He must paint all the words in yellow “G”, those with a small green “G”, and those without a capital letter or a blue small “G” – this is how Brian explains his German worksheet. Soon it was no longer white, but coloured. Anyone who sees the paper will assign it to the first grade of an elementary school. The first graders are six or seven years old. But Brian is already ten. Officially, it belongs to the Süderbrarup Support Center, the field of intellectual development. And although he had been to school for four years, he practically did not see him inside the support center in the Schleswig-Flensburg region: from the very beginning, his lessons were in the neighboring primary school.
Lessons according to individual ability
Brian and seven other children make up the so-called campus class. The special education teacher explains, “We have very different children here. We have children with fetal alcohol syndrome, and they have trouble concentrating. We have children who are simply learning slower. Some are also a little restless and find it difficult to stay seated.” Ann Kathryn Stormer. That’s why they all attend their make-up classes together here, but they also go to regular classes in elementary school as a class on campus – either all eight together or individually, depending on individual talent. As Brian continues to color in his worksheet, he says, “Above all, I’m good at sports, I got an A there. My favorite subject is math, other than German, but I can’t read very well yet.” Because he is relatively better at math than he is at German and because he enjoys it so much, he goes to his “regular” math class once a week.
“Integration is not a problem for us”
He packs his exercise book and pencils and walks down the hall. Everyone works for themselves here, with tasks adapting to their own level of learning. “I have to calculate a plus here,” Brian tells math teacher Wolfgang Schaffing, who is sitting next to him now. “Twelve plus one equals 13,” he calculated. “How do you know that?” asks Shiving. “I make it easy for myself, two plus one equals three, so twelve plus one equals 13,” Brian says proudly. “Well, I learned the trick,” he praises his teacher.
Wolfang Schaving is also the head of the Nordlicht Süderbrarup: “I always say very provocatively: Integration is not a problem for us. No child asks: ‘Why are there only eight children in a class?'” Why is Brian with us today? Why does one of them reach 100, and the other only reach ten? No one cares.”
Everyone learns and plays together
They’ve had the concept of campus classes since their founding five years ago – at the time many village schools were incorporated into this school. “Before incorporation, we also thought about merging,” recalls Wolfgang Schäfing, “We looked at several schools. We were in Ahrensburg, among other places, and discovered this concept. We loved it, and so we wanted it too. You have.”
The goal is for all children – regardless of whether they have disabilities or not – to meet, learn together and play together – in the classroom and in the schoolyard. “Kids come here and think that all schools are like that, there’s nothing special about them. And we’ve really achieved that goal: it’s nothing special,” says Scheffing.
Campus classes also in community schools
The neighboring community school in Thorsberger Moor is also involved in this concept. There are currently two campuses here. There will be four in the new school year. The principal here, Malte Bachmann, sees this as an advantage for all children:
“Children in need of support are out of their comfort zone, not in the sheltered space of a support center. They also have to establish themselves in the cafeteria or schoolyard – and realize that they can do it too. Conversely, all other students learn considerate, but natural communication Also with people with disabilities.”
Support centers are overcrowded
The concept of campus classes already exists in other schools in Schleswig-Holstein, but these are still exceptions. When it comes to this form of inclusion, Schleswig-Holstein is among the leaders in the national average. Either children with disabilities – in any way – come individually to regular school classes, or children are taught separately in a special needs center. There are 83 of these support centers – with focal points such as mental development, physical or social development. But some of these centers are overcrowded: the need is more than the space. It was therefore planned to establish a third support center in the Schleswig-Flensburg region. Regular school principals in Söderbarup don’t think it makes sense: “It costs millions and takes years. For some students, it may mean other ways,” says Wolfgang Schwing of Nordlecht School. He believes it would be best, instead, to expand and transform existing regular schools in such a way that more campus classes can be created.
Campus classes in CPA
In fact, the idea of campus classes appears to be receiving increased interest in politics: principals from Süderbrarup have just been invited by a working group of the Ministry of Education to report on their experiences. The new state government’s coalition agreement states:
“We view the creation of campus classrooms as an appropriate way to enable holistic learning for school children with a focus on intellectual development. We will launch a framework concept for this purpose.”
Embedding is so special anymore
Brian succeeded in solving his math problems. During his breakfast break, he returns to his class in the hall. But this won’t be long either: After the holidays, he and two of his classmates will switch to the neighboring community school. Teachers here and there are sure this will work too. They kept embedding until it was something special anymore.