Peter Kotrc is the director of BBIS. The school is segmented into:
Primary School (PS), with Angela Hollington as PYP Principal. Additionally, there are a PYP Coordinator (Lisa Roy) and Literacy- and Math-Coordinators.
Secondary School (SecS) with Michaela Jung as MYP Principal and Barbara Giegerich as Assistant Principal.
IBDP/IBCP with Andrew Hand as Principal.
In Secondary School and in the IBDP/IBCP section the subjects are organized in departments, like science, languages, German, maths, arts. These departments are led by Heads of Department.
How can I contact teachers, principals and the director?
The best is to contact them by email, also if you want to make an appointment in case of a major concern.
The Way to School
How does my child come to school?
By school bus: There are about 10 school busses that are reserved for BBIS members only. They approach different stations in Berlin, Potsdam and on their way to Kleinmachnow. If you want to register your child, please contact Potsdam Bus: 033203/884925 or email@example.com
By car directly to the parking lot in front of the gym.
By public transportation, bike or by foot – depending on the distance.
Tell me more about Parking, Drop-off and the car free Campus!
During bring and pick up time the school campus is closed for cars (it should be 7.30 to 8.20 am and 2.15 to 3.20pm). During this times parents can enter the area only with special permission (please get more information in the Administration Office) to reach the parking areas opposite of Houses 4, 5 and 6. Those are available for example if a child is hurt and not able to walk properly for a given time. Before and after the closing times parents can use the parking areas next to the Heizhaus up to the Blue Box. From the barriers at the lower bottom of the Heizhaus you can enter the school parking area directly from the roundabout. Here the right lane is a pure Drop-off-lane. Children are meant to leave the car quickly, mom/dad to keep sitting and continue driving immediately after the child has left the car. Unfortunately, this very often doesn't work as it should, parents even park here, but we want to ask that everyone tries to do his/her best to change this situation. As far as we know school tries to find a new concept. For parking the complete area at the left of the drop-off-lane is available. Walking up the stairs at the right of the gym and further along the fence of the sports place you reach the „Blue Box“ and the Campus.
How can I enter BBIS?
Parents must show their BBIS badge when they enter the school campus and have to wear this visible during their stay. Each family receives two of those badges at the beginning of their first school year. If you forget your card but want to enter the campus you have to register at the Blue Box with an ID card to receive a guest badge. This option is also to choose if you bring visitors – grandparents, friends etc.- onto the campus.
Where can I pick up my child in the afternoon or how does he/she come home?
ES: The student can be picked up in the aula of House 1 (Level 3)at 2.50 pm, EE in the aula in Level 2 at 2.45 pm. Students going by school bus are brought by teachers or assistants to the busses. ES children must be picked up from an adult (16+) at their final station. If this isn't the case, the bus driver waits for some minutes (2-3) and then continues his tour, taking the child with him and bringing it to the BBIS Blue Box at the end of his tour. If you want your child to leave the school alone (for example to meet you at the parking area or at the Blue Box), send the teacher an email before school starts. Different arrangements must be confirmed by email or on paper early enough. SecS: The students are responsible on their own to find their school bus on time, to go to a meeting point or to go home.
When does school start?
Classes start at 8 am, students normally can enter the classroom at 7.50. At ES early children are invited to attend a „Morning Club“ at the „Bridge“ in House 1, Level 3, from 7.35 am.
How is the school day scheduled?
PS: Classes start at 8 am, a first recess is from 10 to 10.30 am. Grades 1 and 2 are having lunch from 12.30 to 1.30, Grades 3 to 5 from 12.30 to 1.20. SecS: School starts at 8 am, after 10 minutes homeroom registration time the first period starts. Morning break is from 9.30 to 9.45 am, followed by period 2 until 11.05. Lunch time is from 11.05 to 12.00. Period 3 follows until 1.20 pm, period 3 from 1.35 to 2.55 after the afternoon break.
When does school end in the afternoon?
EE: at 2.45 pm PS: at 2.50 pm SecS: at 2.55 pm
What is expected if my child is sick and can't attend school?
PS: Please send an email to the homeroom teacher and to school secretary Julie Dickinson (Julie.firstname.lastname@example.org) or call school (033203 80360), both latest until 8.20. Email is preferred! SecS: Please make an entry into ManageBac before 8.20 am. School is happy if you additionally send an email to the school secretary. If no message arrives at school in the morning BBIS will contact you to ask why the child hasn't shown up.
Do I need a medical certificate if my child is sick or had a doctor's appointment during school time?
