What our school, the Ubbo-Emmius-Gymnasium, is like
The UEG is a big school spread over several buildings. At the school there are about 100 teachers and 1400 pupils, with 25-30 pupils in one class.
We don’t wear school uniforms, but we have to wear appropriate clothes. We have five schooldays, Monday to Friday. We go to school by bus, by bike, by longboard or on foot, sometimes our parents take us to school by car. The older pupils sometimes have their own cars or motorcycles.
Before we can attend a gymnasium, the German word for grammar school, we go to primary school for four years. The length of the gymnasium is being changed back from eight to nine years; currently, the ninth grades and above will finish after 12 years altogether, the 8th grades and below after 13.
In German schools there are three main fields of education: German and three foreign languages (English, French and Latin), four natural sciences, five humanities and music, art, and sport. In addition to these regular subjects, we can choose even more, for example Old Greece. You can also choose Latin or French as a third language, music or sciences. These options start in grade 8, either as normal lessons or in so-called profiles, where we do extracurricular topics. These profile classes also start in grade 8.
The lessons start at 7.45 a.m. in 45-minute units. Most of the lessons are double periods, so they usually take 90 minutes, with a 5-minute-breaks in between. This means we mostly have three doubles in the mornings, ending at 1:05 p.m.
After a double, there are longer breaks; the first one 15 minutes and the second one 20 minutes long. Older students have nine lessons a day twice a week. In the 7th period we have a lunch break. We have a cafeteria, where we can buy lunch and snacks. After lunch there are school activities and clubs, for example the school symphonic orchestra, the school choir, sport clubs, language and science clubs, drama workshops and many others (see our website). These clubs are voluntary.
The UEG has got seven buildings: the main building with the Altbau (old wing) and the Neubau (new wing) for the 7th grades and the upper secondary, the pavilion for the 5th and 6th grades, the Ostersteg (9th and 10th grades), the Ludgeri building (8th grades), and three gyms. The laboratories for the natural sciences are all in the new building, whereas the old building consists mainly of art and music rooms and the administration facilities, such as the secretary’s office, the headmaster’s office and the staff room. We also have a large gym and two buildings which are used exclusively for classrooms.
When we have problems in school, students from higher grades offer tuitions. Here, we can catch up on the things we have not understood well enough in the regular lessons. This way, we can avoid the danger of having to stay in our grade one year longer if we have failed some subjects, or even to leave the school and attend another level of education.
About every second year we can go on a class trip. The first is in grade 5 for the newcomers to get to know each other. The second class trip depends on the teacher, so the next one might be in grade 6, followed by another in grade 7, 8 or 9. The last excursion goes to Berlin at the end of class 10.
Sometimes we have parties, like at Halloween, organised by the pupils in grade 11. They use the money for their senior prom.
All in all we can say that life at the UEG is pleasant, with nice and friendly pupils and teachers.
This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.