Projects & Areas of Focus
One of the extraordinary aspects of a boarding school is the synergy generated between intra and extracurricular activities. After all, young people can only unfold their true potential by balancing intellectual pursuits with external activities. For this reason, we always offer a wide range of projects during each school year.
Regardless of the many interests of our pupils, our services are not limited to teaching the main subjects and they do not stop at our school door. We want to confront our pupils with the key topics and issues of the day and open their eyes to the world outside.
MINT stands for Math, Information Technology, Natural Science and Technology. Internat Solling strives to awaken and encourage our pupils’ interest for these subjects. A solid grounding in science is the key to constructive participation in our society. Not only do we concentrate on developing skills such curiosity and precision, patience and objectivity, we also foster our pupils’ creative talents and sense of competitiveness. We cooperate closely with other local schools and companies, strive to improve the quality of instruction and provide excellent in-house infrastructure. Internat Solling offers specialisations in Science and is the first mainstream school in Lower Saxony to offer S1 lab and safety workbenches, a significant enhancement for science experiments. Furthermore, we also offer a series of lectures from outstanding speakers including Nobel laureate Erwin Neher.
We also receive active support from our alumni who regularly donate their time, money and expertise.
Internat Solling is one of 210 specially selected UNESCO project schools in Germany. These schools strive to implement the UNESCO instructional targets and to publicise them through extracurricular activities. In this way, they actively contribute to the realisation of the UNESCO goals. This program aims to increase political awareness amongst pupils and provides a platform where they can launch their initiatives and translate them into actions.
UNESCO project schools have had the following goals ever since the initial founding back in 1953:
- Establishment of human rights throughout the entire world
- Teach sustainable growth, environmental protection and conservation
- Elimination of poverty and need
- Advance global developmentt
- Accept differences, promote tolerance and facilitate learning between different cultures
The various nations cooperating within UNESCO strive to express their hope for achieving world peace through education. In addition to contracts and agreements at the political level, this program focuses on mutual understanding and respect between the peoples of the world. UNESCO project schools deal with topics such as human rights, environmental protection and tolerance during regular classes as well as in extracurricular activities. The global network provides ideas and material for school work and provides a joint platform for activities and communication between participating schools via mailing lists, symposia and newsletters.
One of our traditions that we continue to cultivate and expand upon is languages, travel abroad and intercultural cooperation between people of the same age group. The broad range of languages we offer – not only English but also French and a focus on Spanish – and our special cooperations with schools in Canada, Spain, Mexico, Peru and Brazil help to promote tolerance and cosmopolitanism.
We offer a great number of sports activities and competitions. It is not surprising why sports are considered to be the best means of developing character in the English-speaking world. Internat Solling is big on fair play and team spirit but also discipline and effort..
What do Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer’s Night Dream”, Kleist’s “The Prince of Homburg”, Schiller’s “William Tell”, Borchert’s “The Man Outside” and Aischylos’ “Oresteia” have in common? They were all performed on stage at Internat Solling. And these are only a few of the countless theatre and musical productions we have performed at Internat Solling.
Theatre has a long tradition at our school and is very important. Right from the get-go, it is considered to be a self-evident leisure activity, small and large pieces are performed in front of audiences or for the theatre troupe alone. Every festive occasion at Internat Solling is celebrated with music and speeches but also with theatre productions. There are no alumni meetings without theatre. Not only do we present works from established playwrights, our pupils and teachers often take the reigns to write and direct their own plays. For example, we celebrated our 100th jubilee with the musical “Der gute Geist vom Landschulheim” (The Good Spirit of Internat Solling), an unforgettable major production involving the participation of the entire school.
Theatre is also firmly entrenched as a regular part of instruction at Internat Solling. Even though the tight schedule of our school makes it difficult to realize time-intensive productions, anyone who is interested can participate in our theatre productions. Naturally, we also cooperate with other schools in our region and share theatre productions with them, hold regular workshop events and school drama meetings.
A fascinating side-effect of acting in theatre is that it helps young people to overcome any social or personal problems they may have and provides them with experience that balances the rest of their school work and lessons.
