Canton school Zurich Oberland

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Canton school Zurich Oberland
Logo of the Zürcher Oberland Cantonal School
type of school Cantonal school (grammar school)
founding 1955

Buhlstrasse 36

place Wetzikon, Switzerland
Canton Zurich
Country Switzerland
Coordinates 702 636  /  241680 coordinates: 47 ° 19 '5 "  N , 8 ° 47' 46"  O ; CH1903:  seven hundred and two thousand six hundred and thirty-six  /  241680
student 1300
management Aleksandar Popov, rector

The canton school Zürcher Oberland in Wetzikon (short: KZO) is a public high school in the canton of Zurich . With around 1,300 students, the KZO is the third largest canton school in the canton of Zurich; Parts of the building are under monument protection.


The outside staircase of the Zurich Oberland Cantonal School

Efforts to build a canton school in the Zurich Oberland go back to 1871. At that time, the cantonal education director Johann Caspar Sieber (former secondary school teacher in Wetzikon and Uster) undertook the initiative to set up secondary schools “according to needs in localities conveniently located for larger parts of the country”. Despite the recommendation of the cantonal council, the people rejected the bill. In 1874 Uster tried unsuccessfully for a secondary school. The voters also rejected the amendment to the law submitted in 1912 with the aim of building a secondary school in the Zurich Oberland. The motion submitted by Wetziker Alfred Hirzel to the Cantonal Council soon resulted in a new bill. This motion was "checked" for a remarkable 15 years. On December 20, 1934, the Cantonal Council described “the likely frequency of such secondary schools in rural areas as insufficient”. In March 1943, the community school administration of the Hinwil district dared to take another step. The task of a committee that was set up was to “thoroughly examine the question of building a middle school in the Zurich Oberland in all directions”. After the organizational and financial issues had been worked out, the issue of location was addressed. Wetzikon emerged successfully from the competition, “as the most sensible location”.

On October 5, 1952, the Zurich electorate voted “YES” to the Zurich Oberland Cantonal School with a large majority. Three years later, on August 23, 1955, the groundbreaking for the new canton school took place, designed by architect Max Ziegler. In 1957 the school opened. A small special wing is part of the complex that was built in 1956 and was included in the list of public buildings worthy of protection by the cantonal monument preservation authorities. In 1987 and 1988 various buildings were added because the rooms were no longer sufficient for all students.

In 2012, the Zurich Oberland canton school received the School Prize of the Science Olympiad .

In May 2013, the Zürcher Oberland canton school was added to the network of UNESCO project schools. One reason for this is the German for Asylum Seekers project , in which students from the Zürcher Oberland Cantonal School give asylum seekers German lessons.


The following people were rector of the Zürcher Oberland Cantonal School:

  • Martin Altwegg 1957–1962
  • Hans Surbeck 1962–1981
  • Karl Weder 1981–1989
  • Rudolf Schwarzenbach 1989-2000
  • Dieter Schindler 2000–2009
  • Martin Zimmermann 2009–2018


Students from the 6th primary class, the 2nd or 3rd secondary level are accepted after an examination. The pupils of the 6th primary class must take an examination in mathematics and German and, together with the last transcript, achieve an examination result of 4.5. Secondary school students are required to take an exam in mathematics, German and French. The average of the examination results and the grades in the last certificate must be at least 4.00. Pupils after the 3rd secondary level have to repeat the school year.


The Zürcher Oberland Cantonal School is a long-term high school with a regular school duration of six years. The first two years of school form the lower grammar school. At the end of lower secondary school, students have to choose a major. The following profiles are offered at the Wetzikon Cantonal School:

As a regional center with no other high schools in the vicinity, the Zürcher Oberland Cantonal School thus offers an above-average variety of profiles.

Self-study semester

A special feature of the Zürcher Oberland Cantonal School is the self-study semester (SLS). In 2004 the government council of the canton of Zurich cut the budget for the canton schools again. The Zürcher Oberland Cantonal School introduced the self-study semester as a savings measure. In the fall semester of the fifth school year, the number of lessons in mathematics, German, English, French, the main subject and sport will be reduced to one weekly lesson. This means that the students only have lessons in the morning. In the afternoons, they should work through the school material themselves in self-study. The Zürcher Oberland Cantonal School was often criticized in the media for this project, but it also received a lot of praise. The project continues to this day - albeit with small changes (mathematics two weekly lessons, sports normal lessons).

