Germany respectively.

The English Stream will adopt the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma programme for Year 12 and 13 in 2013, replacing the GCE A-level programme.

German stream[edit]

In line with most German states, the German Secondary Department offers an eight-year Gymnasium course. The curriculum is based on the core curriculum of German schools in Southeast and East Asia, which in turn is based on the curricula of the state of Thuringia.

The school offers English, French, Latin and Mandarin programmes. GSIS is one of the first German Schools Abroad to offer the bilingual German International Abitur Examination (DIAP). As much as 50 percent of the Abitur exams can be taken in English. In order to prepare students for these exams, Geography is taught bilingually from K07 to K09 and in English from K10; history is taught bilingually in all years from K08.

Facilities[edit]

Campuses[edit]

In 1969, GSIS first opened its doors to 73 students in a house at 1 Barker Rd, The Peak. In view of growing student numbers, the school relocated some or all of its classes multiple times until 1975 when the school was able to open its first school building on Guildford Road. Today the Peak campus comprises three buildings, including the Upper Building, Middle Building and Lower Building. GSIS currently leases Shop 2 in the Dairy Farm Shopping Centre on Watford Road for its current cafeteria at the Peak, known as "The Lounge". The cafeteria is operated by Compass, the catering company contracted by GSIS.

In 2007, the Hong Kong Government awarded GSIS a second campus at 162 Pok Fu Lam Road, Pok Fu Lam, which in 2010 became the new permanent home for the Kindergarten and a temporary home for the Lower Primary: Y01-Y02 in the English stream, and Deutsche Vorschule (German Preschool) to K01 in the German stream. In 2012, the school moved its Upper Primary (Y03-Y06 / K02-K04) classes to a decanting site in Wan Chai on 30 Oi Kwan Road while construction works are being carried out at the Peak Campus. The site was originally in Ma On Shan, until opposition came from parents.[2]

The Business College is located in Sai Ying Pun.

Buildings[edit]

The school consists of 3 buildings; the Upper Building, the Middle Building and the Lower Building.

Upper Building[edit]

As for the meantime, this building houses most of the German stream and the senior years of the ESD (English Secondary Department).The Upper Building is about 3 levels high and consists of a basketball court (known as the Courtyard) in the center of the building. The Old Gym is a hall now used mostly for drama classes and assemblies. Students and staff can also go to the Wellcome supermarket located right across the road at 2-4 Watford Road. They are free to go there during breaks and lunch.

Watford Road Wellcome Supermarket

Middle Building[edit]

As for the meantime, this building is currently undergoing the campus development plan (Phase III). This building used to include the IB Hall, which was the main multi-purpose hall/theatre in the school. Also, the Middle Building use to house the school's outdoor swimming pool, which sat at the very top of the building. The pool is currently undergoing renovation and soon will be converted into and indoor heated all-year round pool.

The Middle Building as seen from the Upper Building

Lower Building[edit]

The Lower Building is situated at the very bottom end of Guildford Road. It used to house the Primary sections of both streams. As for the meantime, the Primary students have been relocated to the Wanchai Campus while the construction works are going on. This is done in order to minimize the sound distraction and help students concentrate. Now, the ESD and some of the GSD students' classrooms are there. Level 4 of the building, which used to be a playground, has now been converted to temporary classrooms since the Middle Building has been closed down. The Lower Building also houses a sports hall.

The Middle and Lower Building

Campus Development Plan[edit]

In 2008, the Boards of GSIS developed a Campus Development Plan aimed at making better use of the space available for the current number of students and facilitate future curricular requirements. The Upper Building is intended to house the Primary Departments, while the Lower and Middle Buildings will house the Secondary Departments. The plan consists of five phases, as follows:

  • Phase I (completed in 2008): Art Studios on a newly built sixth floor of the Middle Building
  • Phase II (completed in 2010): refurbishment of the Pok Fu Lam campus; relocation and enlargement of the senior library at the Peak campus (an intermediate step towards library plans in Phase III); an additional science room; and refurbishment of the cafeteria.
  • Phase III (scheduled for 2012–14): renovation and refurbishment of the Middle Building; the addition of a new gymnasium, cafeteria, black-box theatre, music classrooms, IT facilities, classrooms and senior library, as well as the relocation and conversion of the swimming pool for year-round use
  • Phase IV (scheduled for 2014–15): Lower Building
  • Phase V (scheduled for 2015–16): Upper Building

In order to minimize disturbance to classes over Phases III to V, GSIS secured a private campus in Wan Chai which will temporarily house both streams of the Upper Primary (K02-K04 in the German stream and Y03-Y06 in the English stream) from 2012 for a period of up to four years. Once all renovation works at The Peak are complete (expected in 2016), the entire Primary section of both streams will return to occupy the Upper Building.

School Buses[edit]

Similar to other international schools in Hong Kong, GSIS has outsourced its transportation services to reputable bus companies who specialize in providing student bus services. The companies that provide bus services to GSIS are Kwoon Chung Motors Co. Ltd, Kingsview Bus Service Company, and Mr Lau Hon Por. The seating capacity offered on the various routes is sufficient for students holding multi-trip passes.

School Shop[edit]

The GSIS school shop provides stationery and (optional) physical education uniform for purchase. The shop is run by members of the Mother's Committee, any member of the committee can volunteer to help out at the store.

Dress code and school rules[edit]

Like most schools in Germany, students at GSIS are not required to wear uniforms, including during Physical Education classes. There is a regulation PE uniform that is available in the school shop but it is not mandatory, as long as the student wears appropriate clothing for the activity.

Criticism[edit]

In December 2013, the South China Morning Post reported that GSIS was overcharging kindergarten application fees by at least 100 times (without a permit from the government to charge the price). While the limit imposed by the government was HK$30, GSIS was charging HK$3,700.[3]

Notable Alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Student Numbers | GSIS. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  2. ^ Lau, Mimi (14 May 2009). "Parents celebrate relocation victory". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Tam, Johnny (23 December 2013). "Schools breaking the rules on fees". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 22°15′56″N 114°09′38″E / 22.26556°N 114.16056°E / 22.26556; 114.16056