With the end of grade 4 at GISAD, students not only move up one grade level, but officially move from primary school to the lower secondary level. This change is associated with a number of innovations, which are reflected in the class composition, timetable, and grading.

Class Composition

A very important question for many parents is the composition of the new classes. For social and educational reasons, the composition of the classes should be largely retained, so that we can counteract frequent changes in established structures and quickly integrate new pupils.


With the change to secondary school, new subjects are added to the well-known subjects German, English, mathematics, art, Arabic, religion and sports. These include above all subjects such as history, geography and biology. Thus, the school day is increasingly extended, sometimes even into the 7th or 8th period. In grade 6, we introduce French as a second foreign language at GISAD.


Grade 5 is set up as an orientation level. Placements in the different types of school levels take place in several stages.

  • Grade 5: a recommendation is made at the end of the semester, and at the end of the school year, the teacher conference makes the classification. You will of course be informed of both results and can appeal against the latter decision.
  • In this case, at the end of the first half of the school year in grade 6, a new discussion will take place and a final decision will be made. In order to create the greatest possible permeability, the classification can be discussed again at the end of grade 8 upon request.

The basis for the classification is, for example, performance and performance development, technical and specialist knowledge, ability to concentrate, curiosity and seeking knowledge, interest in learning/positive questioning, memory performance, stamina.

  • Grades 6 – 10: Hauptschule and Realschule students are taught in a differentiated manner but together with students of the gymnasial level. The 2nd foreign language French is compulsory from grade 6 onwards (see below).

Evaluation Criteria

General information

In November and April there are parent-teacher conferences. On these days, parents can inform themselves about their children’s grades. At this time the class teacher has the performance level of all subjects ready. Class tests and performance assessments are announced one week before the date. The duration of class tests is 45 to 90 minutes. Performance assessments last a maximum of 45 minutes. Class tests and performance assessments must be signed by parents of grade 9.

Main subjects (German, mathematics, English, French and Arabic)

  • In each school year, 4 class tests are written in all main subjects and in Arabic, which account for about 50% of the report mark.
  • In the oral and other areas, cooperation, homework checks, stapling, presentations, creative performance, group work or short written tests also account for approx. 50% of the report mark.
  • The subject teacher has the pedagogical discretion to determine the overall grade of the report; as a rule, the oral participation section (or section Miscellaneous) should predominate.

Minor subjects (except sports, art, computer science)

  • In all minor subjects (except sports, art and computer science) 2 tests (one test per semester) are written per school year.
  • At least four other marks are given per school year (in addition to the two tests, e.g. oral checks, cooperation, homework checks, stapling, presentations, creative performance, group work, experimental performance).
  • Approximately one-third of the report mark is derived from the written mark and approximately two-thirds from the other marks awarded, and is the pedagogical responsibility of the subject teacher.

Foreign Languages

As a German school abroad, two foreign languages are compulsory at GISAD.

  1. Foreign language English
    • English is taught as the 1st foreign language for the entire intermediate level 3-4 hours.
  2. Foreign language French
    • French is offered at GISAD as a compulsory second foreign language from grade 6. In order to enable pupils without any previous knowledge of French to attend GISAD, the school therefore provides more French lessons.
    • These additional one-to-one lessons have been specially designed to bring the students up to class level as quickly as possible and are therefore subject to a fee. The skills achieved are regularly reviewed and our experience shows that this is the best way to ensure that students can soon participate in regular classes.
    • This additional one-to-one tuition is specially designed to bring the students up to class level as quickly as possible and is therefore subject to a fee. The skills achieved are reviewed regularly and our experience shows that this is the best way to ensure early participation in regular classes.
      • The best possible support for your child will be discussed with the French student council by the responsible teacher upon arrival. It may therefore be advisable to prepare for this already in your home country.
      • The costs are 700AED per month, or 3500AED per semester, if you have two support hours per week.  The dates can be arranged individually with the teacher and usually take place during school hours.
  3. Arabic
    • Arabic is a compulsory subject for native speakers in schools in the UAE. Non-native speakers are no longer required to take Arabic classes.
    • At GISAD, however, Arabic can be taken by non-native speakers from grade 6 on as a two-hour (voluntary) class in the afternoons, which is still certified on the certificate. As before, writing is also practiced in this working group, but the lessons are more focused on communication in everyday situations.


1 Orientation level at GISAD Download
2 Parent Info German Language Support Download

Exzellente Deutsche Auslandsschule