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Refugees at Käthe Kollwitz School Leverkusen

Refugees at Käthe-Kollwitz-School Leverkusen

In this article I will tell you something about the refugees‘ situation at Käthe-Kollwitz-School in Leverkusen.

At my comprehensive school in Leverkusen, we have an international class, where young refugees learn German. This project is supported by the school management and other teachers. One of them is Mr Mosner, who ist he class teacher of these 17 students. The students are between 13 and 16 years old and come from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Bosnia and Macedonia. The main business of the students is the German language. By the way the students learn English or drama, too. Mr. Mosner himself says that he gets along well with his students.

He mainly uses
1.visual means, for example pictures, facial expression, gestures.
2. auditory means, for example he says: „whisper“ in a quiet language.
3. verbal means, for example he translates the word and a refugee who understands it translates it for the other students into their mother tongue.

He also says that the students need to care for their future. So he says that the students must learn German so that they can communicate in everyday life and can be transferred fast to a regular class.
In his opinion one problem is that some students have to repeat a class because they have not enough German knowledge to get a regular graduation at this school.
He also says that the other, „regular“ students are nice to the refugees.

I personally noticed that Mr. Mosner loves it to work with refugees and kids. I think that he needs a lot of patience in this task. I have big respect for his engagement. We should also not forget the other teachers behind Mr. Mosner. Because one person alone can´t do this task alone.

Paul-Leander Schmidt, 9H, Käthe-Kollwitz School Leverkusen

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Aquilafest in Leverkusen


About the Aquilafest in Leverkusen-Küppersteg

 Today I‘ll tell you something about the „Aquilafest“ in Leverkusen.

Two weekends ago (5/6-6/6) there was the „Aquilafest“ in Leverkusen-Küppersteg.

The Aquilafest is a party where you can drink, eat or dance. My job was to collect empty glasses and to help with the  barbecue.

This party is organized by a Club named „Aquila“ (Aquila is a lake in Leverkusen). They care about tradition and neigbourhood. Members organise events for the young and they help in old people’s homes. You can meet new friends. The club has 250 members and they meet 2-3 times  a year.                           

At this weekend there was a special programme with a dance group, two belly dancers and a crooner. When I asked our chairman what he liked best today, he answered: „ It was very good because the weather was very hot and  many people came.“  

My favourite was the DJ because he mixed new and old music.


Club logo                                                  two belly dancers  (photo: P.L.Schmidt)

(by Paul-Leander Schmidt, year 8)










Topic Days at Kaethe Kollwitz School

Topic Days at Käthe-Kollwitz School

On some Fridays, so-called Topic Days take place at our school. So maybe I should first explain what Topic Days are.

On these days, pupils have the same subject from 8.15 to 12.45, that is 5 lessons. This means when you have Sport in the first lesson on a Friday and it’s the first Topic Day, then you will have 5 successive Sport lessons. Some of you will surely think „Oh, my God. I hate Sport, it would be the worst thing ever to have 5 Sport lessons all morning.“ But let me tell you it can be really great. To have 5 Sport lessons does not mean to play basketball the whole time or something else. All Sports teachers of my grade 11 decided to go ice-skating. In Cologne, which is 20 kilometers from Leverkusen, we have a big ice-rink and it is really great there. So it was real fun and all of us enjoyed our day in Cologne.

On the second Topic Day all pupils have 5 lessons of the subject which they would normally have in the second lesson on Fridays. My class has Education. We worked in groups and later, we presented our group work in front of the class. Each group dealt with different educational methods and it was really interesting.

When you have a double lesson of Math, then you have two successive Topic Days of Math, that means 10 Math lessons on two Fridays that follow each other. I hoped these these two weeks would be over as soon as possible. To be honest, it was not so boring and terrible as I had thought. On the first Friday we got our Math tests back. The marks were better than we had expected so my day was saved. These 5 lessons were over quite fast. But it was different in the following week. Our teacher gave us worksheets and it was really boring. All in all, it was much too much Math for one Day.

Once the 5 Topic Days are over, you return to your normal Friday timetable until it all starts again in the second semester oft he school year.

I hope all of you know now what Topic Days at my school look like. They can be boring and exhausting but the teachers can also do something in these 5 lessons that he could not do in the normal lesson because of too little time.

