Elternabend – parents’ evening German style

School blackboard - ©iStockphoto.com/kyoshinoWhen I hear the term “parent’s evening” in English, it conjures up an image of parents talking at tables to teachers about their children’s progress at school.  But the German translation, Elternabend, means something completely different – as I quickly learnt when my daughter started primary school in Germany.

Yes, it takes place in the evening, and generally speaking at least one parent of each child is present.  But not every teacher turns up, unless they have been requested to.  The evening is not even officially run by the school, but by an elected representative from among the parents, who arranges the date with the form teacher. [Read more…]

Worldfest at Frankfurt International School

This afternoon the Frankfurt International School at the northern end of Oberursel celebrated their “Worldfest”.

At Worldfest, the parents of the pupils attending the school sell food and drink as well as arts and crafts from their home countries.  With 19 countries represented, there was certainly a wide choice of things to try, from more well-known dishes such as pizza (Italy), sushi (Japan), and Bratwurst (Germany), to more exotic items like Blini and Pirozhki (Russia), Poffertjes (Netherlands) and Bulgogi (Korea).

FIS Worldfest 22nd May 2011 - Indian stand

Food at the Indian stand

The elderflower lemonade from Sweden certainly made an interesting – and refreshing – alternative to the usual type of drinks at such festivals.

With the school celebrating its 50th anniversary this year as well, the festival was particularly well visited, with alumni swelling the numbers to an estimated 3,000 visitors!  In the entrance, a selection of vintage cars were on show from the 1960s and 1970s – the early years of the school, accompanied by their owners who were happy to explain their cherished automobiles.

Amongst the first visitors were [Read more…]

German Schools and Modern Teaching Methods

School blackboard - ©iStockphoto.com/kyoshinoI suppose it was inevitable that once my daughter started school I would be comparing the school system in Germany with that in England – at least with the one I experienced at the end of the 1970s and throughout the 1980s.

But I wasn’t quite prepared for the cultural shock that followed, and am still often left trying to work out whether it is a difference between the national systems that I am observing, or whether times have just simply moved on.

When I went to to primary school in England… [Read more…]

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