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Lower school children working on laptops, one girl helps another
Learning and doing
Early Childhood boy in the the classroom working on an activity
Balancing play and challenge
Lower School child looks towards the board, whilst the teacher explains
A safe space to explore

Lower School (ages 3-11)

The Lower School at Zurich International School is a global community where more than 400 students from over 50 nations, speaking 40 different languages, feel at home.

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Academic Challenge

We offer a transformative education designed around your child.

We know that each student has different interests and abilities and will ensure that your child is challenged and supported to achieve more than they thought possible. We focus on the total growth of your child including their social, physical, emotional and cultural needsall while offering academic excellence.

Lower School children waiting to go outside for playtime, smiling through the doorway
Catherine Jolly, Lower School Principal

I knew from the first time I stepped into the Lower School building that this was an amazing school, and that I wanted to be part of its future. There is a wonderful feeling of warmth and community, and the opportunity for everyone in the community to find their passion and reach for their potential. 

Catherine Jolly
Lower School Principal

Kindergarten Student writing on paper in the classroom

Bilingual  Program

The additional bilingual program for children in Kindergarten 1 and 2 for August 2021 is full. We are now accepting applications for the 2022/23 school year for Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2 (children aged 4-8) . The aim is to expand the program, which will fulfil the requirements of the Swiss Lehrplan 21 curriculum, to include students aged up to 12 in the coming years.

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ZIS Lower School working earnestly on a construction problem

Authentic Learning

We believe that children learn best in an authentic context and so our curriculum is focused on inquiry-based learning, problem solving and real-life experiences.


We create an environment for your child to succeed academically as well as to develop vital life skills including critical thinking, teamwork, leadership and public speaking.

Lower School Curriculum

Two lower school girls climbing down from the adventure playground

State of the art facilities

Your child will thrive in our purpose-built campus which includes dedicated Makerspace and Tinkering rooms and classrooms specifically designed for German, Music, Visual and Performance Arts as well gyms for Physical Education.


Outside we have access to the forest, our own sports field and a variety of age-appropriate play spaces.


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ZIS Lower School students working together on a German class activity


We understand the importance of students learning German to help them feel at home in Switzerland and part of the local community.


Children in Early Childhood through to Grade 5 learn German through a combination of authentic experiences and language acquisition or fluent speaker classes. 


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Two Lower School students working on computers and coding projects

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)

The innovators and leaders of the future will require sound knowledge in a variety of STEM-based fields, and at ZIS, we put Science, Technology, Engineering and Math subjects at the heart of our program.


Through integrated units of study at every grade, our STEM lab and Makerspaces, and a wide range of co-curricular offerings, your child will be encouraged and supported to develop transferable STEM skills that are vital to engaging in real-world problem-solving with confidence.


Early childhood student dressing up and making films using a green screen

Early Childhood (Ages 3-6)

Play is at the heart of our Early Childhood approach. Your child will be inspired to develop their own ideas and innovations and be nourished as a creative thinker.


As they begin to develop as a reader, writer and mathematician, a sense of wonder is fostered as they grow socially, emotionally and academically.

Early Childhood Program

Lower School Students work on their art projects

Physical Education, Music and Art

Your child will benefit from a comprehensive, varied and rich learning experience in visual arts, music, physical education and library in classes taught by specialists.


Technology is used as a tool that enhances and broadens the scope and quality of student learning.


The language of instruction is English, with additional support for non-English speakers.

Lower School Curriculum

ZIS Lower School speaking to a camera with a microphone in hand as part of a co-curricular activity

Co-Curricular Program

Your child can pursue their interests or discover something that could become a lifelong passion through our outstanding co-curricular program featuring over 40 academic, athletics, STEM, performing and visual arts and language activities. 


Before and After School Care is available if you need to extend the school day.

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Additional Support

For learners with additional needs we have teachers specializing in Speech, Occupational Therapy, Counseling, and English as an Additional Language, as well as other learning needs.

Partner with us

ZIS is a close learning community where parents are seen as partners and we take you on the learning journey with your child. Regular Parent Cafes ensure that you will have a good understanding of our program and how you can help support your child, both academically and emotionally. You will also get regular insights into your child's learning through our class communications platform as well as via regular feedback sessions and discussions with your child's teachers. 

The ZIS Experience