Campus class Süderbrarup: When inclusion is no longer special | – News

Status: 30/06/2022 21:15

Children with disabilities learn either individually in mainstream schools or separately in special centers. The campus class concept combines both: all children can learn and play together.

by Vera Vester

He has to paint all words with big “G” yellow, those with small “G” green, those without big or small “G” blue – that’s how Brian explains his German worksheet. And soon it is no longer white, but colorful. Anyone who sees the sheet will award it to first grade in an elementary school. The first classes are six to seven years old. But Brian is already ten. He officially belongs to the support center in Süderbrarup, the area of ​​intellectual development. And even though he has been going to school for four years, he has virtually never seen the inside of the support center in the Schleswig-Flensburg district: right from the start, his lessons have been in the nearby primary school.

Teaching according to individual abilities

Brian is a student with special needs, but also goes to regular education.

Brian and seven other children make up the so-called campus class. “We have very different children here. We have children who have fetal alcohol syndrome who have difficulty concentrating. We have children who simply learn more slowly. Some are also a little restless and have difficulty staying seated,” explains the special educator . Ann-Kathrin Störmer. That’s why they all have their help classes here, but they also go to the primary school’s regular classes as a campus class – either all eight together or separately, depending on individual talent. As Brian continues to color his worksheet, he says, “Above all, I’m good at sports, I got an A there. My favorite subject is math, otherwise German, but I can’t read very well yet.” And because he is relatively more fit in math than in German and because he enjoys it a lot, he goes to the “normal” math class once a week.

“Inclusion is not a problem for us”

He packs his notebook and pencils and walks down the hall. Here, everyone works for themselves, with tasks adapted to their own level of learning. “I have to count plus here,” Brian tells math teacher Wolfgang Schäfing, who is now sitting next to him. “Twelve plus one is 13,” he calculates. “How do you know?” asks Schäfing. “I make it easy for myself, two plus one is three, so twelve plus one is 13,” Brian says proudly. “Well then you have learned the trick,” praises his teacher.

Wolfgang Schäfing, head of the Northern Lights School in Süderbrarup © NDR

“Inclusion is not a problem for us,” says the head of the Nordlicht school in Süderbrarup, Wolfgang Schäfing.

Wolfang Schäfing is also the head of Nordlicht School Süderbrarup: “I always say very provocatively: Inclusion is not a problem for us. No child asks: ‘Why are there only eight children in the class? Why is Brian with us today? Why does one of them count up to 100, the other only up to ten? ‘ Nobody cares.”

Everyone learns and plays together

They have had the concept of campus classes since they were founded five years ago – back then, several village schools were merged into this school. “Before the foundation, of course, we also thought about inclusion,” Wolfgang Schäfing recalls. “

The goal is for all children – whether they have a disability or not – to meet, learn together, play together – in class, but also in the schoolyard. “The children come here and think that all schools are like that, it is nothing special for them. And we have already reached this goal: that it is nothing special,” says Schäfing.

Campus classes also in primary schools

The neighboring school at Thorsberger Hede also participates in this concept. There are currently two campus classes here. There will be four in the new school year. The principal here, Malte Bachmann, sees this as a benefit for all children:

“The children who need support get out of their comfort zone are not in the shelter’s protected space. They must also make their presence felt in the cafeteria or schoolyard – and realize that they can do the same. Conversely, all other students must learn. a considerate but also natural contact with people with disabilities. ”

Support centers crowded

Pupils from primary school at Thorsberger Moor in Süderbrarup © NDR

Pupils with and without disabilities also have lessons together at the primary school in Süderbrarup.

The concept of campus classes already exists at other schools in Schleswig-Holstein, but these are still exceptions. When it comes to this kind of inclusion, Schleswig-Holstein is among the leaders in the national average. Either children with disabilities – regardless of form – come to the classes individually in ordinary schools, or the children are taught separately in a special center. There are 83 of these support centers – with focus points such as mental development, physical or social development. But some of these centers are crowded: more need than space. A third support center is therefore planned in the Schleswig-Flensburg district. The principals of the regular schools in Süderbrarup do not think it makes sense: “It costs millions and takes years. For some students, it would mean more paths,” says Wolfgang Schäfing from the Nordlicht school. He thinks it would be better if the existing mainstream schools were instead expanded and rebuilt in such a way that more campus classes could be created.

Campus classes in the coalition agreement

In fact, the idea of ​​campus classes seems to be getting more and more attention in politics: The school leaders from Süderbrarup have just been invited by a working group in the Ministry of Education to report on their experiences. The coalition agreement for the new state government states:

“We consider the establishment of campus classes to be a suitable way to enable inclusive learning for school students with a focus on intellectual development. We are launching a framework concept for this.”

Inclusion until it is nothing special anymore

Brian has successfully solved his math problems. During the breakfast break, he goes back down the hall to his class. But it does not last long either: After the holidays, he and two of his classmates switch to the neighboring school. The teachers here and there are sure that it will work too. They just keep on with inclusion until it’s nothing special anymore.

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