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||23 students / class|
|Maximum||24 students / class|
This school does not make their fees public for the academic year 2023/2024.
Address: Berliner Straße 12, 13187 Berlin Germany
Address: Benjamin-Vogelsdorff-Straße 1 13187 Berlin, Germany
Address: Kissingenstraße 48 13189 Berlin, Germany
All the details about this school in their own words
|Number of students||
Total numbers of students is 461 in primary and secondary school.
|Number of nationalities represented in the school||
39 family languages are spoken within our school community, 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. App. 40% 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.
|Ratio of local students to international students||
The school does not differentiate between local and international students. The school community is diverse and families come from all over the world. Many students have their roots in Germany.
|Native English and German speaking teachers||
All of our teachers are native speaker or speak German/English/Spanish 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||
In classes 5 and 6 we offer Spanish as an elective subject. In the secondary level I (Years 7 to 10), we also teach Spanish. In the secondary level II (Years 11 to 13) our students can decide according to their preference whether to continue learning Spanish oder start to learn French, the other language we offer from Year 11.
|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 24 students. In our secondary school (grades 7 to 10) the average number of students is 22 students approximately.
|Does the school employ teaching assistants?||
Almost all main subjects are taught with a teaching assistant.
|Use of technology in the classroom||
Our students learn how to use the computer in a natural way in our computer lab, in the the classrooms, in the library and online 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, our school has technically very well equipped classrooms, W-LAN in every room as well as access to the Internet and school network, Promethan Active Panels in all classrooms and subject rooms, a desktop PC in every classroom, an own laptop for every staff member, additionally a desktop PC in the staff area and in the school library, a modern equipped computer lab with 24 workstations and PCs of the type Lenovo ThinkCentre M70Q as well as class sets of mobile devices (Surfaces) for our students and a reliable technical support. With powerful graphics computers and the latest software in the computer lab, our colleagues offer exciting opportunities in the area of graphics, video and 3D applications in the classroom and during all-day hours. In addition, we have a 3D printer in the science department, which we like to use in class and for project days. We are proud to be awarded as a digital school.
|Is the school ready to use virtual classrooms when needed? (e.g. teaching lessons online if the school is closed, e.g. during COVID-19 closures)||
All students in each grade level have their own Microsoft 365 account and Platanus email address for media-enabled work and communication at school and at home – with each other and with our team. We use MS Teams for Education to deliver and edit learning content and homework, upload photos and videos, launch surveys within our school community, and communicate within groups, classes or school-wide. The chat feature in MS Teams provides a quick way for students to contact each other and/or teachers if learners have questions or problems. In addition, they can form different learning groups – depending on their needs – consisting of students and teachers.
|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.
|External examinations or assessments available||
The students at our school study at a high level and complete the "BBr - erweiterte Berufsbildungsreife" (Advanced vocational training qualification) in Year 9 and the "MSA - Mittlerer Schulabschluss" (Intermediate school leaving certificate). From school year 2024/25, we will start the "Gymnasiale Oberstufe" (upper secondary ecucation) with Year 11. As a bilingual school, we offer the “Bilingual Abitur” with optional Cambridge Certificate. With this certificate, our students can study at every university worldwide where German and/or English are spoken as the languages of study. We also offer the Duke of Edinburgh Award in Years 9 to 11.
|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 "Ganztagschule" (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 Years 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.
Homework in Years 1 to 6 is essentially done during study times. Every Tuesday and Friday afternoon, we also offer a homework room for all students in Years 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.
The students enter their homework and the dates for exams and tests independently into their homework books. At home, parents can best support their children by speaking and reading with them in their mother tongue, and by practising writing and calculating regularly. In the higher Years, students need the time and space to study and work independently at home.
|Approximate hours of homework given||
It depends on the class and the age of the students.
|Dedicated staff/programs for students with special learning needs||
We have a specialized and qualified SENCO-Team with teachers for dyslexia, dyscalculia and learning coordinators in primary and secondary school.
|Learning support offered||
Our team creates individual support plans for every student with special learning needs and there are remedial lessons in the main subjects of German, English and mathematics outside of lessons for students who need further support in these subjects.
|The school supports gifted, able and talented students||
We do not offer a special programme for gifted students.
|Student access to education psychologist||
We have a school social worker and a child and youth psychotherapist (VT) qualified in counselling & diagnostics as well as specialised in child protection. Both colleagues are there for the families of our school community and offer personal support as well as special age-apprptiate class programmes.
