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‘Schools Kill Creativity’ Institut auf dem Rosenberg is challenging the stereotype of education

May 13, 2019

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Institut auf dem Rosenberg, a private, international boarding school located in St. Gallen, Switzerland is pioneering a ‘Talent & Enrichment Programme’ to give students an insight into the rapidly evolving and digital 21st Century work place, so that they learn skills beyond the classroom to prepare them for the outside world. For over 130 years and over four generations of the Gademann family, this boutique artisanal establishment has offered an unmatched learning environment promoting individuality and fostering natural curiosity, whilst enabling excellent academic achievements. With a unique holistic, creative and entrepreneurial approach to education, the school is among the best international boarding schools worldwide and offers over 40 courses outside of the core academic curriculum.


Pupils have the opportunity to debate at the Model United Nations alongside students from leading universities such as ETH in Zürich and Oxford University, working at Switzerland’s leading hotel the Chedi Andermatt, or experiencing blockchain technologies in the in-house Google-style Creative Lab, plus cultural trips around Europe. Pupils also immerse in creative thinking through workshops with guest speakers from around the world and leading professors from universities like Harvard.


Headmaster Bernhard Gademann takes an unorthodox stance: “Schools kill creativity instead of enabling it. In a world in which artificial intelligence has an increasingly prominent role, the last human bastion are our ingenious minds and our unique ability to collaborate. Yet, schools do not adapt quickly enough, with teaching styles and content remaining almost unchanged for the past 120 years. We challenge this stereotype and refuse to run an educational establishment like a factory line. Our unique Talent & Enrichment Programme offers a completely new perspective, preparing the first truly enlightened generation for leadership in an exciting new world.”


Extra-curricular activities are not a new phenomenon but rather than them being considered something optional and additional outside of the classroom, they form the heart of Rosenberg’s education. Instead, they are referred to as ‘co-curricular,’ highlighting the importance of providing a broad and balanced education and teaching students ‘how to live,’ therefore preparing them for the opportunities of the future.  Through the diverse activities students are exposed to, they become aware of their own potential at Rosenberg, while learning to respect the views of other pupils, and learning to compromise where necessary.


The school caters for 6 – 19-year olds and offers a truly international, multilingual environment, where 230 pupils of 47 nationalities communicate in several languages. The staff to student ratio is 3:1 with an average class size of eight students to ensure everyone receives individual attention and enables the delivery of excellent academic results.


Also unique to Rosenberg is the Individual Development Plan – IDP® Department, which ensures that pupils of all ages receive personal guidance to carefully plan and support their individual development by identifying and nurturing their talents.


Bernhard Gademann said: “Our teams are true artisans of education who apply their experience, skills and attention to detail, in order to enable each pupil in our care to reach their full potential. We are not a boarding school in a traditional sense but a unique and holistic learning environment that is well beyond what other schools offer.” 


Rosenberg’s wide choice of academic courses is unique not only amongst private boarding schools in Switzerland, but also the world. The academic offering extends across 5 different options, including British GCE Advanced Levels (A Levels), the American High School Diploma, AP Examinations, the IB DP (International Baccalaureate) as well as the GIB (German International Baccalaureate).


Through a wide variety of life learning experiences and activities outside the classroom Institut auf dem Rosenberg is an ideal platform for students to acquire important ‘life tools’ such as creativity, adaptability and perseverance. The mix of co-curricular activities is designed to instil a sense of adventure, encourage the students' natural curiosity and inspire a thirst for knowledge.


The programme offers over 40 courses in a diverse array of fields including product design, biotechnology, hotel management, digital art, international law and artificial intelligence to name a few. The school collaborates with some of the world’s leading organisations and industry experts to ensure relevant, up-to-date content. The school’s first-of-its-kind Creative Lab merges the academic world with future technologies and gives students the chance to explore and apply skills in project-based work in areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics, fast prototyping and product design.


Bernhard Gademann commented: “The disconnect between skills taught in traditional schools and the requirements to succeed in the professional world has never been this extensive. With change taking an exponential trajectory, this gap will only grow bigger. Rosenberg Talent & Enrichment bridges this rift by merging the academic world with the learning requirements of the 21st Century.” 


There is also a rich sports programme, offering over 30 different activities, including skiing, horse-riding, climbing, fencing and football, all delivered by professional instructors, and pupils can even hire a personal trainer. Students are expected to complete at least one co-curricular course and one sport option per term. A summer camp is also offered for children and young adults with a wide range of programmes, during the school holidays (Summer camp dates are 30th June to 10th August 2019).


Perched on a hill, overlooking the historical city of St. Gallen, the fairy tale-looking school is located in the German speaking part of Switzerland, less than hour away from Zurich Airport. The campus is set in a 100,000 m2 of private parkland, with teaching and boarding school facilities accommodated in 16 carefully restored and beautifully maintained art-nouveau villas.


www.instrosenberg.ch

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