About the school form
No! The founders wanted a school for skilled workers who are mobile throughout Europe. That is why they wanted to have the SESB as a state school which is also available for children from Berlin. This worked well until the discontinuation of the pre-school classes in 2008. Today, the SESB is primarily chosen by families who can prepare their children for bilingualism, i.e. a) through a bilingual family environment or b) by investing both time and money in a private bilingual kindergarten. The AG SESB is critical of this situation and wants more transparent and fair access options which would make access easier for monolingual children.
The SESB is a school with a special pedagogical focus. Attending such a school is voluntary. Consistent bilingual teaching from the first grade onwards in bilingual learning groups makes it possible for children to experience a real multicultural education against all forms of xenophobia and for integration. The pupils have the opportunity to get to know Europe from the inside. The children learn, alongside the individual partner language, their own native language as of the fifth grade and, as of seventh grade, a second foreign language.
Children whose home-language is not German will learn German in the SESB better than in a normal Berlin school, but will also be taught in their own native language at native speaker level. Children with German as their mother tongue have the opportunity to learn another language up to the standards of a native speaker. Parents should be aware that this a great opportunity, but also an additional challenge for their children. At the SESB, all school leaving certificates, including Abitur, can be taken in both languages.
The State Europe School Berlin (SESB) was founded as a school experiment in 1992 on the initiative of people living in Berlin and of the Europa-Union Berlin. “School experiments are innovative measures to further develop the school sector both pedagogically and in their organisation” according to the schools act for the state of Berlin (schools act – SchulG, as at 26.1.2004). A school experiment is only permitted for a limited time and is revocable. The successful completion of a school experiment can be the basis for a comprehensive implementation of the pedagogical and organisational concept or the founding of a school with a special pedagogical focus. Attendance at a school experiment or a school with a special pedagogical focus is voluntary for pupils. In 2011, the school experiment was completed and the SESB was given the status of a school with special pedagogical focus. The scientific evaluation by the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the University of Kiel started in 2014 and will be completed foreseeably in 2017.
The SESB enables a continual bilingual education in German and the individual partner language from the first grade through to the individual school leaving certificate of your child. A thorough knowledge of another language makes it possible to become familiar with another culture. The scientific evaluation of the SESB school concept has confirmed that children attending the SESB display a learned bilingualism and a very high level of intercultural and social competence. In an open and changing society, this provides your child with a school education that is unique in Germany and which goes over and above the basic learning of a second and third language.