FAQ - School International

iPad and Digital Education
Why an iPad?

For the requirements set, a device is needed that is mobile and light, so that you have the tool where you learn - and don't have to go to the tool to learn. In this respect, notebooks, tablets PCs and smartphones would qualify as possible hardware.

The screen should be large enough so that entire A4 pages can still be read. In this way, for example, worksheets with text and pictures or mind maps can be created clearly. This, along with other reasons, speaks against a "bring your own device" solution via smartphone.

In order for this digital learning companion to function reliably for at least five years, to withstand daily transport in a school bag and to have sufficient battery power so as to not require charging during the day. To ensure that the device is quickly ready for use, it must have an SSD as a storage medium and a powerful processor. Notebooks that meet these requirements (ultrabooks from the business sector) incur high acquisition costs. This leaves only good quality tablets as possible work devices. With this class of device, it is also particularly easy to create media of different types (image, video and audio).

Since teachers teach in several grades, it should be ensured that tablets from the last four to five years can be operated with the same version of the operating system, so that teachers and students in different grades have the same interfaces and functions. This is not the case with Android devices, at least not yet, but it is the case with iPads.

Therefore, we believe that an iPad best meets the requirements we have.

Who buys the iPad?

The iPad is purchased privately via the online shop of our partner "ASC-Group". Financing over several months is also possible.

The prices vary depending on the accessories and/or type of insurance and range from EUR 380.00 to EUR 675.00 (prices subject to change).

Can the purchase and use of the iPad be refused?

The use of this teaching tool only makes sense if, as with the current calculator, all pupils in a learning group use the same device. After the corresponding decision of the school conference, the iPad will become a regular school learning and working device.

The introduction of the iPad as a learning and working tool will take place gradually and in constant coordination between all those involved (pupils, parents and teachers). For this a "parent and student advisory board" will be set up in all grades where the iPad will be used, in which our experiences will be regularly exchanged and reflected upon.

Can I use an existing tablet?

Experiences from other schools show that everyone in the class or year should have the same device. Otherwise, there are easily software compatibility problems that significantly hinder the flow of teaching. Unpleasant and harmful side effects should also be prevented, such as social stigmatisation that could arise from different price classes or images of the devices.

We as a school can only cope with the administration effort if the devices have been pre-configured by a dealer so that we can simply upload profiles and apps via an MDM system (Mobile Device Management). This enables us to configure the devices without having to pick them up.

There is also a programme to use volume licences (VPP). With this, licences can be purchased centrally and distributed to the devices. If the licences are no longer needed on one device, they can be installed on another device. For example, once textbooks are used on iPads, they can be passed on from year to year and do not have to be bought again by each parent.

Since devices and users on the devices are managed with an MDM solution, the individual student does not need their own Apple ID.

What if we can't afford the iPad?

Recipients of ALG II have the option of having the tablet financed by the employment office. In the event that there is no entitlement here and financial bottlenecks nevertheless exist or arise, the school board can make an iPad available for loan for school learning in lessons.

Which pen should we buy?

You should definitely buy an active pencil so that your child can correctly write on the iPad. As an alternative to the Apple Pencil (approx. 100.00 EUR), the logitech Crayon (approx. 70.00 EUR) can be chosen (via the online shop of the "ACS Group").

Overall, however, we as a school want to deliberately hold back here, because we are not a seller of electronic devices. So please decide for yourself which active pen you want to buy!

Do we have to buy a keyboard?

Experience in actual classroom use has led to the conclusion that only the active pen and a protective cover are recommended purchases.

A detachable keyboard is certainly also a useful accessory and if you want, you can also buy a protective cover with keyboard directly.

What protection is intended for the devices?

It is mandatory that the iPads receive a protective cover. A protective film for the display is also highly recomended.

Should I take out insurance?

On the one hand, we have been strongly advised by schools that already have experience with tablets in class not to allow devices without insurance. Even if there is no intentional damage, the settlement of claims remains unpleasant and conflictual for the parents among themselves.

In contrast to this, our experience is that there are hardly any claims. As with all other insurances, you have to calculate the risk yourself and decide whether to take out an insurance or not.

Otherwise, in case of damage or loss, you have to provide for replacement yourself, because the iPad is a compulsory learning tool.

What do we do in case of damage?

In the event of a claim, the procedure depends primarily on which year your child is in and whether you have taken out insurance or not. Please refer to your contract documents for details. There you will also find the addresses of the contact persons for the insurances.

What precautions are there with regard to possible theft?

