The Bertolt-Brecht-Comprehensive School and Sixth-Form-College is a school for over 1400 mixed-ability students aged 10-19 and has successfully prepared its students for the world of work or university since its foundation in 1998.
The school is situated in the northern part of the city of Bonn, Germany’s former capital, and students can easily find their way to school using public transport from any part of the city.
Mission statement: Equal opportunities for all students
The school is committed to creating a respectful, harmonious and fair learning environment where each and every member of the school community – parents, students and teachers – takes on responsibility for a successful learning experience.
It is one of the first and foremost principles of Bertolt-Brecht-Gesamtschule to offer the best opportunities to students with diverse abilities and needs. In order to encourage students to exceed their own expectations the school has developed a curriculum that comprises special lessons focussing on individual learning in small groups (years 5-6) and lessons dedicated to strengthen the students’ understanding in major subjects such as German, Mathematics, English or History (years 8-10). Since 2009 Bertolt-Brecht-Gesamtschule has welcomed children with special needs and provided educational support for them in a mixed-ability class. Teaching in these classes is provided by a special-needs-teacher supporting a teacher trained in academic skills. The special-needs-classes are smaller than the other classes so that the achievements of all learners can be raised.
At Bertolt-Brecht-Gesamtschule students can take all secondary exams, including the Abitur (university entrance exam). In 2010 about 100 students successfully passed the university entrance exam.
The School Day
The school day at Bertolt-Brecht-Gesamtschule is from 8 am to 1.30 pm on Mondays and Fridays and from 8 am to 4 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. A choice of healthy warm meals is provided during the lunchtime break. During the break several sports facilities (football and basketball pitches, an experience in nature playground), school yards, class rooms and games are available to students. A wide range of clubs is offered to students so that their school day does not only focus on academic learning but also on social skills. Homework is done under the supervision of the form teachers in lessons dedicated to individual learning.
Academic progress and a comprehensive education
It is our aim to offer more than dynamic learning. A comprehensive education focuses also on a good understanding among classmates and with teachers. In order to promote that every school day begins with 20 minutes in which the form teachers are in their classes and take care of all the bigger or smaller issues that may arise. This time is also used for the preparation of special events, which also means that the following lessons can focus on academic achievement.
In order to foster a harmonious learning environment, a feeling of belonging and also to have fun all the classes regularly have excursions with their two form teachers. Years 5, 7, 10 and 12 go on longer trips of 5-7 days.
In Germany the curriculum is more or less fixed by the school authorities. The school has a margin that it can fill on its own. Our focus is on the methodology of learning. Here we have created a new subject we call Open Learning where students learn and apply methods of successful learning, rhetorics and presentation skills. Other topics dealt with in that class are drug prevention and the preparation of the first work experience (1 week in year 8, 3 weeks in year 10).
In year 6 our students choose a first supplementary subject according to their ability or interest. They can choose between Spanish, French, Science or Performing Arts. They have to choose a further subject in year 8 focussing on skills in German, English, Mathematics or a foreign language.
We are proud to have a special music class in which 10 year old students learn an instrument for two years. At the age of 12 they have then the possibility of joining our school orchestra. In 2010 the concept of the music class was honoured an outstanding academy award.
Our school has a partnership with Deutsche Post DHL (German Post) that supports us with a variety of projects and funds some of our activities.
We have several international partnerships and exchanges which link us to Oxford (UK), Wolgograd (Russia), Budapest (Hungary) and Bolivia.