Quick summary of key school information
|Language of instruction||English and German|
|Native English and German teachers|
|Extra languages (other than English and German)|
|Class sizes||Average||20 students / class|
|Maximum||24 students / class|
All the details about this school in their own words
|Number of students||
About 70 students were enrolled in our school last year.
|Number of nationalities represented in the school||
Approximately 30 family languages are named by the parents (Classes 1 and 2) or by the students (Classes 3-10), including Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Danish, Finnish, French, Greek, Gujrathi, Hindi, Indonesian, Icelandic, Kazakh, Lithuanian, Mongolian, Dutch, Persian, Turkish, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Serbian, Spanish, Thai, Czech, Turkish, Twi, Ukrainian and Vietnamese, whereby English forms the most frequently represented family language.
|Most common nationality||
Most students speak German as their mother tongue. 36% of English native speakers come from a bilingual (German/English) or even multilingual background (German, English and one or more other languages). Our bilingual teaching staff are prepared for this heterogeneous composition of classes.
|Max. number of students per class||
Our classes are capped at a maximum of 24 students. In terms of class arrangements, we pay attention to achive a balances composition of German-speaking, English-speaking and bilingual students.
|Average number of students per class||
In our primary school (Grades 1 to 6) the average number of students is 23 students. In our secondary school (grades 7 to 10) the average number of students is 15 students approximately.
|Does the school employ teaching assistants?||
Almost all subjects are taught with a teaching assistant.
|Native English and German speaking teachers||
All of our teachers are native speaker or speak English at mother-tongue level.
|Language support for students not fluent in English and German||
Immersion means that the new language is learned naturally and is therefore not forced. English and German lessons always take place in team teaching with two teachers and subject lessons are also often taught in team teaching. In the course of the entire school day – also during the co-curricular enrichment program and afternoon activities – the transfer students have many opportunities to hear and speak German or English. If there is a special need for support, they can either take part in our individual support in “German as a Second Language” (DaZ) or “English as an Additional Language” (EAL).
|Additional language classes offered by the school||
From grade 2 onwards, our children have the opportunity to learn Spanish in an age-appropriate club in the afternoon. In classes 5 and 6 we offer Spanish as an elective subject.
|Use of technology in the classroom||
Our students learn how to use the computer in a natural way in the computer labs, the classrooms, in the library for targeted research and in the units for media competency where they learn further important foundations and skills for using both new and old media. As a prerequisite to this, our school has specialist rooms well-equipped with technology. The internet, the school network and Wi-Fi is available in each room, a projector and a PC in every classroom, a laptop for each employee, two computer labs, a library and a reliable technical support team represent the provision of information technology in the school building.
|Do teachers assign homework to their students?||
In our organisation and design of homework, we underline our focus on individual learning while taking our role as a full-day school into consideration at the same time. Our goal is to help the students organise their own learning process, as well as provide them with a variety of opportunities to deal with educational content. The type, scope and checking of homework vary according to grade, subject, theme, and the individual abilities and needs of the students. Homework is only given in very small amounts in grades 1 and 2, often in the form of small exercises for reading, writing and calculating. The older the students, the more complex the homework. Homework can give students the opportunity to further prepare for lessons and can be in oral or written form. Every Monday and Friday afternoon, we offer a “Homework Room” for all students in grades 3 to 10 with a quiet workplace where they can do their homework. Also a teacher is always present and supports as needed. This is a voluntary offer. The children and teenagers can decide for themselves whether they want to do their homework at school or at home. The checking of homework in the classroom is carried out in various ways, for example, through conversation, a small presentation of results, or through a partner or teacher check.
|Approximate hours of homework given||
It depends on the class and the age of the students.
No, our students do not wear a uniform.
|Entry evaluation for students||
We accept children into our bilingual comprehensive school (German/English) who speak either German or English at a native level. Linguistic ability in the other language is desirable but not necessarily mandatory. After the online registration on our website we send an application form. After receiving the complete application we invite children and parents to an interview followed by a test for students (for the new 1st and 7th grades) or trial days (1st to 10th grades).
|Brief description of entry evaluation required||
The evaluation consists of a test in German, Mathematics and English and an interview with the students as well as with the parents.
|Deadline for registration (new academic year)||
The enrolment period for the new school year always begins on the 1st of September of the preceding year. We also offer spaces during the current school year, so there is no deadline for registrations.
|Students can join after academic year begins||
We also offer spaces during the current school year.
|External examinations or assessments available||
The students at our school study at a high level and without pressure up to the 10th grade and then directly after the Mittlerer Schulabschluss (MSA), according to their own strengths, interests and wishes, choose a school with either two or three years of learning up to the Abitur or opt for another educational path.
