At the heart of the bilingual educational concept of the Swiss International Schools is our aim to offer a diverse and challenging curriculum that simultaneously fosters awareness of the wider world and a relationship to our immediate environment.
The past couple of years have brought very welcome changes in our neighborhood, thanks to the city of Basel investing in extensive developments in the area surrounding our school. We have gained parks, a large playground, residential areas with reduced traffic, and also, a retirement home right next door. This retirement home has become the basis for a very interesting and mutually beneficial relationship that promises to continue to grow. The projects our school brings to the Senevita residents have become a wonderful opportunity to make our international education relevant to our local environment.
So far, there have been Advent and spring time concerts by all age groups. Last year, the primary 5 class produced a “Viking” musical as part of a project week. As the week’s theme was “doing something for our world,” they invited our elderly neighbors to join the audience; the students even went next door to assist the elderly, helping them in elevators, pushing wheelchairs, holding hands and chatting enthusiastically. Our Secondary School students have carried out interviews for German class as part of a biographical writing project that yielded exciting and touching stories. Most recently, a group of 60 of our littlest ones went Christmas caroling in German and English, as eyes got misty and the audience sang along.
Since our projects began, several students have gone back to visit with the people they interviewed or helped, and we are currently brainstorming how help meet the need for assisted walks, where residents would love to be accompanied by our young people. Also, thanks to our music teacher, Mr. Strobl, we already have four concerts scheduled for the year 2017.
With so many wonderful possibilities, we are looking forward to the future interactions with our friendly and valued elderly neighbours.