logoGerman-American International School German-American International School, Deutscher Kindergarten und Deutsche Schule, San Francisco, Bay Area

Welcome to our Elementary School

The mission of the Elementary School at GAIS is to provide an outstanding international education focused on inquiry-based learning with the goal of fostering confident, respectful, creative and responsible lifelong learners and global thinkers.

The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), for students aged 3 to 12, focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside.

The PYP at the GAIS Elementary School:
  • Encourages a student’s natural process of inquiry
  • Fosters the development of engaged, independent, and balanced learners
  • Draws on best practices from around the world to create a relevant, engaging, and challenging education
  • Promotes the development of the whole person including the understanding of concepts, the mastery of skills, and the development of positive attitudes
  • Helps students learn to be open-minded and learn how to learn.

International Families

The GAIS community is international and has families from over 40 different countries. About one quarter of our families consist of two native English-speaking parents, one quarter consist of two native German-speaking parents, and one half are international families where parents have different nationalities.

Parent involvement is high and includes volunteer duties, participation in field trips, classroom involvement, cultural events and opportunities to get together socially.

There are many social events through the year, including a beach party, a camping trip, a lantern festival, an Easter egg hunt, and a fundraising auction. GAIS families come from all over the Bay Area: from San Jose to San Francisco and from Half Moon Bay to Fremont.

Bilingual Education

The curriculum combines relevant standards from the IBO, State of California, and Germanspeaking countries to ensure GAIS students are well prepared for American or German schools.

The Elementary School is currently the only bilingual international Primary Years Program (PYP) on the San Francisco Peninsula.

21st Century Learner

Students in the 21st century are faced with the challenge of learning about an interconnected world where knowledge is constantly developing. The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Primary Years Programme prepares students to be active participants in a lifelong journey of learning.

The PYP at GAIS Elementary provides the students with:
  • gain knowledge that is relevant and of global significance
  • develop an understanding of concepts, which allows them to make connections throughout their learning
  • acquire transdisciplinary and disciplinary skills
  • develop attitudes that will lead to international-mindedness
  • take action as a consequence of their learning.

Learning Environment

The most significant and distinctive feature of the IB Primary Years Programme is the six transdisciplinary themes.

These themes are about issues that have meaning for, and are important to, all of us. The programme offers a balance between learning about or through the subject areas, and learning beyond them. The six themes of global significance create a transdisciplinary framework that allows students to “step up” beyond the confines of learning within subject areas.

  • Who we are
  • Where we are in place and time
  • How we express ourselves
  • How the world works
  • How we organize ourselves
  • Sharing the planet