Preschool-12 Bilingual Education in
Two Locations in the Bay Area

Middle School (5-8)

Our middle school spans grades 5 to 8 and offers a safe, supportive and challenging place for students to make the transition from childhood to adolescence. Our program aims to inspire students to expand their academic skills and independence while supporting their personal development and growth.

Meeting the Unique Needs of Middle Grade Students

We recognize that the middle school years require creativity, personalized attention and a rich, engaging curriculum to bring out the best in students. Each student is part of a homeroom class with one teacher who not only provides academic, but also social-emotional support. Highly-qualified subject specialists teach a variety of academic disciplines such as biology, chemistry, physics, P.E., art and music. Languages of instruction are German and English. Starting in grade 6, students also have the opportunity to learn French and Spanish.

Inclusive and Enriching

Our middle school is open to students of all levels of the German school system (Hauptschule, Realschule, Gymnasium). In consideration of our diverse community of learners, our differentiated teaching approach supports students at different levels and with different learning styles.

We use innovative technology as a tool for enhanced independent and collaborative learning. Upon middle school entry, students receive their own iPad, and starting in grade 8, each student works with his/her own laptop. Several theme-based days each year deepen the hands-on exposure to concepts and subjects. We also encourage our students to participate in community service projects as well as in international math and science contests. Enriching field trips to local destinations such as NASA, the Stanford library and art and science museums complement the school setting with real-life experiences. Students are also actively involved in the planning of an annual four-day overnight class trip.

Students leave the middle school as ambitious, creative, self-motivated and responsible learners, well-prepared to meet the demands and challenges of high school.

Language Requirements for the GISSV Middle School

GISSV assures the admission of German-speaking students in every level of the German school system (Hauptschule, Realschule, Gymnasium) and it guarantees a successful start for students who enroll during the school year. For these students the school also offers extra programs in English (additional fees might apply).

For older students with an international language background, the principal and teachers determine admission. In each individual case the teachers of the different subjects and the language teachers guarantee ideal language development and differentiated learning methods for students who join later in the school year.

Subjects Taught in Middle School and Up

  • German Language Arts (Grades 5–12)
  • English Language Arts (Grades 5–12)
  • Math (Grades 5–12) – German
  • 2nd foreign language French or Spanish (Grades 6–12)
  • 3rd foreign language French or Spanish (optional Grades 10–12)
  • Biology (Grades 5–12) – bilingual, German and English
  • Chemistry (Grades 7–12) – bilingual, German and English
  • Physics (Grades 6–12) – German
  • Geography (Grades 5–9) – bilingual, German and English
  • History (Grades 5–10) – bilingual, German and English
  • History (Grades 11 & 12) – German
  • American History/Government (Grades 9–10) – English
  • Economics (Grades 9–12) – English
  • Ethics (Grades 5–12) – German
  • Arts (Grades 5–12) – German
  • Music (Grades 5–9) – German
  • PE (Grades 5–12) – German
  • IT (Grade 5, 7 and 10) – German

Grades Table

American Grades




B+ B







German Grades











Verbal Grades


superior work, exceeds all expectations


excellent work, meets all expectations


good work


acceptable work; 4 points/C- in the Abitur is a non-passing


work barely meets requirements


work does not meet requirements

Middle School Curricula