What is the significance of the school spirit
School spirit of the all-day school: PAGS on!
06/05/2020 Author: Ralf Augsburg
PAGS Külsheim is a house of learning. “We have always reached all of the pupils,” summarizes headmaster Udo Müller currently, but it applies to the community school and all-day school as a whole.
A paper airplane goes on a journey ... On the homepage of the Pater-Alois-Grimm-Schule (PAGS) in Külsheim, the whole school community feels like greeting “their” students in a 13-minute video and sends a paper airplane with good wishes from one to the other: "Stay healthy, you are by far the best kids, we look forward to seeing you!"
The imaginative and funny film highlights the community in the Baden-Württemberg “community school”. “We have a really very committed team,” says headmaster Udo Müller, “and we mastered the shutdown situation very well together with the parents.” At the beginning there was still a problem - “the things that worked were not in compliance with data protection regulations, and those that were in compliance with data protection regulations did not work ”- but already then the colleagues had“ pulled out all the stops to stay in contact with the students ”with a lot of creativity via various video conference platforms.
Sometimes the teachers put the tasks as packages in front of the families' front doors and then collected them again. The essence: “We have always reached all of the students.” In the meantime, individual grades are back in school in divided classes, and from June 16, all students in grades 1 to 10 should return on a weekly basis.
Around 470 children and young people attend the two to three-class community school in the rural Main-Tauber district on the border with Bavaria, from which pupils also come to PAGS. “The children and parents make a very conscious decision in favor of our“ House of Learning ”concept and take a long way to school for it,” reports Udo Müller. "At the secondary level, two thirds of our students do not come from Külsheim."
Municipality charter bus route for the whole day
The primary level is not yet organized as an all-day school, the pupils only learn all-day from the 5th grade. But the city has organized childcare in the primary school until 3:30 p.m. And even in elementary school, the children already learn with learning plans of different levels, which then continues seamlessly in secondary school. "The primary school teachers are doing more work, so to speak, because the Baden-Württemberg education plan does not explicitly require differentiation with up to three levels," says the headmaster appreciatively.
Even before the introduction of the community school in Baden-Württemberg in 2012/2013, the city of Külsheim and the Pater-Alois-Grimm-Schule, at that time a primary, secondary and technical secondary school, set out on the way to an inclusive school. In the 2009/2010 school year, the model of Swiss learning houses was initially set up in grades 5 and 6. The independent learning of the students should be strengthened.
In cooperation with the city as the school authority, the premises of the school were changed. In "input" rooms, the teachers introduce the lesson content, set the learning objectives and check what has been achieved. Then the learning studios were built, the first in the former indoor swimming pool. To this day - in addition to quotes such as "I know a lot, but I want to know everything", "Knowledge is power and" Mind is cool! "- the inscription" Do not jump from the edge of the pool "adorns the wall of this learning studio.
And the PAGS became an all-day school. Since then, the pupils have been studying four days a week until 3:30 p.m. PAGS has no problems with bus travel times in rural areas. "We have a great community behind us that has even chartered and financed a separate bus line," says Udo Müller. Over the years, new rooms such as the cafeteria, new classrooms, new Nawi and technical rooms and an expanded administration area have been created.
Individual learning in the learning ateliers
In the learning ateliers with up to 80 workstations with PC equipment, the pupils work independently on tasks. "Every pupil in grades 5 to 10 has, in addition to his or her workplace in the classroom, another one in the learning studio," reports headmaster Müller. “In the learning studios, the relationship between the colleagues and the students is different; they are learning companions for learning partners. Respectful interaction is very important, and that is why we have fixed rules on how to behave in the learning studio. "
According to Udo Müller, the materials developed for the differentiated tasks are “in a constant state of flux”, which means they are constantly being adapted to the learning groups. In consultation with the teachers, who are learning guides here, the students find their level. If the learning support sees that young people have worked well in the last few weeks, encourages them to take a new level. Conversely, the learning support can slow down if it notices that the student is overloaded. "For example, a child in grade 6 may work in German at grammar school level and in mathematics at secondary school level or vice versa," says the headmaster.
There are no fixed attendance times for teachers at PAGS. “We know that our colleagues are incredibly committed by their very nature,” says Udo Müller with conviction. "They take each other by the hand, support new colleagues and also meet privately in their free time to work together."
"PAGS on, get started, accelerate, have fun!"
A decisive factor that contributes to the success of learning is for the headmaster the time - and thus the all-day school. “The relationship level is the be-all and end-all, and that takes time. We adults sit together with the students in the cafeteria while eating. There are conversations taking place that cannot take place in the classroom. In addition to the lessons, we have a wealth of offers in the so-called TIP block - topics, interests and projects. This is a colorful bouquet of flowers from riding and swimming to cooking and handicrafts to hip-hop. "
While half of the class is currently sitting in the learning studio during the individual study time, the other half visit a TIP offer, climb the climbing wall, ride a mountain bike or work in the school garden. “This is where group dynamic processes take place that are incredibly important for a child's development. The students take responsibility and implement their own ideas. You learn here for life. Without all-day school we would not be able to maintain our school spirit ”, Udo Müller is convinced.
The school motto of the Pater-Alois-Grimm-Schule is: “Pags on, go ahead, accelerate, have fun!” Those who learn a lot can take a break from time to time, and at lunchtime, “sPAGat”, the “super- Break-activity-design-animation-team ‟. Pupils from the 8th and 9th grades have come together here to give younger classmates a playful offer - as a “balancing act” from morning to afternoon. In the play library, which is integrated in the cafeteria, there are many games to borrow, as well as board games as well as toys for outdoor activities such as unicycle, futsal or diabolo.
Orientate towards the world of children and young people
Of course, the topic of digitization has also come into focus. Headmaster Udo Müller is certain that this will be a focus of school development in the future. “Thanks to the support of our school authority, we are already very well equipped. All colleagues have a tablet. All rooms have a projector. ”In some study groups, e-books have already been tested, perhaps as a successor to the printed textbook.
"If all pupils work with tablets in the future, it will make communication between teachers, pupils and parents easier." that cannot be hidden. The school must be oriented towards the world of the children and young people.
Udo Müller is convinced that “it's no longer just about knowledge”. “It's also about other competencies, especially when you look at the world in recent years. The generation that is in school now needs to be prepared to do it differently from us adults. We need people who think creatively, who want to take on responsibility, who tackle the climate crisis now and who do not always pass the responsibility on to the next generation. "
Hortus Pagsis - place of life, tranquility and challenge
The Hortus Pagsis school garden is a contribution to nature and the climate. Last year he was awarded “Echt kuh-l” in the nationwide school competition for sustainable agriculture and nutrition. Five years ago the area was still a meadow. Then each class took over part of the school garden. Every student from grades 1 to 10 was busy somewhere in the garden. For example, one group built the willow fence, another built an oven in the garden, and another dug the pond. The school garden became "a place of life, of tranquility but also of challenge in nature".
Last year, teacher and co-initiator Rainer Häffner presented the school garden at the Federal School Garden Congress during the Federal Garden Show in Heilbronn. On the occasion he explained to the audience the topic of “Schoolchildren are planning their own school garden”. Headmaster Udo Müller appreciates the importance Hortus Pagsis has for education for sustainable development: "Today the school garden is an additional classroom for all kinds of subjects, from religion to art to mathematics."
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