The iPads remain in the classroom during breaks, which is locked. If there is a change of room after a long break, a tablet service should provide supervision for the school bags. Should theft still occur, the insurance will take effect (see above). As the devices are centrally managed, in the event of a loss, the device can be locked and/or completely deleted. This makes the device worthless for a possible thief.

How are the devices administered?

Given the large number of devices, this can only be done via a professional management solution (Mobile Device Management, MDM). Even before the devices are delivered to the students, they are registered with the MDM solution and thus equipped with software and the necessary licences when they are issued.

In order to enable the future management and supply of updates and software to the tablets, and for the use of control software in lessons and in examination situations, they must be set to "supervised mode". The devices then fetch software and settings intended for the respective device when connected to the internet. Via profiles, the devices can be set up for each year group in the way that makes the most sense.

By using one's own private Apple ID, it is also possible to independently install apps on the device. The extent to which this is done is therefore in the hands of the parents.

Do the lessons only take place via the iPad?

Of course not. The scope is determined by the respective teacher according to pedagogical and subject-related aspects. There are many possible applications in all subjects. Especially in terms of improving media competence, a diverse use of different media is desirable.

Will textbooks now be abolished?

The textbook publishers are successively publishing their books with a simultaneous digital version integrated in the purchase price. Thus, in the medium term, the number of books to be brought along will decrease. To what extent this is possible and makes sense remains to be seen.

Do the students still write enough then?

Handwritten work will - as far as can be foreseen - certainly remain the predominant form of publication. As in "real life", typed and handwritten writing will complement each other - also according to individual preferences, by the way.

In the foreign language subjects, a common writing task involves the need to write an email or a blog entry. Here, using and working with the tablet would be authentic and preferable. Other task formats, such as writing a letter or a postcard, are more authentically written by hand in class.

If necessary, handwritten entries can be made on the pad with the touch function of the pads.

Will there be any changes to the format of class work?

In the middle school, the work with the tablet initially serves to prepare class tests, which are still written on paper. But we are also experimenting with digital examination formats. This is even demanded by the Ministry of Education. At the moment, however, we are still in a development phase.

The iPad can initially be used as a resource (calculator, dictionary). Should it eventually replace the calculator, it will be compulsory in mathematics exams.

Can students' activities and content be controlled?

The teacher can temporarily restrict the programs to be used, unblock or block the internet and, of course, teach lessons without a tablet.

Through the school control software, teachers can therefore restrict the use of the tablet to certain applications. In addition, a white list in an MDM profile can be used to determine which apps are available during class time.

Because the devices are flat and do not have a raised display like notebooks, it is also easier to see whether someone has their tablet active. If they are lying on the table with a flap on the display, it is easy to see that no device is in action.

What are the rules of conduct during breaks?

During breaks, the iPads remain in the classroom, which is locked. If there is a change of subject room, the devices remain in the school bags. A "tablet service", comparable to the order service, provides a supervisor to watch over the bags lying in the hallway. The breaks therefore remain "tablet-free".

Can the device also be used privately at home?

It primarily is a work device for school, which must be brought along sufficiently charged in the morning. In addition, it can be used privately as long as the school use is not affected (e.g. free storage space). However, the devices do not have an app store and we prohibit the setting up of a private Apple ID.

How can I regulate my child's media consumption at home?

From a pedagogical point of view, it certainly makes the most sense to talk about your child's media use together in order to develop acceptable times of use and types of use at home. You can find a variety of suggestions for this on the pages of


It certainly makes sense to agree to media-free times. If you want to control media use quantitatively, you can set on the home routers (devices that enable internet access, such as a Fritzbox) which device gets access to the internet during which period. Furthermore, you can additionally determine whether access is to be controlled by a filter. Access can even be limited to a list of individual internet sites. Almost all apps on the tablet can also be used without internet access.

How are concerns about radiation dealt with?

The transmission power of our iPads is significantly lower than that of mobile phones or cordless phones. Depending on the source of information, WLAN radiation is only one tenth to one hundredth of that of a mobile phone. In addition, mobile phones are carried close to the body, while WLAN access points are several meters away.

The radio modules in the tablet can also be switched off, and the WLAN access points switch off automatically when not in use, or go into standby mode, which again significantly reduces exposure.

How do we deal with media criticism? Do we also question the new technology sufficiently?

Our school offers the ideal framework for learning how to deal critically and competently with new media. In addition, the topic is increasingly becoming a subject of instruction. As part of the pilot project, we will systematically modify our curricula in all subjects and adapt them to the challenges of digital learning.

