Dear students, dear parents,
At the orientation level, it has already become obvious that the next school years could be turbulent. Because in middle school, our students are at the peak of their puberty.
Emotional chaos, self-doubt, rebellion, peer pressure and heartbreak are just a few selected keywords to give a foretaste of what awaits us all in the coming years. Of course, the question arises as to how we intend to handle this in order to accompany our young students through this challenging developmental phase. Simply putting up with the motto: “Close your eyes and go through it” is certainly not the best option. After all, puberty, despite all the effort, is also a treasure chest which we do not want to leave unused.
During puberty, the ability to think abstractly and the complexity of thinking and feeling increase. This is a crucial development and resource that is valuable for further learning. Likewise, in this challenging phase of life, important directions are set regarding the experiences, feelings and the extent of self-confidence, self-esteem and self-efficiency with which a young person starts into adulthood.
At the same time, it must be noted that the framework conditions for today’s young people to grow up have changed. As “digital natives”, they naturally grow up with digital media. As a result, information and communication behaviour as well as social experience have fundamentally changed. Despite all the opportunities that arise from the digitalisation of our world of life, it must also be said that there are new risks for adolescents. Cyberbullying, sexting and cybergrooming are just some of the dangers that now need to be clarified further.
The middle school therefore has a pedagogical concept that is tailored to the special developmental needs of adolescent pupils and a prevention concept that responds to the changing living environment of our pupils. Middle school education is characterised by a change in learning culture, which takes into account the cognitive and social changes of our increasingly adult student body.
You are greeted warmly by
Head of the middle classes
Support personality development
After successfully passing through the orientation level, the transfer to the intermediate level, which includes grades 7 to 10, takes place. During this time, our student body is at the peak of its adolescence. We don’t have a panacea for this challenging developmental phase. We can’t have that either, because puberty is experienced differently by individuals. In general, one can say that the young people face a major challenge, as they are increasingly distancing themselves from the adults in their environment and, at the same time, are developing their own identity more strongly.
For us, this means that in the middle school, the partnership between the teachers and students is deepened by giving the young people more freedom to develop, enable participation and transfer responsibility. On the other hand, as a school, we must and want to draw boundaries based on clear pedagogical principles in order to give the young people orientation and support.
Our dedicated class teachers and subject teachers, the selected tutors and our school social worker Ms. Johannsen strive for every single student and are aware of their great responsibility for your children. Together they promote a school climate in which the young people feel accepted and can develop freely. This is based on values that the staff agreed on at school development days and which they would like to stand up for.
As a “school without racism – school with courage” we will not turn a blind eye when violence, vandalism and discrimination occur at our school, but rather actively deal with the situation. There should be no room for misanthropic attitudes such as racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, hatred of Muslims or the degradation of women at the Auguste Viktoria School.
For pubescent middle school students, dealing with their own gender identity and sexual orientation in the context of gender stereotypes and role expectations is particularly important and challenging. They experience a liberalisation and pluralisation of lifestyles in the media and in reality unfortunately still experience a lack of understanding and rejection all too often if they define themselves as part of the LGBTIQ movement. For this reason, the Auguste Viktoria School encourages all experiences of tolerance, acceptance and appreciation when dealing with diversity.
The Coronavirus has shown us clearly how import the school is as a place of socialisation. Cooperative learning, but class and school festivities as well asall types of class trips open spaces of experience, so the life skills of the students can be developed.
Beyond that, the class teachers are able to develop the personality as well as the social, emotional and communicative competences of the students with the help of different Lions-Quest modules when it is needed.
Challenge and support:
At the AVS, we take the commission of individual support very seriously. There is an extensive offer of enrichment programmes for students with special talents. Examples of this offer are competitions or the enrichment programme itself. Apart from this, our students are able to live out their interests and special talents in projects of the OGTS.
Furthermore, there is a diverse offer for students with temporary low performance in school. Especially in the middle classes, the share of students with need to improve their performances increases. That’s because the demands increase during the middle classes, whereas the concentration and motivation decreases because of puberty. As a consequence, there can be a decrease of performance. We want to counteract that as soon as possible. At the pedagogical conferences we talk about every student and decide upon measures (e.g. learning plan, visit of the learning workshop) if there is need to. The AVS has an internal tutoring network (“learningdock”) and qualified teachers as well that can give a special learning coaching when students wish to. Finally you can also mention that we have the summer school in the last week of the holidays. Interested students can apply and increase the ability to be aware of the topics in the following year by revising and learning contents of the year before.
