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Educational Concept


At Berlin Bilingual Secondary School, we value students as individuals and integral members of a community. They are taught to be active and reflective learners, focusing not only on what to learn, but also how to learn. 

Our teachers also love learning. They encourage and help students to make continual progress rather than focus only on what it takes to be ‘successful’. Of course, we measure progress by standards, but our students take pride in their personal development no matter what their level of achievement. While standards are set high for all students, we fully respect and embrace individual needs. 

Learning is at the heart of our school, be it in the classroom, the science laboratory or the music room, at the printing press, on the school yard or in the cafeteria. We aim for learning to be life-long and to create an environment that prepares students for an ever-changing world.

Workshops

Supplementing our academic curriculum, the Afternoon Programme offers students exciting opportunities to learn from a broad range of skills-based projects and student-led activities. They choose up to four workshops a week with the programme running on a two-semester basis. This lets students develop and refine skills over time within their chosen field. The activities are based in three different areas: cultural, athletic and investigative. The workshops currently on offer are as follows:

Life drawing
Drama
Band
Comic and animation
Sport (on rotation)
Drawing
School newspaper
Podcasting
Homework
Sculpture
Art blogging
Library management
Graffiti

Duales Lernen

At BBS, we understand that practical and contextual opportunities enrich learning. Integrated into the curriculum as a workshop, the Duales Lernen programme lets students put their own knowledge and skills into practice within the professional workplace.

The programme starts with students exploring different roles in the workplace of our Primary school. Through a combination of hands-on experience and the preparation of a reflective portfolio, students experience school from the perspective of the people who work there: from those working in the classroom to those in the kitchen and garden. 

The parent-led ‘Library Workshop’ also promotes work-based learning. Students are trained and guided in the self-organisation of the school library. During this workshop, students focus not only on the Secondary School library, but also assist in the running of the Primary School library.  

In the second half of the programme, students are assisted in researching diverse working opportunities in the local community, applying to organisations for a monthly or bi-monthly placement. 

Further opportunities for experience in the professional workplace:

  • From 2015, all students will be expected to participate in a ‘work experience’ day where they are supported individually in choosing and organising placements
  • Students in Grade 9 will additionally take part in a two-week Betriebspraktikum in June 2016

The Student Council

The purpose of the Student Council is to act as a representative body and platform for students’ ideas and opinions to be heard and discussed.

The Student Council is formed through a democratic process of election. Willing students put themselves forward for an election to represent members of their year group. The election takes place at the beginning of each school year, with students voting for the two representatives who they think will best voice their views, opinions and concerns. The Council meets for 30 minutes once a week during morning break. Once a month, there is the opportunity for a longer meeting of up to one hour.

Supporting learning: House system

Berlin Bilingual Secondary School utilises a house system to support all students in their continuing personal and social development.

The system enables students to participate in a range of mixed-age activities, as well as providing an appointed time to discuss any issues with house tutors.
Two designated members of staff – overseen by the Student Wellbeing Coordinator – coordinate the weekly activities. The team regularly reviews these activities and topics to ensure their relevance for students’ growth and personal development. 

Pastoral care

Berlin Bilingual Secondary School views pastoral care as essential for a safe, happy and productive school. We define pastoral care as the holistic approach to meet the personal, social, emotional and intellectual needs of every student. This ensures that each student can participate fully and get the most out of what school has to offer. 

The role of pastoral care is guided by the following objectives:

  • Promoting and safeguarding the health, welfare and safety of students 
  • Working in partnership with parents, teachers and other professionals 
  • Providing advice and guidance to students on issues related to accessing education 
  • Contributing towards good order and the wider needs of the school 

Personal Development

The role of a secondary school is not just to provide opportunities for academic learning. At Berlin Bilingual Secondary School, we focus on the holistic development of our students so that they are well prepared for adult life. Many aspects of daily life cannot be 'taught' in specific subjects because they form the basis of who we are and how we relate to others. For this reason, students spend one lesson a week following a Personal Development course which covers social and emotional aspects, as well as topics relating to the transition to adulthood and the road that lies ahead.