Klaudia Chodnicka, grade 11

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A Holiday in Scotland

In September 2013 I travelled with my wife to Scotland on holiday.  The reason for this journey was to experience Scottish railways.  The trip was arranged by a firm in the town of Cupar.  The railways were the normal scheduled services but sometimes using restored carriages and locomotives.  The group members were all enthusiastic about the equipment and the lovely landscapes.  All had maps, binoculars and cameras.  Scotland has mountains, moorland, lakes, woods and islands.

We travelled by air to Edinburgh.  If one wishes, a car can be hired there which would be good if a route is self-planned.  Edinburgh, the capital, has much to offer the visitor.  It has a castle with a lovely chapel, “Queen Margaret’s Chapel”.  Also the city has attractive buildings, wide streets, elegant houses and a royal palace, “Holyrood Palace”.  A bus waited for our group.  We stayed during the visit in the town of Strathpeffer.  This is a small elegant town which was famous in the 19th century as a spa.  We had accommodation in a hotel and were met each morning by a bus which took us to a railway station.  The first of these, Aviemore, is a winter sport centre.  When the weather is warm and dry one can take walks.  There are many opportunities for renting rooms or houses.  Not far away are the Cairngorm Mountains, these can sometimes be dangerous in winter because of extreme weather.

We travelled east by train to Boat of Garten, Thurso and Wick.  Wick has a small harbour which I specially like.  It is possible to explore the harbour on foot and fishing and other boats can be seen.  On the western side of the land we visited Kyle of Lochalsh, Fort William and Mallaig. From Fort William you can see Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Scotland.  From Kyle of Lochalsh the isle of Skye is visible.  Here I remembered the poem by Robert Louis Stevenson which describes the journey of Charles Edward Stuart (“Bonnie Prince Charlie”) when, after his defeat at the battle of Culloden in 1745, he fled to Skye.  Today there is a new bridge connecting the island to the mainland.  From Fort William the train travels over the Glenfinnan Viaduct which everyone wishes to photograph.  The viaduct is a Victorian wonder with brick-built columns.

Before the end of the holiday the train or bus had passed along the side of Loch Lomond and Loch Ness.  Both of these lakes are more than 20 kilometres in length.  Scotland is beautiful but beware! The weather is changeable.  Protection against rain is important.  But the sun does shine also.  The population is friendly and I recommend a visit to Scotland.  It is best, I think, to arrange a journey through a travel organiser, but it is possible also to plan alone.  For the original Scottish breakfast do not forget the porridge (made with oatmeal).

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Redz Perform at Disneyland Paris


After a successful two day performing arts workshop in partnership with Young Stage Leverkusen and performing at Sandhurst school, 23 young people and five Youth Workers from the Spot Youth Centre went to Disneyland Paris for three days to take part in a performing arts workshop.

We left the Spot in Sandhurst at 10am on Monday 27th October in a coach for the drive to Folkestone where we got the Eurotunnel train over to Calais, we then travelled by coach through France to arrive at our hotel – the My Explorers hotel, we sorted out our rooms and then had dinner in the restaurant.

After dinner we performed a number of songs and dance routines to guests in the hotel that we had been learning over the last half term, we performed to about 50 people who were watching us for some of us this was the first time we had performed to people other than our friends and family.

On Tuesday we got the shuttle bus to the Disney parks, we went into the Disney studio park first to trey out some of the rides, to watch the shows and to learn a bit about how cartoons and films are made, we watched the stunt show ‘moteurs action’ which was amazing and then we went over to the Walt Disney park where we spent the rest of the day going on the rides. meeting the characters and watching the shows ending with the firework show in the evening, we then headed back to the hotel for what was left of the evening, it was a long day but the fireworks and show at the end of the day was well worth it.

On Wednesday we had to be up really early, we had to have our bags packed as we had to be at the park at 8am for our performing arts workshop, we worked with coaches and actors from the park where we learnt a song dance routine and some acting based on the Disney film ‘Tangled’, we then had a Q&A session with one of the Disney choreographers.