Upper secondary level - Administrative regulations and laws summarized
Course selection

In the first semester of the introductory phase, at least 11 subjects must be taken (see below for an overview of the task areas):

  • in subject area I German, second foreign language and art or music,
  • in subject area II, history and one other subject in this area,
  • in subject area III mathematics, a science subject as well as another subject of this subject area, the intensification course and the subject sport.

For students who have studied another foreign language for at least four years before entering the gymnasiale Oberstufe, the obligation to take a second foreign language is waived, provided that another subject is chosen instead and taken continuously in the gymnasiale Oberstufe.

At the beginning of the second school semester ...

  • The two advanced course subjects (LK subjects) are taught with five lessons per week, plus 8 basic courses (10 subjects).
  • The two advanced courses are formed according to the students' wishes and the organizational possibilities of the school. At least one of the two LK subjects must be German, Mathematics or the continued foreign language.
  • No advanced courses may be formed in the subjects music, art and sport.

Depending on the chosen advanced courses, there are certain attendance obligations for the basic courses. For example, the following must be taken in

  • the foreign language specialization, only one science subject in addition to mathematics,
  • in the focus on science/technology, only history in task area II (if the 2nd foreign language is retained),
  • in the social sciences only one natural science (if the second foreign language is retained).

Overview of task areas I, II and III

Field of activity I

Linguistic-literary-artistic field of activity


Field of activity II

Social science field of activity

Political Education

Field of activity III

Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology

from % 95 90 85 80 75 70 65 60 55 50 45 40 33 27 20 0
Points 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
Mark 1+ 1 1– 2+ 2 2– 3+ 3 3– 4+ 4 4– 5+ 5 5– 6
Performance assessment

For the Abitur, the performances from the semesters 12/I, 12/II, 13/I and 13/II are assessed.

Assessment areas

Written examinations, other performance assessments and the oral performance assessment - if they have been completed - each count for 33.3% of the course half-year grade.

Performance in class, such as performance assessments, presentations and other participation, make up the remainder of the course half-year grade.

Transfer to the Qualification Phase

Students who are promoted to the Qualification Phase on the basis of their performance in both semesters of Year 11 are those who

  • have 00 points in any subject and
  • has less than 05 points in at most one subject, or
  • has less than 05 points in two subjects but can make up for this with 08 points in a subject of at least the same level.

Legal basis: § 13 par. 1 GOST-V

Pursuant to § 12, Para. 1 GOST-V, final course grades are calculated for both half-years in grade 11.

With the final course grade at the end of the second half-year, there is an overall annual grade for each subject, which is formed from all individual assessments. These overall annual grades are used for the promotion decision (see above).

One third of the examinations are taken into account. If only one examination is written, this is also taken into account to one third.

Grundlage: Informationsschreiben des Staatlichen Schulamtes Brandenburg a.d.Havel vom 22.01.2019

Number and length of examinations

Year 11

First semester

1 exam in each course (90 min)

Second semester

A total of 7 examinations are written:

  • 1 exam in each of the two advanced courses (90 min)
  • 5 examinations in the basic courses (90 min)

Among the 7 examinations, the following must be represented German, mathematics, foreign language, one science subject, one social science subject. If one of these subjects was chosen as an advanced course, another subject must be chosen as an examination subject.

Year 12

First semester

  • 1 written examination in each of the two advanced courses (135 min / 210 min*)
  • 5 written examinations in the basic courses (90 min)

The 7 examinations must include German, mathematics, foreign language, one social science subject, one science subject. If one of these subjects was chosen as an advanced course, another subject must be chosen as an examination subject

* applies to German

Second semester

  • 1 written examination in each of the two advanced courses (135 min / 210 min*)
  • 5 written examinations in the basic courses (90 min)

Among the 7 examinations, the following must be represented German, mathematics, foreign language, one social science subject, one science subject. If one of these subjects was chosen as an advanced course, another subject must be chosen as an examination subject.

* applies to German

Year 13

First semester

1 written examination in each of the three chosen written Abitur subjects, including both Leistungskurs and one Grundkurs subject, as well as 1 written oral Abitur examination subject from the Grundkurs section (duration depending on subject):

  • 1 written examination in each of the two advanced courses (German, Mathematics, English and French: 300 minutes each; other subjects: 270 minutes each)
  • 1 written examination in the basic course chosen as the written Abitur examination subject (German: 240 minutes; Mathematics: 255 minutes; English and French: 270 minutes each; other subjects: 210 minutes each)
  • 1 written examination in the basic course chosen as the oral examination subject (135 minutes).

