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School Programme - abridged version

Life and learning at the 'Integrated Comprehensive School Bonn-Beuel' is about putting the most varied types of people together, promoting their individual abilities and challenging their performance. Through tolerance, responsible contact with each other, social involvement and fun in the learning process, independent personalities, who can work well as part of a team, are to be developed.

Three days a week (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday) there is a full school day; 1350 pupils work and learn together with 125 teachers, a school psychologist, 2 social workers and further co workers in administration and in the canteen. Every year around three times as many parents register their children as there are school places available; approximately 50 percent of all parents in the Bonn-Beuel region alone would like their children to attend the school.

According to individual learning performance, pupils follow various courses, in mathematics (from year 7), English (from year7), German (from year 9) and chemistry or physics (from year 9). 'Options' from year 7 and 9 enable a main focus to be formed in the subject areas of foreign languages (French, Latin, Spanish and Russian), sciences, technology or art. The remaining subjects are mainly taught in form groups. As few teachers as possible are used to teach a class up until year 10 ('Sekundarstufe I'), thus close-knit tutorial groups and clear structures develop within the different 'houses of learning'. An extensive and support programme secures the shaping of an individual school career, which can be completed with 'Hauptschulabschluss' (secondary school leaving certificate), 'Fachoberschulreife', 'Fachhochschulreife' or 'Abitur' (similar to A' levels).

The specific educational aims are complemented by constant inter-disciplinary lesson plans, thematically arranged projects and school trips. Pupils learn how to implement their own learning and work patterns and are made familiar with methods of independent learning. The aim is the acquisition of a comprehensive set of skills for life long learning; these include team working skills, the ability to obtain and process information, communication skills, exam preparation techniques, time management skills and presentation techniques. The staff are considered to be very committed and regularly further their own education. Numerous members of staff give talks at specialist conferences and symposiums, publish articles in specialist journals, as well as the outcome of tested teaching methods on the internet, and lead national education events. The work of parents and those with parental authority is of fundamental importance to the impact of the school. With their life experience and professional competence, parents contribute to what is actually taught at the school and through straight-forward communication they have a positive influence on the school's atmosphere. Many parents get involved with the organisation and form of lesson-free time ('Unterrichtsfreie Zeit'), in the afternoons, thereby lightening the load of the educational personnel.

In keeping with the concept of active participation in institutional committees, students are initiated with the organisation of the school in a special way and participate independently in decision making processes. The school council meets once a month with the head of school, so to guarantee a continual exchange of ideas and also places an annual member in the 'Personalauswahlkommission' - the committee which employs new teachers.

The high level of commitment from the caretakers, technicians and three administrators in the school office contribute to the smooth running of the school and ensures that school plans, with regard to teaching, projects or special events, are fulfilled.

The school has many pilot schemes and projects, which are supported by a number of partners outside the school. The state ministry, the European Union, foundations, firms, and companies (e.g. Apple, Degussa AG, Deutscher Herold, GKN Sinter Metals, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, and others) all support the school. As a pilot school in the Bund-Lšnder-Kommission for the 'Development of Mathematical and Scientific Teaching', Gesamtschule Bonn-Beuel co ordinates the work of the network of schools in the Cologne region. It is a leading school in the field of health education (as part of the support programme from the Robert Bosch Foundation), it is a member of the network of the 'Innovative Schools' group and also one of the 12 German media schools in the Bertelsmann Foundation project.

Since it was set up in 1978 the school has conformed to the idea of making the school's results public at the end of each year. The school has had long term experience with the methods of attaining quality development and quality control, these methods are known today under different headings. The school strives to make its communication structures as clear as possible to enable everyone to participate together in the learning and education process and to foster the development of a 'corporate identity'.

The attractive school building is often used for teacher training events as well as general days and conferences because of its easy access and parking facilities. It was also entered into the building plan of Bonn city as 'The School in the Science Park'.

The school responds to the current challenges on a modern school by developing and updating the school programme, in which varying elements are joined together under the chief concept of integration.


Teaching handicapped and non-handicapped pupils together

With regards to the potential for experience, the pilot scheme for the integration of handicapped and non-handicapped children, which has now been running for more than 15 years, is leading nationwide. Altogether, 60 pupils to date, of a variety of disabilities have been encouraged and supported in the 'shared teaching' programme in the 'Sekundarstufe I' and in the 'gymnasiale Oberstufe', alongside able bodied children, towards similar and different goals. Shared teaching creates favourable conditions for positive social-emotional development of all pupils and promotes a considerate atmosphere throughout the school.


Social learning

Beginning with the project 'Social learning' in the fifth year, the school places particular emphasis on this area in further school years. Up until the seventh year mini groups can be taught in FUA - a course that encourages and develops a pupil's social behaviour so that they work better in a larger, classroom environment. Further important elements of social learning are designed as lesson components, as well as special projects which furthers the pupil's development. In addition, the school maintains a democratic culture in the classroom and within year groups and also in the school council.


General and vocational training

The link between general and vocational training is pursued in the school through practical learning in various fields (technology, inter-disciplinary projects), business studies (in year 8), work experience in years 9 and 12, and also in learning how to make job applications with the use of a special computer programme.


Young people in Europe - learning for one united world

As a result of school partnerships in Budapest (Hun), Combs-la-Ville (F), Guadeloupe (F), Oxford (GB) and Warsaw (PL), pupils in the school get to know other young people from all over Europe. Included in this scheme are regular school exchanges, joint work in the framework of EU projects and work experience abroad. A partnership with a school in Contorno (Petropolis, Brazil) adds to this form of education.


Media education

In Dublin, 1997, the school was awarded 3rd prize for Germany when it took part in a European Multimedia Competition as one of 12 'Media Schools' in the Bertelsmann Foundation project. A portion of the school's 150 linked computers are installed in four main computer rooms and in addition, there is at least one computer with access to the internet in each classroom. In one particular project the school is trying out the use of laptops as a teaching aid in the 'gymnasiale Oberstufe'.


Health and Environmental education

A number of projects and teaching plans stem from the subject 'Health Education' taught in the fifth year. Main focuses in later years are drug awareness, fitness orientated sports lessons, first aid training for all pupils and road safety training. As part of its work as a GLOBE-school, study of the environment and how to protect it is included in the school's curriculum. A further focus can be drawn from the ecological nature of the school - with a school garden and an increasing number of biotopes.


Culture work

School life shows numerous award winning examples of successful work in this area. Including, for example, theatrical and musical projects from year 5 on, the optional subject 'form and representation' in years 9 and 10 and literature courses in years 12 and 13. In art, which is taught in the 'gymnasiale Oberstufe' and also in the form of A' levels ('Leistungskurse'), particular emphasis is laid on practical work. The school's main orchestra and choir contribute in a special way to the school's and district's cultural life with a large amount of yearly appearances.

last updated: 2001-12-27
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