We then had a couple of hours in the park before we had to start making our way back to Sandhurst arriving home about 8pm

‘The atmosphere was truly magical’ – Daisy, Louise and Molly

‘An experience unlike any other, the performers were full of extreme energetic excitement’ – Ryan

‘Having the opportunity to perform in a different country was great and the workshop gave us a new outlook on how to perform’ – Jake

‘All of the Disney staff were very kind and supportive and I would love to do it again – Darcy


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South Hill Park Youth Theatre visit to Leverkusen

Sophie_FlughafenSophie Todd writes :

In June 2014 the youth theatre group from South Hill Park, Bracknell were invited to perform in a theatre exchange at Landrat-Lucas Gymnasium in Leverkusen, Germany. My Name is Sophie and I was 19 years old when we set off. As someone who hasn’t travelled all that much I was extremely excited to have this opportunity. I was the 2nd Oldest of the group, with a cast of 7 Girls ranging from 15-22. Although from the first rehearsal there was no notice of age difference between any of us and we have become great friends.

After we got off the plane we were greeted by some of the young people who we would be staying with and their teachers. I had a phrase book at the ready and butchered the easiest phrase- to which all the students who had greeted us replied in perfect English. I was amazed how good everyone’s English was wherever we went.

I Stayed with Lisa and her Parents. They were probably one of the nicest, most welcoming families I have ever met. Nothing was too much to ask for and they would always ask if I was okay, if I needed anything and they really enjoyed learning about my life in England. I also really enjoyed having dinner with them as they had many family stories about World War 2 and the East/West divide. Lisa is now what I hope a life long friend, we have much in common. We both said how great it was that we got paired up as we had a mutual love of the same type of music. We have kept in touch since and I hope she can come to visit me.

We were taken on some really interesting trips around museums and exhibitions. Going up the Cologne tower and the German National Museum were two personal favourites. Landrat-Lucas Gymnasium was a very welcoming place, all the teachers and students were very keen to know about what we were doing and where we had come from. I was surprised at how many pupils spoke English and would ask me questions. As someone who has completed both school and college It was interesting to sit in on a lesson- the pupils ranged from 14-19 but to me it felt more like a college environment as they wore there own clothes with no uniform.

The night before the performance we were all invited to a barbecue hosted by the family Suzie was staying with and watched a Germany world cup match. This was a lovely evening and it was great to spend time with a mix of people from both Germany and England.

WSophie_Koelnblicke were all extremely nervous about the performance, particularly as the way the script is written making it very hard to learn lines as all of the lines overlap and characters shout over each other etc. I found the workshops that Joey and Max led on character really useful not only for Top Girls but for other roles I would play. We all thought it great to play characters who were so different from each other and who bounced off each other. I really liked doing an all girl piece with such strong female characters as plays usually have a male dominance.



I spent most of the trip laughing my head off and I was really pleased at how the performance went. I’m really grateful for all the hard work that went into organising it and especially Joey and Max for being such great directors. I made some great friends and got really close to everyone who went. It was definitely a trip I won’t forget.




Sophie_locks  Sophie_statue

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Bracknell-Leverkusen Youth Council Exchange

lev2014_01Bracknell-Leverkusen Exchange

A group of Bracknell Forest Youth Council Members visited our twin town, Leverkusen in Germany for 6 days at the end of June 2014. We also met with a group from Finland who are twinned with Leverkusen too.

Our accommodation in Leverkusen was at the youth centre, “Lindenhof “, although we had a very busy schedule so got to see so much more;

We visited the Mayor of Leverkusen in the newly developed town hall, we were given the chance to ask questions and find out more about how young people in Leverkusen get their voices heard. This was followed by a tour of the town, a chair lift ride and some very tasty waffles, a visit to a girls club celebrating 25 years and a newly built youth centre.


We also got to experience a day trip to Bonn, the former capital city using public transport and take a boat trip back to Cologne, Visits to Cologne, swimming pools and town centres gave us all a good taste of what Germany has to offer, as well as a BBQ, including some nice German sausage.

“The most interesting part of the trip for me was being invited to meet the Mayor and see their council chamber, the opportunity to understand what is on offer for the young people of Leverkusen and how they get their voices heard” Said Max Ranger MYP Bracknell Forest.

“The biggest highlight for me on the trip was visiting and exploring the cathedral in Cologne “ said Jack Ranger DMYP Bracknell Forest.

Bracknell Town Council and Bracknell Forest Council helped fund the cost of this trip. This kind support allowed 11 of us to have some amazing new experiences, to learn more about each other and have fun.

The exchange gave us a great opportunity to meet new friends, learn new language skills and share cultural differences.

