Questions & Answers
Our school is open to all children who speak at least one focus language. The focus languages include German, English, Russian and Romanian. Other Eastern European languages are added when there is sufficient demand.
We make sure that 60 % of our pupils actively speak at least one Eastern European language. The remaining 40 % of the places go to children with the active language German or English who would like to learn an Eastern European language.
For a better understanding of this teaching approach, we would like to give some examples from the classroom:
For example, a tutor develops a lesson plan that uses German as the medium of instruction and Romanian as the medium of discussion.
The pupils write a text in Russian, then translate it into German. These texts can be produced in different forms: written, oral, visual, musical, dramaturgical and multimodal.
This approach allows the child to use each language for different areas within the classroom.
The multilingualism of the tutors is an important resource. The tutors are multilingual role models who rely on their entire linguistic and non-linguistic repertoire and, in the best case, use different languages as their teaching languages. However, it is important to us that they have their teaching languages as their first language(s) or speak them like a native speaker.
Working in and with the arts is distinctive to our school and is part of the school culture. Arts will act as a catalyst in our learning of languages, mathematics, science, and social interaction. We work closely with arts and cultural professionals and have contacts with cultural institutions.
We work with the concept of Inquiry-Based Learning. Students learn by researching, exploring and experimenting, documenting and reflecting.
Students learn through cross-curricular projects, thus gaining multiple approaches to a topic and a better understanding of the context.
To develop lifelong learning skills, children are encouraged to work independently each day, planning their time and organizing their day, asking questions and finding solutions on their own.
Our classes are often moved outdoors, into the city, into the nature. We regularly work in places outside the school building, in the museum, in the research lab, at the market.
Through regular learning progress talks, we work together with the child to develop their personal educational plan. We discuss what the child can already do well, or where there is a need for consolidation and practice. Based on this, the children are encouraged to put questions, to take individual assignments and are supported with resources and open teaching formats. This includes individual assistance for children in their learning as well as the promotion of special interests and aptitudes.
In our school, all children learn in mixed-age groups, taking into account not only their age but also their individual goals. As a rule, pupils with an age difference of up to three years work in the same group. In this way, children learn to work together with learning partners of different ages and make new friends – just as it happens in society and in the family among siblings.
In our school we use alternatives to classical grading. These include:
- Self-assessment (pupils self-assess their progress)
- Portfolio work (pupils present their results at the end of the school year)
- Learning progress talks (regular individual discussions between pupil and tutor or coach)
- Feedback from classmates
- Competence assessment by tutors
In contrast to the usual grades, such a comprehensive assessment gives a complete picture of the pupils’ individual development.
To enable the parents to follow the child’s progress and understand all the details, we offer individual sessions with the family three times a year. There is also the opportunity for the parents to meet with tutors and coaches.
Our school opens daily for all pupils from 7:30 am. In order to give the children a pleasant start to school in the morning, we propose an “open start”. The children can arrive flexibly until 8:20 a.m., exchange information, have breakfast or work freely.
“Schule zumquadrat” is run as an open all-day school. Classes end at 1:30 pm. Afterwards, learning continues in the after-school care (Hort). We recommend that all parents encourage their children to participate in the all-day programme as regularly as possible, as the school and the all-day programme are closely coordinated and therefore enabling a better language learning.
The learning content follows the guidelines of the state of Berlin, therefore a change is possible at any time.
When transferring to another school, a certificate with grades will be issued.
After the primary school, we consider opening a secondary school to ensure a meaningful concept continuity for our pupils.
The parents’ contribution depends on the financial possibilities of the household and is income-based. This creates a social balance.
The state of Berlin only subsidises an approved alternative school after a waiting period of five years from the start of school operations. In concrete terms, this means that during this waiting period we have to secure our existence with the help of our own funds, loans and donations. Even after the waiting period, we have to close the gap between the funding from the state of Berlin and the actual costs we incur.
Maintaining the school open and ensuring a qualitative implementation of the school’s curriculum depends on the financial support of the parents.
The monthly school fees consist of the fixed school contribution fee of €100 and the income-based rate of approximately 4%. For families with a gross annual income (all household members combined) of less than € 30,000, the amount of the monthly school fee is limited to € 100.00.
The family’s gross annual income is calculated in the same way as for the application for the after-school care voucher (Hortgutschein). Generally speaking, the income calculation includes all positive income of all household members, including child allowance.
For families with more than one child at our school, we offer a sibling discount.
2nd child 25% discount
3rd child 50% discount
4th child and all further children 75 % reduction
Additional costs may arise for e.g. admission/administration fee, learning material fee, lunch fee, after-school care fee, class fund, school trips.
The after-school care (Hort) costs are calculated separately according to income. Parents must apply for an after-school care voucher from the relevant district office (Bezirksamt) in a timely manner.
For most parents, it is worth noting that 30% of the school fees are tax deductible.
As an independent school, we have limited financial resources at our disposal. That is why we want families to participate in shaping our school life and dedicate at least four hours per month to the school. They can do this, for example, by helping to organise our Family Fridays, working on school committees, preparing afternoon activities, accompanying projects, organising celebrations and excursions, working in the house or garden, supporting public relations work and much more. We welcome all the support and value all the interests and skills that parents and grandparents bring to the school community.
If you are interested in a school place for your child/children, it is important to fill in an expression of interest form and send it to us now. This expression of interest is non-binding, but helps us to accurately assess the need for school places and to plan the school’s funding and premises accordingly. You can register your child with us now if they are born between 1 October 2015 and 30 September 2016 and will start school in 2022. We are also happy to accept applications for children who are due to start school after 2022.
Please send the completed and signed form as a scan to our email address firstname.lastname@example.org.