10/11/05

Holistic Learning in the Center of the Attention

In 2006, Independent Anne Sophie School is going to start with two groups at the former agricultural school of Künzelsau – holistic reform-pedagogic school education – new school building supposed to be ready for use in 2008

Künzelsau. Starting with the new school year 2006/2007 the region of Hohenlohe disposes of an additional pedagogic offer. Independent Anne Sophie School, in the building of the former agricultural school at Zollstockweg in Künzelsau, is going to open its doors after summer holiday 2006. Initiator of the private school is Bettina Würth, member of the Board of Directors of Künzelsau-based trading business Würth.

For a year now, a circle of educationalists under the direction of Bettina Würth has been preparing the foundation of a private school in Künzelsau. Independent Anne Sophie School will be introduced to interested parents within the framework of an information evening for parents at Anne-Sophie-House in Künzelsau on Thursday, November 24, 2005 at 7.30 p.m. Parents who are interested can register for participation until November 23, 2005 by getting in contact with the school management under the telephone number 07940/549-232. The application procedure for pupils, which requires a personal talk with the school director, ends on February 24, 2006.

“At Independent Anne Sophie School the natural desire of the children to learn is the decisive source of energy. We do not need timetables nor class tests, but committed teachers and a school environment in which the children can satisfy their thirst for knowledge in an unlimited way.” This is the way how the initiator Bettina Würth describes the idea behind the newly founded private school in Künzelsau.

Independent Anne Sophie School will be run as an all-day school. The school intends to start working with two groups of pupils from the first to the third grade at the premises of the former agricultural school in Künzelsau. Ulrike von Klitzing, former principal of the Reinhold Würth Elementary School in Künzelsau-Gaisbach, will be the principal of Independent Anne Sophie School.

The necessary reconstruction works will be started in January 2006.

In the planning is also the construction of a new school building that is supposed to be finished in 2008. Then not only the pupils of the elementary school but also of the secondary school will find a permanent domicile. For children at pre-school age a kindergarten will also be integrated in 2008.

The private school sees itself as an additional offer to the classical types of schools. The school pursues a reform-pedagogic aim that attaches special attention to the holistic and comprehensive promotion of children. In the center of this pedagogic concept is not the pure conveying of knowledge. “Through the individual promotion of the children the Independent Anne Sophie School wants every pupil who leaves the school to be a winner”, says Bettina Würth describing the basic idea of the school. Self-determined learning, the training of individual abilities as well as the development of social competence are important elements of the school education at Independent Anne Sophie School. “The holistic development of the pupils needs an appropriate room for living, learning and experiencing. Continuity matters more to us than the working of timetables”, underlines the director Ulrike von Klitzing.

For that reason Independent Anne Sophie School will do without grades based on the age of the children. The pupils of this private school won’t learn by the usual time system of 45 minutes per school class. This school will create an environment in which its pupils learn out of their own desire and with lots of motivation. Ulrike von Klitzing: “”The development of social, craft, musical and physical skills will be attached the same importance as classical subjects.” Phases of self-determined free work take turns with the interlinked lessons in groups. Joint meals are as important for the process of learning as the leisure offers in the afternoon or the activities in workshops. In addition to that, the parents are going to be integrated actively. Bettina Würth: “The parents are important partners who take a decisive share in the school development of their children.”

The pedagogic concept of Independent Anne Sophie School was developed under the scientific direction of Professor Richard Meier. Professor Meier is known as one of the most distinguished school experts in Germany. This form of school is state-approved. The contents to be taught fulfill the requirements made to the syllabi of state schools. The pupils finish this type of school with the state-approved certificates of secondary schools, secondary schools leading to intermediate qualification and high schools. Yet, the Independent Anne Sophie School is no magnet school for the children of wealthy parents. It is an offer to children and young people from the region, from families of working class and academic background as well as from families of foreign origin.

Besides state subsidies the costs for the private school are to a great extent borne by the Würth Foundation. Another part is contributed by the parents in form of an appropriate school fee. “However, the financial situation of a family should never be the reason for refusing a pupil” says Bettina Würth. In individual cases scholarships will make the attendance of the school possible.