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Hundreds of children perform ‘Lest We Forget’

Lest-We-ForgetMore than 600 Bracknell Forest school children performed a musical extravaganza to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War and conflict since 1914.
The special ‘Lest We Forget’ performance involved the children singing, dancing and narrating to provide a tribute conflict as well as to deepen their understanding of events that happened during the First World War.

Songs from the time of the First World War were sung, including a moving performance of Silent Night which was sung in both English and German.

Lots of hard work was involved in the production and it was a special event.
It was great to watch all the young people perform and the narrations were particularly thought provoking.

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Käthe Kollwitz Goes Cultural

Getting started
Getting started
Thousands of shreds
Thousands of shreds




A Famous Poster by Käthe Kollwitz

A Famous Poster by Käthe Kollwitz


by  Tamara Ebner  (year 11)

On Culture Day the pupils of Käthe Kollwitz Secondary School in Leverkusen do something on the subject of culture. Often, they go to the museum, visit art exhibitions or they pick the artist simply by themselves and invite him/her to  school. So did class 11 recently!

On 06/02/2014 two artists came from Villa Zündfunke to our school with the intention of bringing us closer together as a team. For this, they worked out a project, which would encourage and require the creativity and teamwork of the students. Out of almost 100 pupils, four teams were formed. These teams had the task to create a portrait (2 x 1.6 metre) of the artist and human rights activist Käthe Kollwitz.

First of all we were told something about her life. Second, our great school is named after her. We learned that Käthe Kollwitz was a socially engaged artist from Berlin, who had lost her son in the First World War.  Driven by grief and anger about the war she drew anti – violence images. Unfortunately, she died a few days before the end of the Second World War.

Thereafter the artists Winfried Becker ( and Andreas Baschek ( explained to us how to proceed. First we had to abrade the four large wooden plates and coat them with clear lacquer. Then the portrait of Käthe Kollwitz, that we were to work on, was shown to us. Subsequently, each group was given the task to shoot pictures with our mobile phones outside in order to map various colors, patterns and structures.
These images were collected and whilst they were printed, we all ate pizza together. After lunch, we went to work. The printed images were then torn into small shreds and glued at the appropriate places. In order to create a good image, it was necessary to liaise with each other. This gave rise to get in touch with students, who we never knew of before. Often it was very funny and a sticky affair.

Finally, four artistically creative and abstract portraits came together. A jury was summoned, to evaluate our portraits, based on certain criteria. In a small ceremony with music and good vibes, the winners were honored. The group with the most abstract image won a visit to the cinema.


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Welcome to Leverkusen

LeverkusenLeverkusen on the River Rhine is a large and multi-faceted city. Its roughly 161,000 citizens are spread out over urban areas as well as idyllic rural ones. Village charisma and the vibrant city life are often just a stone’s throw apart. Sometimes they are even directly adjacent.

Leverkusen became famous as the industrial town where globally renowned company Bayer AG is headquartered. It offers much more, however: It is a city with many relaxation offers, lots of greenery

in particular at the outskirts of the Bergisches Land and with the romantic banks of the River Rhine in the North.

Leverkusen is known as a city of sports far beyond its borders. The soccer players of the national league club “Bayer 04 Leverkusen“ are one of the top national league teams and have often been highly successful in Europe. The BayArena is and remains one of the most beautiful soccer stadiums in Europe.

With this special mix of well-structured urban offers, Leverkusen was able to hold its own well between the much older cities of Cologne and Düsseldorf with their much longer history.

Leverkusen was founded in 1930 when the villages of Schlebusch, Steinbüchel, Rheindorf and Wiesdorf were combined under this name. The new town‘s name is symbolic for its history:

Pharmacist Carl Leverkus built his ultramarine dye factories here starting in 1860, thereby laying the foundation stone for the later Bayer factory and thus also for town development. Before the time

of industrialisation, the area on which Leverkusen is located today had only small villages with farmers, cattle breeders and fishers. Once the factory opened, many workers from other German regions came flocking to the Rhine. Since the area had no infrastructure, it had to be built quickly. A settlement grew around the factory and influenced the surrounding villages. Workers would go shopping in the villages, which would soon also send men and women to work in the new factory. The relationships that developed at the time were made of- ficial when Leverkusen was given town status. With the community restructuring of 1975, the town was expanded around the Rhine, the former country town Opladen and into the Bergisches Land.

Click here to download ‘Welcome to Leverkusen’ pdf.