This page is the result of an English project and gives a brief overview of the school life as experienced by the students of our school. We created it for our new pen friends in Australia and hope that it will be interesting for everyone who wants to know more about us and our everyday life at school.

School system

Germany is divided in 16 states and all of them have their own school system, for example in some states you need to do 12 years (G8) to get the “Abitur” and in some states u need only 13 years (G9) for the “Abitur”, which is like the British GCSE exams. In Germany there are four different kinds of schools: the primary school (Grundschule), which you have to attend for four years. After the primary school you can attend the grammar school (Gymnasium) or the secondary modern school (Regelschule), which is divided in “Realschule” and in “Hauptschule”.

You can get the best education at the grammar school and pass your “Abitur” there. After that you can go to a university. At the “Realschule” (part of the secondary modern school) you can get the second best education until year 10, but you can not study at a university, nevertheless you can do a vocational training to get a good job. You can get the third best education at the “Hauptschule” (also a part of the secondary modern school) until year 9, after which you can do a vocational training as well. We are attending the grammar school, so we are hopefully going to pass the “Abitur”.

There are approximately 650 pupil and 60 teachers at our school who come from two states (Hesse and Thuringia). Our school day starts at 8.00 o’clock and ends at 13.20 or 15.15. In Thuringia we usually have two weeks of autumn holidays, two weeks of Christmas holidays, one week of winter holidays, two weeks of Easter holidays and six weeks of summer holidays. Our marks in Germany are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, whereas 1 is the best mark and 6 is the worst one.

If the school system in Germany were not different from state to state, it would be easier for students to get the same knowledge. In our opinion Germany should get a unified school system.

Authors: Richard B., Felix M., Leopold S., Lukas U., Bastian B.


Pupils and teachers of our school

Our school, the Philipp Melanchthon Gymnasium in Gerstungen, has the motto „The School of German Unity“ Why?

Because once Germany was divided into two parts, and our school is on the frontier between Thuringia and Hesse. As our school is close to the formerborder many pupils from Hesse attend our school in Thuringia today, which is a sign that Germany is one country again  and our school is the school of German unity. We are very proud of this.


630 pupils go to our school (half of them from Hesse). There are about 30 pupils in one class and they attend the 5th -12th year. Moreover we have 52 teachers (many teach at several schools) with only nine male teachers. Mr Amthor, our Math teacher says: „That’s no problem for me, it’s because women are better at dealing with children.“ This year we also have four assistant teachers. One of them is our English teacher Ms Kolyada: „Becoming a teacher is not easy in Germany but I like to teach. I try to make:

  • lessons interesting with the help of videos or group work
  • Learning should be fun too“

Our subjects are divided into:

  • main subjects (Math, English, German, the 2nd foreign language: Russian/ Latin or French
  • natural sciences (Chemistry, Biology, Physics)
  • Ethic/ Religion
  • social subjects (Economics and Law, Social Science, History, Geography)
  • Physical Training, Music, Art

Each of these subjects is a compulsory subject until the 11th year.

We have been learning English since the fifth year, however some pupils learned a little bit of English in elementary school. We have three hours of English every week. We have been learning the second foreign language since the seventh grade. Everyone could choose between Russian, Latin and French.

The favorite subjects are mostly Art and Physical Training. Girls often do not like Natural Sciences; in contrast boys do not like German and Music. At our school pupils have no uniforms.

We may not have a big school with a swimming pool or a soccer field, but our school has an interesting history and many traditions.

Authors: Marie, Lisa, Katharina and Saskia.



After school work at the PMG

In our school there are many after school courses. We have seven different after school activities. There are music, sport, computer, and theater courses, as well as first aid group, theater, badminton and football course.

The first aid group is an important group at the PMG. The group is divided in four subgroups with four members each. The pupils in this group help teachers or students who get sick or call a doctor if the injury is too bad.

In the football team we do not have training we only take part in tournaments. We are relatively successful. Usually this is not an after school work because we only participate in tournaments, but it is the course with the most members – over 80 members are on the team.

In the computer course the members design the school website, learn how to write with a ten finger system and how to use Word or other programs. They also develop robots in their workshop.

The badminton group has trainings once in two weeks, and every year the students have two competitions. There are 30 members in this group.

The most popular group in our school is the theater group with 35 members. Their last play was „Puss in Boots“. The PMG theater group is one of the famous theater groups in Thuringia. Every year the group participates in a competition.

Authors: Alina S., Jan T., Patrice K., Tom E



Our school building

We want to introduce our school to you. Therefore we will make a tour through the school building together where you will learn something about our school.




In the entrance area there is our atrium. School performances and meetings can be held here. It is a very big hall with one wall made out of glass. That is why it is a very light area, which gets hot in summer however.





The staff room, the office of the secretary and the school principal is on the right side of the ground floor, which is the older part of the school building. On the left side of the ground floor there are the Music room and other classrooms. This is the new part of the school building.




On the first floor there are some specialized areas, like Geography, History and Biology rooms. There you can find White Boards, which can be used for presentations. On this floor there is also the cafeteria, where pupils and teachers can have lunch.

There is enough space to meet classmates and to prepare projects.




