Answers are provided below to questions we often hear. If you can't find the answer to your question, please contact the Admissions Team.
- When should I submit my application to ZIS?
- How do I apply?
- Do you accept students with special needs?
- Should my child be fluent in English to attend ZIS?
- What languages are offered at ZIS?
- What are the school hours?
- What after school activities do you offer?
- Do you offer a lunch program?
- Is parental involvement welcomed at ZIS?
- Where do your teachers come from?
- Is transport provided?
- Do students wear school uniform?
- What programs are offered during the summer?
- Will my child need to take a placement test?
- What are the procedures for withdrawing a student from ZIS?
- Will ZIS use photos of my child in their publications?
- Where will I find an academic calendar?
Up to the beginning of Grade 7, ZIS students are not required to have prior knowledge of English. Students entering in mid-year Grade 7-Grade 10 must be able to demonstrate at least intermediate proficiency in English. Students entering Grades 11 or 12 must have near-native English proficiency. More information and an overview of the required English levels can be found here.
The instructional language at ZIS is English. German is a required subject for all students in Pre-School through Grade 9. French and Spanish are offered as elective subjects as of Grade 6.
In addition there are mother-tongue language classes offered as part of our After School Program. At present in this growing program at ZIS, the language offerings are: Dutch, French, Spanish and Swedish.
School hours are dependent on the campus.
Early Childhood Center (Pre-School/Pre-Kindergarten/Kindergarten)
Pre-School: Children are supervised from 08:00 before classes start. Classes start at 08:30 – finish at 12.30 on the half day program or at 14:45 for full day (13:45 on Wednesdays).
Pre-Kindergarten: Children are supervised from 08:00 before classes start at 08:30 - finish at 14:45 (13:45 on Wednesdays).
Kindergarten: Children are supervised from 08:00 before classes start at 08:30 - finish at 14:45 (13:45 on Wednesdays).
There is a Before School Care Program (from 07:00 to 08:00) and After School Care Program meaning that students can stay at school until 6.00pm for an additional fee. You can find more information about Before and After School Care here.
Lower School (Grades 1-5)
Children can be dropped off at school between 08:30 and 08:45 each morning and lessons start at 08:45. Children are supervised from 08:00 before classes start at 08:45.
On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday the school day ends between 15:15 and 15:30. On Wednesdays the school day ends between 14:15 and 14:30.
There is a Before School Care Program (from 7:00 to 8:00) and After School Care at the Lower School meaning that students can stay at school until 6.00pm for an additional fee. You can find more information about Before and After School Care here.
There is also an extensive variety of ZIS After School Activities at the end of the school day, included in the school fees. Private activities and music lessons are offered at a cost.
School starts at 08:50, apart from on Wednesday when school starts at 09:55. The school day ends at 15:45 every day. There is a variety of ZIS After School Activities at the end of the school day, included in the school fees. Private activities and music lessons are offered at a cost.
School starts at 08:50, apart from on Wednesday when school starts at 09:55. The school day ends at 15:50 every day. There is a variety of ZIS After School Activities at the end of the school day, included in the school fees. Private activities and music lessons are offered at a cost.
ZIS offers after school activities throughout the school year. A wide range of extracurricular activities and clubs are available to suit each student's interests. Students can participate in a wide variety of sports, music and art offerings, improve their fluency in a foreign language or join different charity groups. Every campus offers age appropriate clubs, sports and after school activities. Visit the Student Life section of our website and Club and Activities.
At the Lower School we offer a Before and After School Care Program, where students are supervised before and after the official school day ends. You can find more information about After School Care here.
Yes! The ZIS Parents' Association is a vital part of the school, supporting the ZIS community (students, alumni, faculty and families) in a variety of ways. It provides parent volunteers to: help with classroom activities (class parties, field trip chaperones, hands-on help for science or other projects, etc); help in libraries; support sports teams; and much more. The Parents' Association supports new families through its Welcome Committee and coordinates social and cultural events for families and adults within the school. The Parents' Association also offers a forum for communication among parents, the school administration and the Board of Trustees by arranging open forum meetings, as well as providing news and event information on its section of the school's website.
In order to support a successful collaborative partnership between the school and parents/guardians, it is important that the expectations of both members of this partnership with regard to rights and responsibilities are clear. These are published in this ‘Parents/Guardians and ZIS Partnership’ document.
There are over 240 faculty working at ZIS, more than half of whom have a Master‘s or Doctorate degree. Most faculty have taught at other international schools around the world and spend an average of six years at ZIS. Like our student population, faculty and staff come from many different countries.
A bus service is available Lower School students from their home area to school for a fee. We encourage older students (Middle and Upper School) to use public transport. There is a shuttle bus to the Middle School and Upper Schools from Thalwil and Tiefenbrunnen train stations. There is a fee for this service.
ZIS offers a program for some weeks during the summer break and other school holidays. Activities vary, and often include sports, language, arts and crafts, and educational programs. There is a fee for this service.
As part of the initial application process students applying to mid year-Grade 7 to Grade 12 who do not have English as their mother tongue will be asked to complete an English Placement test.
Subject-specific placement tests/screening might be required to place a student in the correct level of a course - ie. mathematics, foreign language and science.
We aim to show the spirit of ZIS through our publications and therefore always use photographs of school events and activities on the website, in school publications and in advertising. The full name of a student is never used with their photo (other than occasionally in the internal school magazine). If you DO NOT wish to have your child featured in such materials, please submit a written request to the Communications Coordinator Rachel Ditchfield firstname.lastname@example.org.