Our students and their learning needs are at the heart of our efforts. This is put into practice by taking into account the following eight aspects:
Portuguese and a second language (electively English or German or French) play equal roles in school communication – in the classroom and in all parts of day-to-day school life. As a result, children learn to express themselves naturally and confidently in two languages.
Language is acquired through the immersion method, which invites children to fully delve into the language. Within the scope of the immersion method, students use the second language to engage with the world in a playful and completely natural way. They are immersed in an environment where only the foreign language is used. As a result, they learn unconsciously, lose their initial inhibitions – and the foreign language becomes second nature. Children begin by developing a passive understanding of the language, achieved through the use of pictures, gestures and symbols, for example. Then, they gradually begin to actively use the second language. In other words, the foreign language is acquired in a similar way to the mother tongue – with the child’s linguistic development and knowledge of the world progressing hand in hand.
Scientific studies and our experience at SIS show the following results:
- Several years of instruction using the immersion method results in near-native fluency in the second language.
- The best results are achieved through extensive early immersion prior to the start of formal schooling.
- Development of the mother tongue is not adversely affected.
- The immersion method not only promotes children’s language acquisition, but also their cognitive development – for example, linguistic awareness, creativity and their ability to "think outside the box."
At SIS Swiss International School, children can learn both Portuguese as well as the second language through immersion – even if they are not native speakers of either language.
SIS teachers not only use their language for teaching in the classroom, but also in the playground, at lunch and during events and excursions.
The presence of the language and the immersion method expose students to the rational, emotional, and cultural dimensions of the second language. This is the foundation for developing complete fluency.
Independent and Value-Centred Approach
The teaching philosophy at SIS Swiss International School is non-ideological, but founded on clearly defined core values. We strive to embody the values which are important to us and which we seek to impart to our students: honesty, appreciation, personal responsibility and commitment. These qualities are at the heart of our interactions with the children and young adults entrusted to our care.
Our aim is to support students in establishing their own cultural, linguistic and social identity so that they may:
- develop into committed individuals with a strong sense of personal responsibility for their actions
- relate to other people, languages and cultures with openness, willingness and respect
- think and act as both global citizens and members of their local community
To meet the needs of modern families and working parents, our day school offers a structured and challenging programme, including:
- classroom instruction with fixed hours
- supervised homework hour
- additional supervision and activities
For our students, school is a place to learn and thrive – a stable and nurturing environment where they can feel both secure and appropriately challenged. Moreover, eating, playing and working together gives them the opportunity to learn to share, develop assertiveness, and take pride in their achievements.
Performance through Diversity
By providing a varied and stimulating environment, SIS Swiss International School enables students to excel academically and achieve results that make them happy and proud.
Since our teachers are from diverse teaching and learning cultures, they can show children a variety of ways to approach and solve problems. Drawing on this wealth of different methods, we are able to address different types of learners. Additionally, the appropriate use of modern teaching technology supports and enhances teaching and learning processes.
Educational content is based on the regulations and standards of the respective state curriculum and supplemented by international elements. Additionally, we have developed our own SIS curricula and materials for key subject areas in order to account for the specific demands presented by a bilingual context in a well-founded and purposeful manner.
Today’s world requires people to be continuous and independent learners. In order to equip their students with the necessary skills, teachers at SIS place children and their natural thirst for knowledge in the centre of learning. They encourage them to ask questions and to explore. They have faith in their abilities and present them with appropriate challenges. Systematically, children are thus presented new ways and methods to acquire knowledge independently and to put their skills into practice.
It is our goal to foster learning as an integral part of life and to give young people the opportunity to develop into independent and reflective learners. Students at SIS are encouraged to achieve their full potential and exceed their own expectations. Moreover, we maintain close contact with parents and regularly discuss their children’s learning progress.
International Education – Local Insight
The community of students, parents and teachers at SIS Swiss International School is made up of a variety of nationalities and backgrounds. We are pleased to welcome local children as well as the children of internationally mobile families. We offer students a diverse and lively school environment that simultaneously fosters an awareness of the wider world and a relationship to the immediate environment. We would like our students to graduate from SIS as global citizens with a strong sense of their origins.
Continuity from Kindergarten to College
SIS Swiss International School offers a single unified educational concept. With kindergarten, primary school, secondary school and college in one institution – sometimes even under the same roof –, we ensure a smooth transition from one educational level to the next.
Events and activities across classes and grades are an integral part of the academic year. In this way, children and adolescents are able to experience a community in which the young can learn from the old and vice versa.
National and International Recognition
The schools of the SIS Swiss International School in Brazil are recognised by the national education authorities. Our students participate in national and international comparative tests and obtain very good results on a regular basis.
Our college students are offered a targeted preparation for the Brazilian Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio (ENEM). At the same time, they acquire the International Baccalaureate (IB) and thus a globally recognised university entrance qualification. The challenging combination of ENEM and IB offers our students a wide range of possibilities to continue their studies at home or abroad.
Our schools are part of the SIS Group, which has pioneered bilingual education since 1999. At present, more than 3.400 students attend one of our 16 schools in Switzerland, Germany and Brazil.
The SIS Swiss International School network ensures consistent quality standards; structures and processes at our various locations are continuously evaluated and developed further. Additionally, our international organisation provides teachers and students with a platform to exchange experiences and insights across national borders.
Moreover, SIS colleges are accredited IB World Schools, which makes them members of a world-renowned educational organisation.
SIS is a joint venture of Kalaidos Swiss Education Group and Klett Group Germany.