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luftbildGymnasium Tostedt is one of 4 secondary schools in the community of Tostedt. It is located at 9 ° 43' East /53° 17' North in Lower Saxony, southwest of the city of Hamburg. Tostedt is one of 9 small towns in the community of Tostedt which has a total of 25,000 inhabitants.
Tostedt town has about 14,000 inhabitants. Gymnasium Tostedt and the 3 other secondary schools (Erich-Kästner-Realschule, Töste Realschule and the Hauptschule) are
situated on the outskirts of town. The school's location and architecture make for an informal atmosphere conducive to learning. The school was founded in 1982 and the first Abitur (school-leaving examination) was carried through in 1987.
The main school-building houses the classrooms for years/grades 5-10 and some science and art classrooms. Years/grades 11-12 are taught in another building about 3 minutes away, the so-called Oberstufenzentrum. There are 2 gyms and a spacious sports grounds shared by the Gymnasium, Erich-Kästner-Realschule and the Hauptschule.

 

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 Gymnasium Tostedt offers a variety of extracurricular activities : societies, projects, work experience opportunities both locally and further afield, exchange programmes, excursions, field trips and grinds in important subjects. The school prides itself on a fine tradition of summer and Christmas
concerts as well as drama performances. The pupils produce their own newspaper and many of them take part in national competitions in Geography, Sport, Science and Foreign Languages.

Students and staff at Gymnasium Tostedt

Number of students: 670
Years 5-10 (Secondary Education I): 500 students in 20 classes
Years 11-12 (Secondary Education II): 170 students in 7 classes
   
Staff: 58     of which 26 male, 32 female

Committees

Student Council: a representative body of 14 students elected by the students
Parents' Council: a representative body of 14 parents elected by the parents of underage students
Staff Council: elected body of staff members
School Conference: Executive body for pedagogical affairs, all teachers
and up to 14 representatives each from the Student Council and Parents' Council
Board of school: It consists of 16 elected members (4 parents, 4 pupils, and 8 teachers including the headmaster) who are to cooperate especially in the development of school quality.
School Management: The Headmaster Mr Birkner, Assistant Headmistress Ms Aepler and three coordinators, all of whom have both teaching and administrative duties two secretaries

Subjects

Four subjects, German, Maths, English and one other foreign language such as French, Latin or Spanish are usually allotted 4 periods each weekly .
The following subjects are usually allotted 2 periods each weekly: Art, Music, Geography, History, Politics, Religious Education, Ethics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Sciences (only in certain years) and P.E.

Languages

English as a second language is a mandatory subject for all students in Lower Saxony from year 3 on and is taught at Gymnasium Tostedt from year 5. Pupils have to choose either French or Latin as their second foreign at the beginning of year 6. At the moment, pupils having reached the tenth form can voluntarily choose between Spanish or Latin as their third foreign language.

Marking

Our school has the same marking system (1-6) as the rest of Germany for years 5-10, whereby 1 is the best and 6 the worst mark. From year 11 onwards points are given from 15 - 0, 15 being the best and 0 the worst mark. The students receive a report at the end of every term (the German school year has 2 terms) in which marks are given in all subjects. Each mark reflects oral and written performance. Oral performance accounts for at least 50% of the final mark and written performance is based on class tests and exams.

Years 5 - 10 (Secondary Education I)

There is no entrance examination in Lower Saxony. Instead, primary schools make recommendations for each student finishing 4th year as to which of the 3 school forms (Hauptschule, Realschule, Gymnasium) is suitable. Many parents follow the advice of the primary schools but do not have to do so.In years 5 - 10 students can repeat a year or change to a different school form (Realschule or Hauptschule). Students who finish Grade 10 successfully receive a certificate (Secondary Education 1 Certificate) allowing them to proceed to Secondary Education II (years 11 - 12) or leave the Gymnasium and begin vocational education simultaneously at school and in a company.

Years 11 - 12 (Secondary Education II)

Year 10 is considered a preparatory step for the final two years at school. At the beginning of year 11, students have to choose their subjects from three options, majoring either in Field A (Languages, Liberal Arts, Art), Field B (Social Sciences) or in Field C (Maths, Sciences, Computer Sciences). This means that there are mandatory subjects such as German, Maths, Politics and P.E. In addition students focus on further subjects from the fields mentioned above. Secondary Education II concludes with the Abitur (final examination). The 3 (as from 2008, 4) written tests in each subject are provided by the Ministry of Education and the Arts in Hanover and Gymnasium students all over Lower Saxony do their exams at the same time. Students who pass their Abitur exams receive their A-Level-Certificate (High School Diploma) which allows them to apply to most universities in Germany. Some universities have additional entrance exams and restricted admission (numerus clausus) may apply for certain subjects or courses.

Facilities

  • A large library (160 sq. metres) with 16,000 volumes, various magazines and internet access

  • Three computer labs providing up to 33 units; furthermore, students can make use of additional computers in other places for their school-related work. (around 160 computers)

  • A cafeteria in the main building and some vending machines in both buildings

  • Subjects like Geography, Art, Music, Biology, Chemistry and Physics are mainly taught in separate rooms, each with its own subject-related appliances