The Middle School at Schule Schloss
The Right Time to Grow Up and Rise Above One's Self
Taking On Responsibility Within the School Community
Students in Agess 7 to 10 reside within Salem Castle in dormitory wings of between 15 and 22 other students. Dormitory rooms may have 2, 3 or 4 beds.
Boarding school life involves a wide range of common activities, service to the community and active participation through elected or appointed offices (Ämter). Student self-governance - which was introduced to some degree in Agess 5 and 6 - now has an institutional form. The Student Council, the Services Council, as well as the Wing Helpers and House Aides Assembly are forums in which issues are discussed with adults and solutions to problems are found.
A detailed daily schedule and age-appropriate rules help give structure to daily life. It also raises students' awareness for their steadily growing level of self-responsibility. In particular, issues such as digital media, alcohol abuse, and nicotine consumption are topics for discussion.
Fixed points on the daily schedule:
- Morning run (in summer months)
- One school assembly per week at minimum ("Morgensprache")
- Communal lunch hour
- Study Time (currently between 5:15pm and 6:45pm)
In order to sound out individual talents and weaknesses and to work on them, each Salem student undertakes a range of duties and activities in addition to the compulsory school work. For example, in Ages 8 students become familiar with the basics of a skilled trade and a creative endeavor such as learning to play a musical instrument, singing in a choir, participating in theatre productions, etc. In this way they learn how to treat various kinds of work materials and tools with care and also develop their own creativity.
Ages 9 - Tests of Endurance and Strengthening Social Competence
Each student devotes himself or herself to a community service activity groups such as the fire brigade, emergency rescue relief, emergency first aid, community assistance, environmental protection, or boating and water rescue. This commitment encourages a sense of responsibility and develops one's ability, in an emergency situation, to come to the aid of others with the appropriate skills, perseverance and circumspection. In addition, all students in Ages 9 take part in a major Outward Bound expedition in Norway, where they prove their mettle in the wilderness - both alone and as members of a group.
Ages 10 - International Exchanges and Workplace Internship
Many Salem students chose to spend a trimester of their 10th Ages on an exchange program with one of the partner schools of the Round Square Organization (e.g., in the U.S.A., the U.K., Australia, South Africa, Canada or India). All Ages 10s take part in a three-week internship at a workplace of their choice.
Taking On Responsibility as an Office Holder
Whether as school speaker, captain of a service group, helper on a dormitory wing, visitors' aide, or head of the clubhouse - students in Ages 10 take on leadership duties in important areas of the boarding school. Dormitory helpers, for example, provide indispensible assistance in maintaining orderly daily routines on the wings. Service captains provide leadership and help to organize, together with their service mentors, the appropriate training. Visitors' aides act as guides for guests during visitor tours and other events.
What Happens on Weekends?
Weekends at Salem are anything but boring: from athletic activities, ski excursions, sailboat outings to campus games and local excursions to movie theatres, theater performances and clubhouse parties -- the wide range of activities students help to organized as part of the "Salem Weekends" ensure a rewarding variety of leisure pursuits. Fixed dates on the school Ages calendar include an overland run in November followed by a formal dinner; a dance course followed by a school ball; coats-of-arms painting prior to the raising of the maypole and a charity run on May 1st.