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DSJ – the way to the future

The Deutsche Internationale Schule Johannesburg (DSJ), established in 1890, is one of the oldest schools in Johannesburg; South Africa’s economic hub. Boasting a rich tradition, it guides its learners to develop strong and self-confident personalities and paves their way to academic and professional success worldwide.

With approximately 1100 learners from over 35 different nationalities, the DSJ takes pride in its extensive educational tradition aimed at preparing learners for the demands of an everchanging professional world. Receiving the ‘Excellent German School Abroad’ quality seal from the German Federal President, verifies that the DSJ is on the right track, as this award confirms that learners leave the School as dynamic and highly innovative young adults.

Educational concept
The DSJ strengthens learners in their development towards selfassured and independent individuals. The School encourages young people to think critically and promotes their subject-specific, methodological and social competencies. As an international school, it also fosters intercultural skills amongst its learners.

In keeping with tradition, German is a compulsory subject for all age groups. However, in terms of its international orientation, the DSJ also welcomes learners who do not speak German. With special language programmes they rapidly acquire the German language in an authentic German environment, either at mother tongue level or as a foreign language.

This is especially true for the youngest members of the school community, who are lovingly integrated into the DSJ from their first year of life and learn German in an intuitive and playful manner.

Furthermore, the English Medium High School, where English is used as medium of instruction, offers learners the opportunity to benefit from the DSJ’s high-quality education from Grade 8 onward.

Academic focus
Committed teachers from Germany, Austria and South Africa teach in small classes or learning groups at the highest possible methodological and didactical level. The curriculum of the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg forms the basis for the German-medium primary and secondary school. At secondary school level, the DSJ offers a two-course system and the respective school-leaving certificates allow school leavers to study in South Africa, Germany or elsewhere in the world. The IEB forms the basis for the South African school-leaving certificate and the German school-leaving certificate is subject to the German International Abitur Examination Ordinance.

The successful implementation of the high academic benchmarks is reflected annually in the examination results of matriculants: for over 15 years the DSJ has maintained a 100% pass rate and a university admission rate significantly above the IEB average.

In order to strengthen learners in the use of modern media, they have access to three computer centres and one learning centre with an Internet café, a listeners’ library, as well as an integrated library.

The strong academic focus is further underlined by modern natural sciences laboratories, in which a well-founded understanding of natural sciences is promoted through ample opportunity to conduct experiments.

Sports and culture
Besides a strong academic focus, the DSJ also promotes individual abilities and interests. Learners can choose from over 50 different extramural activities.

Sports enthusiasts can show their skill in football, volleyball, hockey, basketball, tennis, handball, squash, canoeing, athletics and swimming. One of the major goals of every sportsman is participation in the sport Olympiad of the German schools in southern Africa. Dominik Meichtry serves as a great example and inspiration: this former DSJ learner was part of the Swiss swimming team at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

With an orchestra, recorder group, choir, band or drama group to consider, learners who are culturally inclined are spoilt for choice by the School’s impressive offering.

Learners with a technical aptitude are also encouraged at the DSJ. Just take the solar vehicle that was built by the Grade 10s with great commitment and technical know-how as example. In 2010 these young engineers participated as the only school team in the ‘4000 km SA Solar Car Challenge’ that featured international participants. They finished in third place, proving what can be achieved with inspiration and team spirit.

Celebrities at the DSJ
The DSJ attracts international interest, also among reputable personalities such as Graca Machel, widow of former South Africa president Nelson Mandela, the late Walter Sisulu and various high-ranking German politicians. Sporting heroes such as Philipp Lahm, Pjotr Trochowski and the swimming champion Franziska van Almsick have visited the DSJ. Bernhard Jaumann, award-winning author of German crime novels, and the South African poet Don Mattera have also enriched the School community with their readings.

Safe transport
Since learners from the DSJ live across Johannesburg, the School offers its own bus service that ensures reliable transport for all learners on a daily basis.