Primary Curriculum and Routines

ELA Basel Primary School follows the English National Curriculum, which we have adapted to incorporate our international character and Swiss affiliation. The curriculum is primarily taught in English and is planned to ensure that it is engaging, challenging and inspiring, so that children develop into motivated lifelong learners. Our children represent a wide variety of nationalities, which gives us a truly international perspective; our curriculum is enhanced by their richness of expertise and experience. Children are encouraged to be confident, independent learners who both benefit from and contribute to their class, school and wider community.


Our class teachers plan and prepare the curriculum and are supported by teaching assistants. We offer a high adult to student ratio which enables us to offer personalised teaching, encouragement and support in an optimum environment. The following subject areas are covered in the curriculum:


English, Mathematics, Science, German, French, Geography, History, Music, Computing, Personal Social Health Education, Religious Studies, Design and Technology, Art and Design, Physical Education (including weekly swimming lessons).


Primary School Schedule for Morning Arrival

All children may arrive between 7:30am and 8:30am

Primary School Schedule for Collection

Primary School Core Hours

Children may be collected at 3:30pm Monday to Thursday and 2:00pm on Friday

After School Programme

Children may be collected between 5:00pm and 6:00pm Monday to Friday

Children in both Lower Primary and Upper Primary may be dropped off at school from 7:30am, where they can spend time socialising with their friends until the day starts at 8:30am. They are encouraged to enter the school independently, where they are welcomed by a staff member.


Each class follows a timetable whereby the children move between classes to receive their dedicated tuition, for example, German, French and Music with specialist teachers. Break is supervised by adults and spent either in the park, in the outdoor area at school, playing games or doing Zumba indoors. During the half-hour morning break children are provided with bread and fruit. Lunch times are staggered, with slots between 12:00pm and 2:00pm, when children enjoy meals which are prepared daily by our on-site chef.


ELA Basel cultivates the values of respect, integrity, compassion and intellectual independence. There is a strong emphasis placed on high expectations of behaviour, good manners and contributing in a positive way to the community, together with respect for diversity and tolerance of others. This philosophy permeates our school day; for example, at lunch time, children sit and eat in small groups, enjoying socialising and discussing the events of the day in a calm and respectful manner.


In order to increase exposure to German for those considering going on to a secondary school where German is the dominant language, we offer German language lunches (children use German as the language of communication in a social setting) as part of our weekly programme, and a proportion of our Music programme is taught in German. In our older year groups, academic learning in German is increased: Art is taught in German and children can opt for a proportion of their Mathematics curriculum to be taught in German. The Mathematics option for children transitioning to German speaking secondary schools is of significance, as this allows for consolidation of concepts and strategies using subject specific mathematical terminology in German. Children who do not wish to opt for this continue with their Mathematics curriculum in English.


ELA Basel Primary School includes its children in decision-making processes. They are encouraged to express themselves articulately in order to contribute positively to the development of the community via consensus building and healthy debate. Each semester, children are selected to represent their class on the School Council. This is a group from Primary 3 to Primary 8 who liaise with their fellow classmates to generate ideas that will improve the experience of all children at school. Their suggestions are considered in consultation with the Head of Primary and the Executive Director. The School Council has influenced the lunch menu, orchestrated a very successful ‘No Pens / Forest Day’ and suggested valuable resources for all age ranges.


We have weekly assemblies, where classes are invited to share their learning in front of an audience in a confident and engaging manner. The children of ELA Basel understand that they are role models, both in and out of school, and this consistent encouragement to be the best version of themselves that they can be, makes for a truly unique and welcoming environment. ELA Basel is a place where children feel valued, safe and secure.