Our living space
All our learning groups have their own room or rooms. Any comparison with the classic school image is impossible. The rooms are attractive, tidy and designed so that the children can see them as their own living space.
The Montessori materials are attractively laid out on open shelves, organised tidily and clearly visible, and within easy reach of every child. The children can easily carry them to their workspace. Later, they know how to replace them in the usual space.
the teaching rooms at our school are also equipped with bookshelves along the walls (in the libraries) and work stations distributed throughout the room.
[Each teaching room has] a circular carpet where students and educators gather to talk, learn new things or organise the school day as a class council.
the children are free to choose where they work: whether it is in the learning group rooms, the corridor outside, the art room, the movement room (Hengstenbergraum) or the library, at a table, standing or sitting on the floor. They can choose not only the content they wish to work on, but where it is done.
This familiar environment is the starting point for all that is learnt and experienced.
IMS is truly international. Our students’ families have their roots in 36 nations. The list of countries ranges from Angola to Vietnam. Our students learn about the great diversity of traditions, rites and festivals in their daily interactions and from the reports of their fellow students. The attractiveness of this environment draws families from all over Berlin and the surrounding area. See here what daily journeys to school the pupils sometimes take in order to experience this atmosphere.
International Montessorischool (IMS) Berlin
The Oppenheim country house (Landhaus Oppenheim) was built in 1908 by Alfred Messel, one of the most important architects of the time, for the industrialist Dr Franz Oppenheim (co-founder of the company IG Farben) [and his wife].
The Oppenheims were among the most notable personalities in Berlin society. For twenty years, they led a lively cultural life at their summer residence at Wannsee. Their circle of friends included their neighbour – the painter Max Liebermann, the animal sculptor August Gaul and Albert Einstein.
As early as 1904 Oppenheim‘s second wife, Margarete, had begun to build an important art collection of work by French Impressionists including Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Édouard Manet. When the family moved into the house at Wannsee, the art collection came too and was housed in the gallery. The Oppenheims were often visited in Wannsee by their granddaughter. It was here that she discovered her love of art: as Vita Petersen she later became well-known for her colourful abstract paintings.
Franz Oppenheim died in 1929 while on holiday in Cairo; his wife five years later, in 1934. His heirs, Kurt and Martha – Oppenheim’s children by his first wife – emigrated to Switzerland, then England, in the 1930s. After the war, the estate was used as a military hospital and was later taken over by Wannsee hospital. Thanks to the efforts of private individuals, the deserted, increasingly derelict house was saved from demolition. In the 1970s, the State of Berlin signed it over to the neighbouring Wannsee school. In 1983, it became a listed building and for 25 years housed a therapy centre for adolescent patients.
After careful, extensive restoration befitting a listed building, Landhaus Oppenheim finally became home to the International Montessori School in 2013. With its idyllic location between wooded area and lake, it offers the children lots of space to play and learn. And once again, children’s laughter can be heard in the former Oppenheim family summer residence.