Even though some of us may still be scratching our eyes, our morning assembly at Internat Solling starts at 8 am on Monday morning in the Upper Hall and sets the tone for the coming week. In keeping with our venerable tradition, this early morning session is accompanied by live classical music. With its high artistic level, the morning assembly has a unique effect on the pupils and teachers in attendance. Music is experienced here as a special form of communication – a language of expression that reaches deep into the soul.
Internat Solling has always placed a high value on music like this but also as a subject of study. It is a key factor in developing the personalities of our pupils and provides a highly worthwhile means of spending leisure time during school and throughout life. Our main priorities are to awaken and promote our pupils’ love of music. By studying a composition with other musicians and jointly working towards a common performance goal with body and soul, our pupils discover how to realise their abilities at the highest possible level. And after all, this is one of the main purposes of learning.
We aim to empower our young pupils to experience and understand music, how to describe it and how to express one’s own thoughts and feelings through music. We teach how music history, theory and practice are interrelated and how they complement each other. The study of music from various periods promotes understanding of different eras, generations and cultures. This is particularly successful during our interdisciplinary activities where music, art, literature and history are dealt with holistically.
From classical string quartets practicing a Haydn opus to pop bands covering current hits to jazz combos learning the art of improvisation, music at Internat Solling is much more than cell phone ring tones – it is something that is directly experienced and performed during instruction and leisure periods alike. Every pupil is given the opportunity to receive instruction from qualified teachers on instruments ranging from drum kit to guitar to violin and vocals. Furthermore, pupils are also given an opportunity to learn other instruments at the Städtischen Musikschule (Public Music School) in neighbouring Holzminden. As extracurricular activities, our school offers Lower Level Band for forms 6–9 and Upper Level Band for forms 10–12. These bands meet on a regular basis and on special occasions to perform their impressive repertoire. At the Upper Level, our pupils can partake in a special composition course where they learn how to use notation software that is made available for every pupil free of charge.
Our school has also maintained a long-lasting cooperation with Musikhochschule Detmold (Detmold Conservatory). In keeping with our motto of ‘young musicians playing for young listeners’, our pupils perform a dress rehearsal of their examination repertoire to a large audience in preparation for their final examination. Our pupils also perform for other audiences such as at the “Vocal Hero” competition hosted by Musikschule Holzminden, a live event with excellent candidates presented in an electric atmosphere at the city auditorium or in front of their colleagues in the Upper Hall on special occasions. We would like to recognise the tireless efforts of several alumni who have returned at regular intervals to perform at our school.
Art reflects the spirit and inspirations of humanity throughout different eras. It is one of the main pillars of every pupil’s general education and is equally as important as mathematics and German. But it is also provides an opportunity for pupils to exercise their creativity. Therefore, art courses will always be taught at Internat Solling. In lower and intermediate courses, art is instructed in accordance with the curricular rules of Lower Saxony. The same applies to the upper levels where all levels of examination courses are available: P1-3, P4 and oral P5. Once the prescribed coursework has been completed, pupils have extra time to pursue their own artistic interests. The small class sizes promote the active development of each pupil and ensure that the required skills are taught for the topic at hand.
The art department also offers opportunities for interdisciplinary work such as designing backdrops for theatre productions. Our art department also participates in the church project “Cha(i)rity” where pupils redesign old chairs and auction them away for a good local cause. At the intermediate level, each pupil investigates the creative areas that interest them in the fields of architecture, design, photography, drawing and painting. Furthermore, a varied weekend programme is offered that includes museum visits, day trips to inspect local architecture or numerous workshops on graffiti, sewing or Christmas handicraft. The 8th and 9th forms are also given the chance to study “Natural Art” as an elective where they learn to work with materials found in nature. Pupils are awarded with various cash prizes for exceptional artistic achievements in courses or art studios.
The old barn in the Musenhof (Court of the Muses), a brightly lit room with skylighting, serves as the inspiring home for art courses and is optimally equipped with high-quality equipment and materials. The studio is situated directly across from this building and offers many large open walls suitable for large-format work. The ‘glass conservatory’ is a place where all of our pupils can learn how to paint and realise their own creative ideas with the support of the two art teachers. Work by the pupils is exhibited throughout the Internat: in the hallways of the lower building, in the cafeterias and dining rooms and in the showcases of the Upper House.