While learning new languages is achievable at any age, mastering multiple languages is a skill best learned from birth. It is during the earliest years of life that rapidly developing brain connections form a child’s foundation for successful language, thinking and social skills. Children who learn multiple languages during the most critical years of brain development are more likely to later show proficiency in varying areas.
At Tandem IMS we teach English, German and French. Our children actively engage in language play and compare their thoughts in different languages. The acquired bilingual and multilingual linguistic skills not only ensure greater cognitive development but also develop the child’s social and global understanding.
The core of the Tandem International Multilingual Curriculum is the Zurich Lehrplan 21 and the UK National Curriculum upon which elements of the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme have been added. The aim is to prepare our students for their next educational step be it a Swiss Gymnasium or another upper level school.
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To support our translanguaging pedagogy, we ensure that two teachers (GE and EN native speakers) work with the classes simultaneously several times a week. By using a multilingual classroom ecology, the languages flow naturally and our children gain a deeper insight into the specifics and complexities of the languages. They learn each language more effectively and thoroughly through the other. This in-depth and rich linguistic learning would not be possible if they learned the languages separately in different classrooms or at different times. Translanguaging enables faster language acquisition as well as higher levels of linguistic connectivity.
Our employment of Enquiry-Based Learning is based on the Primary Years Programme of the International Baccalaureate (IB). It allows students’ inquisitive minds to take over and encourages children to ask questions, do research and find answers. The children can become explorers for knowledge whilst also learning how to learn. This is a key aspect of how we wish to prepare our children for the future: we focus on helping children understand how to learn and adapt, rather than simply acquire knowledge to be repeated for the purposes of a test.
We support every child in reaching their highest potential and developing their learning strategies in order to prepare them for their next educational step - be it for a Swiss Gymnasium or another upper-level Swiss or international school. To ensure your child’s progress, we provide a variety of assessments as i.e. Swiss Klassencockpit and UK SATs and offer our 5th and 6th graders a Gymnasium preparation course.
Our daughter Milla started in Kindergarten 1 and finished in grade 6. We are so thankful to all the teachers, management and administration for the great work they do with the children. Tandem IMS offers a friendly environment and the warmth of a family. Milla had a lot of fun but she also learned a lot. She is not only academically strong in English and German and advanced in French but she developed as an individual who loves and respects people, who is independent and confident, who is free to express her opinion, who knows how to organize her daily life and work under pressure. As she said in her graduation speech: «Here in Tandem I had the best time of my life! I am looking forward to the future because I know I am well prepared for the next step of my life.»
Our son Philip attended Tandem from Primary 1 through 6. What convinced us of this school were the multilingual education, the enquiry-based learning approach, and the excellent after-school care programme. The teachers we met over the years were all highly qualified and very motivated. The community spirit at the school is exceptional: fifth graders play with first graders, mixed age groups at Sports Day, and loyal alumni to the school. Philip also attended the preparation course for the Gymi exam offered at Tandem. The level of detailed preparation by his teacher was outstanding. It was integrated seamlessly into the school routine. The learning journey at Tandem gave Philip a head start for his secondary education. I can highly recommend Tandem to all families looking for a multilingual primary education.
Our experience at Tandem Erlenbach has been wonderful and totally recommendable. Sara has been happy at Tandem IMS Erlenbach each and every day of the almost three years she has spent there. Tandem's educational method allows each child to progress in an individual and personalised way, but at the same time creates strong bonds with the rest of the children in each group. The diverse atmosphere and the values of Tandem IMS (tolerance, team spirit, kindness, respect…) are something that all schools should promote and that we truly appreciated.
Neven started in Kiga 1 and stayed until the end of Primary 6, a total of 8 years. He is a very active and lively boy. All the different teachers he had at Tandem IMS were able to motivate and interest him through all these years. They recognised his strengths and supported him when needed. Neven successfully passed the Gymiprüfung and also in Gymnasium it shows how well he is prepared for learning in a demanding environment. As we’re both working parents we always felt understood and supported by Tandem IMS. If we would start again with a younger child we would choose Tandem IMS again.
Tandem IMS's sense of community and the depth of care and dedication teachers and staff bring to the school, is what makes it so special. At Tandem IMS, teachers get to know each child individually and take time to understand the best ways to help them learn and grow. Children learn to treat each other with respect, work together, and to appreciate differences of background, identity, and perspective. Both socially and academically, our son greatly benefitted from Tandem IMS's nurturing learning environment.
After relocating to Uetikon, our two children attended Uetikon/Erlenbach. We greatly appreciated the stability of the teaching team, which comprised individuals from various nationalities, including true native English speakers spanning various age groups. It was evident that they were all dedicated to playing a role in our children's education. The facilities, diverse classrooms, group dynamics, and educational curriculum were truly exceptional. Tandem IMS will always hold a special place in our hearts, and we are forever thankful that our little boys had the opportunity to be part of it!