|Do students practice religion at the school? What religion?||
We do not practice religion at our school. We provide children, parents and employees of Platanus a lively and culturally diverse community of values. Our basic concept is that a sense of responsibility, independence, self-confidence, respect and tolerance form stable foundations for our community where gender equality is experienced by all in a natural way.
|School bus service available||
Our school premises are in the heart of the popular district Berlin-Pankow, in the historic post office building, built in 1923. Conveniently located, both the urban train system and the subway are just minutes away by foot. There is no school bus service.
|Dedicated staff/programs for students with special learning needs||
We have specialized teachers for dyslexia, dyscalculia and learning coordinators in primary and secondary school.
|School start time||
Lessons begin at 8:10 for all students. The class or subject teachers are present in the class rooms from 8:00 and supervise the children as they start their school day in a quiet and organised way.
|School finish time||
Depending on the grade and the day of the week, the compulsory school day for each class ends between 13:30 and 15:30.
|Supervised care before/after school||
Early care supervision takes place before lessons begin, from 6 to 8am, for all primary school students whose parents already have to go to work. The children rest or play together and start the new day in a slow and relaxed manner. The afternoon supervision is provided until either 4 pm or 6 pm, according to the individual supervision vouchers. This consists of free play time in the schoolyard or in our spacious early/late care room on the ground floor.
|Extracurricular activities or clubs offered||
Our students can choose from a very wide range of clubs in the field of sports, music, dance, art, languages, media/computers, maths, science, engineering, handiwork and crafts. For a closer look please check the club plan of the current school year on the website. Our educators and teachers design their clubs according to their strengths, abilities and experiences. Due to constant new ideas and developments, we are constantly adding to the clubs we offer. From grade 6 upwards, the students support us in the selection and organisation of their own clubs. The majority of our clubs take place in either the German or English language. Some clubs are led by two club leaders in both languages.
|School provided lunches||
From grades 1-6, the students eat both lunch and snack at a table, as a class group, with their Bezugserzieher*innen. It is important to us that all children have the chance to eat their lunch in peace. For this reason, we organise lunch breaks and snack times in different shifts, depending on the grade. Every child can take the time they need to eat and those who are finished eating are allowed to go and play in the schoolyard.
|Food alternatives for special dietary needs (ie. vegan, kosher, halal etc)||
We offer vegan or vegetarian and special food for children with allergies.
|Sports activities included||
Physical Education is taught from 1st to 10th grade. Swimming lessons are compulsory for all children in the third grade. We offer a lot of activities in the afternoon clubs, e.g. Handball, Basketball, Swimming, Hip Hop Dance, Unicycling, Football, Capoeira and Yoga. We organise competetions, sports events on our project days and a charity run every school year. We are of the opinion, that the development of children and young people’s identity is significantly supported by personal and shared experiences, challenging tasks and practical work both inside and outside of school. We have developed the “Work & Travel” program for our students in grades 5-10 which offers active career orientated experience, giving them a foundation for life after school. This program will help adolescents to cope progressively with their own personal challenges, will strengthen their courage and self-belief and pave the way for a fulfilling career path built around their own ideas and future plans.
|Sports facilities at the school||
We have a multi-sport hard top court and ping-pong tables on our school yard. Physical Education classes take place in our gym and in the outdoor Kissingen-Stadion, weather permitting. The latter is only a kilometer away and can also be reached by bus. Swimming lessons take place in the indoor swimming pool “Thomas-Mann-Schwimmhalle” in Prenzlauer Berg.
|Qualities and characteristics best defining the school||
We are a bilingual primary and secondary school (German/English) with a focus on mathematics and science. Under the roof of a distinguished, listed building, our school offers optimal learning conditions, where natural curiosity and individual needs can find their place from Grade 1 all the way through to Grade 10. Here, children and young people can learn in a calm environment, test themselves, develop their talents, deepen their interests, learn about cultural diversity and internalise languages.
|Teaching approach of the school||
The fundamental idea behind our school is that all students learn together, from the beginning of their school time until graduation. Each child then receives a school leaving qualification corresponding to their individual abilities. As a result, all Platanus children have the opportunity to stay here with us until the end of their school life. They are also given the individual freedom to not decide upon any particular educational qualification too early or too late in their school life or when it comes to making decisions about going their separate ways. The goal is to create equal opportunities for all children irrespective of their individual learning needs and family backgrounds through creating individual learning opportunities. PSB offers a particularly varied and differentiated learning environment with cross-curricular and project based teaching and learning, in which each and every student is supported and challenged based on their individual abilities.