Adolph Diesterweg School in Hamburg - Allermöhe, Germany

Here is a brief English introduction to our school. We can’t provide full English pages but please feel free to browse through the rest of our website and just check out the pictures where available (you’ll find a number of links on this page). And, who knows, maybe you’re going to do your old German teacher proud and understand more than you’d ever have thought possible…

Opened in 1997 with just 23 students, we are one of Hamburg’s youngest schools. Since then, we have grown to a grand total of over 370 students, aged about 5 to 10. Our staff now consists of 35 mostly female teachers plus, of course, our indispensable school secretary, Frau Böttcher, and caretakers, Herr and Frau Wesierski, without whom the running of the school would be impossible. Our Headmister, Herr Riebandt, and our Deputy Head, Frau Fechner, are doing just as good a job, of course (and so are the rest of the staff!).

Our school is named after Adolph Diesterweg, a German 19th-century educational reformer who aimed to give all children, not just the privileged few, at least a basic education. He wanted all teachers to be properly trained, published a number of school books and developed methods and principles of exploratory learning that still seem surprisingly modern.

We are situated in southeastern Hamburg, in Neu-Allermöhe in the district of Bergedorf, which is a still-growing estate of council housing and privately owned blocks of flats as well as semi-detached and detached houses. Town planners have aimed to avoid mistakes made during previous developments so Allermöhe now has many facilities that other parts of our beautiful city can only dream of having. The entire estate borders on a network of canals and there is a pedestrian and cycle track, known as the Diagonal, running the length of the entire estate. As the entire population has moved into our neighbourhood within the past five years or so, there is constant change and a wide range of nationalities and origins, both geographically, culturally and language-wise. We are doing our utmost to welcome and integrate our students and their families into their new home town. Where to find us and how to contact us.

Like all Hamburg primary schools, we are a so-called Guaranteed Half-Day Primary School, i.e. we teach our students from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hamburg is the only of the German federal states that does so throughout its region. There is an after-school programme in our school building as well, under outside management. Apart from primary classes 1 to 4, we also have three pre-school classes which brings the total up to eighteen. Two of our classes are so-called Combi Classes where a team made up of a primary school teacher and a special-needs teacher from the School for Speech-Impaired Children teaches up to six speech-impaired children in mainstream classes. Hamburg is also the only federal state in Germany that teaches all primary school students English in years one to four, using an activity-based approach rather than an academic one.

Apart from the obvious three R’s and other general subjects, our school curriculum focuses on two main aspects: movement and coordination on the one hand and contact on the other. To achieve these goals, we offer a wide range of activities to get our children moving - we have a weekly motor functions programme in the gym, numerous playground facilities, and on rainy days pupils have the use of the gym and can visit the disco in our assembly hall during breaks. Our main medium to get people in contact inside and outside the school is our School Magazine which is published two or three times a year, prepared and read by all classes in class, and edited by a team of two students, two teachers and two parents elected by the respective governing bodies (Staff Conference, Student Conference and Parent Council). Like a good modern school, we also aim to teach our students the use of the computer and the internet; all classrooms have at least one and our Computer Room boasts ten computers with internet access.

During our brief history, we have aimed to develop our own school traditions throughout the year and are proud of what we have accomplished. Highlights of our school year include our Lights Festival in November which brings all the school - children, parents and staff - together, our annual Student Concert in early spring, Reading Day in April and our “Summer Olympics” and Summer Fete (the latter organised by the Parent Council) towards the end of the school year. We are also in close touch with other institutions in the neighbourhood and participate in joint activities like the "Allermöhe for all" festival in September 2002.