At St. Gilgen International School our mission drives our curriculum. We understand how important it is to give students the best chance for a bright future, and this means 'inspiring a lifelong love of learning'. We believe this is the foundation for a love of life itself.
Our curriculum is built around the individual needs of our students. It is our belief that St. Gilgen International School graduates stand out from others, and can be identified by their capacity for critical and conceptual thinking, their self-awareness and self-reflection, and their imagination and curiosity. The St. Gilgen International School approach to teaching and learning fosters these key attributes and dispositions, and ensures that our students leave us, not only qualified, but also truly educated, in the fullest sense of the word.
This means being qualified to go on to study at the best universities in the world, whilst also being equipped with the personal integrity that will serve them in making a truly positive impact on the world, now and in years to come. Central to this, is the development of cultural awareness, international mindedness, and global citizenship.
"At StGIS we are proud of our supporting and caring teachers who work hard every day to inspire all our students, and support them to be the very best they can be. The curriculum and learning we offer is creative, and student focused."
Andrew Woodmann – Vice Principal
Whilst the language of instruction is English, we promote multilingualism in our school community with a strong emphasis on our host nation language, German, and classes in French and Spanish.
To ensure the ongoing development and quality assurance of our programme, we volunteer for periodic inspections from the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) in the UK, and the Council of International Schools (CIS). St. Gilgen International School is fully accredited by both bodies, and has received outstanding feedback on our programmes. Most importantly, our curriculum is dynamic and responsive. Our teachers are a professional learning community, always looking for ways to develop and improve the quality learning opportunities for our students.
Our academic curriculum is split into three phases; Primary, Middle and Senior. You can find information about each below.
Life Long Learning
"The opportunity to study at the best universities anywhere in the world."
*Ages are approximate and will be assessed against academic development, school reports and progress.
At St. Gilgen International School we offer a three-year Primary programme that starts in Grade 4 (age 9) and continues through to Grade 6 (age 12), in preparation for the Middle Phase. This is the perfect transition into an international education.
We are happy to accept students into Grades 4, 5 or 6.
The aim of the Primary phase is to provide a caring and adventurous immersion into international education, and to lay the foundations of curiosity and inquiry that ensure students succeed in their learning.
The small class sizes in our Primary Phase ensure that students are given a very high level of personalised care and attention. The learning atmosphere in Primary at StGIS is friendly and purposeful. Teachers are encouraging, and support our students to develop good learning habits that prepare them for success in all subjects.
- For those coming from the United Kingdom, please note that our Grade 4 is equivalent to the UK Year 5.
- For those coming from the Austrian or German system, please note that the ideal time to transition is into Grade 4 following Volkschule. There is no prerequisite ability for English language at this entry point. Our Primary teachers are specialists in students developing skill and confidence in English; the perfect first step towards further study in English.
In the Primary Phase, students learn through seven subject groups and seek to deepen their learning, with a focus on 'big ideas', 'enquiry questions', and 'interdisciplinary themes'.
The following subjects are taught in each Primary grade:
- English Language
- German as a First or Second Language
- World Studies
- Art and Music
- Movement and Wellbeing
The Primary building is spacious, light and welcoming, with a charming atmosphere and student-centred classrooms. Our Primary students also have access to specialist Science, Music, Drama and Arts facilities in the main school. Additionally, and importantly, they learn early that exploration is a key component of learning, and take many trips and adventures with their teachers.
These years are a time of significant personal change and growth, when students develop a heightened awareness of their physical, emotional, intellectual and ethical development. International mindedness and cultural awareness are key features of all curriculum areas throughout this programme, as students grapple with complex conceptual understandings and use their ever expanding knowledge and skills to make sense of the world.
At St Gilgen International School we offer a three-year Middle School phase that starts in Grade 7 and continues through to Grade 9, the focus during these years is to support and challenge our students as they move towards the final years of school. The aim is to develop the higher level thinking skills, self-management and the insatiable curiosity required to thrive on the IB Diploma Programme. We are happy to accept students into Grades 7, 8 or 9.