PS: Only after infectious diseases and after lice, if the child wants to come back to school. SecS: If the child is sick for more than three days.
What happens if my child gets sick during the school day?
PS: The child will be brought to the nurse who evaluates the child's state. If the child shouldn't be able to attend classes anymore the parents (or contact person) will be informed and asked to pick up the student, best during the next 30 minutes. If the child was hurt and has to be treated immediately, an ambulance will be called and the parents will be informed. SecS: Students pick up a „nurse pass“ from the MYP office or the secretary before they go to the school nurse, then see ES
Can my child leave the campus during the school day?
PS: No – only if it is attended by a teacher for example during a day trip or if it is picked up by his/her parents. SecS: No until Grade 10. IB: If the parents have allowed it.
Which meals are usual at BBIS?
In the morning students have snack, at noon lunch. For snack the children need something to eat and to drink, both has to be brought from home. In ES only healthy snacks are allowed, no chocolate and not fizzy drinks. Each child has to bring his/her own water bottle. In EE the children celebrate a healthy breakfast together. In a rotation system the parents bring fruit, vegetables and other food which is prepared by the children.
How does lunch at BBIS work?
In general, there are two options: your children can either buy lunch at the school caterer Apetito in the Cafeteria (you have to prepay, all necessary information were already sent to you by the school) or they can bring packed lunch from home. In both cases the students are having their lunch together. ES students can't buy sweets, lemonades or milk (because it is sweetened) in the Cafeteria.
Extra Curricular Activities (ECAs)
How do the ECAs work?
At the beginning of each term or before a term ends schools sends out a pdf booklet including the ECA offers for the new term. The ECA terms run from school start to Winter Holidays in December, from January to Spring Holidays in March/April and from after the Spring Holidays to Summer Holidays. Registration is done online. If there are too many registration for a course, some students cannot participate. If your child is rejected, you will receive an information. The first two weeks are probation time. During this time it is possible to quit the course if the child doesn't like it. For most of the ECAs you have to pay – details can be found in the booklet.
What's about instrumental classes at BBIS?
PS: The students are exposed to the recorder, the ocarina, the guitar, drums, glockenspiel and the keyboard during music classes. Grade 2 - They can start to learn a string instrument properly like guitar, violin or cello (maybe some more available) in co-operation with the Kleinmachnow music school - no extra fees for the lessons apply. If you need to rent the instrument school will help you doing so. Grade 5 - Instruments are part of the curriculum, students choose between flute, saxophone, clarinet, percussion, trumpet, trombone and tuba. Lessons take place during curriculum time and are given by teachers from the Kleinmachnow music school, instruments can be rented through the school. There also is an instrumental program after school, Johannes Hager is the contact person. SecS: The instrumental program is currently under development
What is the Duke of Edinburgh Award, offered at BBIS?
The DofE programs are at three progressive levels which lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award, if successfully completed. The participants select and set objectives in each of the following areas: - Volunteering: undertaking service to individuals or the community - Physical: improving an area of sport, dance or fitness activities - Skills: developing practical and social skills and personal interests - Expedition: planning, training for, and completion of an expedition - At Gold level they must do an additional Residential section, which involves staying and working away from home for five days, doing a shared activity To achieve an award, the student must work on each section for 6 to 12 months, depending on the level. The program can be started with 14 years and must be finished with 25 years.
How does my child come to the ECAs?
PS: The students are brought by teachers or assistants to a collecting point (aula) from where they are picked up by the ECA leaders. SecS: The students are responsible on their own to go their ECAs
How does my child come home from his/her ECAs?
You can pick up your child directly from the ECA (ES), they can go home or to meeting point by themselves (ES, SecS) or they reach the Late Bus to Berlin or Potsdam. As there is only one Late Bus to both destinations, they approach only a smaller amount of stations and it is likely that the child has to add some stations with public transportation or has to be picked up (ES must be picked up by a 16+). PS: The modus must be confirmed with the leader of the activity in advance.
2. DURING CLASS
What characterizes the pedagogical concept of BBIS?
The EE is a PYP school, based on Reggio principles. The PYP is an inquiry based curriculum, focused on developing student thinking. Its main difference to other curriculi is that it is concept based, has its focus on making connections between different subjects and is based on previous knowledge. It is a constructivist style of education. For more information about the PYP please attend the info morning or contact Lisa Roy (email@example.com). The MYP is holistic, which means that is must be available for all students, no matter on which nviveau it is, also in terms of language. Additionally it is very project oriented, maybe more than other programs. Students should inquirer and learn to learn critically, explore the global context. The MYP develops apporaches to learn with focus on things like group work, creative thinking etc. At BBIS report cards “Service Action” can be found in Grades 9 and 10 already and the Personal Project in Grade 10 is an important event, for which the students have to consolidate all skills. In Grades 6 to 8 students work in Service Families several times during the school year on a service project like outdoor libraries, garding etc. For more information about the MYP please attend the info events or contact Barbara Giegerich (firstname.lastname@example.org).
