The vision of Schule Schloss Salem

‘Give Children The Opportunity To Discover Themselves’

The Schule Schloss Salem was founded in 1920 by reform educator Kurt Hahn, Prince Max von Baden, Karl Reinhardt and Marina Ewald. Kurt Hahn is still regarded as spiritus rector of our school. He established the ‘7 Salem Laws’ which still define Salem's ambition and mission today. Based on traditional values, these laws reflect the ever more complex world we live in.

1. Provide young people the chance to discover themselves and face challenges.
2. Provide young people with the experience of both victory and defeat.
3. Teach them to put pursuit of the common good before personal ambition.
4. Make time for silence – make space for contemplation.
5. Train imagination and the ability to look ahead and plan.
6. Take sports and games seriously, but do not let them dominate.
7. Liberate the children of the rich and the powerful from the paralyzing awareness of their privilege.

Building Character Through Courage and Trust

At Salem we have always placed the individual character of the students entrusted to us at the centre of our work. We support and challenge them and encourage them to discover and to cultivate their strengths and interests in line with our motto: building character through courage and trust.

This principle applies not only to the students but also to the school’s leadership and educators. They accompany our young people with courage and trust and enable them to develop confidence in their abilities and courage to face the challenges of life.

Why Is Boarding School As A Way of Life So Important To Us, Aside From A High Quality Academic Education?

The boarding school forms the heart of Salem’s educational system. It’s where the values of the Salem community are taught and actively practiced in close interaction with students, parents, tutors and mentors. At the same time, a mutually appreciative relationship between all people is the basis for living together. The students learn how to handle the real world amongst their peers and adults. In the protective environment of the boarding school they can test themselves, learn from mistakes and build their confidence – whether that’s during teaching, in the services, guilds or muses, but also when carrying out their duties, in student selfgovernance or as part of Salem’s ‘Outdoor Education’. Together with those who work and learn here, we always strive to review and to improve Salem’s unique living and education place ‘boarding school as a way of life’.

Tradition For A New Generation

Bearing our tradition-led self-image in mind, it is equally important to us to keep an eye on the contemporary attitudes towards life of current generations. We endeavour to strengthen the youth entrusted to us and to prepare them for future challenges, allowing them ultimately to take responsibility for themselves and others as well as for society as a whole.

After all Kurt Hahn consciously founded the ‘school as state’ where young people learn not only to exercise their rights but also their responsibilities. In addition to an attitude of truthfulness, they should also develop moral courage and the courage to stand up for what is recognised as right. For this process, we have designed a ‘Salem Compass of Values’ based on three central anthropological factors:

Responsibility – Relationship – Individual Development

The daily school and boarding school life are governed by these three terms. All those responsible must continually review our structural, staffing and administrative framework to ensure it suits this educational mandate, or to adapt it where necessary. Well-trodden paths are convenient, but they can also lead backwards. This is why we need to face the future and fulfil our ambitious educational mission again and again, so that Salem can continue to have a positive impact on society.