Ceci internationalForm 8c welcomes readers from abroad

Hi everybody,

our school, the Ceciliengymnasium, is right in the centre of Bielefeld. Students from all around the city go to school here. Most are between ten and nineteen years old. You can learn lots of different subjects, Maths, German, English, Music, Art, Biology, History, Physical Education, Religious Education, Practical Philosophy, French, Latin, Physics, Chemistry, Social Science, Computer Science (IT), Nutritional Science, Spanish, Literature (Theatre), Orchestra, Band, Choir, Hebrew, Russian and Japanese, some in cooperation with other schools. You can join about 20 clubs for extra-curricular activities.

There are many different sport activities. In the sports lessons soccer, basketball, volleyball, hockey, athletics, badminton, dancing and swimming are practised. There are workshops and clubs you can join after the end of your lessons. The school has got a fitness room, too.

In lower grades there is a sport competition once a year. You can do your sport certificate, too. Every four years the whole school celebrates „Ceci in motion“ with lots of perfomances and games. We have three gymns. Furthermore, there is a soccer field that classes can use. During breaks students play basketball and table tennis and enjoy our climbing wall.

Exchanges with partner schools from other countries are an important part of our school life. We have partnerschools in Tartu/Estonia, Nancy/France, Ipswich/ England, Nahariya/Israel and Montevideo/Uruguay.

Every year students and teachers from abroad visit our school.

On 13 October 2010 some students from the Yizhak-Rabin school in Nahariya/Israel came to our school for an exchange. They stayed in host-families for 14 days and also went on trips together, for example to Berlin. This exchange was a joint venture with Gymnasium Heepen and Helmholtz-Gymnasium. There will be a return visit to Israel this April.

Our choir often does exchanges with Miina-Härma-Gymnasium in Tartu/Estonia. The last exchange took place in March 2010 when the excellent Estonian choir stayed at our school and we had rehearsals and two concerts, a trip to Münster and lots of fun together. In September 2011 our choir is planning a journey to Tartu. Pupils singing in the choir can take part in this exchange.

In June 2009 form 6d from our school met a French class for a weekend in Nancy. All pupils lived in host families, saw the city and met for sports events. Sometimes it was hard to understand each other, but in the end everyone agreed that the trip was wonderful.

In December 2009 a group of students and teachers from our partnerschool in Ipswich, Chantry High School, came to the Christmas Market in Bielefeld. In autumn 2010 one of our students from year 11 even spent a few weeks at CHS. We are all looking forward to a possible visit in Ipswich this summer.

Everyone who has ever taken part in an exchange thinks that it was great to experience the different culture.

We have a special Christmas celebration, we call ,,Baumumgang”. It means „a walk around the Christmas tree“. On the last day before the Christmas holidays every form meets in the big hall, where a huge Christmas tree has been traditionally decorated. It is dark and only the candles are shining. When everyone is gathered, all classes one after the other walk around the tree and sing a Christmas song which they have practised and learned by heart in the weeks before. Students sing traditional songs like „OTannenbaum“, „Hört der Engel helle Lieder“, „Macht hoch die Tür“, „Schneeflöckchen, Weißröckchen“, Christmas songs in various languages like „Campana Sobre Campana“, but also modern songs like ,,Last Christmas“. There is a very special atmosphere. After the classes have sung their own song, we all walk together around the tree and sing ,,Oh du fröhliche” (Oh joyful Christmas). The funny thing is, that some classes discuss their song for weeks, but everyone usually takes the performance really seriously. For former students and teachers this event is a chance to meet friends.

Our school offers lots of interesting activities for music lovers.

You can join one of the choirs, the school orchestra or the brass group. If you like rock-music you can join the school band, too. They play at many concerts throughout the year, for example the Nikolauskonzert or the Sommerkonzert. Moreover, there was a great musical production last autumn. Our school is the only Gymnasium in Bielefeld which has a string class. Often the music ensembles have practice workshops on the island of Spiekeroog where our school manages a house. Regularly, our guests are bands, orchestras or choirs from countries around the world, for example Estonia or Brazil.

Yours sincerely,
Form 8c