FAQ - Bilingual Primary Schools

1. How are the parents involved in the school life of their children?

The parents of the primary school children are invited to the various events which are a part of the school life, for e.g. the enrollment ceremony, Christmas events, summer concert, swimming and sport events…
Regular class attendance and parent conferences take place and every teacher has regular consulting hours. Small concerns and issues can be clarified at any given time.
The parents‘ representatives organise, depending on the interest and the commitment shown, round table for parents or family hiking days, which usually also include the class teacher.
All parents‘ representatives are represented in the parents‘ board of the school.
Suggestions from parents are welcome and if possible implemented.
The administration regularly interviews pupils, parents and teachers on important matters, e.g. food / menu, club services, holiday camps / requirements, teaching hours, etc.

2. What kinds of values are imparted?

The students of the HPC Primary school are taught by trained teachers, educators and care workers to help develop self reliant and responsible personalities.
In doing so, they receive diverse emotional, cognitive and social stimuli, which can guide them in their future course of action. With regard to the convergence of a growing Europe and the world, we help promote tolerance and understanding towards people from different cultures. The children gain an understanding of the intercultural aspects of a multicultural society.

3. What are the advantages for the siblings involved?

Sibling children are taken into account in the collection of school fees and in the allocation of seats. Individual discussions take place with the parents regarding the allocation of seats and / or joint enrollment can be implemented.

4. Can the children/pupils also admitted during the school year?

In case there is are seats available, we do accept children during the school year. If not, we have waiting lists which keep track of free places and help in further planning of the school year.

5. Do students from other schools (mid-year or mid-class) have a chance to get a seat at the school?

If there are free places, the children will be accepted immediately. For children who have only a short time, e.g. during a medical treatment or during a short stay with their parents for a few weeks or a few months, to attend the school, exceptions can be made.

6. What happens when a family moves?

The school place is terminated and families, who are on the waiting list, are immediately contacted (in order of the request) so that no time is wasted in taking the next steps.

7. How can i request for leave for my child?

A leave of absence is only possible for important reasons according to the stipulations of the school attendance regulations. There are ready forms available at the secretariat. A leave of absence of up to two days can be approved by the school teacher. In case of a longer leave, the permission would have to be taken from the head of the school. The parents/ guardians of the students who go on leave bear the responsibility for the same. They are also responsible for the fact that students make up for the missed lessons.

8. Is there any childcare during the holidays?

Our school offers numerous holiday camps during the school year. These are included in the annual program. Before the holidays, families are informed once again by the administration.
If you want to register your child, you can do so through our secretariat.
The holiday camps are organized by an educational team and consist of various excursion destinations, as well as projects on diverse current topics.

9. Absenteeism: What to do if my child is ill?

If your child is ill, you should call the secretary’s office by 8 am or write a short e-mail. The secretariat will inform the responsible teacher (s). This is sufficient as an excuse.
In case of prolonged illness (more than three days), you would need to produce a medical certificate. This is issued by the doctor free of charge.

10. My child falls ill during a school day. Where do I come and pick it up?

Under such circumstances, you will be immediately contacted by the secretary. As a rule, the child would be under the supervision of the secretariat. If not, the secretary would know where and with whom your child is staying until your arrival.

11. Will my child receive lunch at school?

Upon request, your child can have a warm lunch at school. The menu will be fixed and you will be informed 14 days in advance. Changes to the menu can occur for a variety of reasons.
Home food, cold or to-be-warmed-up, but can also be brought along by the child.
The cafeteria is equipped with microwaves, which can be used for this purpose.

12. Is there a school bus?

Currently there is no school bus. If there is a high demand for it, the school shall, as far as possible, reassess the situation and introduce a school bus.

13. How is the school accessible in terms of transportation?

You can reach Bismarckplatz by public transport. Bismarckplatz is a 4-minute walk from the school.
Parents who bring their child by car can park in the adjacent parking garage belonging to the F + U for a short period free of charge. For this you need a parking card, which can be obtained at the secretariat. For insurance reasons, the parking space can only be used to drop off or pick up the child. Outside of school hours, the school parking is off limits.

14. What is the duration of a school day?

- Main school hours from 08:00/08:45 am to 01:00 pm = Compulsory classes
- Early Morning care from 07:15 am = available
- After-school homework supervision until 03:00 pm = available
- School clubs, post-school supervision until 05:15 pm = available

