PRIMARY SCHOOL - ZURICH

7 to 12 years

The curriculum for our Primary School is designed to allow for our students a wide range of opportunities at the end of Grade 6 whether they wish to continue their education in German, in English, or bilingually. This latter objective, the aim of many of our students, can be achieved by working towards the Swiss Gymnasium examinations and then continuing on the path towards a Cantonal bilingual Maturität.

NEW: Starting from August 2024, the 1st to 4th Primary Classes will remain on-site in Zurich, while the 5th and 6th Primary Classes will move to Küsnacht. From August 2025, we will be offering a Progymi and Kurzgymi in Küsnacht, ensuring a seamless transition from the 6th Primary Class on the path to Matura.

Primary School (7 to 12 years)

Max. 21 children per class
 
1-2 teachers per class plus specialist teachers
4.5 days min. attendance
German, English and French
 
Day Care: morning from 07:30, evening until 18:30

CURRICULUM

The Tandem International Multilingual Curriculum for primary students is based on both Swiss and international programmes with a strong focus on learning languages and on enquiring about different themes. We enable children to broaden their world perspectives in an interactive way. They learn the need to understand and respect other cultures as well as explore various ways of applying this knowledge. We are accredited by the canton of Zurich’s educational authorities and follow Zurich’s curriculum guidelines and holiday structure. Throughout the year, the students are assessed regularly by their teachers to help them reach high standards.

LANGUAGES

At Primary School level, our goal is for each child to acquire fluency in English and German, both orally and in written form. Children learn to read, write, speak and comprehend. They actively engage in language play and compare their thoughts in different languages. The acquired multilingual linguistic skills not only ensure greater cognitive development but also develop the child’s social and global understanding. Students are tested using both standardised English and German tests throughout their Primary School years to assess their language skills. Additionally, they receive classes in French starting in the first grade and are given the opportunity to take the DELF exams beginning in Grade 3 to assess their French language levels.

Daily Routine

8-10 08:10
Welcome time
8-30 08:30
Circle time
Lessons 1 to 4
12-30-no 12:30

Lunch and outside breaktime

13-30 13:30

Lessons 5 to 7

15-55 15:55
School ends
Optional: Late Care or After School Club

FAQS

What is enquiry based learning and what are its benefits?

Enquiry based learning encourages pupils to engage in the process of gathering data and to seek answers to their questions. Rather than being handed information, children are taught to ask questions, gather information, interpret data, and produce practical solutions. It teaches pupils to develop insightful questions, to take action and to understand context.

How often are there two qualified teachers with the classes?

For approximately 50% of the time in Primary 1 and 2, there are two qualified teachers teaching the class at the same time – one in German, the other one in English. This amount gradually decreases as the children become older and thus more confident in switching between the languages of instruction. Despite the teacher overlap decreasing in the upper Grades of Primary, translanguaging opportunities are still present in various other forms.

In addition to our fully qualified teachers, there are also staff members in training assisting the groups at various times during the week.

Are your teachers native speakers?

Yes, all of our teachers are native speakers of the language that they are teaching in.

Is it possible to book Early or Late Care for only one or two times per week?

Unfortunately, our early and late care need to be booked as packages. Children in primary are able to come from 07:30 in the morning each day if they have the early care package. If they are enrolled for late care, they can stay until 18:30 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesday evening care between 16:00 and 18:30 is only available by booking an After School Club.

Alternatively, if late care is required on only one particular day, an After School Club may be an attractive option.

In emergency situations, an individual early or late care can be booked in advance and invoiced according to our fee schedule.

What coverage is there during school holidays?

Tandem IMS’ curriculum takes place during the same calendar weeks as the City of Zurich’s public schools. Tandem IMS is however only officially closed for 4 weeks during the year (and some staff development days). These four weeks consist of two weeks at Christmas and two weeks in the summer holidays.

During the other holidays, we offer a range of holiday if additional care is required. Further information on these clubs can be found in our ECA section.

INTERESTING TO KNOW

100% DELF Prim Pass Rate

DELF

Our French programme prepares our students for the DELF Prim.

Graduation cap - thin

Swiss Gymnasium

Find out how we prepare our 5th and 6th Grade students for the examination.

50% Continue to Gymni

Swiss Education System

Confused about the Swiss education system? Find out how it works.

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School Bus

We have established our own bus service to and from our school in Zurich.

After School Clubs

Extra Curricular

Find out more about our After School Clubs and Holiday Camps.

Tuition Fees-1

Tuition Fees

Get all the information you need regarding tuition fees.

YOUR CHILD’S TEACHERS

Ms. Breitenmoser
Primary Teacher
Ms. Mills
Primary Teacher
Ms. Faux
Primary Teacher
Ms. Rayment
Primary Teacher
Ms. Rommel
Primary Teacher
Ms. Keates
Primary Teacher
Ms. Straub
Primary Teacher
Ms. Penrose
Primary Teacher
Mr. Fontanelli
Primary Teacher
Mr. Ncube
Primary Teacher
Ms. Villiger
Primary Teacher
Ms. Conde
French Teacher and Coordinator
Ms. Reza
French Teacher
Ms. Ducrocq
French Teacher
Ms. Spilliaert
French Teacher
Ms. Schmid
Art and Art History Teacher
Ms. Mahmudi
Classroom- and Supervision Assistant
Hächler_Jonas_ZH_2023_Web
Mr. Hächler
Classroom- and Supervision Assistant
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WHAT PARENTS SAY ABOUT OUR SCHOOLS

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.» 

Milla and her family
Kindergarten and Primary School

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.

Philip
Primary School

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.

Sara and her family
Early Years and Pre-School

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.

Neven and his mum
Primary School

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.

Viggo and his parents
Kindergarten

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!

Léandre and Aurèle
Early Years and Pre-School

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.

Francesco and his mum
Primary School

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.

Alisa
Early Years and Pre-School

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!

Luca and his dad
Primary School

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.

Caspar and his dad
Kindergarten

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.

Andrew and his family
Early Years and Pre-School

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.

Cédric and his mum
Pre-School

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.

Valentina, Mateo and their parents
Early Years and Pre-School

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!

Emma and her mum
Early Years and Pre-School

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. 

Massi and his parents
Early Years, Pre-School, Kindergarten

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.

Arthur, Andrew and their mum
Early Years and Pre-School

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!

Mariana and her mum
Primary School

Thank you for your interest in our school

We recognize that your choice of school will be one of the most important decisions you face. As a first step please fill out the Enquiry Form. A member of our admissions team will then contact you to arrange a visit as this is most certainly the best way to get to know us.