Second school semester

1 written examination in each of the three chosen written Abitur subjects, including both advanced courses and one basic course subject, as well as 1 written examination in the oral Abitur examination subject from the basic course section (duration depending on subject):

  • 1 written examination in each of the two advanced courses (135 min / 210 min*)
  • 1 written examination in the third written Abitur examination subject (90 min)
  • 1 written examination in the oral Abitur examination subject (90 min)

* applies to German

Legal basis: Annex to VV Performance Assessment

Assessment of linguistic accuracy

This agreement applies to all examinations in grades 11 to 13 with the exception of the language subjects and German.

From 100 words, the error quotient is determined. From 3.0 errors per 100 words, a deduction of 01 mark point is made.

A further deduction of 01 mark point is made for repeated violations of the external form:

  • overwriting the correction margin
  • illegible writing
  • drawing and crossing out without a ruler

Rechtsgrundlage: § 24 GOST-V und Beschluss der Lehrkräftekonferenz vom 01.06.2016

Other evidence of achievement

In the 1st to 3rd semester of the Qualification Phase, a different performance record can be produced in the subjects at the higher and basic requirement level.

  • A written examination remains unaffected
  • comparable to the requirements of a written examination
  • can be completed as group work
  • Aim: To promote the students' ability to work independently on a topic of their own choice.

Requirements and assessment

The requirements are comparable to those of a written examination.

The task, horizon of expectation, deadlines for submission, presentation or completion, assessment criteria and assessment (form) must be set down in writing.

The application for a different performance record can only be made at the beginning of the semester.

The assessment is included in the course semester grade with 33.3%.


  • Presentation on a topic developed by the student with a clear distinction from "normal" presentations.
  • Contribution to a competition
  • Carrying out experiments with written evaluation or lecture or demonstration
  • Presentation of original literature in a foreign language
  • Developing tasks for a competition
  • Conception and implementation of a study group
The oral performance assessment

In the second year of the Qualification Phase, an oral performance assessment (LFS) must be taken in at least one continued foreign language.

The LFS takes the form of a group discussion in the first half of year 13 with two to four students together and lasts a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 25 minutes.

Aim: Demonstration of foreign language competence and discourse and interaction skills on the basis of the Common European Framework of Reference Level B2.

If English or French is chosen as the written examination subject, the oral performance assessment must be taken in the foreign language chosen as the written examination subject.

If both foreign languages (English and French) are chosen as written examination subjects, an oral performance assessment must be taken in both foreign languages.

The task will be worked out by the teacher. The contents take into account the subject areas worked on so far in lessons during the Qualification Phase.

The assessment is included in the course grade with 33.3%.

Further information

Abitur examination and special learning achievement (5th component)

The Abitur examination comprises four components or five components if the special learning achievement has been chosen:

  • The Abitur examination comprises three written examinations (the two advanced courses and one basic course) and one oral examination (from the basic courses).
  • The four compulsory examinations must cover all three task fields:

Field I

linguistic-literary-artistic field of activity

foreign languages

Field II

social science field of activity

Political Education


Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology

  • Two of the four examination subjects must be German, Mathematics and a foreign language.
  • The 5th component is a special learning achievement and must be assigned to a subject other than the first four examination subjects; it may cover a task field.

The special learning achievement (5th component)

The special learning achievement can also be chosen as the fifth voluntary Abitur component of another performance to be taken into account within the framework of the overall qualification.

The special learning achievement can be used to cover a field of activity within the framework of the Abitur examination.

The special learning achievement comprises the preparation of a written paper or documentation and a colloquium and must be attributable to a school subject. A special learning achievement cannot be performed in a subject already chosen for the Abitur examination.

Examples are:

  • a comprehensive contribution to a competition entry or to an extracurricular achievement,
  • a year-long project, or
  • a comprehensive, interdisciplinary project or work placement.
    individual or group performance is possible.

Individual or group performance is possible.

The written work or documentation contains ...

  • a presentation of the topic/problem, solution methods and results in the scope of 15 to 25 pages (without appendix and presentation elements),
  • a critically reflective presentation of the work process in the form of a work report,
  • a summary of the results in an abstract of one page,
    information on the literature used and other aids in a scientifically correct citation style, and
  • a declaration that the work has been completed independently or, in the case of group work, proof of the share of the respective individual work.

The topic is proposed by the student. The head of school (principal) decides in consultation with the teacher designated as corrector whether the proposed work can be admitted as a special learning achievement.

Additional work must be handed in to the correcting teacher at the latest one week before the end of lessons in the qualification phase (two copies of the written work or documentation).

Further Information

Overall qualification

The following are included in the overall qualification:

  • all half-year courses in the advanced course subjects in double assessment and
  • a total of 30 half-year courses in the basic course subjects, including the four half-year courses of the third and fourth Abitur examination subject, in single assessment.

