We shape our school together
The Ferdinand-Porsche-Gymnasium offers a language and a science portfolio meaning that at the end of Grade 7, students choose a new main subject – Spanish or NwT (natural science and technology) – starting with grade 8.
Additionally, other offers starting in Grade 5 include the bilingual branch and the singing class.
At our school, all students start with English as their first foreign language. At the end of Grade 5, students choose Latin or French as their second foreign language, which then makes up four lessons per week starting with Grade 6. The Latin branch offers students the possibility to acquire an extra qualification, the so-called “Latinum“ at the end of Grade 10. This qualification is universally recognized in Germany and acquired through a special exam. For a comprehensive overview of the current Latin requirements at German universities for roughly 120 subjects or majors, please refer to the German Classic Philologist Association’s website.
Starting with Grade 8, students have either Spanish or NwT classes, both spanning four lessons per week.
NwT focuses on topics related to the students’ lives, which are then approached from different perspectives spanning various subjects. In doing so, the qualifications earned in the basic subjects of biology, chemistry, physics and geosciences are further developed, and typical thought- and work-processes of the natural sciences are introduced. Special emphasis lies on project work as well as experimental work in an activity-oriented and students-first teaching environment. At the same time, insights in the natural sciences are implemented in order to work out technical solutions to increasingly complex issues.
Students who signed up for the bilingual branch starting with Grade 5 have one English lesson more than students not in the bilingual branch. Additionally, they use the lessons to practice an English play which they perform during the school’s open house.
The preparatory geography class introduced in Grade 6 constitutes an additional English lesson per week. This class focuses on the basics of the geography curriculum and practices the methodology for geography class (e.g. description of diagrams).
Geography lessons are in English for Grades 7 and 8. The class teaches the same content as the non-bilingual version; however, students have more time in the bilingual class: three lessons per week instead of two for Grade 7 and two lessons instead of one for Grade 8.
History is another class taught in English starting from Grade 8. Both biology and history are taught in English in Grade 9, whereas in Grade 10 only biology is taught in English.
Import for all Grades: the functionality of the English language is the main focus, which means that the content is emphasized, whereas the register is not as important and students are thus allowed to occasionally utilize German words, too. The goal is for students to speak English as much and as freely as possible and technical terms are presented both in German and in English. Vocabulary tests function as a means to test vocabulary proficiency. Exams are held in English: whereas language errors are not graded, the overall tests must be understandable. Students have 50 percent more time in all bilingual classes.
For the final two Grades leading up to the “Abitur”, one subject is presented in English. Depending on supply and demand, this subject can be a biology, geography, history, or seminar class.
A new elective class as part of the bilingual branch prepares students for qualifying for the Cambridge Certificate in Grade 11 and 12. Since the school year 2012/13, a preparatory course open to all interested students is held every other Friday free of charge. There, students use the official material. The exam itself at the end of the school year is not free of charge, however, the society of friend’s and graduates provides financial aid for it.
The debate club is open to all talented and interested students. Mimicking the debate culture of the British House of Commons, debates are being held in English in this club, with the language proficiency being secondary. It all starts playfully from Grade 7 and from Grade 8 onward, participation in competitions of the Junior League is possible. National competitions start from Grade 10. Joining the debate club is possible at any point starting from Grade 7.
When signing up their children for Grade 5, parents decide whether or not their children should be part of a vocal class. If at all possible, the vocal class should make up an entire class. No qualification test is needed unless registrations exceed the capacity. However, children should enjoy singing and music.
The vocal class goes up to and including Grade 7. There are also two hours of music class for students of the vocal class, the focus here lies on vocal training. This means that next to music class, the children’s voices will be nurtured by a trained music pedagogue.