Rückerstraße 8, 9, 10
Director: Yvonne Wende
School Principal: Mark Johnson
IB Diploma Programme & Abitur Coordinator: Fatima Camara
Berlin Cosmopolitan School (BCS) is an international, non-profit school with a focus on maths and sciences as well as music and dance. The school offers Kindergarten through Secondary School (Gymnasium). The Kindergarten and Preschool were founded in 2004, the Primary School in 2007, and Secondary in 2009. BCS, with its two campuses, is located in the center of the city known as Berlin Mitte, a quiet area between Alexanderplatz, Monbijou Park, Hackescher Markt & Prenzlauer Berg. Approximately 850 students from over 44 countries are enrolled at BCS.
At BCS 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 BCS. 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 BCS students become life long learners, who gain the knowledge and skills necessary to adjust and succeed in an ever-changing world.
BCS implements the Berlin State Curriculum and as an International Baccalaureate World School, the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the IB Diploma Programme (IB DP) are 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 or the Bilingual Abitur.
The curriculum for the Secondary School level at BCS 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.
Secondary School Faculty
All BCS teachers are fully qualified with university degrees and have completed necessary education programmes allowing for their teacher licensure. The Secondary teaching faculty consists of 26 teachers representing 15 nationalities, with 17 holding a Masters degree or equivalent and 3 with PhDs.
Local and International Community Involvements
Ethical internships take place from grade 7-10, 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, BCS 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 7 – 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 BCS 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 BCS career counselling blog.
As an all-day Secondary School, BCS 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.
BCS 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 exams 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.
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:
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.
Students are not assigned a class rank.