Schule Schloss Salem
Schule Schloss Salem is Germany's best-known boarding school. In 1920, it was founded by Kurt Hahn, who later also founded Outward Bound and the United World Colleges. The school's mission continues to reflect its Hahnian roots. Specifically, Salem aims to present young people with high academic and extra-curricular expectations and opportunities; and to imbue in them a lifelong sense of respect for the individual, responsibility to the community and an awareness of the importance of the democratic process in sustaining both.
The academic program in years 5-7 is delivered in German. Intensive instruction in German as a foreign language is available for international pupils. Even pupils arriving at the school with no German are fluent within one school year. For international pupils already fluent in English there is an accelerated English program leading to the attainment of the British GCSE qualification.
From year 8 onward, Salem is fully bilingual and offers a dual curriculum. Students may either study in the International Classes (years 8-10) in which the language of instruction is English or in the German branch leading to the German Abitur with German as the language of instruction. The International Classes follow the curriculum of the State of Baden-Württemberg but also include features of the IB similar to the International Pre-IB-programmes. Approximately one third of the students in the upper years are in the IB system. A significant proportion are from an international background.
At Salem, involvement in extra-curricular activities and the life of the boarding community are emphasized as much as academic achievement. All students in the upper years must engage in at least one afternoon a week of community service. All students must also participate in a regular program of sports and/or outdoor pursuits. Participation in theatre, music and visual arts extra-curricular programs, while not mandatory, is strongly encouraged.
Far more than in boarding schools from the Anglo-American tradition, responsibility for the everyday running of the School in the upper years is, in keeping with Salem's democratic ethos, placed in the hands of students under the guidance of staff. All activities and boarding wings are led by students elected by their peers under the guidance of staff. School regulations are framed with the consent of the student parliament and breaches of these are dealt with jointly by the school administration and the elected leaders of the student body.
Approximately one-third of pupils receive financial aid, the award of which is based on both need and merit. Our students are well prepared for tertiary studies, with almost all graduates eventually attending the most selective German and international universities.