ambitious · future-oriented · bilingual · student-centered · OBS
«For a very long time, children and young people have not been learning the way we teach them, so we should stop teaching them in a uniform manner, but support and encourage their learning individually.»
«In primary school, I experienced a Grade 4 child using the tablet as adeptly as a scribe. The kids are filming, recording, uploading tasks - it's all so normal for them. Explaining how to do this with the tectonic plates? No problem; fourth graders are able to film themselves (green screen technology) and their work looks like that of a professional! I am really impressed!»
«OBS impressed me with its students, who work well together as a team or independently and are very much solution-oriented. Here, the form of "New Learning" is practised, which enables them to learn "Future Skills" of the 21st century in an exemplary way alongside the mandatory content»
Goethe University Frankfurt
Think beyond the Limits
Our individualized, student-centered approach enables students to identify and cultivate their strengths.
Committed to an authentic bilingual German and English education of the highest standard, our mission is to prepare our students for their future, to be critical thinkers, innovators and leaders in an everchanging world.
We inspire and encourage each individual student to excel and seek academic as well as personal challenge, to discover interests and develop talents, to embrace diversity and build community, to uphold our values and contribute to making a difference.
OBS at a Glance
students per class
Grade when coding
German & English instruction
«In Upper School I love the way we have an input and independent working so we are able to give one to one support to our students. I also love the thinking outside the box, the innovative approach to learning. The constant rethinking and putting ourselves into new ideas. I love the enthusiasm the positive atmosphere and how we all look out for one another, staff and students alike.»
“At OBS, staff members and teachers dedicate time to create a positive, accepted, valued and safe environment for our students.”
“OBS has a special and unique culture that I have not seen anywhere else. Whilst having a close-knit, family-feel, the school also possesses a broad-minded and future-oriented approach to education. This distinctive combination not only makes it an engaging place to work but also creates an exciting atmosphere for children to grow and face the challenges of tomorrow.”
«OBS prepares students for the future. Providing thoughtful and honest feedback provides students with the necessary means to continue the learning progress towards their future.”
Tanja Alvesalo & Angela Mitra
Welcome to the OBS private school
“We are committed to ensuring that our students approach the world of tomorrow with confidence, drive and enthusiasm and see it as a place of unlimited possibilities.”
Welcome to OBS. We hope that as you explore our website and visit our campus you will begin to get a feeling for our unique offering.
Our Swiss roots, international mindedness and future oriented bilingual curriculum challenge our students to develop their own minds and personalities. Our student to teacher ratio allows us to truly get to know our students and gives us the capacity to develop truly personal learning journeys.
We believe that children flourish in their learning and growth when parents and educators work together towards a common goal. We very much value open and honest communication, trust and mutual respect. As adults, we are examples to children and need to set the stage for our students to succeed now and in the future.
The future landscape requires us to equip our students with life-long learning skills so that they are ready to face the complex challenges of their future. Knowledge-based learning skills will always be a part of education but the ability to transfer that knowledge, to solve problems, collaborate and think analytically and critically are crucial for success in the future. These skills as well as resilience, leadership, care for others and our environment as well as our agile curriculum are at the heart of an OBS education.
Our highly skilled, driven teachers are not seen as traditional educators but as mentors and facilitators. We want our students to take responsibility for their learning and formulate their own opinions and most importantly to never lose the inherent love of learning that they are born with.
School today is very different to what it was even a few years ago. Our learning spaces are a hub of creativity and energy as the students delve deeply into new concepts and areas of exploration and work on their personal next learning steps. By embracing digital learning and integrating the newest technology to enhance our students’ learning experiences, our aim is to always remain one step ahead in providing an innovative education relevant to the future.
We are extremely honoured and excited about leading the school in the next stages of its development. Our priority is for each and every one of our students to have access to excellent real-world, academic and social opportunities and to feel valued and respected for who they are. We wish for them to be fully involved and active in creating their own learning path in a school they look forward to attending each day and in which positive drive and energy are truly tangible.
Cherish these years. Time moves quickly. Take the time to be part of your child’s learning journey at OBS so as not to miss out on the growth that will occur on a daily basis.
Education is a gift, a gift that will last a lifetime if delivered with the student at the heart of everything, and with the dedication, passion and care that every child deserves.
With very best wishes, Angela Mitra and Tanja Alvesalo
Ode to farewell
For many parents their experience of school is limited to their own school time. Many have gone on to higher education, climbed the career ladder or perhaps founded their own company. Therefore, it is only natural to assume that their own children will follow in their footsteps. “What worked for me will also work for my children. This ignores the fact that the growing generation will not find the same conditions in the workplace as we did.
We are in the middle of a Digital Revolution, which, like the Industrial Revolution, is leading to enormous changes in the labour market. We can currently only make a guess at what the demand for labour will look like in 10 to 20 years’ time. Some professions, such as data analysts, may no longer exist, as they may be taken over by artificial intelligence.
How do we best succeed in preparing our children for this future? What do they need to survive in a world that is changing faster than ever before?
Instead of knowledge acquisition, the acquisition of competences is now at the centre of education. Many countries in Europe and worldwide are far ahead of the German-speaking countries in this respect. Above all Finland and New Zealand.
