Excellent academic and boarding school facilities and events which make Salem unique as regards its quality, diversity or profile:
School / lessons
The core element of any grammar school is the Middle School level. It is here that the basics are acquired for passing the final school-leaving examination. In the light of new findings in the areas of development and learning psychology, the teaching and learning at Salem in Years 8 to 10 are characterised by a whole series of content-related and structural facilities. Each school year and its respective teaching staff form a "school-year team" which initiates the most varied kinds of inter-class and cross-curricular learning concepts possible within a learning centre of its own that is architectonically well-equipped. As the requirements for professional quality and independence grow, each school year is interwoven by a whole canon of projects, excursions and practical work.
Middle school Schloss Salem - systematic learning
Salem is "the" international boarding school in Germany. The International Baccalaureate (IB) can be chosen as an alternative to the German final school-leaving examination (Abitur). The International Classes (IC) from Years 8 to 10 are a unique model in Germany. The lessons comply with the curriculum for grammar schools in Baden-Württemberg, but all the subjects are held in English. Thus, due to their sound, linguistic skills, the IC students can choose the Diploma Programme of the International Baccalaureate (IB) after Year 10, or attend the upper grammar-school level classes in the German language and take their Abitur (German school-leaving examination). About one third of the students come from abroad, i.e. from about forty different countries. In addition to German, English is the everyday language at Salem. The school's network stretches across all the continents. Whoever wishes to send his/her child to a boarding school abroad where English is spoken, will find the best alternative in Germany - at Salem.
The ancient languages, i.e. Ancient Greek and Latin, are a tradition at Salem. As a classics option they are firmly anchored in the language syllabus. Whoever chooses Ancient Greek in Year 10 after taking Latin and two modern foreign languages, is awarded a very special qualification on passing the "Graecum" examination, i.e. the European final school-leaving examination (Europäische Abitur).
Salem - more than a grammar school
Students who arrive at Schule Schloss Salem bring with them different requirements and diverse goals. In any case, it is required that they have sufficiently mastered the language of instruction for the respective section – German or English - to graduate successfully. In addition, participating actively in daily communication in German or English is important, which is why we have developed a highly differentiated approach.
Concept of German as a foreign or second language
GFL in the lower school - Integrated Language School
GFL and GSL in the middle and upper schools
For students at the middle and upper school levels this is followed on with intensive courses for German as a foreign language (DaF) and standardised tests.
Goethe examinations at Schule Schloss Salem
PSAT und SAT
Salem offers its students from Year 9 onwards, a broad, differentiated and individualised preparation basis for their study subjects and choice of career. In Year 10 all the students take part in a 3-week, career-based, practical course offered as company placements in many different sectors and regions. At the College, two members of the staff have specialised in Career Counselling and support the students up until they send in their applications to well-known universities in the English-speaking world. Salem's alumni in the "Altsalemer Vereinigung (ASV)" help them with practical training offers and all kinds of practical assistance and advice.
Quite a large number of students find mathematics difficult - in Baden-Württemberg it is an obligatory main subject and part of the written "Abitur" (German final school-leaving examination). However, on others this subject exerts a particular fascination, and they look for possibilities where they can delve deeper into the enthralling world of numbers. Subsequently, in addition to the standard curriculum, Salem provides its students with a varied maths programme that is both stimulating and challenging.
"Model United Nations" - MUN: Salem offers its students international politics "hands-on“. Every year in January a General Assembly takes place in the Hague or in Genoa, simulating all the rules of the UN, whereby the students, after intensive preparation, get to know and represent the interests of a certain member country. The Conference is held in English.
Model United Nations
Boarding school / experiential learning
The "Services" are the heart of Salem's education. Services are also to be found elsewhere, but the range of Salem's offer and the seriousness of the training are unique. All the students at Salem have to decide on one of the emergency or social services and take part in it, on at least one afternoon per week. The students are trained in the respective discipline they have chosen and actually participate in providing practical assistance in real situations.
The concept of the "Services"
Salem is one of the 7 founding members of the Round Square (RS), an organisation of approximately 100 schools world-wide, and they are all committed to Kurt Hahn's educational principles. The students of the member schools have the opportunity to play an active role in international, help projects together with their "co-students" from other RS schools, mostly for several weeks at a time, and experience the partly difficult living conditions outside the European "comfort zone".
Assuming responsibility. The political dimension of this main educational objective at Salem is shown the most impressively by the characteristic culture of the School Government. A large number of offices, committees and tasks provides the students with experiential terrains in which they learn how to handle divergent interests with delegated power, and are able to experience the opportunities and efforts of democratic commitment for common concerns. Well-drafted constitutions for every age level are the basis for this.
