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The best German School Abroad in 2016 is in...

Date 2016/06/09

The prestigious German School Prize has been awarded for the tenth time this year. For the first time, the list of nominees included two German Schools Abroad. The Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier awarded the special prize to the German International School Johannesburg in Berlin on 8 June 2016.

The journey to Berlin took eleven hours. "But it was worth it!", says Thomas Bachmeier, headmaster of the German International School Johannesburg. He has just received the special prize for the best German School Abroad – worth EUR 25,000.

"In the tenth year of its existence, I am particularly pleased that the prize has also taken account of the work of German Schools Abroad. They play an important role as mediators in their host countries and their experience in dealing with diversity also has an impact domestically," explained Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier as he handed over the award.

In fact, the German International School Johannesburg is virtually unrivalled when it comes to diversity, as Thomas Bachmeier reports: "We teach children from 36 countries with over 30 different religious faiths and an extremely wide range of social backgrounds." The jury was impressed and noted: "The

pupils are actually ‘colour blind’. They all like going to school because learning is cool. Pupil activities shape the teaching, the exam results are outstanding and development of the curriculum remains a central concern that is pursued systematically and sympathetically."

Like all prize winners, the German International School Johannesburg is now part of the network of good schools of the German School Academy, which share their ideas and experiences in workshops, seminars and guest programmes.

The German School Prize of the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Heidehof Foundation is regarded as the most important award for German schools. The award winners are selected on the basis of interviews with teachers, head teachers, pupils, parents and external partners. Six areas of quality are assessed: performance, dealing with diversity, quality of teaching, responsibility, school life and school as a place for learning.

Another nominee was the Alexander von Humboldt German International School in Lima German School Prize 2016Source: Max Lautenschläger

The Alexander von Humboldt German International School in Lima also had an impressive application and can look forward to a nomination prize of EUR 10,000.

The awards ceremony, which was attended by many prominent guests from the fields of education and politics, was shown live on German television. The main prize was won by the Grundschule am Süsteresch from Schüttdorf in Lower Saxony.

And as soon as the ceremony was over, it all began again: the details of the German School Prize 2017 were immediately published (www.deutscher-schulpreis.de). German Schools Abroad are again very welcome to apply.

The German International School Johannesburg is one of 140 German Schools Abroad supported by the Central Agency for German Schools Abroad (Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen, ZfA) of the Federal Office of Administration on behalf of the Federal Foreign Office, with the collaboration of the federal states (Länder) in terms of personnel, finance and teaching methodology. The ZfA reinforces quality-oriented school development and supports the foundation of new schools with a German profile. It advises local schools on the development of German lessons and on the introduction of German school-leaving qualifications in accordance with international standards.