What was your nickname during elementary school

My classroom

There are many different types of schools in Germany. Pupils from a primary school, a comprehensive school, a special school, a grammar school and a vocational school show their classroom.

Community elementary school in Balthasarstrasse in Cologne

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In the classroom of class 3/4 E, the third and fourth grades are taught together. The students like the bright colors in their room very much. A few students would like the walls to be painted green. The children sit opposite each other at group tables, so the class has a nice sense of community. They especially like the loft bed and the computer. If a student is not doing so well, he or she can rest a bit on the loft bed and continue with the lesson. Fortunately, the ceilings are around three meters high. A loft bed fits well into the room.

Classroom with loft bed and computer

© Ananda Grade

The computer is on a table under the loft bed. It is well stowed away and the children can take turns working with it or playing educational games. But there is also something special in the classroom: every class at the elementary school on Balthasarstrasse has a nickname. Class 3/4 E is called the "kangaroo class". That's why there are kangaroos hidden everywhere in her classroom. A papier-mâché kangaroo stands on a shelf, and stuffed kangaroo animals lie on the loft bed. The pupils are particularly fond of the big kangaroo with the baby in the pouch.

Willy Brandt Comprehensive School Cologne

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The sixth grade at the Willy Brandt Comprehensive School is currently studying for an English test. There are many pictures and posters hanging in her classroom: a weather calendar, a birthday calendar and a photo of Pearl, the school dog. Pearl is a specially trained dog who does social training with the children. When he visits the class, the children are allowed to stroke him. But only if they are quiet and careful. In addition to the colorful decoration, the students like their school books. “You understand everything very quickly with them,” says one student.

The sixth grade mascot

© Ananda Grade

The class also has a mascot that sits on the teacher's desk. They call it Bubble Pearl, a so-called “worry eater”: the mouth of the stuffed animal can be opened with a zipper. The children write their worries on a piece of paper and put them on it. For example, when two children have quarreled and don't know how to get along again. The teacher reads the slips of paper at the beginning of the lesson, gives advice to the children and clears up the arguments.

Sebastianus School Kaarst

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Pupils with intellectual disabilities go to the Sebastianus School. In middle school, the children are ten to twelve years old. In their classroom, each child has their own seat at the table. The name of the student is written on each space. The class is particularly proud of that. They also like the wooden puzzles and picture books that are on the shelves. A traffic light is shown on the pin board in front of the board. If all the students behave well, their name tags will be on the green field. There is also a tub of sand in the class. The pupils use them to draw pictures in the fine sand. They enjoy it and help them learn.

Intermediate level workbooks

© Ananda Grade

Each child solves different tasks in class. Depending on which intellectual disability a child has, certain tasks are important so that they can learn something and develop further. There are special work folders in the classroom of the Sebastianus School: The pictures and letters are attached to the folder with a Velcro fastener. You can take them out and assign them on the next page. The children also play educational games on a tablet. Some of them work independently, others have supervisors who accompany them in school and during lessons. If they have completed their task by the end of the lesson, the students are very proud.

Gymnasium Kreuzgasse Cologne

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The Kreuzgasse grammar school is a bilingual school. Here the pupils can do the German Abitur together with the “Baccalauréat”, the French Abitur. Since 2008 the grammar school has also been a "European school". These are schools that pay special attention to ensuring that students feel part of Europe. Since the grammar school has a PASCH partner school in Beijing, pupils from China attended the class. “The students from China looked very modern. Many were walking around with an iPad, ”says one student. The visit to China is still ahead of the high school students. The class is happy that their classroom is being featured. She wants to draw attention to the condition of her room: The classroom urgently needs to be renovated. The school lacks the money for this.

Richard Riemerschmid Vocational College in Cologne

© Ananda Grade

This is a classroom at a vocational college for design. The schoolchildren can do their technical diploma here and learn everything they need for their profession. From drawing to bookbinding. The upper school is taught in this classroom. When they graduate from school, they are “design assistants with a focus on graphics and object design”. The students like the large tables in the room. This is very useful when you are drawing with large pads or working on something.

German lesson

© Ananda Grade

But in this school lesson the students do not learn to draw. It is true that there are various things in the glass cabinet behind them that they can sketch in the drawing lesson. But now the students have German lessons. Together they read a book by the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “The Sorrows of Young Werther”. So that they understand who the author is, they also watch a film about Goethe. The film is projected onto the wall with a projector.

Archbishop's Vocational College Cologne

© Ananda Grade

This class of the vocational college is training to become an educator and graduating from high school. In this vocational school, each class can paint and design their own room. The students are satisfied with their classroom. In art class, they decorated various colorful picture frames. In each frame there is a photo and underneath is the student's date of birth. The vocational college has a PASCH partner school in Istanbul. The students have already attended the school of their exchange students. “The classrooms were smaller, although the school is larger and equipped with modern equipment,” say the students.

Interactive whiteboard

© Ananda Grade

Both the students at the partner school in Istanbul and the students at the Cologne vocational college work with an interactive whiteboard. “It's like a giant tablet,” say the students. They find that an interactive whiteboard is a lot better to work with than a chalk board. Soon the school will move to another building that is currently under construction. The students are already looking forward to the new building. “We take the interactive whiteboard with us,” they say.

primary school
The school that all children from grades 1 to 4, sometimes up to grade 6, have to attend.
special school
A school attended by children who learn more slowly because they are not as developed physically or mentally as other children. At the special school, children and young people learn from grades 1 to 9 or 12. The classes are small. The teachers have special training and adapt the lessons to the problems of the children.
secondary schools
One of the schools that children can attend after elementary school, usually from grades 5 to 9 or 10. The lessons are simple and practical and are intended to prepare the students for the job. It is completed with the secondary school leaving certificate. This is already possible after grade 9. Then the young people can do an apprenticeship.
secondary school
One of the schools that children can attend after elementary school, usually from grades 5 to 10. The secondary school is completed with the secondary school leaving certificate. Then the young people can do an apprenticeship, attend a technical college or go to high school.
comprehensive school
One of the schools that children can attend after elementary school. From grades 5 to 10, children and young people learn together in one school. This means that they are not separated according to Hauptschule or Realschule, but still graduate from Hauptschule or Realschule. In some comprehensive schools, young people can also take the Abitur.
high school
One of the schools that children can attend after elementary school, usually from grades 5 to 12 or 13. The grammar school is completed with the Abitur. This is the highest school leaving certificate in Germany. The young people can then go to university.
professional school
A school that young people attend after secondary school, secondary school, comprehensive school or grammar school if they want to work in a job for which they have to do vocational training. The training takes place at two locations: in the training company, i.e. the young people work, for example, in a company, and in the vocational school. This is why one speaks of “dual training”. At some vocational schools, young people only have lessons in school (for example at vocational colleges and vocational schools).

Author: Ananda Grade