What are the key strengths that make German International Schools unique?
Andreas Rothfritz, GISAD: German International Schools are part of a system of only 141 schools certified through the German federal government. This grants students who attend German International Schools access to certified diplomas, which are seamlessly recognised in case of a family transition back to Germany, Austria, or Switzerland. The German Schools in the UAE are even certified as “Excellent German Schools Abroad.” Most teachers are recruited directly from Germany, enabling a teaching standard that reflects Germany’s curriculum. This teaching standard highlights the excellent performance of our students. An above average number of our students complete their Abitur (German high school diploma, eligible for university entry-level) and study in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, or worldwide in various fields such as medicine, engineering, computer sciences and education. German curriculum graduates have obtained a broad and strong basis of knowledge covering all STEM subjects, social, and arts subjects, build up a high level of intercultural competence and tolerance, have a high level of foreign language competence (English, French, and Arabic), can act independently, develop creative ideas, and think critically, and thus possess outstanding study skills.
The German International School Abu Dhabi’s (GISAD) legacy is reflected in its long history in the UAE.
How have German International Schools worked to ensure the well-being of students and staff following the stress and upheaval of the pandemic?
Michael Lummel, DISD: Well-being is key at the German International School Dubai (DISD). “Our goal is to strive successfully for happiness.” This central goal from our mission statement has never been more important than today. What have we done to improve this pursuit for happiness at DISD? We have employed an additional school psychologist. We have intensified our German language learning support with two additional teachers. We are introducing an innovative app to measure and boost emotional well-being. We are planning school trips and excursions, for example to Expo, for all classes. Afternoon activities and school teams have kicked off again. Our teacher training days include yoga, meditation, relaxation, music and sports activities next to academic slots. No wonder that the German International Schools of Dubai and Abu Dhabi ranked excellent in inspections during the pandemic. All in all, we want both, students and colleagues alike, to interact, collaborate, relax, laugh and focus together. As I said before, well-being is key at the German International School Dubai.
German International Schools are part of a system of only 141 schools certified through the German federal government.
What is German International Schools’ legacy in the UAE and how has it developed over the country’s 50 year history?
Andreas Rothfritz, GISAD: The German International School Abu Dhabi’s (GISAD) legacy is reflected in its long history in the UAE, having been founded in 1976. This year, GISAD celebrates its 45th anniversary. This history allows insight into that strong foundation of support between our institution and the UAE. H.H. Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed generously donated land for the school to flourish and expand. In 2005, with the help of local German companies and especially a donation from the royal family, a modern sports hall was built on-site in Abu Dhabi. In 2007, through a Memorandum of Understanding, the first Emirati children were admitted to the kindergarten under the scholarship programme of H.H. Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed, and GISAD moved to a generously new building. The German International School in Dubai (DISD) was founded in 2008, and its rapid growth to a big school reflects its high status amongst the top-ranking international schools in Dubai.
What steps do German International Schools take to prepare their pupils to be as competitive and successful as possible?
Michael Lummel, DISD: The German International School Dubai (DISD) is an innovative, competitive and learning school. We continuously strive for excellence in all categories. We foster the unique German engineering spirit. Just take our presence at the Expo: have you ever witnessed students performing a science slam? DISD students will compete against each other and against students from all over Germany in presenting complex scientific topics at the Expo. Do you want to experience a fusion of German fairy tales and a chemistry show? This fusion will be performed by our multilingual DISD students at the German Pavilion on December 6 at the Expo. Other examples of our adaption to a rapidly developing world are digitalisation, augmented reality (AR) and coding. All DISD students are equipped with standardised iPads. Merge Cubes AR makes digital 3-D objects tangible and learning more effective at the German school. We are also an Areeka partner school for augmented reality. Robo Mice, Shero Bolts and Lego Mindstorm introduce the world of robotics and coding from primary school onwards. Our DISD students thrive as true global citizens that set sail into the future.