How many children are allowed in my child's homeroom and how many teachers care for them?
PS: There is a maximum of 20 students with one teacher assured from Mrs. Hollington. If there are more – for special reasons – an extra assistant is appointed. SecS: Officially there is maximum of 20 students, under special circumstances the number can be higher. Normally there are less students in a class, the average is always below 20.
Will my child always have the same classmates?
PS: No - because in an international school we have children leaving us and joining all the time and it is easier to integrate. Each year the classes are composed newly, but with an eye on topics like new/old students, girls/boys, children that don't fit together etc. Teachers normally don't accompany their classes, they stay in their grade. SecS: Students are mixed newly each year, but homerooms are getting less important from year to year. While there are about 25 percent new students in Grade 10 only one subject – Science – is taught for the homeroom group in this grade. In Grade 9 there are 2 subjects: Sciences and Humanities. In this school year, another 40 minutes homeroom time is added to the timetable.
Are there experiences with changing (back) into other school systems from the PYP or MYP if students return back into their home country?
PS: There is an adaption, if the style of teaching is different – often very content based, if children are not required to think – but children adapt quickly. SecS: Mostly there is no negative feedback, as the MYP is not a curriculum but a framework that can be adapted in different countries.
I want my child to change to a German school – when is the moment for this?
PS: More children leave after Grade 4, but in this case the student misses the Grade 5 exhibition which is very important as a final event of the PYP. SecS: Before Grade 8 – the student should have enough time for adaption to the new school before his senior years start.
Languages at BBIS
How “German” are the contents of BBIS classes like History or literature?
PS: Students get an idea of German culture in assemblies and during different festivals. BBIS does World – not Germany, not British, not USA, it is an international school. SecS: The classes are not focused on German(y), most teachers don't origin from German speaking countries. There are topics like the Second World War, with focus on Germany, but this is only one topic and is not discussed in the full context like it is in German schools.
How important is German in classes?
EE: The assistants speak German, but the EE is not true bilingual, they have German in the environment. PS: German is taught as language A and B, all German native speakers have one (additional) lesson German literacy. Non-native speakers have four periods German per week. SecS: Students have 160 minutes German class per week – parents must be aware that this is normally not enough to develop the academic German to such a high level as the academic English. BBIS is not a bilingual school.
Why isn't my child allowed to attend German classes (yet)?
PS: Because their English isn't good enough. It is essential to understand and speak the school language – English. To enhance learning English, some children in PS might not attend German classes for some time and receive additional English support instead. This does not affect the home language literacy class, which means that German native speakers will still have one hour German literacy (instead of 4+1 periods German), even if they have additional English. SecS: All students have German classes.
Which foreign languages does BBIS offer and when?
SecS: French and Spanish from Grade 6 (choose one). A start with this language is possible until Grade 8. Students that enter BBIS in Grade 9 without prior knowledge in French or Spanish have to choose Drama instead. In Grade 9 they can choose Mandarin (instead of Design). Koreans have the opportunity to make a Korean IBDP exam at BBIS.
Why is my child not allowed to learn a foreign language (yet)?
Because it has to learn English on a high level first or because it needs another special support. English is the school language and the language in which the exams will be written – whereas a foreign language is not necessary for a successful diploma. For this reason, BBIS offers students who need help in English, support in all subjects in the Study Hall, while the other students of their Grade have French or Spanish classes. To be confronted with English as much as possible those students also can't choose between Drama and Mandarin – Drama also ensures an intense engagement with English.
What is the home language program at BBIS?
PS: Students receive one lesson literacy in their home language during the school day, if possible (enough students with this mother tongue, teacher available). If this is not possible, they receive one additional English class. SecS: Eventually offered after school as ECA.
How often are Parent Teacher Conferences held?
PS: One in spring. SecS: Two – one in fall, one in spring.
What is a Student Led Conference and what happens there?
In PS and EE students show once during the school year – in March or April – their parents on their own what they have been learning. This presentation is held by the children alone for their parents in the homeroom, in the rooms of the specialist teachers and in the gym. The teachers are present, but try not to interfere. The preparations take some weeks and the students are very conscientious. It is a very special day for most children.