15. What differentiates your school from other schools?

The primary school with its bilingual features at the Heidelberg Private School Center - HPC - allows students to learn English in a holistic way, alongside the contents of the current educational curriculum of the state of Baden-Württemberg. A familial atmosphere, research-oriented learning and bilingualism are the main focus. The school concept includes a full-day school program, which can be arranged in tandem with modules such as lunch, homework support, teatime and creative club offers. The children here experience a balanced daily routine within their friends’ circle, especially if they stay until late in the afternoon at the schoolhouse.
The classes in the primary school are small (10-16 children), so that all children receive a lot of personal attention from our committed teachers. The class teacher principle: The class teacher spends as many hours as possible in the class, so that the children experience a trustworthy, learning-friendly atmosphere. Each student can be taught and guided at his/her own pace via this individualized process of learning. The aim is that eventually the children increasingly control their own learning processes. Additional support and funding is offered in order to strengthen motivation and increase the joy of learning.
Anyone who enjoys reading in primary school has significantly more success in his education career. For this reason, we particularly encourage reading from the very beginning of the school life.
According to the so called ‘Immersion Method’, English language classes as well as classes in other subjects such as music or art are taught by native English speakers. Through this method, the child experiences the English language holistically as part of his or her regular school day. All teachers at our school are at least bilingual. This also enables good communication with English-speaking parents. In addition to the above mentioned method, supplementary English lessons are given in alongside the regular and compulsory teaching in English: one hour more English per week in class 1 and 2, two hours more English per week in class 3 and 4.
In order to simplify and ease the daily routine of the parents, an early morning care is offered from 7:15 am, in addition to the lessons and the afternoon program with an added option for late afternoon child care until 05:15 pm. Our school is therefore open at 07:15 am.
Our selectable modules enable parents to combine and incorporate their professional and family life with the school requirements of their children. A stay at our HPC primary school is possible via several stages.
07:15 am to 08:00 am/08:45 am = with early morning care
08:00 am/08:45 am to 01:00 am = Compulsory classes
Until 01:30 pm/01:45 pm = with Lunch
Until 03:00 pm = with Homework supervision
03:00 pm to 03:30 pm = Teatime
03:30 pm to 04:30 pm = Clubs / Workshops
Until 05:15 pm = with post-school supervision
If required, all modules are can be selected, wherein a maximum stay time is possible from 07:15 am in the morning to 05:15 pm late in the afternoon.

16. Who decides which path my child takes in school?

The HPC-Primary school provides competent and detailed guidance to the parents. Your child is dear to us. Therefore, we cooperate with you as parents and advise and help you with regard to your child’s future. As a result, a basic school recommendation is issued. Ultimately, as per the Education Act, the parents themselves decide which secondary school they consider appropriate for their child.

17. What curriculum is being taught?

Our school’s curriculum is based on the valid educational plan laid out by the state of Baden-Württemberg.

18. What do the children learn at this school?

The educational task is characterized by the holistic (Whole Child Education) teaching of basic knowledge, basic skills and abilities in individual subjects as well as in the overall disciplinary framework of the primary school curriculum. Similarly, the promotion of behavior for cohabitation as well as the facilitation of the children’s own strengths and abilities along with their own creative energies is equally essential. We prepare pupils for future demands arising from a globalized world with it’s complex problems. We encourage them to develop their own creative and competent solutions. Every child should complete their basic schooling according to their optimal performance.

19. How do the pupils learn at this school?

Our classes have a maximum of 16 children belonging to both sexes. The learning process within the framework of self-competence with the ultimate goal of independent learning is particularly important to us. In the HPC primary school, a variety of methods for acquiring basic knowledge enables the children to develop a differentiated learning experience at different levels. As a result of the learning at the HPC primary school, professional, social, methodological and personal competences are generated as required by the Baden-Württemberg educational plan. In every class there are children from other cultures whose mother tongue is not German. Diversity is enriched by the fact that cultural differences are absorbed and discussed. Tolerance and acceptance are encouraged. We celebrate various festivals together, thereby enhancing the intercultural experience among the young pupils.
In addition to the lessons there is a rich school life with excursions, project days, shows, festivals and celebrations, but also many carefree times that belong to a normal school day.

20. Where does one receive information about the curricula, course content and changes pertaining to the same?

The class teachers keep the parents of their classes up to date. You will be able to always find out via letters that are regularly distributed what is happening at school and in class, what is currently happening and how you can help support your child. You can also contact the teachers at any given time.
In contrast to public schools, parents not only receive the bi-annual report card (half-year information and testimony / school report) about the progress of their child, but also quarterly written reports in the form of a feedback from the class teachers.
There are 4 messages in total.
For those of you interested in the educational plan: The educational plans are available on the website of the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs of Baden-Württemberg and can be viewed by everyone.

21. Is the course content the same as those for public schools?

All teachers at the school are state-approved and accredited by the Regierungspräsidium Karlsruhe. They professionally implement the educational plan of the State of Baden-Württemberg.
In addition, the children receive English lessons through native-speaking teachers. Other subjects (music, art, social studies and science, ethics ...) are taught by English native speakers during the school year.
German and mathematics are always taught by German native speakers. This is a requirement of the educational plan: German is the official language. But the teachers are able to, if required, also guide and give support in these two main subjects, in the English language.

22. How big are the classes and how many teachers are available for each class?

Every class has a class teacher who spends as many hours as possible in his/her class. Sports and swimming are taught by specialized teachers, English and English-speaking subjects are taught by a native speaker. Professional music teachers teach music.
A maximum of 16 children attend each class.