|Entry evaluation for students||
The most important admission criterion at our school is that all students can speak either German OR English at a native level. This applies to all Year levels. It is also important that the parents speak German or English at least well enough for us to communicate without any problems. In Years 5 and 6, at least some prior knowledge of the other language is desirable and increases the chance of admission. From Year 7 onwards, it is necessary for English-speaking students to be able to speak German at least at B1 level in order to be able to successfully complete the "Mittlerer Schulabschluss" (intermediate school leaving certificate) in Year 10. After the online registration on our website we send an application form. After receiving the complete application we check if we invite children and parents to a get-to-know appointment for students in our coming Year 1. For applications for a school place in the classes already in progress, it is necessary for the children to complete trial days or, in most cases, a whole trial week with us.
|Brief description of entry evaluation required||
For our ” Firsties” in the coming school year and their parents, we organise a get-to-know-you appointment. With patience and attention, we make the children feel comfortable and playfully carry out various individual and group activities. We are particularly interested in the physical and cognitive development, the social interaction in a group and the language level of the children. In the meantime, our school leadership and admissions team will hold meetings with the parents to discuss mutual expectations and wishes as well as to clarify any questions regarding admission and our concept.
For applications for a school place in the classes already in progress, it is necessary for the students to complete trial days or, in most cases, a whole trial week with us. During this time, they visit our school like our own students and will also take short one-time tests on their current learning level in Mathematics, German and English. At the end of the week, we collect feedback from all teachers and educators on the students’ academic performance as well as her/his work and social behaviour. For the trial period, we charge a fee of 25 EUR per day. During this time, the students are insured at our school and can of course take part in lunch. For trial periods, absence from the school the student is currently attending will also be excused.
For admission to Year 7 (start of secondary level), we also offer trial days/a trial week or a get-to-know-you appointment. During this trial visit, we spend time together with the applicants to gain a personal impression and also test their learning level in Mathematics, German and English. We also invite parents to a get-to-know-you appointment for a joint conversation.
After the get-to-know appointment or at the end of the trial week, the head of school of the respective Year decides on admission.
We also have a waiting list. However, if all school places are taken and the waiting list is already very long, we close our enrolment form on the website for the relevant year group. The enrolment process is continuously and constantly monitored and we open the enrolment form immediately when it is foreseeable that a school place will become available.
|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 school places during the current school year.
|School start time||
Lessons begin at 8:10 for students in Years 1 to 6 and at 8:30 for students in Years 7 to 10.
|School finish time||
Depending on the grade and the day of the week, the compulsory school day for our classes end 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. And our extracurricular activities like afternoon clubs will take place after lessons.
|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, tram and the subway are just minutes away by foot. There is only a bus service for the weekly travelling to swimming lessons for students in Year 3.
|School provided lunches||
In Years 1 to 6, the students eat both lunch and snack at a table, as a class group, with their Class Erzieher. 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. Lunch is being prepared according to nutritional physiology principles and is delivered by the caterer "Löwenzahn". Participation is compulsory during primary school time. From Year 7 onwards lunch is optional. A water dispenser ist available for all students in the Mensa.
|Food alternatives for special dietary needs (ie. vegan, kosher, halal etc)||
We offer vegan or vegetarian and special food for children with allergies.
No, our students do not wear a school uniform.
|Extracurricular activities or clubs offered||
Our students can choose from a very wide range of clubs - more than 30 clubs every school year - 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.
|Sports activities included||
Physical Education is taught in every year level according to Berlin framework curriculum. 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, Football and Yoga. We organise competetions, sports events on our project days and a charity run every school year.
|Facilities at the school||
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” programme for our students in Years 5-10 which offers active career orientated experience as well 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.
We also offer the Duke of Edinburgh Awards for students in Years 9 to 11.
Robotics, rugby or rock band – in more than 30 afternoon clubs, every student can find their favorite activities that are fun and promote a number of skills.
|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 MINT (Mathemtics, Sciences, ICT and Technology) or better known as STEM in English-spreaking countries. 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 Year 1 all the way through to Year 13. 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.
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 a “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.
Our bilingual education in both German and English, with our focus on MINT subjects, as well as a solid general education and digital literacy ensures that our students grow up to be global thinkers in an interdependent world and to be locally active in and around Berlin. The talented and motivated PSB team is currently made up of 13 different nationalities and is oriented to the lives and the worlds of our children and young people. The goal is to prepare them for the challenges of the future and, at the same time, to care for their safety, security and well-being in a safe school setting.
|Teaching approach of the school||
The fundamental idea behind our "Gemeinschaftsschule" 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 students have the opportunity to stay here with us until the end of their school career.
The goal of our Gemeinschaftsschule is to create equal opportunities for all children irrespective of their individual learning needs and family backgrounds through creating individual learning opportunities. Our "Gemeinschaftsschule" offers a particularly varied and differentiated learning environment with cross-curricular teaching and learning, in which each and every student is supported and challenged based on their individual abilities.
The time children and young people spend at school is an intensive and also incredibly important chapter in their lives and we would like to invite families from all over the world to spend this time with us in an international, caring and open community.