Celebrating 10 years of Berlin Bilingual School on Thursday, 28 September
More than 10 years ago, a small group of young enterprising parents embarked on the adventure to found a school for their children, because they wanted them to learn in both German and English, the languages they were speaking at home.
At that time, there was no bilingual school in the East part of Berlin, and so these parents formed an association and in 2007 joined with Pfefferwerk Stadtkultur gGmbH to establish a bilingual primary school. They located a former East German school building, which had been abandoned for five years and went to work on a courtyard knee-deep in weeds, walls covered in graffiti and floors strewn with trash. Parents painted and scraped, scrubbed and discarded, and furnished the building, one floor at a time. That autumn, the first 16 children entered the Berlin Kids International School.
Five years later, the children had outgrown not only the Primary School, but also their school name. In anticipation of the opening of its Secondary School in August 2012, the school changed its name to Berlin Bilingual School.
The original primary school of 16 students in grades 1-3 back in 2007 is today well established, and we are further developing our secondary school. In total the school has grown to about 370 students in grades 1-12, employs 70 staff and comprises more than 30 nationalities.
This year, we formed the joint Berlin Bilingual School Pfefferwerk gGmbH, which brings together the strengths of the Pfefferwerk Stadtkultur gGmbH and the parent association (BKIeV) under one roof as its two main partners.
Over the next few years more exciting things are going to happen: In September 2018, the primary school will move back to its freshly renovated home building in Weinstraße/Friedrichshain, which will offer much improved facilities for our students in years 1 – 6. Also next year, our first students will be able to take the German Abitur.
This week, we are celebrating our special 10 year anniversary together with our annual community day. To mark this special occasion, we have invited the original founders of the school, as well as political partners of the district and city administrations to celebrate with us.
Dr. Inga Burgmann-Zamagni
Berlin Bilingual School Pfefferwerk gGmbH