Two Art rooms and two Biology rooms are on the second floor. There are Chemistry and Physics labs, too. These rooms are well-suited for experiments. You will meet lots of pre-school children during the visiters´ days there.

The most beautiful place is the hall between the two parts of the building on the second floor. There is a comfortable couch to chill on. Here are some computers that can be used by everyone.


If you leave the school building through the back door you reach the large part of our school yard. Our teachers can park their cars and pupils can spend their break here. They have the possibility to play table tennis and basketball or sit on a bench and talk to friends.



The „Schokolädchen” is next to the old school building. There you can buy delicious snacks and drinks. The prices are fair. Mrs Bettenhausen is the boss here and is always friendly. All pupils love her and her snacks.



Our school includes two gyms. The new gym is located next to the school. It is a two field hall, which is used for football and handball, too. A small sports ground is also here. Unfortunately you have to walk for 10 minutes to get to the older gym. A stadium belongs to this sports space. We practice summer sports here, such as 1000-metre-run, 100-metre-run and long jump.

Authors: Hannah K., Patricia H., Phillipp B., Cedric S., Svenja L.




In our school time we go on many school trips. In year 5 we went on excursions and a class-trip that included exciting activities. In year 6 we traveled to another part of the country. Later in the 7th year you must be fit to go in the Alps to a skiing camp, but you must pass the sport test to go on the trip. If you are in year 8, get ready to go on a student exchange to a school in France and a class-trip. In year 9 you can go on a student exchange to the Netherlands as well. When you are in year 10 and 11 you are able to choose your high school trip to a nice place in Europe, like Italy, Spain, Greece and England.

In February 2011 our class went on a skiing camp to South Tyrol. We drove ten hours to St. Johann and stayed in the pension „Frohsinn“. Every day we woke up at 7.15 am. There were advanced and beginner groups accompanied by five teachers. We went skiing on black, red and blue slopes till 3.30 pm, had lunch in a mountain hut and went to bed at 10.00 pm every day. There were ice sculptures on the highest slopes and one day we even watched a ski show with fireworks. All advanced and beginner groups participated in a slalom ski race. After six days we drove back to Gerstungen.


In June 2012 we had a class trip to the Center Park in Tossens (North Sea). We stayed there for 4 days in a little house and had to cook on our own. We visited the Climate House (in the picture) and the Emigration House at Bremerhaven, we had a walk across the mudflats and every day some of us went to the swimming pool. After that we went to the beach or watched TV. One evening we went to a disco, which was only for pupils and students. The next morning we had to clean our houses, because in the afternoon we went back to Gerstungen.




In the 8th, 9th and 11th year, pupils can take part in an exchange program to different schools in different countries, for example to Mordelles (France). They travel to their host families by bus and stay there for 10 days to learn something about the French culture and to practice speaking French. Every day they visit different sights in Brittany, for example: Saint-Malo, Rennes, and Nantes.

Every year 25 pupils from our school go to Breda (Netherlands). They learn much about the Netherlands and visit Antwerpen, Amsterdam, Zeeland, Den Haag & Breda. A few months later the pupils from the Netherlands come to Gerstungen too.


In the 9th year we go to a musical of our choice. Our class drove to Starlight Express in Bochum. The musical was interesting, as different characters and their actions made good swings and it was not boring! You can’t fall asleep because the trains around you drive four races with much action and loud music. You do not want to miss something in the rapid stage spectacle. This is a very good musical and everyone should see it.


klimahausEvery year our class is happy to make excursions and tours, because we are all together and have fun. It is always exciting to visit different places.

Authors: Selina, Josephine, Tobias, Lena, Richard N.



A day at our school

On Monday morning most pupils come by bus, train, car, bike or walk to school.




At 8 o`clock the bell rings and school starts with Economics and Law. After the first lesson we change the room and have English. In the break, a lot of people eat and drink first. Often we learn for coming tests, chill on benches and relax. Pupils think it is the best time at school and we need more time, because breaks last at most 25 minutes. Sometimes we only listen to music and talk to friends from our or other classes. And we look forward to every break. If we`re hungry, we can go to our little foodshop, called “Schokolädchen”. You can buy baguettes, hot dogs, pizza, spaghetti, sweets, ice-cream, drinks and much more there. But it`s not very cheap there, so some pupils get food from a catering firm in the cafeteria of our school, but if we buy something in the “Schokolädchen” we can eat it on the schoolyard sitting on benches. For breakfast, most pupils have lunch from home with them.

The next two lessons are French, Russian or Latin. After the second break we have two lessons of Math and then the third break. Once in two weeks we have two hours of Sports or Geography. If we want a break between a block lesson we have to ask our teacher. When we have free lessons, we can spend the time in different ways. Some of us, who live in Gerstungen, go home then. Others go to the bakery near the school and buy some food or go to the pizza restaurant. When the weather is good, we can go to the schoolyard. There are benches, where we can sit down. If we want to do sports, there are different possibilities. We have some Ping-Pong-tables and a sport ground to play basketball. If the weather is not good, we can sit in the atrium on the big sofa or use one of the computers. At half past 3 pm the school day is over and we can go home.

Authoers:Jenny, Anita, Johanna, Sonja, Laura 😉