Secondary School Programme

Our Secondary School

At Berlin Cosmopolitan School students are encouraged to become active and responsible world citizens. This includes strong academics and multilingualism as well as the development of social and intercultural skills. An individual education together with a good academic, emotional, and physical balance are top priorities at Berlin Cosmopolitan School. Students are prepared for the future by providing them with a solid foundation of interdisciplinary knowledge and skills, as well as different methods of learning. At Berlin Cosmopolitan School students become life long learners, who gain the knowledge and skills necessary to adjust and succeed in an ever-changing world

Berlin Cosmopolitan School implements the Berlin State Curriculum and as an International Baccalaureate World School, the IB Diploma Programme (IB DP) is followed. At the end of 10th grade students may graduate with the Mittlerer Schulabschluss (MSA) – the Berlin middle school degree. After the 12th grade students may graduate with an IB Diploma and the German Abitur.


The curriculum for the upper Secondary School level at Berlin Cosmopolitan School is bilingual, in English and German. Students have the opportunity to graduate with an IB DP bilingual diploma if they successfully complete an upper secondary literature course in both German and English. As well, students have the opportunity to study French and Spanish as a second or third foreign language.

Local and International Community Involvements

Ethical internships take place from grade 6 – 10, allowing students to learn from and connect with their community; by spending time with and developing projects with groups such as seniors, refugees or youth at risk. Students take part in identifying local and international need, plan their actions and later present the results and personal reflections of their experiences. In grades 11-12 students continue their local and international community involvement through the CAS programme as defined by the IB Diplomma Programme (see following page).

While connecting with people within the local community, Berlin Cosmopolitan School also works on projects with international organizations such SOS Children’s Village and Paper Pen Peace (Children’s rights), Wilderness International (climate protection), and C.A.R.E (Refugee rights) amongst others.

Practical Internships and College Counseling

From grades 6 – 10, students complete practical internships, spending 1 to 2 weeks in a placement of their choice experiencing hands on learning while exploring their future career options.  In the past students have engaged in a wide variety of work environments including design agencies, law and architecture firms, sound studios, universities, various government embassies, television stations, veterinarian and medical clinics, forest management organizations, and art galleries.

To ensure students are aware of their opportunities and help them better reach their goals, career and post secondary education guidance is provided to our students though our Berlin Cosmopolitan School College Counsellor, guest talks and collaborations with independent college counselors and consultants, field trips to college fairs and information sessions as well as regular information postings on our Berlin Cosmopolitan School career counseling blog,

Extracurricular Programme

As an all-day Secondary School, Berlin Cosmopolitan School offers an afternoon programme between 4 and 6pm for students; to extend their learning in expert groups, to review and finish homework in tutorial, to improve their language skills in the Language Development Programmes and to participate in their choice of over 50 afternoon activities including various Sports, Model United Nations, Debating, Math Olympiad, School Newspaper, Ballet, Modern Dance, Orchestra, Recording Studio, and Robotics, amongst others.

Subject themed Class Trips and Seminars

In addition to day excursions throughout the year, classes take part in week-long trips outside of Berlin. These trips are subject-based, allowing in-depth inquiry into a specific topic of study. Our class trips have included the exploration of physics in Hamburg, a historical look at 19th century industrialization in the Ruhrgebiet area, biology at the Baltic Sea, and language trips to England, France, and Spain.

Mittlerer Schulabschluss (MSA)

The MSA or Berlin Middle School Degree acquired at the end of 10th grade not only tests the students’ knowledge, but also the skills that have been acquired over the years. The MSA consists of two parts – the final grades of year 10 along with the written examinations.

Each student will have three written examinations in German, math and their first foreign language. A 15-minute oral examination will be included in the foreign language exam. A fourth subject will be chosen for presentation-examination, which is organized as group testing and lasts between 10-20 minutes.

Students’ must pass both parts according to the specific requirements of the State of Berlin as they are crucial requirements when looking for a job or wanting to graduate with an IB Diploma or German Abitur.


Berlin Cosmopolitan School students may also work towards the German leaving certificate, called the Abitur. Those entering this track; are within the top 30 percent of the German high school student population.

The general performance, which is achieved in the qualification phase (grades 11 and 12), as well as the grade earned in the final centralized examinations at the end of grade 12, form the final Abitur grade.  The centralized exam s are created by a select board appointed by the German state with set marking guidelines to ensure consistent and transparent grading.

Students take two advanced and eight basic level courses. All courses must meet the educational guidelines of the State of Berlin. Students select their courses from three main subject areas. The first area consists of languages, the second of social sciences such as history and economics, and the third of maths and natural sciences including physics and biology.

The final examinations of the German Abitur at the end of the 12th grade consist of three written tests, an oral examination, and the so-called fifth test component. The fifth test component may consist of a “particular achievement” or a presentation in form of a written exam.

Abitur Evaluation Scheme

Also set by the State of Berlin, the grading for the Abitur is rubic–based using an interval scale of 15 points.  See below for grade descriptors and conversion to the traditional 6 point scale.

Grade Points Grade Description
15/14/13 1 Very good
12/11/10 2 Good
09/08/07 3 Satisfactory
06/05/04 4 Sufficient
03/02/01 5 Deficient/fail
0 6 Insufficient/fail

IB Diploma Programme

First established in 1968, the programme is designed to provide an academically challenging yet balanced education known for its success at preparing students for university. The programme is taught over two years and is highly regarded from the world’s leading universities. Students study six courses at higher level or standard level, ensuring breadth of experience in languages, social studies, the experimental sciences and mathematics. In addition, the programme has three core requirements that are included to broaden the educational experience and challenge students to apply their knowledge and understanding. These entail:

  • The Extended Essay, a 4000 word independent thesis project
  • Theory of Knowledge, an IB course in critical thinking IB DP Evaluation Scheme
  • CAS, an extra-curricular programme where students must complete 150 hours of activities in Creativity, Action, Service

Students take written examinations at the end of the programme, which are marked by external IB examiners. The IB Diploma Programme is recognized and acknowledged by universities around the globe.

Students may also opt to complete individual courses (as opposed to the complete the full diploma requirements) in which case individual course certificates are awarded.

IB  DP Evaluation Scheme

The IB DP grading system uses a 7 point scale. For all higher level and lower lever courses, with 7 being the highest score achievable.  Grade descriptors vary from subject to subject but generally entail the following  characteristics of performance:

Grade Description
7 Excellent
6 Very good
5 Good
4 Satisfactory
3 Elementary
2 Poor
1 Very poor

For the core components of Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay, letter grades are provided with A being the highest score achievable. See below for grade descriptors.

Grade Description
A Excellent
B Very good
C Good
D Mediocre
E Elementary
N No grade

Students are not assigned a class rank.