Bilingual Matura

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The Bilingual Matura in Switzerland

The official language of the local school system in Switzerland is German. Your child needs a high level of language proficiency to be among the 20% of all Grade 6 students in the canton of Zurich who master this path.

Thanks to our partnership with the Freies Gymnasium Zürich, your child can continue on the bilingual education path after Primary School depending on their academic potential and can transition to the gymnasium or progymnasium upper school path. They will be taught in English and German immersively until they graduate with the bilingual Matura.

At the same time, students who have the goal and potential to pursue a higher stream upper school education are supported with their preparation for the monolingual German-speaking public Gymnasium.

Our Exclusive Partnership with the Freies Gymnasium Zürich (FGZ)

More than 20 years ago we partnered with the Freies Gymnasium Zürich (FGZ) to be the first school in the canton of Zurich to offer a bilingual education beyond primary school. Decades later, we provide a bilingual education path from pre-kindergarten to the bilingual Swiss Matura with an exclusive, almost exam-free transition to the FGZ.

An (Almost) Exam-Free Admission to the bilingual Gymnasium

Thanks to our partnership with the FGZ, your child can transfer to the FGZ Gymnasium after Grade 6 without having to take exams. We have integrated the preparatory class “Vorbereitungsklasse 6 (V6)” into our Grade 6 class. To be accepted into the V6, students must pass an entrance exam in the spring of Grade 5.

Subject to performing successfully at the entrance exam to the preparatory class in Grade 6, admission to the bilingual Progymnasium or Gymnasium is exam-free.

Well Prepared for the Public Gymnasium

If your child is aiming for a public Gymnasium, we prepare students with the appropriate potential for this demanding entrance exam. The Grade 6 teachers lay the foundation through an instruction that is academically rigorous. With regard to the exam preparation, we have partnered with Perspectiva Nova as an expert within the field, offering preparation courses on campus. This has resulted in the above-average success rate over the past decades, with many of our high-achieving students transitioning into a Gymnasium system.

The World is Your Child's Oyster

We prepare our students for the world of tomorrow. With traditional, proven approaches combined with the latest educational innovative practices, we create the basis for a successful academic career.

The objectives of the Swiss National Curriculum, Lehrplan 21, as well as our international curricula form the basis of our educational programme.

Many Lakeside School students complete the Swiss Matura to gain access to world class universities both in Switzerland and abroad. Unlike students at monolingual schools, Lakeside School children can transition to German, English or bilingual schools following their time with us.


How do bilingual classes work?

In both Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten, each class has one English and one German-speaking class teacher teaching together. Like in a bilingual family, children are simultaneously exposed to both languages. In Primary School, students are instructed in English and German. One native English-speaking and one native German-speaking class teacher share the responsibility for the class and coordinate their planning closely. The class has an English week where all subjects, including Mathematics and Environmental & Social Studies, are taught in English. The following week the same applies in German. Specialist subjects, such as Music, Physical Education, etc., are taught in either English or German.

What is the difference between a bilingual school and an international school?

As a bilingual school, we offer the best of both worlds. During the German weeks, students experience school life as they would in a German-speaking country, while their English week provides them with an experience of a school in an English-speaking country. Unlike international schools, accepting local students (Swiss passport holders) is not subject to a limited duration.

What are the advantages of bilingual education in primary school?

Universities like ETH and the University of Zurich teach the majority of their postgraduate courses in English. Children who are enrolled in a bilingual programme from a young age develop native-level language proficiency and significantly higher cultural competencies than their monolingual peers. Even if a child transitions to a monolingual secondary school after Grade 6, the developed linguistic proficiency typically stays with them for life. Additionally, bilingualism positively impacts the development of a child’s brain and fosters skills such as communication, adaptability and understanding different perspectives.

What follow-up options does my child have after Lakeside School?

As a private school that is accredited by the cantonal authorities, we follow Lehrplan 21, the Swiss national curriculum. This makes transitioning to a local Swiss school possible at any time. Additionally, our curriculum is enriched through international curricula. This means that transitioning to international schools or schools that follow an Anglo-Saxon or Germanic education system is seamless.

What is the difference between a bilingual school and a public school?

We offer a fully immersive English and German (50:50) programme with equal instruction in both languages. As an academically rigorous school, 60 % of our students transition to a Gymnasium (secondary university prep school) compared to the local school average of 20 %. As a day school, we offer comprehensive care, including Day Care (before and after school care), catered lunches, extra-curricular activities, and a door-to-door school bus service. We celebrate our school community by organising events for our students and parents. Our small class sizes, the small and familiar environment as well as our qualified and experienced educators who view teaching as a vocation are further characteristics that make a difference towards our school. At Lakeside School, parents are viewed as partners in their child’s education.

What is your success rate for higher education paths?

On average, about 60% of our students enter a gymnasium after the 6th grade, e.g. bilingual Freies Gymnasium Zürich or monolingual public gymnasium.

By comparison, this figure averages just under 20% in public schools.

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