Grundschule am Amalienhof from Berlin, Germany
The „Grundschule am Amalienhof“ is a public Primary School located in Berlin, Spandau, in the west of Berlin. Currently 330 pupils visit the school. They are divided into 16 year groups.
Children normally start school at the age of 6 (in some cases they are slightly younger or older, depending on their ability and maturity) Pupils in Years 1 and 2 are combined into 6 learning groups. They stay in this group for two or three years, according to their ability. From Year 3 on, the classes aren’t combined anymore.
There are 38 teachers and 12 child care workers for after school activities and supervision at the „Grundschule am Amalienhof“.
Most children come from families with a low academic background and low income. About 56 % of the children come from families that receive social welfare. The children’s background is quite diverse. Lots of pupils have a Russian, Turkish or Arabic heritage and very many children grow up speaking a different mother tongue than German. Therefore language support is offered during and after the lessons and is very important.
Lots of and increasingly more children enter school poorly equipped and many have learning or behavioral difficulties.
Therefore teachers and caretakers have to find solutions and strategies for dealing with and teaching this heterogeneous community. Three children attend the school that have a developmental disability. They are integrated into the normal classes and are given extra support within those year-groups.
Language learning starts in Year 3 (at the age of 8/9) with English. There is a possibility to study French instead of English but it is a very rare choice.
The children can also choose and visit different activities and clubs in the afternoon. Teachers and child care workers offer sports, art, cooking, drawing, gardening and also a choir and a drama club.
There is also a library which can be used during the lessons, during the breaks and after school. Twice a week there is a librarian present, who reads to the children and they can borrow and return books. Teachers and children can also order books from the main library.