How often are reports delivered and when?
PS: Changes planned. Recently we had one report card at the end of January and a second shortly before the last school day in June. SecS: Two – one on the last school day before the winter holidays in February and one on the last school day in June.
My Child Needs Help
What, if my child has learning problems or has diagnosed special needs?
Please contact the Student Support Service as soon as possible, especially if you are new, that quick reaction is possible. Open parent meetings are very welcome. PS: There is no separate gifted children program but enrichment and acceleration is implemented within the classroom curriculum. In case of learning support a personal learning plan is developed which is reviewed every six weeks with parents and teachers. It might be possible - if your child is eligible for a 1:1 learning mentor - to have financial support through official German government. The Learning support department can give you more information about this. SecS: The same, but learning plan is reviewed several times throughout the year.
Is it possible at BBIS to repeat a grade?
Yes – but only a few and mostly in ES. The decision is made on personal criteria, as there are no grades in ES. If both teachers and parents share the impression that the next grade would be too early for the child the decision might be made that the student stays one more year in his recent grade. It is tried to do this as early as possible, it is very rare after Grade 3. SecS: It is possible but not often – studies show that it is demotivating for the students' self-esteem.
Help, my child is bullied or doesn't make friends!
First please contact the classroom teacher, he or she will talk about it. It will be worked out with the counsellor. Most important: the school needs to find out what goes on.
How does discipline work at BBIS?
PS: The children have developed a “Charta of children rights”, which contain respectful learning, respect for others etc. At the beginning of the year and when it is necessary they discuss about the Charta at assemblies. If there are incidences like physical aggression or bullying the students are sent to the principal, she puts them on record and the parents get informed. In school year 2016/17 four children were put on record. Their behavior is monitored, they must sign off at the Cafeteria and at recess (the supervisor has to confirm their behavior three times per day) for about two weeks. If it goes on a formal warning is possible, but this wasn't necessary during the last years. After three formal warnings, the principal would talk with the director, worst consequence would be the kick out of school. PS gives the children strategies and reinforces these through the assemblies. Peacemakers are students that get taught coping skills. SecS: First contact is the homeroom teacher or the teacher where the problem occurred. He/she should try to solve the problem in the classroom first. If this doesn't work the parents are contacted. In extreme cases the principal or assistant principal gets involved. Consequences in SecS are a traveling report, in school or out of school suspension, expulsion.
Are there ability groups?
PS: In First Grade Reading each child has his/her own pace – books of different levels are available for the daily reading homework. In classes teachers try to adapt the topics to the abilities of each child (internal differentiation). In German there are different groups – native speakers and almost native speakers, intermediates and beginners. SecS: Yes – the higher the grade the higher is the differentiation. In German from the beginning, maths and English follow. No differentiation groups are made in Sciences, Humanities, Art, Music, PE, foreign languages. IBDP: Students have to choose between Higher and Standard Level.
Which choices does my child have in Secondary School and in which Grades?
Grade 6: French or Spanish Grade 9: Drama or Foreign Language (French/Spanish), or they are invited into Study Hall Grade 9: Music or Art Grade 9: Mandarin or Design Grade 10: In Humanities 2 out of Geography, History, Business and Economics (each for 1 term)
How important are the Arts at BBIS?
Very important, Arts and Music are highly respected at BBIS, like maths and sciences, but are taught with less hours. Both subjects are offered as IB subjects – as is drama.
What is the MSA?
The German “Mittlerer Schulabschluss”, which is done by BBIS students in Grade 10 around May.
3. The IB
Which IB programs does BBIS offer?
IBDP: IB Diploma Program IBCP: IB Career Program
How many students are sitting the exam each year?
About 80, around 15 of them are IBCP students.
How are the IB results of BBIS?
2016: 2nd best school in Germany with 34,4 or 34,5. 2017: around 33
Of what does the IBDP consist?
To pass the IBDP students have to attend classes of six subjects for two school years (Grade 11 and 12) and master the “Core” of Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) and the Extended Essay (EE). The maximum of points are 45, the IBDP is passed if 24 points are reached. Elite universities expect at least 39-41 points minimum.
Which IBDP subjects does BBIS offer at the moment?
All subjects offered in HL and SL if not commented otherwise.
Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature English Literature English Language and Literature German Literature German Language and Literature Korean Literature Native Language: Self-taught (SL only)
Group 2: Language Acquisition English B German B French B German ab initio (SL only) Spanish B
Group 3: Individuals and Societies Business and Management Economics Geography History
Group 4: Sciences Biology Chemistry Physics Design Technology
Group 6: The Arts and Electives Music Theatre Visual Art Further Mathematics (HL only) Native Language: Self-taught (SL only) Another Subject from Groups 1 to 4
Which subjects must be chosen for the IBDP?
