Dear Parents,

As the principal of the only German school in Canada educating children from all nationalities from kindergarten to high school, I am often asked: “Why a German school in Canada?”

Speaking German is no admission requirement until the age of 10 years

People are astonished when I reply that amongst our 300 students 60% do not speak German at home. Upon admission to mini-kindergarten at the age of 2 ½ years or later, most of our students know little or no German at all.

Why on earth should, for example, a Chinese or Mexican child living in Canada who has neither German parents nor ever lived in Germany, go through the hassle of learning the – admittedly sometimes complicated- German language? I then explain that our kindergarten students integrate normal German Classes and learn the language at an early age, not even noticing the excellent work their brain is performing. We admit students starting at the age of seven until age of 10/11 with little or no knowledge of German to our so-called Immersion Class, provided they are academically strong. After one year, these students will then easily integrate into the normal German curriculum (by the way, with only 10-15 students per class in the elementary school!) and eventually finish their schooling alongside with their German-native friends with the German International Baccalaureate.

The brain is like a sponge – multilingual education makes children smarter and more empathetic

Often, this leads to a stimulating conversation about multilingual education and the broadening of horizons, which goes along with multilingualism and multicultural education – not only language wise but also intellectually, culturally and socially. And no worries about not being able to help your child with German homework: In Elementary School, homework in German is done at school. We have after class study groups and a German course for parents to learn German at the same time as their child.

Finally, our conversation touches on the benefits of German culture and science. Then, I cannot help but talk about my favorite subject: our state-of-the-art science laboratory and the science and math contests, our students take part in every year with remarkable success – Leading me to a small side remark about our diverse theater, music, arts and sports after-school activities. This usually brings us to talk about the world-famous quality seal “Made in Germany”, the fact that German is the most widely spoken mother-tongue language in Europe and the European Union being the largest common market in

 

the world. That’s why the German Government promotes German Language learning with a network of 140 German Schools in 72 countries, teaching more than 82,000 students outside of Germany.

International School – Three Languages ​​- Two degrees

I then explain that AvH students receive a high school teaching according to German quality standards and, at the same time, an international education. In addition to German, our students learn English and French fluently. At the age of 16/17 they must make a though decision: Do they leave their friends who they grew up with to integrate CEGEP or do they stay at AvH for another year? After Grade 11 they have their Quebec High School Diploma in hand, allowing them to integrate a CEGEP and continue their studies in the Canadian educational system. Their German Language Diploma obtained at AvH will allow them to enroll at German Universities without any language test. Alternatively, and this is what most of our students decide to do, they can continue one more year at AvH and will then have the German International Abitur in hand, allowing them to directly enroll at Universities worldwide. No matter what path they choose, our AvH students are prepared to study at the most prestigious universities.

Starting small, reaching out for big

In a nutshell, our school is all about starting small, reaching out for big. Our students start at AvH at a very young age (Mini-K at 2 ½ years). Our school is like a village school in former times, beautifully located in the residential town of Baie D’Urfé in the West Island Area of Montreal: With a comfortable teacher-Student ratio of 1:12 everybody knows each other. We have one class per grade and our students often stay together for over a decade. However, our program is internationally oriented with a special focus on languages and science. Our Students regularly undertake class trips in Canada and US and to foreign countries, participate in international events and take part in all sorts of local, nation-wide and world-wide competitions. When they come out of AvH they have strong personalities, sure of themselves without being arrogant, yet aware of their strengths and capacities to excel, with a strong sensibility for social issues armed with several Diplomas, mastering at least three languages (German, English and French). Academically at the top of their game, they are prepared to integrate the most famous universities in the world and embrace the world with all the wonders and challenges life might bring to them in the future.

Limited places available in pre-K (age 3-5) and Kindergarten – Waiting List for Mini-K ( age 2.5-3)

I hope to have won your interest in our school and invite you to fill out the contact form on our webpage so one of our school representatives can contact you to discuss how your child could become a member of our AvH Family.

Sincerely yours,

Sincerely yours,

 

Thomas Linse

School Principal