HOW and WHAT are you supposed to teach to children who will live their lives in one of the most rapidly changing, unknown, and turbulent eras in human history? The content of traditional subjects has been known for generations, and students already have the breadth of human knowledge in their pockets. What this future does not guarantee, however, is the critical thinking required to tackle complex, global problems, the communication skills needed to cut through misinformation and hyper-politicization, the collaboration required to engage with different cultures and communities, and the creativity to bring beauty and joy into the world. The mandate for schools has shifted, and we must Do School Differently.
At WABE International School, we embrace the tradition of Progressive Education and its emphasis on holistic, student-centered learning. We implement this approach primarily through best practices in Project-Based and Social-Emotional Learning. We design new, inter-disciplinary courses and re-imagine what it means to teach traditional subjects: Science for critical thinking; Modern Languages for communication; Geography for collaboration; the Arts for creativity. We partner these traditional disciplines with student agency in designing their own courses and projects to prepare them for a life of self-advocacy and self-determination. When the goal of learning is shifted from information acquisition to skill development, teachers and students are free to jump off of the content-and-exams assembly line and focus on empowering our students to unfold their true talents and potential as compassionate human beings.
It is truly one of the special mysteries in life that the earliest years of learning have been shown to make the biggest impact on our journey as life-long learners. What is the world that we live in—what wonders does it have in store for us to discover? We have designed our Primary School with the gravity of this developmental season in mind.
Play is priceless—students must be given freedom to explore the world in their own way, at their own pace, and not immediately be placed on the assembly line of industrialized learning. We build play into all of our curricula, and have designed interdisciplinary courses that invite students into a world of freedom and exploration.
Literacy is paramount—when the passion for language is nourished at the outset of a child’s education, all other skills and competencies can blossom into their full potential. All of our students learn English and German in parallel, with support for native and non-native speakers.
Caring is our culture—we are all social beings at our core, and the fabric of our relationships must be woven with love and care. We learn about our emotions, how they are influenced by and affect others, and how we can communicate and work with each other to create a culture of caring.
The world is so big— but who are we as individuals, and where do we start to fit into this global community? In Middle School, students are awakening to the complexities of human life and moving into deeper exploration and identity formation within our modern, global world. For students at this age, we believe that learning should adapt itself to engage with this reality, rather than the students trying to adapt themselves to traditional approaches to subjects like English, Maths, and Sciences.
There are no silos—Interdisciplinary learning reflects the reality of the world around us. Algebra is important for site surveys in Geography. Literature is essential for the story telling behind student art galleries. We emphasize the interdependence of all that we learn to ensure our skills and knowledge are used for more than just performing well on an exam.
Depth over breadth—in other words, the quest to really, truly understand something in its complexity and relation to other skills or content is more valuable than rushing through a checklist of grade-level content. Students need time to explore the depths of a topic, and as the pace and importance or learning increases through the middle school years, it is vital to provide time for taking the scenic route when students want to turn down a side road.
Maturity, complexity, opportunities, freedom, responsibility – students in High School begin to orient themselves towards their adult lives. We invite our students to reflect on how their true talents and potential can be unfolded into a fulfilling and purposeful life as a compassionate human being. Some will choose to enter an apprenticeship after Grade 10; others will begin the International Baccaluareate Diploma Programme—but everyone will leave confident and well-prepared as they pursue their own journey.
Carry your own torch—students are invited to wade into the exciting and turbulent waters of taking responsibility not only for their own learning but also for their own lives. Teachers approach their role as partners, ensuring that students experience genuine agency. Students learn to set their own standards of academic and social success as well as how to develop strategies reaching those goals.
Passion & Compassion – who is the unique and unrepeatable you, and what fire burns in you to go and make the world a better place? When students study across various disciplines, we encourage them to pay attention to the topics and issues that ignite their passions and interests. What does it look like to pursue those, and how can we already connect our learning in the classroom to the future you want to build for yourself and others?
International University Readiness – For students who choose to pursue university studies, we ensure that they are prepared for studies anywhere around the globe. With small class sizes, great resources, and a teaching team that pours their heart into our students, our IB Diploma Programme graduates receive a world-class diploma that is recognized by universities worldwide.
Our graduates have the world at their finger tips
Students have the world at their fingertips – both literally and figuratively. Our global, digital society has made even the remotest corners of the earth seem within reach. We want to provide our students with the opportunity to pursue their post-secondary studies wherever their passions and interests lead them, at home or abroad. With an International Baccalaureate Diploma, students will graduate with a highly competitive degree that is recognized at universities all around the world.
The IB Diploma Programme emphasizes academic achievement, critical thinking, research skills and community service. It has been operating world-wide for almost 50 years and is in place in almost 3000 schools in over 140 countries around the world. As the programme has grown, so too has its reputation for excellence; the IB Diploma Programme is now recognized in almost every country in the world as a one of the pre-eminent pre-university qualifications. Some US universities offer advanced credit for IB Diploma students on certain courses. All leading universities in Europe recognize the IB Diploma.
Diploma candidates are required to select six subjects from a broad spectrum of learning incorporating the humanities and sciences. Three of these subjects are taken at Higher Level, the others at Standard Level. By arranging subject learning in this way, students are able to explore some subjects in depth and some subjects more broadly over a two-year period. Equipped with the right temperament, skills and ethos, our students are provided with individualized support from their teachers needed to excel in this unique scholastic environment to join some of the best universities in the world.
Increasingly, many local or repatriated families with German as a home language are considering international education for their child. With the increased exposure to friends and families from around the globe, the international perspective and global mindset offered by WABE International School is an attractive alternative to the local public or private schools. One of the most important questions for these families, however, is whether their children will be supported in their native language at a level that prepares them for success and future university studies in the German language.
As a hybrid private-public school, we are proud to offer a German language programme for our native German speakers that follows the state curriculum and standards for Schleswig-Holstein. We offer the same number of hours per week of native German instruction as the local German schools. These courses are taught by native German speakers with training and approval through the Ministry of Education. Students at WABE International School have scored high marks in the German Language through the IB Diploma Exams and successfully enrolled at German universities after their studies here.
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