Director: Katharina Herrmann
DOCUMENTARY | 30 MIN. | GERMANY | 2019
1:1.78 | BMPCC 4K | HD 1080p
Is it possible for children to learn as much in the forest as in the classroom?
It is 10 a.m.: A daily ritual takes place at the state Conrad elementary school in Berlin-Wannsee. The 25 children of the squirrel class put on their forest clothes at breathtaking speed, because from now on, the next several hours of school will take place in the forest – no matter the weather! The students cover between 4-8 km on foot each day.
Since the 2017/2018 school year, the primary school has two forest classes: the “squirrel” class for grades 1 to 3, and the “falcon” class for grades 4 to 6. Up to 26 children per class are here to learn. What is special about the forest classes is their inclusive approach. Around a third of the pupils have a significantly higher need for support; which includes the highly gifted. These children in particular often suffer from exclusion in everyday school life, feeling that they are different and do not belong. Aggressive behavior and enormous stress can be the result, which is intensified by corridors that are too narrow, crowded classes and overwhelmed teachers.
But how do you learn maths, spelling and grammar in the forest? The squirrel class shows us how: the group forms a circle, then in this circle the maths equations are worked out, tree species identified, measured and painted, parts of speech are collected and letters created with wood. The students always have clipboards and waterproof wax crayons with them. The Conrad elementary school is not a privileged private school for high earners, but a completely normal elementary state school. The film accompanies this unusual and courageous school experiment.
Project description in extracts from: Herrmannfilm
rbb program description (in German):
utopia.de program tip (in German):
CAST & CREW
Alex Heinze, Andreas Mohnke
Hardy Kühnrich, rbb
Herrmannfilm, by order of the rbb