We experienced Tandem IMS as a happy place to learn and to prepare students in many fields of life, not just school subjects but also social skills and community spirit. The teaching style and the multicultural environment is nurturing a growth mindset and lifelong learning which are so important in these times of constant changes. Our son Francesco has spent his whole primary school time at Tandem IMS and graduated after 6th Grade well prepared for the next step (Sek A, Küsnacht). He had a fantastic start there with many advantages already in French, English and an independent and self-organized homework attitude. His brother Lorenzo is still enjoying Tandem Primary school and will graduate in a couple of years.
We are incredibly grateful for the time our daughter Alisa spent at Tandem IMS. The teachers and administrators were exceptional—always attentive, nurturing, and genuinely invested in Alisa's well-being and development. Their warmth and professionalism made all the difference, giving us peace of mind every day. In the two years she was there, we saw remarkable growth in Alisa’s social skills, confidence, and love for learning. She also made remarkable progress towards her language skills in English and German. It was such a joy to see her excited to go to Tandem each morning and come home with new knowledge and stories to share. We couldn't have asked for a better foundation for her, and for that, we are eternally thankful to the amazing team at Tandem IMS.
Seeing our children becoming less and less happy attending public school, we felt compelled to look for a better alternative that could meet their needs. What we found turned out to be so much more than expected: an inspiring culture, motivating teachers, and an exciting multilingual spirit. While learning is never easy and often demanding, for our children, it suddenly became a fun and productive experience. The depth and breadth of the learning opportunity offered by this school is nothing short of great!
At Tandem IMS, I really felt that the children were growing their knowledge and improving their language skills in both, English and German. Caspar entered at the age of 4 into kindergarten 1 and stayed for 2 years. He could not speak one word of English and German when he joined, since we speak Italian and Russian at home. When he finished kindergarten 2 at the age of 6, he could communicate very well in both English and German and we were very proud of him.
Tandem IMS was the best choice and the best investment for our child. Tandem IMS makes parents confident that their child is in the best hands. The experience, the education and the engagement level of the teachers is set at the highest standards. And as a bonus, our little son was taught in 2 languages, so that for the Kindergarten he is well prepared and speaks, without any difficulties, German and English on top of Russian. Without any hesitations, our younger little baby was also enrolled at Tandem IMS.
We were impressed how quickly Cédric settled in which was also due to the warm and caring atmosphere that welcomed him. Cédric loved to go to Tandem IMS as he found an environment that adapted to his needs and gave him brain food (he is a very curious boy). We felt that the excellent teachers recognize the strengths of each child individually and support children to develop further. During his time at Tandem IMS, Cédric progressed impressively and he always felt very safe and was very eager to go to Tandem IMS.
Valentina and Mateo both started attending the nursery at 6 months old, followed by preschool. It was amazing to witness how quickly they picked up English and how effortlessly they can now switch between German, English, and Spanish. Valentina and Mateo always felt comfortable, and as parents, the open communication with the team consistently reassured us that our children were in the best hands. We are very grateful to Tandem IMS for the valuable chapter in our children's lives.
Emma enjoyed the inspiring environment, the caring teachers and the super interesting curriculum. Each day was different and the children learned a lot by going through the various subjects that were spread throughout the year. A lot of effort also goes into organising special events through which the children can discover the entire world. Emma benefited a lot from Tandem and was now ready to go to kindergarten. We are very grateful for the great time Emma spent at Tandem IMS and are missing the team a lot!
Massi grew up in the translanguaging environment of Tandem IMS, becoming fluent in both English and German from an early age. The enquiry-based learning allowed him to be himself, learning easily by asking questions constantly. We are grateful to all the teachers that accompanied him since he was two years old. Thank you for your patience, professionalism, creativity, and engagement. Tandem IMS and its teachers are putting a lot of effort in recognising each child's needs, adapting to their rhythm, their curiosity, making everyone feel unique.
It was an incredible journey for the last 6 years and we will be missing every single day of this experience. Dedicated teachers truly loving the kids and the daily job they do, dedicated educational team, and outstanding curriculum to make sure kids are not only prepared for day-to-day life, but also for the school after. But more importantly, are the social skills which Arthur and Andrew watched and learned every day. Something, one can’t buy for money but have it in your heart.
Mariana thrived in the familiar atmosphere of Tandem IMS. The bilingual education prepared her well for further language study, and the teachers were very professional, committed and caring of my child’s needs. After leaving Tandem IMS, Mariana settled exceptionally well in her new school and was academically well prepared for the new demands. Thank you, Tandem IMS!