At Nelson Mandela School there are two paths to the Abitur final exams. The first, the classical three-year secondary (Gymnasium) higher level “G-9 Model”, corresponds to the high standards of our bilingual school model. It comprises two parts: the year 11 classes and the four-semester qualification phase (the former course system). The second path leads ? provided results are very good ? directly from transfer to the upper secondary level into the “G-8 model” qualification phase after year 10. In this way we can offer all students an education path that corresponds to their respective learning biographies and other interests.

The majority of lessons in year 11 are given within the class group. Subjects are German, English, French, Spanish, Art, Performing Arts, Music, Geography, History, Political Science, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Sport. At least one of the above-mentioned courses is also taken additionally or more intensively as an elective course. In order to be able to transfer to the qualification phase, the students must have successfully reached year 12. However, the results of year 11 do not count for the Abitur.

During the qualification phase, the students attend advanced courses in two subjects for four semesters, engaging with the course contents and working methods intensively. They must also attend at least 24 basic courses as part of the three-year upper secondary level during the qualification phase, and incorporate these into the overall qualification. Many of these courses are obligatory, insofar as they are not attended at the advanced level. At present, these obligatory courses comprise German (four courses), English (four courses), possibly a further foreign language (number of courses dependent on the start of lessons in this language), an artistic course (two courses), Political Science (four courses) or Geography (four courses), as well as History as a supplementary course (two courses), or four courses in History and two supplementary courses in Political Science, Mathematics (four courses), a Natural Science (four courses), or an additional Natural Science (two courses, if Biology is a continuously attended natural science), and Sport (four courses). The exact composition of the curriculum is determined by the chosen exam subjects.

Students who have attended the introduction phase must have proof of attendance of at least 56 week-hours of lessons in total; those transferring directly into the qualification phase (G-8 model), at least 66. The latter must also attend around seven basic courses more than their fellow students who are sitting the Abitur after three years.

All exam subject combinations must take into account each of the three task areas of the secondary higher level: the linguistic/artistic, the social sciences, and the mathematical/scientific. At least two of the obligatory subjects German / foreign language / Mathematics must also be exam subjects.

By successfully attending these basic, or advanced courses, students already fulfil a significant part of their Abitur qualification (around two-thirds!) for the course block. In order to be permitted to sit the Abitur, there may only be a very limited number of failed courses with insufficient marks.

The Abitur itself, the exam block, consists of five different exam parts: written exams in both advanced courses, a further written exam in a basic course, an oral exam in a further basic course, as well as a special learning performance (written homework and colloquium), or an oral exam in a further basic course (presentation exam).

Lessons in the upper secondary level of the Nelson Mandela School are bilingual. This means they take place either in English or German. The same is true for the Abitur exam itself. Within this context, three exam components are usually taken in the English language. At present the following subjects are taught in English: History, Political Science, Mathematics, Physics, and Music.

As is fitting for an international school, international issues are especially focussed on, in particular during lessons in the social/scientific disciplines. Beyond the classroom there is also a wide range of possibilities for engagement, for instance, through active cooperation in UNESCO projects, model United Nations simulations, and similar projects that are firmly integrated into the upper secondary level. Indeed, the school has already been distinguished many times (School without Racism, School with Courage, Peace School, Mondialogo Award winner on several occasions).

In accordance with the “Fifth Regulation amending the Regulation on admission to schools of special educational character” of 9 March 2018, highly mobile applicants may be admitted - subject to availability - to secondary level II provided that they possess the required English language skills (i.e. have passed the English language entrance test) and the official permission to transfer to upper secondary school.

More general information can be found on the website of Berlin Senate Administration for Education, Youth and Family:

All legally relevant information is presented without liability.

16.01.2019 Nelson-Mandela-Schule · Staatliche Internationale Schule Berlin | Nelson Mandela School · State International School Berlin