Small class sizes and individual attention allow students to thrive in German International School Boston’s German – immersion program.
Elementary school at GISB, which includes grades 1 to 4, fosters open-mindedness, critical thinking, problem-solving, responsibility, and a love of learning. Teachers tailor material to your child’s unique strengths and needs. Your child will be encouraged to teach and learn from others, developing friendships and communication skills. While our elementary school program is a German immersion program, all students have English lessons, ensuring that they become fluent in both languages.
As teachers, we recognize that each child learns differently. At German International School Boston we encourage your child’s strengths while exposing them to new ideas and supporting them as they reach the goals they set for themselves.
While most academic subjects in grades 1 – 4 are taught by your child’s homeroom teacher, other teachers will join your child’s classroom community throughout the day for a range of subjects. In many cases, your child will also venture out to lessons in the art room or the gym.
The majority of the classes in elementary school are conducted in German by native speakers. English language & literature is also taught by native speakers. Curricula for subjects taught in German align with the school curriculum in Germany and are approved by the German Kultusministerkonferenz (State Sectraries of Education). Curricula for subjects taught in English combine German requirements with Massachusetts’ high state standards.
We believe that teachers and parents are partners in your child’s education. We are always happy to discuss your child’s progress, either during parent conferences in the fall and spring or during an informal parent-teacher meeting. Although most of your child’s teachers will speak only German with children, they look forward to discussions with you in English or German, depending on your preference.
The language program at GISB allows students to become proficient in German as well as English. At the beginning of the school year, proficiency in German and English is assessed for all students. Throughout the school year, teachers will continuously monitor your child’s language proficiency in order to provide support for their individual language learning needs.
While most subjects are taught in German, Art class and various activities in the after-school program provide additional opportunities to practice English skills outside of the English classroom.
Field Trips and Celebrations
The elementary school curriculum is enriched with outings, field trips, and the celebration of German and international traditions:
- Physical Education at Harvard University’s athletic facilities and swim lessons at Boston University
- Field trips to various locations throughout Massachusetts to learn about natural sciences and teamwork
- Community events: St. Martin’s lantern parade, carnival celebration, elementary school fest, parents breakfasts
We welcome family chaperones and enjoy making memories with your child on these special days.
All elementary school students participate in their homeroom council. The council aims to resolve conflicts as well as address issues, concerns, and ideas from students. The homeroom council meets weekly and allows your child to learn to express their feelings and opinions through discussion, role-playing, and storytelling.
Elementary School Subjects:
|Subject||Language of Instruction||Periods in Grade 1 & 2||Periods in Grade 3 & 4|
|Music||German & English||2||2|
|Physical Education||German & English||4||3|
|8:15 am – 8:30 am||Drop-Off|
|8:30 am – 2:10 pm||Regular School Day|
|2:10 pm – 6:00 pm||After School Program|
A Typical Day
There is no such thing as a “typical” day in the elementary school at German International School Boston! Teachers ensure that each day brings new surprises and challenges … and it is often the student who surprise us, with their humor and growth.
Below is a sample of what your child might experience:
|8:15 am||Doors open|
|8:30 am||It’s time for English! Students read ‘Seeds of Change’ and discuss Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai’s contributions to Kenya and the world.|
|9:15 am||In math, your child works individually on a tricky word problem. Then it’s time to discuss possible solutions with a partner. When it’s their turn, they quickly present how they solved the problem to the class.|
|10:00 am||Students race around the playground after eating snacks.|
|10:30 am||The music teacher has set up xylophones and your child joyfully plays back the teacher’s rhythmic “call.”|
|11:15 am||Woo-hoo! Time for Gym. Students dash to Harvard’s track and field facility and rotate through stations: sprints, long jump, and jump rope.|
|Noon||Time for lunch with teachers and friends. After cleaning up it’s back outside and to the top of the climbing pyramid!|
|12:40 pm||Students work together on laptops, doing research for their presentation about the solar system.|
|1:25 pm||It’s time for the weekly homeroom council meeting. The teacher reminds this week’s discussion leaders that they will facilitate the class. The group reflects on the newly implemented rules they created for sharing the reading nook.|
|2:10 pm||The school day is officially over, but learning continues in the after-school program. Your child completes an hour of homework, supervised by their teachers. Then it is time for Taekwondo! After-school activities continue until 6:00 pm.|