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E DUC ATIO N OF THE MON TH, A USTR IA

Experience school as a community It is found that schools are particularly successful when they are able to embrace their students’ individuality within a protected framework, thus instilling in them the desire to learn. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  I  PHOTOS: THE AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL – VIENNA

Founded in 1959, The American International School (AIS) Vienna is Austria’s oldest English-speaking school. Located on Vienna’s green outskirts, the school stands out with a sophisticated educational concept characterised by a tangible sense of community. How can AIS be explained? Marketing manager John Taylor Hilliard can best answer this: “We are results-orientated, obviously. However, we do not see ourselves primarily as a school in the traditional sense, but rather as a community. We want to ignite the burning desire for knowledge in our students and encourage them to perform. We want to develop young people intellectually and interculturally in such a way that they are able and willing to play a part in our global world as leaders of integrity.” 36  |  Issue 82  |  January 2020

It hence becomes obvious that AIS attaches great importance to its students’ personal as well as academic education. “We give the children the opportunity to discover and develop their full potential on all levels. To this end, we keep close contact with the parents, our teachers regularly exchange information on the needs, progress and deficits of each student – and coordinate the course contents in such a way that the curriculum remains accessible to each child. Only if our pupils sense that we are aware of all their facets can we build a good, trusting, even familial, environment that enables and encourages achievement. Year after year, our students’ excellent final results prove this pedagogical concept true.” During their school-free afternoons, the pupils follow their own individual incli-

nations. The range of the supervised activities is accordingly extensive: “We offer many sports, including football, tennis, golf etc. The Arts Department organises music and theatre courses and courses in fine arts. Last but not least, we encourage our students to start their own clubs or organise activities they themselves are good at.” As every year, the school will modernise and redesign various parts of the campus this summer. Recently, the sports fields and cafeteria were renovated and the seventh state-of-the-art science laboratory was put into operation. The library is now even easier for primary school pupils to use, and the photovoltaik solar module compensates for the school’s CO2 footprint. AIS – learning for a life as a decision maker in a globalised world.

www.ais.at

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Discover Germany, Issue 82, January 2020  

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