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Parent's Review of The International School of Hamburg in Hamburg, Germany

What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)

The International School of Hamburg

In what town or city is this school located?

Hamburg

How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)

International

What grade levels are represented at this school?

Pre-K - High School

How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)

Most children are driven to and from school by their parents. A limited private bus service serves the city center area.

How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?

Facilities at the school are a bit dated. The school's limited land space means that playground space is restricted as it competes with staff and parent 'drop-off' parking spaces.Extra-curricular activities outside of basic sports are almost non-existant and rely heavily on parental interaction (difficult on continuity as about 40% of the school's population are on a 2-3 year posting). Almost half of the students are local - meaning a heavy German reliance on German speaking especially the primary school classrooms. While the ESL program is well developed, German language teaching for native English speakers is over-subscribed and less structured.

What has this school done to help your child transition from the curriculum in your home country into the curriculum in your new country? Are there programs to prepare your child for repatriation?

Other than having a 'Welcome' song and a 'Goodbye' song sung at assemblies -- nothing. A few innovative parents tried to organize transition seminars for school families -- but the school administration wouldn't let them hold the seminars on school grounds. A new administration is making some advancements in transition curriculum.

How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?

The PTA is organized and offers a few social activities - mostly fundraising opportunities for the school.

What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?

Because there is no other international schooling possibility in Hamburg - the International School of Hamburg is the ONLY choice for international families looking for English-language schooling. The lack of competition means the school is a bit of a dinosaur.

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