The yellow, red, green and blue Dragon classes
Deutsche Schule Melbourne currently teaches girls and boys in four classes, the yellow, red, green and blue Dragon classes.
In the yellow Dragon class, the "Preppies" immerse themselves in the world of structured learning and acquiring reading, writing in both languages and mathematical skills. Their classroom teacher is Ms Nina Havenga.
The red Dragon class are Year 1 students who are building upon what they had learned in the Prep class. In Year 1, they are constantly acquiring further knowledge and expanding their German skills. They are taught by their classroom teacher Mr Leon Gabler.
The green Dragon class is a combined class of Year 2 and 3 students, instructed by their classroom teacher Ms Christina Remshardt.
The blue Dragon class is our foundation class, having started in the school's opening year of 2008! This class is a combined class of girls and boys from Years 4 to 5. They are instructed by their classroom teacher Ms Mary Gallivan. A combined class of students of different ages like the dragon class offers many development and learning opportunities for the children, above and beyond academic and social learning opportunities.
Living in 2 Languages
The background of our students is as colourful as the city of Melbourne. Our school community consists of families with one German-speaking and one English-speaking parent, local Australian families who wish to give their children a bilingual education and German-speaking families who are residing in Australia for a limited time.
When they start school some students are already fluent German speakers, others know little German or begin to learn German when they start school. With a lot of enthusiasm and support from teachers and peers alike, students immerse themselves in the German language and advance quickly in their language development.
The school has also students who speak fluent German but have limited abilities in English when they begin school. They learn English as an additional mother tongue and, similar to those students acquiring German from the Preparatory Year onwards, tend to make fast progress in acquiring English. The students at DSM develop a fine sense of the language abilities of their peers and support each other in the acquisition of the new language. They are able to switch to German or English whenever appropriate and develop a keen ability to assist other students who may require help in understanding English or German.
Living with two languages enriches the lives of our children. Their early success in acquiring an additional language strengthens their self-confidence and they are able to rise to new challenges, from which they learn and grow. It is a privilege for us to accompany and assist the students on this journey.
Deutsche Schule Melbourne follows the one teacher - one language approach, meaning that all teachers at DSM adhere to their respective mother tongue while talking to the children. Special consideration is given to those children who are still unfamiliar with one of the languages. Verbal communication in class reflects the individual needs of the children and may be supported by mimic and gesture and visual elements such as pictures.