As teachers and parents, we recognize that children come from diverse backgrounds and learn best in different ways. At German International School Boston we encourage your child’s strengths while exposing them to new ideas and supporting them as they reach the goals they set for themselves.

Your child will have a Classroom Teacher who creates their core experience and is your primary resource as a parent. Other teachers will join your child’s classroom community throughout each day to support learning in a range of subjects. In many cases, your child will also adventure out to lessons in the Art room, the Gym, and the English Center.

The majority of the Elementary School day is conducted in German by native speakers. English is taught as a subject, also by native speakers. The curricula for the subjects taught in German align with the German state of Thüringen, which like GISB’s home state of Massachusetts is highly regarded for educational excellence. Our English curriculum is a blend of the best of Thüringen’s requirements and Massachusetts’ high state standards.

The chart below outlines how the learning week is divided into subjects:

Subject Periods in Class 1 & 2 Periods in Class 3 & 4 Instructional Language
German 7 7 German
English 6 6 English
Science 3 3 German
Art 2 2 English
Music 2 2 German
Mathematics 5 6 German
Ethics 1 1 German
Physical Education 4 3 German

Teachers will pay close attention to your child’s evolving developmental abilities, strengths and growth areas, as well as their special interests. We are always happy to discuss your child’s progress, and more structured parent conferences happen in the fall and spring. Although most of your child’s teachers will speak only German with children, they look forward to discussions with you in German or English, depending on your preference.


In English, your child will be taught by grade level in small groups based on exposure to the language. Highly-differentiated instruction focuses on the skill areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Art and various activities in the After School Program provide opportunity to practice English skills outside of the English classroom.

All students’ proficiency in German and English is assessed at the beginning of the school year. Language skills are taught across all subjects throughout the year. Teachers will continuously to monitor your child’s language proficiency in order to provide support around his or her individual language learning needs.

The English program at the German School has ensured that German International School Boston students are on equal footing with their American peers in both public and private schools. Our children moved on to other schools because there was not yet a high school at GISB. They were able to compete readily in all subjects with their American classmates.

– Alumni Parent

Special Opportunities

The Elementary community takes numerous field trips including:

  • Swimming as part of the regular Physical Education curriculum at Boston University over several months in the fall
  • Frequent walks in fall and spring to Harvard University’s athletic facilities, again as part of the regular Physical Education curriculum
  • A biennial overnight trip to Ferry Beach to learn about natural sciences and teamwork
  • Annual Events: Einschulungsfeier, Celebration of St. Martin’s Day with a lantern parade, Grundschulfest, parents breakfasts
  • Every other year: Fasching Celebration

We welcome family chaperones and enjoy making memories with your child on these special days.

To promote social development, students in grades one through four participate in a class council. It is an inherent part of resolving conflicts as well as addressing issues, concerns and ideas within the Elementary School. The class council meets weekly, when your child will learn through discussion, role-playing and storytelling to express their feelings and opinions.

Learn more about the hours of the Elementary School.

What would my child experience on a typical day? Find out.