During this key developmental stage subject specialists, with a passion for their disciplines, look to empower young people to take increasing ownership of their learning. Our ongoing focus on inquiry during the Middle phase, challenges our students to dig deeper, and critically explore their understandings.
"Reach your individual potential and discover a life-long love of learning."
We also recognise the importance of a positive attitude to learning, with high levels of engagement, creativity, resourcefulness and active participation in our community. Key to this, is the development of core approaches to learning which we call our learning skills, these are embedded within our programmes and include:
- Critical thinking
- Research skills
- Technology integration
In the Middle phase, our students study a broad and balanced curriculum within eight subjects groups plus an interdisciplinary unit:
- English Language and Literature
- German as a First or Second Language
- An additional Modern Foreign Language (Spanish or French)
- World Studies (incorporating History, Geography and World Religions)
- Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
- Visual Arts, Performing Arts (Theatre and Music)
- Movement and Wellbeing
These subjects are taught in each of the three years of the Middle School programme. In the upper grades students may choose additional electives. This ensures that we offer a programme suited to the needs and interests of our students. There is a range of classes to reflect different levels of ability and progress in English, German, Mathematics and Modern Foreign Languages. This is carefully designed to allow students to choose subjects of interest, and study these at an appropriate level of challenge to maximise learning.
St. Gilgen International School is proud to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, and be an IB World School.
"Develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. (IB mission) "
During our Senior phase, we aim to empower our students to be increasingly autonomous, to think critically, and to leave us armed with the tools needed to navigate the increasingly complex global knowledge economy.
We offer vibrant and thriving pre-IB (Grade 10) and IB Diploma Programmes (Grades 11 and 12) characterised by dynamic teaching, small class sizes and personalised learning, an enticing range of subject choices, and excellent opportunities for wider learning in the arts, leadership, service, sports and adventure.
Our Pre-IB Course
In Grade 10, we have developed our pre-IB curriculum to ensure that it is the best preparation possible for the IB Diploma in Grades 11 and 12, whilst continuing to focus on supporting our students to explore their passions and interests. During this phase, our students are given more significant choice about the subjects they study, and the learning path they take. This is carefully designed to give them the best options possible when making their IB Diploma subject selections in preparation for Grades 11 and 12.
With careful careers guidance, our students have the freedom to select the courses that will lead them to the IBDP. This empowers our learners to take control of their learning journey and set themselves ambitious targets. A key feature of our pre-IB course is the inclusion of Service Learning, Critical Thinking and a mini-Extended Essay; these courses contextualise learning as a lifelong endeavor and support the development the skills, approaches to learning, and personal attributes critical to their future successes.
The IB Diploma
In Grades 11 and 12, our students embark on the final stages of their St. Gilgen International School learning journey as they work towards achieving the internationally acclaimed IB Diploma. The IB Diploma is widely seen as the 'gold standard' of international education, and is increasingly recognized by universities and colleges around the world as an ideal route into further education. The IB Diploma is equivalent to the German 'Abitur' and Austrian 'Matura', as well as US 'high school certification'.
During this phase, students study six academic subjects groups:
- Studies in Language and Literature
- Language Acquisition
- Individuals and Societies
- Experimental Sciences
- The Arts
In addition, these subjects are enriched by the compulsory 'Core' requirement which lies at the heart of the IB Diploma Programme. The Core includes; Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS), Theory of Knowledge (ToK) and Extended Essay (EE).
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)
Our IBDP curriculum is made up of the following choices from the six subject groups. Students must select one subject from each of the first five subject groups. In Group 6, they can either choose an Arts subject, or an additional subject from Groups 1-4. Each subject is offered at both Standard Level (SL) and Higher Level (HL). IB Diploma students must choose three subjects at HL and three at SL.
Group 1 - Studies in Language and Literature
- German A Language and Literature
- English A Language and Literature
Group 2 - Language Acquisition
- English, French, German and Spanish B
- English, French, German and Spanish ab initio
Group 3 - Individuals and Societies
- Global Politics
Group 4 - Experimental Sciences
- Sports Exercise and Health Science
Group 5 - Mathematics
- Mathematical Studies
- Mathematics Standard and Higher
Group 6 - The Arts
- Theatre Studies
- Visual Arts
- Additional options from Groups 1-4
The IBDP Core
A key distinguishing feature of the IB Diploma is the Core requirements; Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS), Theory of Knowledge (ToK) and Extended Essay (EE).The Core provides exceptional opportunities for personal growth and development, and we are rightly proud of our outstanding Core programme here at St Gilgen International School. The Core ensures our students to grow, and develop self-awareness and balance.