Students with a migratory background can be supported in the DAZ lessons and students with dyslexia get a binding LRS training.
taking a look at the world around you
Middle school students generally show an inceased willingness to take risks and tend towards exessive behaviour as a result of puberty. The allure of the forbidden and a great willingness to experiment mean thatadolescence is the age at which people start using legal (e.g. nicotine, alcohol) and illegal drugs (e.g. cannabis). Behavioural addictions such as media addiction or various forms of eating disorders often begin during puberty. The new school prevention concept therefore focuses on addiction prevention in the middle school area. Other focal points are sex education, violence prevention and the promotion of general life skills. The prevention events are usually carried out by qualified cooperation partners (e.g. police, health department, ProFamilia, Petze and many more). For further information, please refer to the prevention concept.
- career orientation
On the one hand, it is still part of the educational mission of the grammar school to provide students with an in-depth general education and the ability to study, on the other hand, the proportion of students who attend a grammar school and do not complete their Abitur or do not want to study has increased over the years. This means that high school students are sometimes faced with the task of having to decide on a specific profession. Our middle school students should therefore become aware of their own values, personal professional interests, skills and qualifications in order to be able to make personal decisions independently and satisfactorily.
The heads of the different levels (age groups) are in constant contact to be informed about requirements, challenges and new developments in the releasing and receiving level. Pedagogical needs for action are derived together and coordinated with the levels. Cross-level concepts (e.g. learning plan process; absenteeism process; prevention concept; support concept, bullying concept, etc.) are also developed, which are implemented using uniform procedures and can therefore be highly effective.
Close cooperation with parents
Our middle school students are in a sensitive developmental phase. Identity crises, conflicts within the class community or with teachers are part of growing up and must be dealt with. Trusting cooperation with parents is essential so that more serious problems can be counteracted at an early stage.
The first point of contact for students and their parents is always the class teacher or subject teacher. Furthermore, the tutors and the school social worker are available.
In the case of profound and/or persistent problems, the head of the middle classes can and will be called in, who in turn will involve qualified cooperation partners (e.g. youth welfare, school psychological service, etc.) if necessary.
The lessons build on the pedagogical work in the orientation level and are increasingly characterised by more complex questions and more independent work. Interdisciplinary relationships should be shown to a greater extent, application contexts clarified, and limits and problems of subject-specific knowledge should be made aware of. The subject-specific and interdisciplinary methodological skills are developed further, especially in the area of digital media skills. Furthermore, consistent language education is particularly important to us in order to introduce our students to the technical language of the upper secondary school, starting with everyday language via the language of education.
The design of the lesson
As students hit puberty , the way they learn changes. This is a challenge – and an opportunity. Our experienced specialist teachers know how to adapt their lessons to the changing needs of secondary school students by increasingly opening them up and enabling cooperative learning. The basic methodological principle of open teaching is discovery, problem-solving, action-oriented and self-responsible learning. It is based on meaningful contexts that connect to the everyday life of the students. The competences required for cooperative learning are not taken for granted in the middle school, but are trained and reflected step by step parallel to the subject content and the associated expectations of competences.
The targeted use of digital media also offers special opportunities for teaching development in middle school, as today’s generation of students use digital media as “digital natives” quite naturally and with great attention to communication, information and entertainment. Many teachers are already able to use this high level of motivation for school learning processes. Ideally, they use the digital media in the classroom in a variety of ways and thus systematically develop the digital skills of our students. For despite the great popularity of digital media and a pronounced usage behaviour, it must unfortunately also be said that the computer-related skills of German schoolchildren are only mediocre in an international comparison.
Rearrangement of the Classes
The rearrangement of the classes from year 7 onwards is carried out by the middle school administration in cooperation with the orientation level administration and the form teachers who have taught the younger pupils before. It not only has organisational reasons, but above all offers a wide range of opportunities for the personal development of our students. They get to know themselves and others in new contexts and strengthen and develop their own self-confidence by dealing with their new classmates. Old role assignments can be dissolved; the class community is experienced as dynamic and changeable as life itself. Of course, we are aware that upheavals are not always seen as opportunities, and not only by our students. They can sometimes be experienced as challenging to threatening. That’s why no one comes to the new class alone. Smaller groups are always formed – a friend can always be specified as a wish for the new class community. The new class compositions will be published before the summer holidays so that our students are not left in the dark. Mandatory transitional conferences at the beginning of the school year ensure that every student is considered so that, despite a change in class management, they can react promptly and appropriately to the various individual needs of the adolescents. At the beginning of the school year, there will also be a “getting to know each other” day of , of course, which will mark the start of a new class community growing together.
