Cologne International School: An integrated school from the first class through to graduation
The recent visit by the IB team at our primary school, which enriched us with new food for thought and motivation for continuous further development, also confirmed our fundamental conviction and educational alignment: in order to prepare our children for lifelong learning, to take responsibility, and for cultural diversity in a constantly changing world requires an encouraging and diversely stimulating environment. We want to enable our students to acquire academic skills in a self-determined manner, as well as adopting social, emotional and (inter)cultural capabilities, and to develop their personal potential.
IB Diploma ProgrammeAllgemeine Hochschulreife
IGCSE programmeHauptschulabschluss/ Mittlerer Schulabschluss
Bilingualism at our primary school
A special feature of the primary school profile was and remains the authentic bilingualism, in which German and English are equitably taught and used as teaching languages ‘immersively’, i.e. through deep and everyday use by all children. Both the feedback from our families and academic studies on the subject confirm that multilingualism offers numerous advantages: an awareness of languages and communication, sensitivity to cultural practices, but also a general fostering of cognitive development.
Composite of NRW curriculum and PYP at our primary school
As an integrated school, the Primary school will continue to take account of the content of the NRW curriculum and combine its learning goals with those of the PYP (Primary Years Programme) as before, so that an equivalence of learning progress and thus permeability into the public school system is guaranteed. At the completion of schooling, the IB Diploma enables worldwide access to universities and, in accordance with the specifications of the Conference of Ministers of Education, can also be recognized as a full general university entrance qualification (Abitur) without further examination.
Structures of our primary school: Significant continuity
Along with the educational profile, the essential structures of the primary school will remain constant:
- Our classes are led jointly and bilingually by two teachers.
- As the school entry phase, Grades 1/2 remain mixed.
- During Grades 1/2, the children experience the basis of a solid musical education according to the Ward method with voice and ear training; subsequently in Grades 3, 4 and 5 each child learns an instrument.
- Class and subject teachers also teach in the afternoon, during a whole school day. After the daily lessons, the children can participate in a number of very different afternoon clubs. A high-quality camp program is offered during the holidays.
- Families can as before receive an evaluation of their child’s level of performance according to the NRW curriculum after the 4th grade if they wish to transition to the public secondary school system.
Changes regarding our primary school
Alongside much continuity, there are some minor adjustments that we will make during the course of the changeover:
- From the 2022/23 school year, the Primary school will comprise Grades 1-5. The students therefore go through the entire PYP (Primary Years Programme) with the exhibition project at the conclusion.
- Classes 3, 4 and 5 will be year-related in the future, i.e. no longer have a mix of years. In our experience, this eases the transition to Grade 3 after the school entrance phase and also the targeted preparation for secondary school.
- The interreligious concept as such is retained, but is clearly supplemented with the elements of ethics and mindfulness.
The two central aspects of the Primary school – the approach of active, holistic learning following the IB approach and the consistent bilingualism – are also implemented in the new, integrated school in the grades following the Primary school. With the introduction of the MYP for grades 6-10, followed by the DP program for grades 11 and 12, our school will become a consistent IB World School. Bilingualism is now also being continued in a more differentiated way, so that the students can take the subjects Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, History and German in German language of instruction, and can complete the examination in the IB Diploma in German in these subjects.