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.
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.
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 switching and compare their thoughts in different languages. The acquired multilingual switching skill provide not only a greater cognitive development but they also develop the child’s social and global understandings. 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.
Lunch and outside breaktime
Lessons 5 to 7
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.
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.
Yes, all of our teachers are native speakers of the language that they are teaching in.
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.
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.
Our French programme prepares our students for the DELF Prim.
Find out how we prepare our 5th and 6th Grade students for the examination.
Confused about the Swiss education system? Find out how it works.
We have established our own bus service to and from our school in Zurich.
Find out more about our After School Clubs and Holiday Camps.
Get all the information you need regarding tuition fees.
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.»
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!