The courses to be entered must include four half-year courses in German, Mathematics, the continuing foreign language and in a natural science or two half-year courses in each of two natural sciences

The results of two half-year courses in a new foreign language must be included.

The overall result of the qualification phase is calculated according to Annex 1 GOSTV.

The results achieved in the four subjects of the Abitur examination are evaluated in quintuplicate. If a special learning achievement is taken as the 5th Abitur examination, the performances of the total of five Abitur examinations are entered in quadruple valuation.


Withdrawal during the Qualification Phase is only possible,

  • if admission to the Abitur examination can no longer be achieved,
  • on application, if the acquisition of the general higher education entrance qualification is endangered due to a longer absence from lessons or for other reasons.

In addition, the staffing and school organizational requirements must be met and the maximum length of stay in the GOST must not be exceeded.

Withdrawal to improve the grade point average is not possible.

Information on the Fachhochschulreife

The Fachhochschulreife (FHR) is a secondary level II qualification that is taken at Fachoberschulen and Fachschulen. Only the academic part can also be taken at grammar schools or comprehensive schools with a grammar school upper secondary level. The Fachhochschulreife qualifies the holder to attend a Fachhochschule.

School-based part

1 year qualification phase

  • 2 advanced courses with at least 40 points in double assessment (= 05 points per half-year); of these, no more than 2 times below 05 points.
  • 11 half-year performances from the basic courses; of these, a maximum of 4 times below 05 points.
  • 00 points cannot be submitted.
  • The following must be submitted (1 year each): De, Ma, one foreign language, one NaWi, one social science subject.

Practical part

1 year of practical training (also possible in combination):

  • vocational internship
  • employment
  • training
  • voluntary social/ecological year
  • federal voluntary service
  • voluntary military service

Application to the State Education Authority Brandenburg a.d.Havel, after the end of the school course of education, school internships do not count.

Zu den rechtlichen Grundlagen siehe §32 GOSTV und Nr. 12 VV Zeugnisse

Why bilingualism
Why should your child attend an English-language class?

The increasing internationalization of the education and labour market in a globalized world requires mastery of the English language as a central key qualification. Good language skills open up opportunities for people in their personal development, at school and at work.

Bilingual teaching is the most effective method of early foreign language learning. It not only strengthens language skills, but also social competences and self-confidence to find one's way in a global world in the future.

Is my child suitable for English language teaching?

In our experience, any child is suitable for an English language class. Previous knowledge of English that the child brings with them is always an advantage, but not a mandatory requirement. The students and their needs are always at the center of our attention. For this reason, all our teachers have a command of the German language and can thus quickly integrate students without any previous knowledge of English into the lessons.

During the school admission interview, a recommendation for the English-language class can be made, but finally the decision is up to the parents and the child.

How quickly does a child adapt to an English language learning environment?

Experience has shown that children quickly adapt to the English language learning environment, thanks in part to the supportive teaching methods of our teachers and the immersive, creative learning topics which help children gain the confidence to use their new language skills in the classroom.

The children learn English with great joy and pride and understand their daily routine in English in a short time. Listening comprehension precedes language production.

How is bilingual teaching implemented?

At School International we work according to the immersion method. This means that the foreign language is used in all daily activities. The foreign language is exclusively spoken by native speakers or professionals with very high linguistic competencies. The earlier immersion classes are started, the clearer the results will be in terms of the acquisition of bilingualism and good academic performance.

What role do parents play in this?

Whilst language practice is highly recommended in order to speed up your child’s competency in English, there is no requirement that the family speak English at home. We highly recommend that the use of the mother language remains stable and used for all our learners in their home and social environments.

However, it is beneficial to encourage your child to speak the foreign language outside of school in order to maintain practice. You should not have exaggerated expectations of your child. Everyone learns at their own pace.

However, the most important thing is that you as parents stand behind the immersion concept and support it.

Which languages are taught?

The International Primary School Potsdam is the first and only school in Potsdam to offer bilingual education. Parents and students can choose between German and English classes upon admission to the school.

In the English-speaking classes, the students are taught by native speakers from the first to the fourth grade. All subjects except German and Physical Education are taught in English.

From Year 5 onwards, all students can be taught in English in the subjects of social studies and science. The main subjects are taught in German.

The International Comprehensive School Potsdam offers the possibility to participate in bilingual education from Year 7 onwards.

Students who opt for bilingual education take History in English from Year 7 onwards. In the following school years, these lessons are extended to include the subjects Geography (grade 8) and Biology (grade 9).