In the ToK course, the focus on critical thinking means our students are prepared to question everything. During the EE journey, our students develop the resilience and discipline needed to complete a formal academic research paper. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, through CAS our students are supported to be mindful, adopt a healthy lifestyle, and commit to community service - to making a positive difference in the world.
Results and Destinations
The IB Diploma is scored out of a maximum of 45 points, with each of the six subjects graded from 1-7, and 3 additional ‘bonus’ points available for the EE and ToK. Our students do well, with point scores consistently above the world average, and further study destinations scattered around the world. A broad range of different paths are followed, and some examples of recent destinations can be found below:
- University of Oxford, UK PPE And Law
- New School of the Humanities, London, UK Philosophy
- Bangor University, Wales, UK marine biology
- Exeter University, UK, International Relations
- Graz University Medical School, Austria, Medicine
- University of Vienna, Austria, Medicine
- St. Andrews University, USA
- Parsons School of Design, New York, USA, Fashion
- Imperial College London, U.K., engineering.
- Florida State University, USA, biology
- Charles University, Czech Republic
- Munich Business School, Germany
- University of Gronigen, the Netherlands Chemistry
- American University, Paris, France
- LSE London, business and Management.
- Kings College London, Law
We celebrate the individualised support we provide to ensure that all our students find the direction that is right for them. In addition to ongoing guidance from our designated Careers and Higher Education Counsellor, we also support students with preparation for university entrance tests, such as the US SAT/ACTs, or LNAT (Law National Aptitude Test, UK) or BMAT (Biomedical Admissions Test, UK) and other university entrance requirements such as completion of application forms, admission essays and preparation for interviews
Activities and Trips
Your children will be on the journey of a lifetime, and they will grow exponentially as they experience the outstanding range of opportunities available to them. Put simply, we offer opportunities that other schools cannot.
Through these experiences, they will
- develop leadership, teamwork and entrepreneurial skills,
- become global citizens,
- develop cultural awareness, empathy and a sense of social justice,
- learn to live with a great zest, and a love of life,
- develop new ways of understanding themselves and the world around them,
- explore and develop their passions and talents in a range of areas,
- learn the value of commitment, hard work and determination in succeeding in life.
At the heart of the International Baccalaureate, and the heart of St. Gilgen International School is a deep commitment to developing deep international understandings that will contribute to the creation of a more just and peaceful world. It is a privilege to attend St. Gilgen International school and we believe that this privilege brings with it a great responsibility to think outwards and support those people and those causes that need us. Whether it is running a marathon for a cause, supporting the Movember initiative, helping the elderly in our local community or supporting those affected by the recent refugee crisis. Our staff and students care and supported in helping.
Some recent projects include:
- organising donating goods for a homeless foundation
- teaching young refugees English
- helping the local council to clear walking tracks after heavy rain
- having a bake sale to raise money to sponsor students in Aisa to go to school
- raising awareness about human trafficking in India
Music at St. Gilgen is at the heart of our learning and creative community. Each year there is an extensive and enjoyable range of concerts – these are inspired by music from around the world and ensure that students can participate whatever their level. The performances include formal instrumental concerts, musicals and singer-songwriter evenings. Our students also have the opportunity to perform in Mozart’s mothers original house.
Our music facilities are located close to Lake Wolfgangsee and include two well-equipped teaching areas alongside a number of practice spaces. Music Technology is something we passionately believe in and have embedded into our learning. Every student has full access to recording facilities and the use of the latest composition, sequencing and recording software and equipment.
Instrumental music lessons are offered to students for piano, flute, saxophone, voice, violin, drums, guitar and clarinet.
