Transitioning to secondary school
Of course. The subjects and number of lesson hours at our secondary level I are equivalent to those of a Gymnasium in Baden-Württemberg and the highest level of the curriculum equates to that of a Gymnasium.
As an internationally oriented private school we also offer a unique combination of modern languages and sciences at the highest educational level, combined with practical activities in the Experimenta science centre.
As well as conveying course content and improving their pupils’ skills, our teaching staff pay particular attention to the personal development of the children and adolescents.
In addition, the content of the orientation level (years 5 and 6) is the same in every type of school, so it is possible to switch from one school type to another without difficulty after Year 6.
Our school includes teachers representing every school type, including Gymnasium teachers, who teach the main subjects from the very beginning. Along with a very high standard of professional qualification, we consider it vital that our teachers also have an enthusiasm for their subject, as high-quality teaching and learning arise out of a sense of fascination.
Any pupil who achieves a high school diploma that entitles them to take the university entrance qualification can make the transition. Beginning in Year 11, the curriculum is based one-to-one on the curriculum of the general education Gymnasium. In the course levels 1 and 2 (Years 12 and 13), the curriculum's focus is on modern languages and the MINT subjects (mathematics, information technology, natural sciences and technology).
Both real-life lesson experience and research prove the contrary. The learning level survey and performance measurement are key to ensuring children with varying abilities are not over- or under-burdened.
The composition of the groups varies according to subject and ability. The intended educational attainment comes increasingly into focus with the choice of a second foreign language and other subjects.
The Josef-Schwarz-Schule operates on the basis of the national educational standards defined by the Conference of Ministers of Education, which means that pupils can, in principle, switch to any other school in Baden-Württemberg or elsewhere in Germany at any time. Do take into consideration the sequence of foreign languages being taught in the destination school.
We are an all-day school and therefore prefer not to assign homework in the traditional sense. The pupils have weekly goals to reach and in some cases may have to do additional work to fulfil them. Naturally there will be preparatory exercises for proof-of-performance activities (class work or tests), such as revision or vocabulary learning, both in the school and at home.
Pupils in the planned Gymnasium senior class have the option of taking part in the international Advanced Placement Program, through which they can attain the program’s certification in addition to the standard German university entrance qualification. The program is designed to test the knowledge and skills of advanced pupils at a university level. This certification increases pupils’ chances of being accepted for numerous German and international universities. At the same time, pupils can begin collecting important credits for college/university, saving them time and money in their later studies. Comprehensive independent studies have also shown that taking part in the Advanced Placement Program (AP) leads to a significantly higher completion rate at universities.
The new curriculum for secondary level I represents a common, certification-oriented curriculum for secondary level I in Baden-Württemberg, one that replaces previous individual curricula for the different school types. This curriculum is composed of three levels: the foundational level (G) leads to the junior high school certificate and the intermediate level (M) to the secondary school certificate. The advanced level (E) is the Gymnasium level, which offers a nine-year educational path to the university entrance qualification. Further information, as well as the complete curriculum, can be found at www.bildungsplaene-bw.de
The Advanced Placement Program has been in place since 1955. It was established by the American non-profit organisation ‘College Board’.
In our senior class, we offer demanding preparatory courses at a college level and organise exams for Years 12 and 13.
Deciding which secondary my child will attend depends on various considerations:
- What impression do my child and I have of the school and its atmosphere?
- What role is played by the home environment, hobbies and friends?
- How important do I consider intensive contact with teachers to be?
- How important is it to me that the bilingual competencies attained in primary school are retained and intensified?
If you have any further questions on this or any other decision criteria, please speak to Ms David. (Antje.David@phorms.de)