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Mother Tongue Programmes


European Language Department

For students at international schools it is important to be able to maintain their mother tongue languages in order to be able to reintegrate into their home countries but also to strengthen the student's identity and its sense of belonging. The core languages at GESS are English and German. All students from Pre-School to Grade 10 learn these two languages which are taught at a variety of levels from beginner to native speaker.

Dutch and Danish

GESS offers secondary school students a unique Mother Tongue Programme for Dutch and Danish that is fully integrated in the curriculum. With this programme, GESS supports this vital component of each child's cultural development whilst furthermore facilitating better integration into national school or university systems should the student return home. In Primary School, Danish is integrated in the school day as an alternative for German. Dutch students are able to follow after school programmes. In Pre-School, Danish lessons are run as part of the Midday Programme twice a week from 12.30pm - 3pm.


Students following the German Language A programme in Grade 6 to Grade 8 will attend German mother tongue classes within the German Section of the School meaning students are exposed to a truly native speaking environment.  As such, grading of assessment within this class follows the German system and does not follow the MYP Language A assessment structure. Grade 9 to 12 German Language A classes are taught within the European Section and follow the MYP assessment structure.

Mother Tongue Programme

For other mother tongue languages (beyond English, German, Dutch and Danish), GESS offers a Mother Tongue Support Programme that is coordinated by the school's Head of World Languages in conjunction with external tutors. This programme allows students to follow almost any additional language at mother tongue level, assuming that a suitably well qualified tutor or programme can be located. The parents will meet the additional costs for this facility.



Italian Supplementary School

As part of our support for the wider European community, we provide the Italian Supplementary School with classroom space to hold Italian language classes on a Saturday at the Main Campus.

Watch our mother tongue video and learn more...

"The Dutch programme at GESS makes me not forget where my real home is."

Lisa, Dutch Student, Grade 10 of European Section

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CPE registration number: S72SS0010G
Registration period: 22 June, 2017 – 21 June, 2023

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IB Curriculum

The English speaking European Section of GESS is a fully fledged International Baccalaureate World School, and one of the few in the world who are authorised to deliver the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Diploma Programme (IBDP).

Since opening in 2005, the European Section has grown rapidly to become a school with a reputation for quality education with a strong community feel. We now have over 600 students. The vast majority of our students are European passport holders, for whom GESS represents a vital connection with home. Students are thus provided with a safe, friendly and familiar environment in which they are challenged to thrive as they grow into independent and responsible global citizens.

Our academic and pastoral programmes are designed to support this demographic and ultimately to prepare our students for returning to Europe or for entry into European universities. To this end we endeavor to support mother tongue language acquisition so that our students do not lose this vital connection with their home culture. Fortunately, given the high entry requirements into European schools and colleges, this also means that our students are especially well prepared for study all over the world, particularly North America, the UK and Australia.

The Pre-School department provides education from 18 month to 6 years in either English or German. Children are placed in groups according to their age.


German Curriculum

Since the school was founded in 1971, the school has evolved into a school with two sections. As an accredited “Excellent German School Abroad”, the German Section of the German European School Singapore (GESS) offers all major German school leaving certificates. The European Section is an authorized IB World School offering education in English across all three IB programmes.

The German Section supports the students to develop their German roots. We give them wings for the linguistic demands of a globalized world through our differentiated English programme from grade 1 onwards. In secondary school some subjects are taught in English. Our students are benefitting from numerous bonding activities and have additional space to enjoy the internationality of the school.

Our Pre-School department provides education from 18 month to 6 years in either English or German. Children are placed in groups according to their age. 

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