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Head Start

Meaningful, child-oriented learning in a secure environment. Bilingual teaching model with two classroom teachers. The NRW curriculum integrated into the IB Primary Years Programme. The best start for your child’s learning career and a good preparation for any international or German secondary school.

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Path to the IB Diploma

IB and Cambridge Secondary curricula implemented in an IB World School. Diverse, worldly and experienced teachers guide students in small learning groups. International qualifications – the IGCSEs and IB Diploma – prepare students for success at university and beyond.

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Path to the (Bilingual) Abitur

State-recognized Gymnasium (German secondary school), with the NRW curriculum and an emphasis on English proficiency. Students benefit from the high standards of the German educational system implemented on our international campus. The Abitur gives successful graduates access to universities in Germany and worldwide.

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The aim of IFK/CIS is to tap the full learning potential of all of our students and to satisfy their various learning requirements.

As the differences in the form and speed of learning can be quite pronounced, we put a high level of individual support into practice.

Individual support at Cologne International School is based on two cornerstones: individualisation (open learning, weekly plans / learning bureaus, individual assignments, project work, acceleration, enrichment) and internal differentiation (adjustment of the learning activities and materials to the working and learning level of the individual student or the individual group). The small learning groups facilitate the implementation of these basic principles of individual support.

Furthermore, within the framework of external differentiation, we have put into place a complex support system in the form of support lessons, support courses and individual support. Individual support plans, based on instruments of pedagogical diagnostics (internal as well as standard test procedures, targeted observation and regular conferences about the learning progress of each student) are specifically created to meet individual needs.

A team of support teachers within our Learning Support and Special Needs Departments enables the implementation of a complex range of support activities in the following areas:

  • English as an Additional Language (EAL level 1-3)
  • German as an Additional Language (GAL level 1-3)
  • English support for native speakers
  • German support for native speakers
  • Maths support
  • Social-emotional support (counselling, social groups, concentration training)
  • Curriculum support
  • Enrichment activities


Fluency in two languages is becoming a natural expectation in today’s and tomorrow’s university and job markets. Knowledge of a third (or further) language sets you apart. We give our students an edge – to open more doors for them – by fostering bilingualism as a matter-of-course, while simultaneously promoting further language development through numerous additional language opportunities. Because we understand the importance of internationally recognized qualifications, we encourage especially talented students to obtain external language certification, which we currently offer in English (Cambridge), Spanish (DELE) and French (DELF).

Our primary school is truly bilingual through the use of 18 lessons of German/English team teaching a week. Our secondary school forms each use one main language of instruction (English in the International Secondary School and German in the Gymnasium bilingual +), with a strong emphasis on the counterpart language. Throughout all grades and school forms, German and English are the core academic languages, with individual language support offered to any student in need.

Furthermore, at Cologne International School we provide additional language lessons – from Spanish and French, to mother-tongue Italian, Turkish or Russian, to Latin – both as part of our extensive extracurricular programme as well as integrated into our academic curriculum. While mother-tongue lessons and a playful introduction to Spanish are available at the primary level, secondary school students have a wealth of opportunities to develop and advance their language skills. Upon graduation, we can be confident that our students will at the very least reach proficiency in both English and German, and in many cases will be fluent in an additional foreign language as well, with an internationally recognized language certificate to prove it. Further information about our language certification programme can be found here.