Second Foreign Language and other new Subjects
From the 7th grade, another foreign language (French or Latin) must be taken. In addition, the range of subjects is gradually expanding with the addition of the natural science subjects of physics and chemistry and the social science subject of economics/politics (WiPO).
At the end of year 8 the students also decide upon an elective subject based on their individual inclinations, interests and talents, which is taken for two years. The compulsory electives offered by the Auguste Viktoria School currently include the third foreign language (Spanish), “Drama”, “Healthy Movement” (getting fit by movement) and “STEM” (Science – Technology – Engeneering – Mathematics) (MINT).
BYOS (“bring your own stuff”)
From grade 7 onwards, our students are allowed to use their private tablet with a digital stylus in class if the parents and the teaching subject teachers have given their consent. To do this, the rules of use must be followed and the media skills of the learners must be sufficiently developed. Of course, our students can also decide that they would rather continue to work in the classical way with paper and pen in class. Both ways of working are equally represented in the teaching of the middle school.
Our students will receive further information on the BYOS concept duly in an information letter in the second half of the 6th year.
Class trips are often one of the most exciting and beautiful moments of school, which a lot of people can remember for the rest of their lives. In the 8th year it’s finally that time again. Our students start their class trip, which is based on the motto of experiential education. According to the decision of the school conference, a destination should be aimed for in northern Germany. The costs are a maximum of 350 euros per student.
The current year will go to Prora on Rügen in May 2023 . The next year, on the other hand, will travel to Greifswald in September 2023. The form teachers coordinate their own leisure and excursion programmes with their classes.
Learning level assessment in class 8
In the 8th year, central comparative tests are written in the subjects German, mathematics and the first foreign language (English) (= “VERA 8”) in secondary schools in all federal states. They check the long-term acquired skills of the students. The tasks of the comparative work are based on the educational standards of the KMK. The students are obliged to take part in these comparative exercises. The results of the comparative work, however, are not included in the performance assessments. So you will not be graded. But in principle they represent an additional diagnostic moment in the overall picture of the student’s performance, which should be taken into account for the best possible individual support. However, the central function of the comparative work lies in the teaching and school development of each individual school.
The grammar school usually leads to the Abitur, but not every educational path is straightforward. It is therefore good to know that the pupils acquire the first general school leaving certificate (ESA) when they move up to grade 10 and the intermediate school leaving certificate (MSA) when they move up to grade 11.
However, these qualifications are not documented in the transfer certificate in the grammar school (German: Gymnasium), as they are not awarded on the basis of the grammar school marks. However, they are issued upon application in the form of special leaving certificates if a student leaves the general education school system before completing the Abitur.
Pupils who have repeated grade 10 without success will be dismissed. Upon request, the school can determine the level of education proven at the end of grade 10 as equivalent to the intermediate school leaving certificate.
The career of the students is consistently accompanied by the head of the middle classes. She advises parents, pupils and class teachers in conferences or as part of individual career advice.
Career orientation starts in middle school in order to introduce our students to the world of study, work and work in good time.
In the 8th year, our students first explore their personal strengths and interests using the “Check-U” exploration tool from the Federal Employment Agency. This gives them initial ideas as to which training courses or fields of study might suit them. In German lessons they learn how to write applications and in WiPo lessons they prepare for the two-week internship, which is compulsory in the 9th year. Above all, this serves to explore and personally experience everyday working life and enables initial insights into operational processes. Certainly, for many a student it is already a first step towards finding your own professional and personal position. The students evaluate their time in the company in the form of an internship report, which is evaluated and the result is also noted in the certificate at the end of grade 9. In the 10th year, the information event “Paths with the middle school certificate” is to be established. There are further opportunities for professional orientation for our students at Girls’ and Boys’ Day or when visiting trade fairs.
From grade 8 onwards, students can, at the request of their parents, gain experience abroad and be given leave of up to one year to attend school outside Germany.
Your Contact Person:
Mrs. Wallich (Head of the middle classes)