Study week

So-called study weeks take place in the last week of school. During this time, classes are each dedicated to a specific topic. While you stay at the school in the first and third grades, the remaining study weeks take place externally. In the second grade there is a camp in Switzerland, in the fourth grade there is a camp in Switzerland or in a neighboring country. In the fifth grade, the students should do an internship in French-speaking Switzerland or in France during the self-study semester . In the sixth grade, there are Europe-wide camps for which the students can register.

Elective year

In addition to the self-study semester, the elective course system is another specialty of the KZO. Instead of having to take a high school diploma in all subjects, they choose their subjects for the final school year. A certain number of lessons is already set. In addition, the students can choose the following courses:

  • Project course with 2 weekly lessons (oral Matura examination): German, mathematics, French, English, Spanish, Italian
  • Elective course in natural sciences with 2 weekly lessons (Matura examination in even years in writing and in odd years verbally): biology, chemistry, physics
  • Elective course in humanities and social sciences with 2 weekly lessons (Matura examination in uneven years in writing and in even years orally): history, geography, economics and law
  • Supplementary subject of 2 weekly lessons (annual doctorate, no Matura exams): all of the above-mentioned subjects plus sports, computer science, philosophy, religion, music, artistic design

Home economics

Home economics is a three-week course that all 4th grade students from the canton must attend in their class community, either before the Christmas or sports holidays. During the week, the pupils are introduced to the most important aspects of housekeeping (washing, cooking, vacuuming, etc.) in accommodations throughout Switzerland.

At the moment, however, a shift in home economics from the 4th grade to the 2nd grade is planned due to the savings measures in the area of ​​education.


Graffito at the Zurich Oberland Cantonal School

The KZO campus is located on the eastern outskirts of Wetzikon. There is a nature reserve between the buildings. The Zurich Oberland Cantonal School consists of the following buildings:

  • Main wing: class, computer and IT rooms, media library, secretariat, student organization
  • Large special wing: classroom for natural sciences and artistic design
  • Small special wing: classroom for geography and music, singing hall
  • Auditorium: large assembly room
  • Gym and sports wing: five gyms, smaller sports rooms, strength and judo room
  • Cafeteria: canteen, math classroom, meeting room

In addition to the five gyms, there is a sports field with a racetrack, soccer and beach volleyball fields, an outdoor pool and an ice rink , which are also used by the KZO , in the immediate vicinity of the school .

In 1987 a graffito with the wording «just a kiss» was attached to the main wing . There are various rumors circulating about the originator and motivation, but to this day it is unknown who made the writing. The school newspaper of the KZO was christened , alluding to the graffito, Kuss (QS) . The graffito has never been removed to this day. In 2013 it was completely overgrown with ivy that you could no longer see it. The ivy was then cut back.

Well-known alumni


  • Dieter Schindler: 50 years of the KZO . In: Report on the 2004/2005 school year . Cantonal School Zürcher Oberland, Wetzikon 2006.

Web links

Commons : Kantonsschule Zürcher Oberland  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Homepage of the school
  2. [1]
  3. ^ Canton of Zurich from January 20, 2011: Complete renovation of the special wing at the Zurich Oberland Cantonal School in Wetzikon
  4. ^ Evelyne Lang Jakob: Max Ziegler. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland . February 15, 2013 , accessed April 8, 2014 .
  5. ↑ Complete renovation of the special wing at the Zurich Oberland Cantonal School in Wetzikon
  6. ^ The Zürcher Oberland Cantonal School - member of UNESCO-associated schools. Retrieved April 22, 2014 .
  7. Learn independently for one semester. Pilot project at the Zurich Oberland Cantonal School. In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung . August 12, 2004, accessed April 13, 2015 .
  8. Information document on the self-study semester (accessed on July 10, 2018)
  9. Patrizia Legnini: "Kiss" awakens from sleep. In: Zurich Oberland . September 19, 2012, accessed April 13, 2015 .
  10. The "kiss" survived. In: Zurich Oberland . January 9, 2013, accessed April 13, 2015 .