The abbreviation IGS stands for Integrierte Gesamtschule = Integrated Comprehensive School. The school is open to pupils with “different degrees of ability, from all social strata.”
This may or may not sound like a revolutionary idea, depending on where you come from. In many countries it is quite normal for all children to learn in the same school, but in Germany the children have traditionally been sorted quite early, after the fourth grade, into three types of school: Gymnasium, Realschule or Hauptschule, depending supposedly on their academic ability. Children who were sorted into a lower-class school were usually stuck there, even if they later turned out to be quite intelligent.
But an IGS, according to this school’s website, “is a school that keeps personal educational pathways open longer. It aims, in a climate of solidarity and cooperative behavior, to reduce inequality of opportunity.”
This particular school had a few brief months of international fame in 2010, when one of its pupils won the Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo.
My photo in this post is from 2011. I revised the text in 2021.
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