One subject from each group 1-6, makes 6 subjects in total. Of those 6 subjects at least 3 and a maximum of 4 must be taken in Higher Level (HL), the other 3 (2) in Standard Level (SL). Because of timetable coordination not all combinations of subjects are possible and in some cases if not enough students register for one course it might happen that the subject cannot be offered. But School tries to satisfy as many wishes as possible.
Who should choose a self-taught language subject?
Students who choose a self-taught course need to prove that they have had formal instruction in their mother tongue for several years. Self-taught students are not taught face-to-face but work together with a supervisor who helps students to compile the literature list, structure the course, prepare students for the oral and written examinations and monitors their progress. This course requires from students a very high degree of independent work.
Are there admission requirements for the IBDP?
Yes. At least 45 points in the report card of Grade 10 (higher points in equivalent subjects, for example Science subjects) plus Personal Project no subject must be graded with 4 points HL subjects should have 6 or 7 points in Grade 10
Can my child change the IB course if he/she isn't happy with the teacher?
What are the components of the IBCP?
Business, English, Math Studies 1 BTec area 3 Internships, each two weeks CAS
Which BTec areas are offered?
Travel & Tourism, Art & Design, Sports The IBCP courses are: German A/B, Science, Personal and Professional Skills, Physical Education
Are there class trips at BBIS?
PS: Yes. Grade 5 goes in fall from Monday to Friday, Grades 1-4 in May. Grade 4 normally leaves on Monday, Grade 3 on Tuesday, Grade 2 on Wednesday, Grade 1 on Thursday. All come back on Friday. The classes are accompanied by their homeroom teachers and additional teachers and assistants, and school always takes care that female and male adults are available for all children. SecS: Yes, Grades 6 to 9 go on “Outbound” class trips in fall, Grade 10 spends the week with activities in Berlin and the area. IB. The Biology course has its internal assessment as a class trip, Geography sometimes, too.
Is there a student exchange at BBIS?
SecS students of Grades 8 to 10 have the chance to participate at a China exchange (Beijing and Shanghai) every second year. It lasts about two weeks and part of it is during the Spring Holidays. More details: MYP office.
Performances and Presentations
Are there school concerts at BBIS?
Yes, at the beginning of December the Winter Concert, at the beginning of June the Spring Concert. EE, ES and SecS have different dates!
Regular Musical Soirees were originally thought for Grades 11 and 12 (IB), but Grades 9 and 10 are integrated recently.
Additionally, there is the opportunity to participate at the yearly Musicalmania, a big Musical event for students from Grade 5 and higher – a fun rehearsal weekend included! Two performances!
On one evening, each year is held a Motto-mania, for example Beatlesmania or Placesmania – here members of the BBIS community can perform in groups or solo.
BIMP is a huge event in March that involves several schools from Berlin and Brandenburg and meanwhile even other countries. You can participate in a Junior or Senior choir, a Junior or Senior Orchestra, a Jazz Band and sometimes more ensembles. Registration normally starts in the mid of December, rehearsals in the mid of January.
The Grade 5 instrumental program has a concert in June.
Are BBIS students allowed to leave class if their sibling has a BBIS school concert?
Yes, but please inform the teacher in advance.
Are there theater performances at BBIS?
EE: Musical Grade 4: Opera, in March Grade 8: Romeo and Juliet, in Winter Grade 9: Drama Night Grade 10: Drama Night
Are there Art and project presentations?
Grade 3: Artists Show, May? Grade 5: PYP Exhibition, May? Grade 10: Personal Project Exhibition, end of February/beginning of March Grade 12: IB Art Show, end of February/beginning of March
Are there Sport events at BBIS?
Sports Day in June, different dates for ES and SecS GISST Competitions in various disciplines
Are there festivals at BBIS, which other events are important?
Different cultures are celebrated in assemblies
On United Nations day in October or November the focus is put on one special topic like rights of the children, refugees etc. instead of curriculum
Move-a-thon as a Fundraising activity in spring
Culture Day - parents decorate classrooms and share countries culture, students attend some rooms and take part in activities to get insights
Peace day in September
Parent Teacher Association
What is the PTA?
The PTA is the Parent Teacher Association of BBIS. She is the link for all parents, organizes social events like the summer fest, Bingo, the Welcome Back BBQ and is the connection between school and parents.