23. How is my child supported individually?

Depending on the personnel situation, funding and funding programs are already integrated in the morning sessions in the school. In addition, there are numerous offers in the afternoon program, which are constantly being worked upon and upgraded. (Club times)

24. Are there any integrated classes?

So far we have not had any inquiries for integrated classes, so there are no such classes yet. However, we would be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the same.

25. Is there any support available in case my child does not get along so well?

If your child does not get along so well and has issues with the lessons involved, the class teacher would contact you early on and guide you accordingly. During the school hours such children are always given the chance to work on different tasks or work with other material. In such cases, the teacher may also be supported by another student.
Sometimes we encourage the parents to take a closer look at the issue at hand and ask an expert, e.g. a school psychologist, who can test the child, and let us know exactly where the difficulties lie and why. This supplementary diagnosis provides teachers and parents with further information and helps prepare a good and supportive individual education.
We encourage children with difficulties by providing special support classes. Also the various clubs offer many such possibilities for the said children.
We also encourage children who are intellectually gifted and require, in their own way, educational support

26. Is my child insured?

According to the Private School Laws, your child is insured on the way to and from school and in the school itself. In addition, a student ‘add-on’ insurance can be completed as well. The forms are available for you at the beginning of the school year.

27. Is there a complaints/ suggestions Box available for the students?

We have a complainsts/ suggestions Box, where concerns and suggestions can be submitted.
There is a weekly assembly for the children, where the children can talk about their wishes, annoyances and other subjects as well as exchange ideas with each other. Based upon this, decisions are made thereafter which are binding for all.

28. How does a child adjust to an English-speaking learning environment?

In our experience, the children have little difficulty in embarking on the English language. As a rule, they already have some previous knowledge. The fact that our native speakers exclusively speak one language, as per the immersion method, and some children speak English, therefore allowing the other children to make rapid progress.

29. Can i attend the classes and take a photo?

For special occasions it is possible that a teacher will invite you as a parent to a lesson. Please understand that it is not possible for parents to attend classes for reasons of individual rights, protection and privacy.

30. According to which criteria are the teachers selected?

All the teachers of our school have passed the 1st and the 2nd State Examination and they love their profession. They are all the least bilingual (German and English).

31. What should I do if I want to speak with a teacher?

All teachers in our school have their regular consultation hours. In case you would like an appointment, you can simply do so through our secretariat. The secretary will be able to clarify with you, if an appointment is available or not and inform you thereof.
You can also contact a teacher at any given time by e-mail and arrange a meeting directly.

32. Where can we receive further information and advice?

As a rule, the Secretariat will help you. If you do not find any answers, the secretary knows where to get the relevant information and will get you in touch with the right people.

33. How do we know what happens at school?

We keep in touch with you.
The class teacher keeps you informed about any important things that take place in the class.
If it concerns all families (excursions, project days, parties and celebrations, holiday camps, swimming, holidays, etc.) you will receive an e-mail from the administration or directly from the school management.
In November, during the school year, you will receive a report card giving you a brief overview of your child’s learning status.
In February you will receive a half-yearly report.
In May you will receive a short report on the learning status of your child.
At the end of the school year, a school report/ Certificate will be issued.

34. How is the school social work done in the school?

In our school two teams work hand in hand for the well-being of your child: the team of teachers who teach in the mornings and that of the social welfare workers who are increasingly involved in the afternoons. In addition, numerous experts who work with children are available during the club timings in the school between 3:30 pm and 4:30 pm.
In the mornings, the teachers support the students during the course, in projects, in the various subjects as well as in conflicts, in cases of behavioral problems, learning difficulties or when a group of children are facing special challenges or wanting to practice something special and more elaborate.
In the afternoons, there are caregivers, who are always present alongside the teachers. The social- care assistants and the teachers make sure that the students have the continuity in the classes from their morning ones to the afternoon lessons. This way a balance between both relaxation and exertion are met to a high degree.
All persons involved in the school life are in direct and timely communication with each other for the benefit of the children. If we notice something unusual, we shall immediately turn to you, the guardian of the child.
We advise you about the future school career of your child and provide you with our many years of expertise as a decision-making aid.

35. What does Club time mean?

The clubs are open daily between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm.
The offers by the Clubs are developed twice every year, always beginning with a new school year. The parent or the guardian chooses the club which their child chooses to participate in at the beginning of every year (in September and in February).
Many of the clubs are a part of the afternoon post-school care, for example, the PC-License (from Class 2), English in the afternoon, Judo, Spanish, Inline skating/ Skateboarding, Dream journeys, young researchers (scientific experiments), Mandarin, Creative works such as crafting and painting, karaoke, yoga, table-tennis and many others.
Some of the clubs charge an extra fee, for eg. Clubs such as the chess club with a chessmaster, artistic designing in the youth art school, swimming for beginners, German as a second language, additional music lessons, through local music schools, learner training LRS/DYS and Capoeira.
Thus, one can choose between musical, sporting and cognitive options, depending on what your child needs for a healthy all round personality development.