These competences cannot be taught well in classical learning settings. Frontal teaching places the focus on the teacher whilst the focus needs to be on the learner and their individual needs (Wildt and Wildt 2011). The role of the teacher has changed from an imparter of knowledge to a facilitator. The OBS has already successfully adapted to these new requirements. Pupils are at the centre of the learning process and receive feedback (in the form of feeding forward). Each child has their own individual learning path. Significant changes have already taken place at OBS which can neither be compared with nor evaluated against our own experiences of school, as the circumstances and requirements are simply completely different.
However, in order to bring this change to a full conclusion, there is still one component missing in the triangle that makes up education. In his model of Constructive Alignment, John Biggs called for the coordination of three areas. For him, learning goals, the teaching and learning environment and assessment should form a unit. (Biggs 1996)
We have reformed two of these areas, but are reluctant to tackle the third, for fear of abandoning a familiar form of comparison/benchmark.
However, we are basing our fears on outdated criteria. We expect our children to sit a graded assessment at the end of a unit which we believe tells us what our child knows or doesn’t know, highlights their mistakes and tells us how successful they are. Educational research over the past 20 years agrees that a paradigm shift must be implemented in the area of performance assessment, but here many educational systems are lagging behind enormously. Old examination forms no longer do justice to the new learning objectives and teaching methods. After all, it’s not about what you know, but what you can do and how you can apply your knowledge, make connections, question critically, form your own opinion, etc. All this cannot be tested in one end of unit assessment. (Witt and Czerwionka 2013). We need other forms of assessment. Forms that give positive feedback and don’t purely focus on the mistakes. When I was at school I had Russian as a foreign language and although I was a very good student, I hardly dared to speak because every grammar mistake was immediately exposed as such. The desire to speak passed and even today, many years later, I still have inhibitions about speaking Russian.
We want to encourage our children to make mistakes, to reflect, to evaluate and learn from them. We want them to identify their next steps in order to reach a new level in their learning. This requires clearly communicated learning goals and open forms of assessment that accompany this process in order to make it transparent.
A child who can see his or her progress is motivated to continue learning and further strengthen and deepen their knowledge, skills and understanding. However, if a traditional grading system is applied to this child, which usually has a social reference norm, i.e. reflects the level of achievement within a class group and may be insufficient, the grade is demotivating and does nothing to encourage intrinsic motivation. Had my Russian teacher motivated us to speak by either ignoring the mistakes or correcting them by repeating back correctly, our self-confidence in using the language would have been quite different. And let’s be honest, what is foreign language teaching all about? Is the focus purely on grammar? No, it is about the competence to enter into dialogue and make yourself understood, to be able to convey a message and not to fail because you can’t quite remember the grammar rules at that point in time. Yes, I am still able to use the correct personal pronouns today, but what good does that do me? If I meet a native speaker, I fail because of my own fear of simply attempting a conversation. This fear should not accompany future generations. They should just try, make mistakes, learn from them and face the world with an insatiable curiosity.
This is what authentic assessment is all about. Students should be assessed individually, based on their competences and learning goals. If we take this long overdue step together we will create the learning environment needed to enable the next generation to face the challenges of their future and become confident and successful global citizens. It is time to tread new ground.
OBS Early Years Day and Night
In the early pre-school years, children have limited understanding and experience of space. They are aware of brightness and darkness and begin to recognise the differences between day and night. Because of their bedtime, children at this age have limited ability to form their own impression of the night and observe the night sky. During our “Off into Space” theme we therefore concentrated on learning about the stars, the moon, the planets and our solar system.
It was fascinating how extraordinarily fast and with what joy the children became enthusiastic about our solar system. With the help of picture books, explanatory videos, games and activities (based on the IEYC curriculum) the children, over the course of the unit, were able to share their knowledge.
You can imagine the delight this generated in the parents as they learned of their child naming the planets of our solar system and naming and describing the phases of the moon during circle time. This is a wonderful example of young children demonstrating not only what they have learned by heart but also their understanding.
One never tires of witnessing the learning that takes place through guided play and activities at this young age and the endless fun the children have as they explore and make new discoveries.
“We are very impressed with the online learning programme of the Upperschool during this lock-down period. The fact that it was implemented without any delay and works so well is very impressive.”
“We are extremely happy and satisfied with OBS online learning programme. We were really amazed how quickly everything was set up! It was all so well planned and organised. The daily tasks were diversified, interesting, sometimes funny and they kept kids motivated! The teachers were always available online to help the kids and they really did a great job! A big thank you to the whole OBS team for organising the online classes!”
“We were very impressed at the speed with which OBS implemented the online learning programme and the consistency of the teaching.”
«In addition to the bilingual education, organisational skills and familiarity with technology were two particular aspects of the OBS education that stood my daughter in good stead when she moved to a boarding school in the UK and subsequently had to cope with the challenges of online schooling during the Covid lockdown. In contrast to many of her new peers, she was comfortable planning her homework to finish it throughout the week, something she had long done at OBS. In addition, OBS’ early adoption of technology in the classroom also prepared her very well for online schooling.»
Christmas in a box collection
Virtual Grade Reps meeting
(Theme campus update
and details on the coding
and robotics journey)
9:00am – 10:00am
Samichlaus and Schmutzli
visit to KG – Grade 2 children
8:45am – 9:30am
Grade 7 Parents Evening
6:30am – 8:00am