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First school to offer multilingual education

Swiss International Scientific School starts enrolling pupils for inaugural academic session

  • Feel at home. The Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai will start its first academic session this SeImage Credit: Supplied
  • Beat Sommer, Head of Swiss International Scientific SchoolImage Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/XPRESS
XPRESS

Dubai: Admissions are now open for Dubai’s upcoming first private boarding school to offer multi-lingual education in Arabic, English, French and German.

The Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai (SISD) that’s in its final stages of construction in Dubai Healthcare City zone 2 (adjacent to Dubai Creek near Al Jaddaf Metro Station) is seeking students for pre-kindergarten to grade six for its inaugural academic session, starting in September.

Offering students a multi-lingual education through the full International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum programme, the school will eventually - in its second phase of operations - run from pre-kindergarten to Grade 12 as a private boarding school. However, in the first few years, SISD will only cater to daytime scholars.

“The idea is to bring in an alternative to the curricula that already exist in Dubai. So even though our school will cater to a very niche category it will be truly international in its approach, primarily stressing students being bilingual,” the Head of the school, Beat Sommer, 57, told XPRESS.

“So at all times, from the onset, students will have the choice to learn in three bilingual sections - English-French, English-German or just like in any other school here in the UAE, English with foreign languages on offer,” added Sommer, who arrived in Dubai from his native Zurich, Switzerland, six months ago to be involved with this project.

Highly sophisticated

According to Sommer, the SISD IB programme will mirror Switzerland’s highly sophisticated and inclusive education system. So from Grade 1 onwards, students in the bilingual sets will be immersed in a progressive environment where they will eventually study 50 per cent of their time in English and 50 per cent in either French or German.

“So in bilingual streams, in the first week of school the whole programme will be in English while the week after the whole programme will be taught in French or German. So we are looking at students who are not just bilingual but bi-literate. That is to say that they grow up to know more than just ordering at a restaurant in another language,” explains Sommer, who himself speaks German, English, French and Italian.

“Our goal is to foster a flourishing community of global citizens that are inquisitive, active and compassionate learners, and who contribute to a more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. SISD is a place to build connections for life, celebrate achievements and most importantly, have fun.”

Once the school is at full capacity, the 67,845 square metre campus will boast 2,442 pupils (boys and girls), including a premium boarding house for 350 students. The campus will be based on sustainability standards as per the Swiss Minergie label - awarded to buildings constructed in line with energy-saving and ecological approaches - and will also include state-of-the-art sporting facilities and unique water access to Dubai creek. For more information, visit www.sisd.ae .

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