Franziskanergymnasium Kreuzburg is a private Catholic school, which is run as a limited liability company, under the auspices of the Order of St Francis.
The school community currently consists of around 1250 students, 100 teachers (including one Franciscan brother), provisionally registered teachers, secretaries, librarians, café staff, a caretaker and a gardener. School chaplaincy is provided by a Franciscan brother.
The school offers instruction for students from Year 5 through to Year 12. Students in Years 5-9 complete the majority of their lessons in their form classes. From Year 10 onwards, students are divided into tutor groups and have a greater choice between subjects.
A choice between English or Latin is offered for the first foreign language. Those who choose Latin, are then obliged to learn English from Year 6 onwards, as their second foreign language. Those who choose English, have a choice of Latin or French as their second foreign language. From Year 8, students then have a further option of choosing to study either French or Spanish as a third foreign language.
In terms of religious affiliation, approximately two thirds of the student body are Catholic, and the remainder are Protestant. Attending Religious Studies classes is obligatory, although students are able to choose between Catholic and Protestant classes.
The school seeks to live as Franciscan community, following values espoused within Franciscan spirituality. In summary, these are:
- Both as individuals and as a community, we take responsibility as members of a global community.
- We learn together in order to develop a wide-ranging knowledge of subject matter and wisdom about living, as the best possible preparation for university study and careers.
- We place value on seeking to live as Christians in the world.
- We live our belief, and from that draw strength on a daily basis.
- We live in community, in an atmosphere that allows us to feel happy and at home.
- We support our students throughout the school years, recognising the constant changes in the world of students, parents and teachers. In this way we understand the value of our time and that of others.
One significant aspect of the school is the emphasis we place on building relationships within the form class community. To this end, during the middle school years, one period a week is devoted to form class matters. In addition, families are included in this community building and participate in class family weekends in Years 5 and 8.
Senior students act as mentors for the Year 5 students, and support them and their form classes as they adapt to life at high school.
The week long class trips in Years 6 and 7, the trip to Berlin in Year 9, the tutor group trip in Year 10 and the study trip in Year 12 also contribute to this strengthening of the form class community. In addition, student exchanges abroad, a trip to Taizé, and a trip to Auschwitz are offered, as is the possibility of short-term stays at the friary.
The school offers a wide range of co-curricular activities. These range from Acrobatics and Latin Drama, to Painting and Orchestra, to Robotics and Volleyball.
Students struggling to achieve are supported through remedial classes in literacy, as well as peer tutoring projects. We are recognised as a school that also extends and develops our gifted and talented students.
We have our own technology curriculum in order to develop competence with digital media in all our students.
In order for our students to gain some insight into the lives of others, as well as introducing them to the world of work, in Year 10 they take part in a social development practicum, and in Year 11 they are offered the opportunity to gain work experience. Senior students are also offered careers guidance through a two year cycle of information about a variety of future options.
Our school library offers the students a wide range of books, daily and weekly newspapers, and subject specific journals. It contains around 20000 items, and is supervised by two qualified library staff members.
The school prides itself on a particularly strong culture of participation, in which students, parents and teachers are all involved in the important decision making processes of school life in a committee called “3-Ringe-Kreis”.
The educational arm of the Order of St Francis works closely with the school. They organise the family residentials for Years 5 and 8, a summer gathering for Years 5 and 6, personal development days for Year 9 and seminars for student and parent representatives. In addition, the Order takes responsibility for teaching the student representatives about their rights and their duties and offers counselling in times of crisis. Qualified Franciscan lay staff also lead class conferences, when requested by the form teacher, because of conflicts in the class. Finally, professional development is offered to the school teaching staff.
After-school care is provided by specialised staff in a comfortable environment, where students from Year 5-7 can complete their homework with qualified tutorial assistance.