There are four parallel classes in each of the Middle School years 5 to 9 with 28 pupils in each mixed class. All classes are taught bilingually and so have increased exposure to the English language. At the higher levels classes in Sport, Geography, European Studies and Biology are all taught bilingually which helps to develop a high level of foreign language competence.
In the Upper School the options include bilingual basic courses in History, Biology and Drama as well as an advanced English course with expanded content.
The systematic use of bilingual teaching, the broad range of foreign languages on offer (French, Latin and Spanish), the variety of international projects and simulations relating to European themes, and the international projects and partnerships which the school is involved in form the basis of the school’s recognition as a Europaschule.
In addition to the teaching and learning of foreign languages great importance is attached to ensuring that highly qualified staff provide a sound education in mathematics and the natural sciences. This means that from Year 8 the natural sciences can be reinforced within the range of compulsory optional subjects. The success of the approach is evidenced by the regular participation in competitions such as “Pupils experiment”, “Youth and Research” and the “Mathematical Olympiad”. The recently renovated natural science laboratories including the updated natural science collections provide excellent conditions for study and learning.
In Years 5 and 6 Social Learning is included in the timetable as an independent subject in which the foundations are laid not only for social coexistence and the ability to act independently and responsibly but also to enable the successful implementation of practice-orientated forms of learning. The introduction of double lesson periods provides the structural support for this approach. In Years 5 and 6 the subjects German, English and Mathematics each dedicate one hour a week to create a shared block of three lessons in which individualised learning can take place across the three subjects. In addition, older pupils organise remedial teaching within the framework of the “Pupils help pupils” programme with the aim of plugging gaps in individual pupils’ knowledge of a subject.
The modern computer rooms and the WiFi-linked classrooms enable the use of up-to-date media. All pupils receive a systematic introduction into the basics of Information Technology but Computer Studies can also be followed either within the range of compulsory optional subjects or in Year 10.
Pupils in Year 10, which is their introduction to the Upper School, continue to be taught in their class groupings. They are prepared for work within the course system of the Qualifying Phase in line with the school’s educational priorities and the official regulations.
In the Qualifying Phase of the Upper School there is a profile structured around Economics. This is in addition to the bilingual profile and the profiles based on more traditional subjects. From the start of the school year 2011/2012 the „International Baccalaureate Diploma“(IB) is being offered as a double qualification linked with the national school leaving certificate (Abitur). The IB is an internationally recognised and respected final qualification which only a very few state schools in Germany are able to offer.
From Year 7 afternoon teaching takes place on one day a week. This is because of the large number of lessons in the timetable. Since February 2011 all pupils have access to a tasty lunch provided in the attractive rooms of the cafeteria. This helps them to cope with the demands of a long school day.
Various musical and sport activities as well as the debating society and chess complete the school’s educational offer. As far as music, art and drama are concerned the high spot is the annual “Music Week” in Ahlhorn.