Art and Design
The Art and Design department is ideally situated in the heart of St. Gilgen. In the ‘Art Garage’ (former garage transformed into the an inspirational creative studio), a large and light space, students from all ages enjoy outstanding creative learning experiences that are crafted to engage each student.
Students are encouraged to explore their artistic skills through a variety of media with projects that include creative concepts from across the world. The practical elements of Art classes are balanced with the teaching of key techniques set against a clear and engaging historical context. Students can also enjoy first-hand the world of Fashion and Graphic Design. Using the latest software, students work on a broad and challenging range of projects that have resulted in stunning pieces of work.
At the end of each term, we celebrate students’ artistic endeavours by exhibiting the best pieces of art in the exhibition on the main campus with a formal public viewing.
Our Theatre classes take place in the historic St. Gilgen Kino, which has been transformed into a first-class drama studio and performance theatre.
Regular theatrical performances are a key feature of the school calendar. Students have opportunities each term to perform in assemblies and major end of term productions. Performances at St. Gilgen over the last few years have included: Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pride and Prejudice and The Thirtynine Steps. These performances build confidence in our students, a sense of teamwork and essential life skills that enhance their future success.
During each term there are frequent theatre workshops offered to our students. These often take the form of visiting professional theatre companies who deliver a complementary series of workshops, which enhance specific aspects of theatre practice. Students also have the opportunity to take school trips to see live theatre performed in Salzburg, Vienna and London. These visits and visitors bring significant contributions to the students’ learning, as they experience the art of theatre from active professionals.
Imagine your son or daughter learning to kayak, trying Nordic skiing, becoming a proficient sailor or conquering a mountain peak!
The stunning natural beauty of the lakes and mountains of the Saltzkammergut region is our backyard, and the Wolfgangsee Lake and Zwolferhorn mountain provide us with one of the best natural sports arenas in the world! Rockclimbing, hillwalking, horseriding, mountaineering, waterskiing, whitewater kayaking, mountain biking, alpine skiing and ski touring are just some of the activities offered as part of our Outdoor Education programme.
There is an incredible range of opportunities for students to take part in adventurous activities during their time at St. Gilgen International School. Although these opportunities are usually optional, all students are encouraged to participate. Additionally, we hope that through participation in the Outdoor Education programme, students will develop a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, gain confidence by exploring their limits, have been educated in assessing risks and have had experiences which provide enduring memories and a love of our precious natural environments.
For those who are truly adventurous, we have the services of a fulltime Austrian Mountain Guide who will be working with a team of students to summit the 7 peaks of the Alps.
At St. Gilgen International School we strive to offer our students a variety of sports and a high standard of competition. Our programme helps the teams reach their highest potential while maintaining a sportsmanlike, inclusive environment.
Training sessions are held at a variety of locations around the village, with our expert coaching staff. Our coaching staff include, FC Red Bull Junior Football Coach, an Ex-NBA basketball coach, and golf professionals from Golf Club am Mondsee (the premier golf course in the region). Not to mention our highly talented teaching body who volunteer their skills and lead numerous training and coaching sessions throughout the year.
St. Gilgen International School competes against other international schools in Europe in competitions organised through the Danube Valley Athletics Conference (DVAC) and the Swiss Group of International Schools (SGIS). We also participate in many local events including the Wolfgangseelauf, Wings for Life and Wolfgangsee Challenge Triathlon.
Our competitive sports teams:
- Boys Basketball
- Girls Basketball
- Boys Football
- Girls Football
- Girls Volleyball
- Boys Cross Country Running
- Girls Cross Country Running
- Boys Downhill Skiing
- Girls Downhill Skiing
- Boys Triathlon
- Girls Triathlon
We believe that to learn about the world we must experience it. Each year we offer a range of optional trips for students to engage in deeper learning and to see the world in all its beauty first hand.
We select trips that will increase international perspectives, build cultural and environmental awareness and trips that will enrich and challenge our students to see and understand the world in new and different ways.
In the past St. Gilgen International School students have explored Morocco, Vietnam, China, Israel and many other parts of the world (our Grade 5 students travel to Venice, Paris and Vienna!)
"You never know where a St. Gilgen International School Education may take you!"