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Sebastian Wolff-Marting
May 28, 2021
In Specialty Food Stores
One of the best bakerys in town. They've got excellent bread like the "Kamut". Made from kamut wheat with a real nice crust. Hard to get anything similar in Brasilia. And they got homemade pastrami, maybe the best you'll get in town. But Germans like me will head there for a different reason: Vollkornbrot (whole-grain bread). It's here where you get it and it's here were it tastes like home. And they call it Vollkornbrot, but if you want to get it, try to pronounce this in Portugese.
Varanda Artisanal Breads - Home of the Vollkornbrot content media
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Sebastian Wolff-Marting
May 28, 2021
In Schools
If you're looking for a school that starts in the Northern Hemisphere summer (e.g. July, August), you can stop reading already. The school-year of the SIS starts in late January or early February like the public Brazilian school system. This however provides an option for children with their birthday in August to January to start school half a year earlier compared with other “international” schools. The school is located in the heart of the plano piloto, next to the main city park. If you bring your child by car (like everybody does) you can drive right up to the front door, where the concierge of the school will open the door, help the child out and in covid19 times make sure hands and schoolbag are disinfected. On the way back you will wait in a motorcade with other parents until your child is brought to the door and seated again in your car. The SIS always tried and tries to remain open during the pandemic but provides a full remote alternative for children who prefer to stay at home (“hybrid mode”). With the strict hygiene concept and given its small size the school has managed to provide considerably more in house classes than most other schools in Brasilia, including all the other international schools. The school uses Microsoft Teams both for remote learning and for the communication with parents or caretakers. The school also provides its own Android or IOS App for annunciations to the parents and other information. The school is a relatively new one, founded 2011, and rather small. There is just one class per grade with about 15 to 20 students. The school provides a kindergarten/preschool for children aged three to six, a primary school (grade 1 to 4), a secondary school (grade 5 to 8) and it plans to open a college, culminating in the national Brazilian college degree and the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB). The school is run by an international school company owned by a German schoolbook publisher with other schools in Switzerland (you guessed it, right?), Germany and Rio de Janeiro. There is some international exchange between all the SIS schools. The school has a demanding schedule. School starts at eight o'clock and goes until four o'clock in the afternoon, five days a week. There is playtime in the primary school and physical education, but the school has considerably more lessons compared with other schools. 50% of all lessons are held in English and 50% in Portuguese. Most classes are held by a native speaker of the respective language. For students in higher grades German and French are offered as additional languages. Most of the students are Portuguese native speakers from Brazilian upper middle class families. There are, however, some expat children, mostly German native speakers. The schools offers a special Portuguese lesson for foreigners, but clearly falls behind schools like the Escola das Nações on that matter. Given the digital agenda of the school it may come with little surprise that computer science classes are provided starting at first grade. The school is able to communicate with parents in English, but it can be a hassle to get the responsible persons on the phone. In urgent cases (e.g.: child sick) however I always got a call in English immediately. The school puts a lot of efforts in the two meals (lunch and “tea time”) it provides daily. A great variation of fresh food like vegetables and fruits is prepared and served every day. A school nutrition expert will monitor both the preparation of the food and the students during lunch time. Students are individually encouraged to eat healthy and parents informed if the eating habits of their child are of concern. Mineral water is supplied instead of tap water which might come as a relief for northern hemisphere stomachs. The annual fee in the primary school is about R$ 60.000,-, which is expensive, but considerably cheaper compared with other international schools. There are discounts granted for families with more than one child, for diplomats and maybe other reasons.
SIS Swiss International School Brasília (SIS Brasília) content media
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Sebastian Wolff-Marting

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