Democracy - our concept
In each school year, a quarter of Salem's students are newcomers to their respective school years. The Salem "spirit“, i.e. the feeling of being accepted and feeling at home in a special community and finding one's own place there, has to be roused and made experienceable for the new student. At the beginning of each school year, there are therefore numerous events for providing orientation and confirming the message, "You are welcome here - so feel at home!" The older students take over a quasi "god-parent" role for the younger ones for a while, and the responsible adults keep a watchful eye on the newcomers in a phase of their lives undergoing a major change.
Football games, pottery, rap - these are not worth mentioning. The range of offers stretches far beyond anything one would expect, whether in the workgroups, creative activities "muses", handicraft "guilds" or types of sport. Field hockey, solo singing ensemble, water polo, circus, fencing, one-act stage, lacrosse, wrought-iron handicraft, playing GO, Latin Theatre and snowboarding advocate that "there is hardly anything, that we do not have".
Experiencing one's own physical limits in a group that thinks alike, exposing oneself to experiencing an as yet almost untouched countryside outside the civilised "comfort zone" - this is the horizon that reveals itself to the students at Salem, with its multi-faceted, intensive Outdoor Programme for each of the school years. Together with experienced colleagues, the school's own Outdoor experts who are trained in adventure and experiential education, are responsible for organising and implementing a real Outdoor curriculum.
Outdoor-education - our concept
As Salem has always been an international school, it cultivates a world-wide network of school partnerships, that offers particularly qualified students an exchange in all the English-speaking countries on both sides of the Atlantic, and also at schools in Australia, France, Spain, South Africa, China and Switzerland.
Salem has its own harbour at Lake Constance and its own indoor swimming-pool. And although it might sound at first like leisure-time activity, they both serve, i.e. as their main objective, for the school's educational training purposes. The harbour is the base for the Nautical Service and at the indoor swimming-pool, the DLRG training (German life-saving association) takes place for the members of the Nautical Service, in addition to swimming as a school sport.
Bringing the outside world into the school: Salem also acts according to this principle when prominent experts in politics, science, industry and culture hold talks on their respective work, as guests invited to the special events at the school, e.g. the "Spetzgart Supper", that are held several times during the year. Recent examples are Wolfgang Schäuble (Federal Minister of Finance), Winfried Kretschmann (Minister President), Erich Vad (General in the Chancellery), Peter Stamm (author), Christoph Nix (Theatre Manager), Patrice (Reggae artist), Annette Schavan (former Federal Minister of Education), Giovanni di Lorenzo (Chief Editor of the German newspaper, DIE ZEIT).
Minister President Kretschmann as a guest at Salem
The school's theatre life has been legendary, way back to the alumni's earliest years. Under the guidance of professional, full-time stage directors, all the age-groups have the opportunity several times during the year to rehearse on the stage, design stage settings, handle the lighting and sound equipment, or even act as stage directors themselves. The large-scale theatrical or musical productions held at the school are open to the public and attract a large number of visitors from the entire region. Some of the productions go on tour or take part in prestigious competitions.
Music also has a very high rating. The orchestra, choirs and the jazz and rock bands continually offer opportunities for musical performances, either solo or in an ensemble, both inside and outside the school. All the pupils who wish to have musical instrument lessons can do so, and at present we have 26 music teachers who come into the school to teach. The students at Salem are regularly amongst the prizewinners at the regional and national music competition, "Jugend musiziert" . The “music world” at Salem is rather similar to the programme at a local music school.
Attendance at Salem should not be dependent on one’s financial situation. The school therefore awards scholarships within the limits of its possibilities, particularly to those boys and girls who wish to make active use of the special opportunities Salem offers - both for their own good, and that of others. Besides obtaining good marks at school and having a wide range of interests, this ambition is of overriding importance when applying for a place. The school should receive the applications at the latest during the first few weeks of the year. Salem invests more than € 2 million each year in its scholarship holders and about one fifth of the students profits from this.
Scholarships awarded at Salem
The financial means invested by Salem in its scholarship holders, derive from different sources. The main source is the school's own foundation, the Kurt-Hahn-Stiftung, and Salem's alumni, particularly, provide financial support for their old school. Again and again, the parents of the present students have also made generous contributions towards enabling other children to attend Salem, too. And last but not least, there are several external foundations putting their specific sponsoring ideas into reality, also in collaboration with Salem.
Kurt Hahn Foundation
External sponsors and foundations
With more than 4,000 members, the alumni association at Salem, the "Salemer Altschülervereinigung", is by far the largest in the German educational world - and certainly the most dedicated. The "Altsalemer Vereinigung (ASV)" keeps the alumni in contact with each other and with the school. It promotes Salem's development in many areas, i.e. personally, its ideals, and financially. The ASV also assists Salem students who wish to establish contacts abroad, or in the professional world. Individual executive members of the ASV are additionally involved in international organisations and encourage international cooperation on all levels.
Altsalemer Vereinigung (Salem's alumni association)