Lively and active school life despite Corona!
7. November 2020 • The last weeks and months were not always easy! Despite all adversities, circumstances and a lot of organizational effort, we continue to enjoy teaching, learning and actively shaping our school life, even in these difficult times.
In the following you will find information about our concepts, processes, organizations and various events since the beginning of the school year:
Teaching and Learning
We have developed teaching concepts for the following four different scenarios in order to be prepared for every possible level of the Corona Tier Plan of the Berlin Senate and beyond:
- 1. Face-to-face classes and Ganztag programs for all students with a hygiene concept and cohort regulation for all situations in school life, according to the specifications of the Berlin Senate
- 2. Individual pupils or school classes are in quarantine
- 3. Face-to-face lessons for all pupils with distancing rules. We divide the classes into two groups – “Apples” and “Bananas”. With this measure, we allow for face-to-face and distance learning in weekly rotation, with preparation for the week at home and supervision at school
- 4.Tthe whole school is in quarantine and takes part in distance learning.
What happens in distance learning (point 2 and point 4)?
We work with Microsoft Teams in all school classes. All students have their own Microsoft account and e-mail address. Each school class is organized as a team with different folders for the different school subjects, a fixed distance learning timetable with different components:
- Regular calls from the class leadership team throughout the week to maintain contact and know about the personal well-being of each child
- instruction and input of teaching content by recording and transmission of video recordings
- virtual, online personal consultations for questions or concerns of the students and to discuss their learning progress
- Fixed weekly schedule based on the normal timetable.
All students who do not have access to their own electronic devices can borrow a Microsoft tablet from the school for the duration of the distance learning.
Detailed information about the organization of our school life in the different levels can be found here.
How do individual students who belong to a risk group or live together with people from a risk group learn?
Students participate in classes online via MS Teams, are supported in learning at home, receive individual support from our colleagues, and take tests at school in accordance with the highest safety measures.
Do we offer emergency care?
In the past school year, we organized reliable emergency care for all students whose parents work in systemically important professions. Even during the gradual opening of our school, we were still able to provide emergency care.
Future concepts for emergency care will be designed according to the guidelines of the Berlin Senate and the current situation of the infection rates.
We are currently able to continue our all-day program while maintaining hygiene measures, a staggered room concept and cohort regulation.
Each week, we conduct more than 40 afternoon study groups, taking into account all guidelines of the Berlin Senate. These include, in part, limitations on the number of participants, spatial separation, special arrangements according to age groups, and restrictions in the areas of sports and music.
Two popular external workshops, the Swimming and Climbing workshops will not take place this school year, but we have many exciting newcomers on offer, e.g. Robotics, Creative Writing, Oware Club, Platanus Podcast and Move your Body. Brand-new are the AGs “Bunte Programme”, in which our first-graders are introduced to the image-oriented programming language with the help of the programme Scratch and the “Positive Psychology Tools Club” for our older students.
We are also proud of our last fall vacation program, which we were able to conduct despite all the Corona requirements. During the first week we dealt with all areas of photography in detail. Technology, processes, workshops, darkrooms, editing and photo art were our topics. In the second week, we dealt intensively with Halloween – disgusting, sticky and creepy experiments that were instructive and a lot of fun. Here, too, we worked according to the necessary rules and measures of the current situation.
First Day of School Ceremony on 15.8.2020
For the first time since the foundation of our school, we held the enrollment ceremonies of the two new first classes separately and one after the other. Taking into account all the rules of hygiene and distance, we held beautiful celebrations with the children, their parents and siblings. Compulsory masks, reservation of seats in advance, instructions on how to get to the seats, an adapted program, even a champagne reception and finger food buffet with appropriate hygiene measures have also made these school enrollment celebrations a beautiful and unforgettable experience for our “Firsties” and their families.
Implementation of school trips, the first parents’ evenings and the all-parents’-representation
Many school classes made their class trips right after the summer vacations, as this was allowed again and the incidence of infection was low, in order to compensate promptly for the cancelled trips of the last school year, which is a highlight for every year group.
We also held our first parents’ evenings and the first Parents’ Representatives meeting in compliance with all hygiene and distancing rules. Personal exchange and planning for the coming school year after the disruption last school year was greatly desired within our entire school community.
Open House Day on 24.9.2020
We have thought long and hard about whether and how we can safely conduct this day and offer interested parents the opportunity to get to know our school. We have completely reorganized the event. A personal meeting or participation in one of the two information events in the evening could be booked as an appointment in advance via our website. In addition, the interested parties had the opportunity to participate via livestream, at least virtually, in different subjects of different class levels, while our heads of school answered questions and explained our concept and educational measures.
Sports Festival on 6.10.2020
The children love it and so do we, so we didn’t want to miss out on this celebration under any circumstances. We organized an elaborate plan for the day in compliance with all rules of distancing and hygiene regulations. We thought through and planned the following measures beforehand: staggered arrival and departure times, adherence to the obligation to wear masks where necessary, performance of contactless sports, division of the school classes into cohorts and different stations in the Kissingen Stadium, exact schedules for the different disciplines and stations, division of all colleagues according to cohorts, constant disinfection of the sports equipment, regular hand washing and safe catering for the students. The joy and fun of “our” children was worth all the effort!
Interclass parents’ evening on the topic of “Age-appropriate media use”
Private media use plays an essential role in the everyday life of children and young people and possessing an own smartphone or PC is the number one choice for many children. Many parents ask themselves questions about the correct handling of the new media and in the last school year we already held an interesting and very informative parents’ evening on this subject. Ms. Anja Löffler, graduate museologist and freelance media educator, gave another lecture on this subject, observing all rules of distancing and hygiene. The focal points on the agenda were age-appropriate media usage times, age-appropriate media usage behavior and the consequences of intensive media use. This information evening was aimed at all parents of our community school, from Years 1 to 10 and will probably take place again next school year.
Parents’ Consultation Days
Our parent-teacher conferences will be held virtually via MS teams to enable all parents to have an significant exchange with our pedagogues about the learning progress and social behavior of the children.
Last but not least
We are all learning a lot right now and are always facing new challenges! However, our most important realization after the last weeks and months is that a positive and open-minded basic attitude helps enormously during this time. We remain open for new experiences and are ready to seek and find innovative solutions. We see this crisis as an opportunity, we put the tried and tested to the test, we are grateful for constructive criticism and will continue to implement many new ideas and concepts in the future.
Nevertheless, we are of course looking forward to a post-corona period in order to be able to devote ourselves again without too much effort to our goal: to offer all students an excellent education and to enable them to have a good time at school.