Please check the frequently asked questions before you contact us. The following questions are the most asked and relevant to the school. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions.
Does the German Saturday School follow the normal school terms?
The school follows the Victorian school terms. Classes start on Saturday of the first week of each term and finish on Saturday of the last week of term. Term 4 usually finishes a couple of weeks before Christmas.
My children come from a German speaking background, but we don’t speak German at home, is this problem?
Children will be placed into classes according to their age and ability; our teachers understand that some of their students may be a bit shy about speaking German.
My children don’t come from a German speaking background, can they still come to the German Saturday School?
While most children in the school have some ties to the German language or culture, the school welcomes children from all backgrounds and language levels. There is currently an acceleration class for school age children who can read and write who have no German language experience. Once children have mastered the basics in this class, they can then be streamed into a regular class suitable to their age and abilities. This class can also be taken by students who need to brush up on their language skills before rejoining the regular classes.
What age does my child have to start at the German Saturday School?
Children must be 4 years old by April 30 when they start. There is a kindergarten class catering to 4 and 5 year olds. Children do not have to know how to read or write for this class.
How can I enrol my child for next year?
Please use the contact form to express your interest and the school will contact you.
Is it possible for my child to start at German Saturday School partway through the year?
If there is a place available in a class suitable for your child it may be possible to start midway through a term, or partway through the year. This will be at the discretion of the principal
What materials or text books will my child need?
Teachers will advise you of the materials required for each class, and this is typically notebooks, pens and pencils. Textbooks are required from Grade 1 and up, and will need to be purchased from the supplier Intext. Information on this will be supplied by the teacher.
Will there be any homework?
Most class levels have some basic revision and vocabulary to learn each week, however this will not require a great huge time commitment.
As a parent/carer, how can I get involved in the German Saturday School?
The school is run by the Parents Committee. Membership of the committee is open to all parents. The committee meets approximately once every 4-6 weeks. There are also events throughout the year, such as the Annual German Breakfast, and Christmas Concert where all parents can play a part if they wish.
Are all the teachers at German Saturday School native speakers?
All teachers at the German Saturday School are native speakers.
Do the classes match up with regular school classes and will my child change classes each year?
Classes are determined loosely by age, but also ability. There are multiple age groupings in each class. Therefore unlike at their regular school, children at the GSS may not necessarily move to a different class level at the end of each school year.
How can I arrange to have a tour of the German Saturday School?
There is an Open Day each year, usually in September, that prospective students and their carers are very welcome to attend. Tours can also be arranged by contacting the Parents Committee President. Please use the contact form to contact us.
What are the fees for the German Saturday School and when do I have to pay them?
The fees for 2014 are $700.00 for the year per child. There is a DEET subsidy available to primary and high school registered children, and this is $100. The full year fees are due at the beginning of term one.
What happens when a student wants to study German at a higher level (e.g. Years 11 and 12)? Does the school offer German at these levels or would it then hand over to the Victorian School of Languages (VSL)?
The GSS teaches students up to Year 12 level, but at the moment is not providing a formally accredited VCE programme, and is not a substitute for the VSL.
Does the German Saturday School have a relationship with the Deutsche Schule Melbourne (DSM)? How do they all fit in together?
The GSS is in contact with the organization that runs the Deutsche Schule Melbourne (DSM), so we are following the development of the school. At present however there is no formal relationship with the school.
Is there a report system in place?
Children receive a written report at the end of the school year. Parents are encouraged to discuss and monitor their child’s progress throughout the year by taking the time to talk to teachers either before or after classes.
What times is the school?
School runs from 9am to 12.00pm. Children have a short break during the morning when they can have a snack (bring one from home) and spend some time in the playground. Children are supervised at all times.
Where is the school located?
The school is located at Clifton Hill Primary School, 185 Gold Street, Clifton Hill.
Does the school do anything else (excursions/video rental)?
There are usually a couple of excursions each year with German themes. Past excursions have included the Goethe Institute to the Fussball exhibition and the Melbourne Museum. The school has a well stocked video/DVD rental library where movies can be rented (in German of course) for $2.00 a movie. The Annual Christmas concert and lunch is usually held at the Austrian Club in Heidelberg and is open to friends and family.
How big are the classes?
Class sizes vary, with the maximum class size set at 18. The younger classes have an assistant in addition to the class teacher.
Are there police checks of all the staff (including helpers)?
All teachers and assistants are required to hold a valid Working with Children Check or VIT registration card.
How are staff selected (principal, committee etc)?
The principal and teachers are interviewed and selected by a panel from the Parents Committee. Membership of the Parents Committee is open to all parents. There is an AGM in first term and office bearers are then elected.