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Heinz Galinski school (Berlin)?

(4 Posts)
ZZZenAgain Sun 10-Feb-13 20:10:11

there's a forum ( a fairly robust one at times though I warn you) called toytown Germany and you could try the Berlin pages on there to see whether you can get hold of anyone with first-hand knowledge of the school. Might be an interesting read if you browse some of the threads but the tone of it isn't always to my taste. Feel free to ask or PM even if you have any other questions about moving there.

lostgal Sat 09-Feb-13 12:00:13

Thank you so much! That is really helpful. I didn't know about the other Jewish school so that is good to know too. Thanks again.

ZZZenAgain Thu 07-Feb-13 19:35:20

I knew two families who had dc at that school and they seemed happy with it, one American family, one Russian family. We have moved on and I am no longer in touch with them now though.

I was told there was zero tolerance of bullying which is not something I would say about Berlin schools in general, so that is a definite plus. It is a nice area, very green and residential, close to the forest and outside of the city centre but not far outside. I haven't been inside the school grounds so can't comment on the facilities or the buildings. The school is guarded. I don't know how you feel about that (armed police) and there is a high wall with surveillance cameras but I don't think the dc really pick up on it. It is right next to a tennis club which belongs to one of the universities and accessible by SBahn (Berlin local transport train but overland, as opposed to UBahn which is the subway, so less frequent than the UBahn but not inconvenient for getting to school unless they go on strike which they tend to do mid winter). Many dc travel to school alone but not in the first couple of years. The school also has a school bus service, so your dc can be picked up and brought home.

You will probably find that there is a large Russian contingent at the school which reflects the considerable influx of Jewish people from Russia in the past 15 years or so. You will probably see this in any Jewish institution in the city these days. I remember that one mother told me the school was not all that Jewish (in that it is open to non-Jewish children and many of the teaching staff were not Jewish at that time, I don't know about now). So it is perhaps not comparable to a Jewish school in the UK.

The children learn Hebrew from year 1, so if your dc don't have Hebrew knowledge already, you'd need to talk to the school about how to handle that. I believe they will support your dc catching up. I am sure your dc could do this if necessary, when the rest of the class has English lessons.

They will base your fees on the previous year's income tax details. I am sure they will be able to translate whatever information you give them. They base their calculations on the German Steuerbescheid which is what you get back from the tax office every year. I am sure they have had other families coming in from abroad and will be used to working around this, in particular they should have no problem with paperwork in English. Perhaps you could mail them and ask if you could have an appointment to call and ask some questions. The school secretary might not speak English but I am sure the Head will.

There is also another Jewish primary school in Berlin (Or Avner) but more Orthodox I believe here . I don't know anything about it.

lostgal Thu 07-Feb-13 18:12:17

We are thinking of relocating to Berlin (Germany). Although this is a very tentative plan but as dh can work from anywhere and at the moment we are paying extortionate amounts of rent in London, we are considering a move. Neither of us speak German and it would be a real change. We would like to send our children to the Heinz Galinski school if possible but does anyone have children there? The fee structure form on their website is in German so not sure exactly how it would work as my dh would almost certainly be paid in sterling by the UK subsidiary of the company he works for.

Anyone send their children there? What is it like?

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