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An International School Since 1961

ISBerne was founded in Switzerland’s capital city in autumn 1961 and has been serving the International community for over 50 years…

The International School of Berne first officially appeared under the name of the English Speaking School of Berne in October 1961.

Harry George French, Russell Smith along with Don Logan were among the founding fathers who realized that their children could not continue their education in the local schools at that time, and therefore decided, with the help of Ambassador McKinley, to set up a small English-speaking school for their families.

Rented accommodation was found on three floors of a house in Thunstrasse 97, with donated school materials from various US military bases around Europe, and teachers from the US and UK.

A local Swiss teacher, Mrs Padel was appointed to be the first principal and along with 4 other members of staff, shared the teaching of some 40 students aged from 5 -14 years of age.

The students came from English-speaking diplomatic and business families residing in the Berne area.

By 1965 the enrolment had reached 52 and when even the kitchen was used as a classroom, it was evident that situation had to change.

Under the Chairman of the Board, Mr Malcolm Lawrence, and the Headmaster at that time, Mr John Curtis, land was found in Gümligen and the first buildings of a new campus were built.

In 2001, the Elementary school expanded into the Geelhaar building, located across the street from the original buildings.

Over the years ISBerne continued to grow alongside the growth of the Canton of Berne and in Spring of 2017, at 370 students, the school moved to a new state-of-the-art, purpose-built campus at Allmendingenweg 9, 3073 Gümligen not far from its old location… just two tram stops away!

ISBerne’s dedication to excellence in international education has resulted in its development as an International Baccalaureate World School.

After establishing the IB Diploma programme in 1995, the school set its goal to offer all three programmes and was authorised to offer the IB Primary Years Programme in January 2007 and the IB Middle Years Programme in April 2007.

The School continues to cater to a transitory expat clientele comprised of diplomatic and international professional families with an average residency in Switzerland of 3.5 years. This constant flow of families fosters a strong community at ISBerne.

ISBerne serves as a home away from home, for both students and parents during their residency in Switzerland and is the basis of many fond memories!

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