I lived in Duisburg for a time, not far from Düsseldorf.
The International School in Düsseldorf has a very good reputation. It runs on the US system and seems to get good results. It is very good for sport and music too afaik.
I taught at St George's, an English system school in south Duisburg. Also good, and it has recently moved to a new building with very modern facilities - it seems to be poaching a few children from the International Schools at Heiligenhaus and Neuss, which would also both be worth looking into.
Düsseldorf itself is very nice - the nicest areas to live are Wittlaer and Kaiserswerth, although they aren't cheap. Also anywhere on the river opposite the main city centre. The Altstadt is a fab night out and there are lots of theatres, museums, galleries, shops etc.
The expat community is a large one and they do a lot. If you want more details pm me and I can do my best. There is a facebook group which organises monthly meet ups.
bluebellmuffin I'm in the Eifel now, about 30 mins from Bonn - if you want a new friend, pm me!!
I go there every so often for work reasons, and it comes across as being really rather posh and rich compared with Berlin, where we live. I stay with a friend in Benrath, which is a rather comfortable and pretty suburb next to the Rhine, but on the train line to central Düsseldorf in less than 30 mins. Lots of haute couture shops, lots of culture, museums, good concerts in Cologne and Düsseldorf. Generally speaking it has a lot to recommend it. It's also notably warmer than cities which are further east or south, and gets much less snow (and more rain). You might like that, but I really love very cold winters and the fact that we get to go tobogganing every year. Another plus - you're so much nearer the UK if you want to drive back and get the ferry.
The old city is quite beautiful, a lot was destroyed in the war.
Great airport with cheap flights home - AirBerlin, German Wings. Easy to drive home via Eurostar too.
You may meet a lot of Brits as there are huge army bases in Elmpt and the surrounding areas. My husband was stationed there for years so we visited the city a lot. Also a lot of head offices for international retail opening there - Espirit, TK Maxx, C&A. I keep getting headhunted to go back there!
Roermond is just across the border, where a lot of Germans head for outlet shopping, but for Brits it's a chance to converse in English, choose English movies etc in the Netherlands?
I looked into the international school and it had a very good reputation and the facilities and class sizes look excellent. I was looking more for a bi-lingual school as I wanted ds to keep up his fluency. However you could supplement with extra German lessons through the school I think.
Lovely properties on the waterside at very reasonable rental rates. Plus Germany is cheap...or to put it another way, good value for money. Germans expect value for their money so it means good quality and portion size generally, cheap beer etc!