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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the language of instruction at ipso! International School?

The proportion of English tuition is about 80% for the 3 to 5-year-olds and is then gradually reduced to about 45% by the fifth grade. At the same time, the proportion of German lessons is increased. French is taught from grade 5 onwards. Some subjects, such as music and sport, are always offered bilingually. In addition, Swiss German is spoken during breaks and at some extracurricular activities on a case-by-case basis.

How is my native German-speaking child supposed to cope with a programme in which mainly English is spoken at the beginning?

Teaching and learning at our school are always geared towards the learner, i.e., we pay close attention to their special needs, also in terms of language. The children in our kindergarten group are introduced to the English language through stimulating games and songs. Our experience has shown that German-speaking pupils understand simple words and phrases after only a few days and are able to cope very well with our programme within half a year. The good results they achieve with their work, projects and other assessed performances are proof of how well and efficiently they can acquire and work with the English language.

Will my child be accepted at another school when I move away from the Rheinfelden/Basel region or have to go abroad?

Children who change from one IB school to another usually do not experience difficulties with the requirements of such new school. The transfer to a public school is also guaranteed, due to the alignment of the cantonal curriculum in Aargau.

What challenges do parents face when choosing ipso! International School for their children?

This decision is very challenging for several reasons:

  • More than 90% of all international schools around the world are private schools. They are financed through school fees. This can place a significant financial burden on families.
  • The language of instruction at our school is between 45% to 80% English (depending on the age group) and thus not the mother tongue of most pupils attending our schools. It is a welcome, but not mandatory criterion for your child’s enrolment that one parent speaks German and/or English.
  • The school day is long and lasts from 8.15 am to 4 pm or 6 pm.
  • The curriculum often does not correspond with the parents’ previous experience.

Talk to us - more detailed information helps to answer most questions and put problems into perspective.

Does ipso! International School assign homework?

Homework at our school is age-dependent and varied, ranging from traditional tasks to authentic experiences: This includes essays, preparing presentations, organising and conducting surveys or research. Our pupils are encouraged to work independently from an early age, as is expected from them later on. The basic idea of homework is to encourage precisely this independent working. Homework can also be completed after regular lessons as part of extracurricular activities - if necessary, in cooperation with teachers. We do not assign homework to children in the kindergarten, but appreciate it when parents learn and sing with their children.

What about discipline at ipso! International School?

We rarely talk about discipline at our school, but rather encourage respectful conduct. We teach the children to be kind and considerate to their environment, to others and to themselves. We actively involve them in decision-making processes and reach basic agreements with them. At ipso! International School, learners are the centre of attention and are therefore involved as much as possible in decisions that affect them. We believe in empowering them to work in a disciplined way rather than imposing rules to discipline them. When it comes to support and remedial teaching, as an international school we pay particular attention to the international learning profile, in order to develop the children's intellectual, emotional and social intelligence.