Primary SCHOOL - zurich

7 to 12 years

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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.

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


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.

Tandem IMS Zurich Primary Tandem IMS Zurich Primary Tandem IMS Zurich Primary Tandem IMS Zurich Primary Tandem IMS Zurich Primary



Welcome time


Circle time
Lessons 1 to 4


Lunch and outside breaktime


Lessons 5 to 7


School ends
Optional: Late Care or After School Club


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


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.

Swiss Education System

Swiss Education System

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

Bus Image

School Bus

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

Extra Curricular

Extra Curricular

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

Tuition Fees

Tuition Fees

Get all the information you need regarding tuition fees.

Your child’s teachers

Xenia Faux
Xenia Faux
Primary Teacher
Jessica Penrose
Jessica Penrose
Primary Teacher
Adam Murfitt
Adam Murfitt
Primary Teacher
Andrea Breitenmoser
Primary Teacher
Evelin Santschi
Evelin Santschi
Primary Teacher
Christina Olton
Christina Olton
Primary Teacher
Michelle Koch
Michelle Koch
Primary Teacher
Wayne Ncube
Primary Teacher
Tabea Villiger
Primary Teacher
Amaia Areitio Arpon
Amaia Areitio Arpon
French Teacher and Coordinator
Fariha Reza
French Teacher
Xander Houbaert
French Teacher
Christina Schmid
Art and Art History Teacher
Thomas Gisler
Classroom and Supervision Assistant
Matthew Ryder


Mariana and mum

Mariana thrived in the familiar atmosphere of Tandem. 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, Mariana settled exceptionally well in her new school and was academically well prepared for the new demands. Thank you, Tandem!

Mariana and her mum
Primary School

At Tandem, 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
Parents of Andrew

Tandem was the best choice and the best investment for our child. Tandem 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.

Andrew and his family
Early Years and Pre-School
Mother and Cedric

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 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, Cédric progressed impressively and he always felt very safe and was very eager to go to Tandem.

Cédric and his mum

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 and are missing the team a lot!

Emma and her mum
Early Years and Pre-School


Find out what's happening at Tandem IMS


Are you wondering when your child should learn a second or third language? Our experience shows that there are numerous benefits of becoming multilingual, especially from an early age. Find out more in our blog.

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