Mittelschule Rankweil West
Schooling is compulsory for nine years in Austria (from age six to 15, first to ninth grade).
The first four years of compulsory education are completed in primary schools. From age ten children can attend either a junior high school, a new middle school or the lower grades of a higher general secondary school. All school types comprise four educational levels.
The ninth school year can be completed at a polytechnical school (a school emphasising vocational orientation and preparation for an apprenticeship) or in other types of higher schools.
Situated in the tri-border region of Vorarlberg, the new secondary school “VMS Rankweil West” accommodates 242 students between 10 and 15 years of age. 32 teachers work at our school, trying to teach values and impart knowledge in order to optimally prepare them for their future career path. In addition to the regular school teaching, interesting projects such as school trips to Austria’s capital city Vienna or to England, school hiking days, schools sports days and various other school trips and events make the whole thing less monotonous.
In each educational level we have got one class whose focus is on sports (soccer, basketball and athletics). They have seven sports lessons a week, whereas regular classes are offered only three of which. Our sport streams (classes 1a, 2a, 3a and 4a) successfully compete in various national championships and twice a year the school organizes sports events where all students can participate and parents and friends are invited to watch and cheer.
Taking part at the School Links Programme is our 1b class, consisting of 16 children. In the school year 2014/15 (September 2014 – July 2015) they were told that they were going to be part of the programme. They learnt about the different local birds of prey, their way of living and hunting and also their body features. This enables them to successfully tell our birds of prey apart. We also worked a bit on falconry and its history.
In the school year 2015/16 we are going to meet a local falconer who is going to present his birds and his equipment, and also demonstrate how he trains his birds, using a remote-controlled model aircraft. At school, we are going to work on the subject birds of prey in an interdisciplinary way, involving as many school subjects as possible (Biology, English, German, Geography, Physics, etc.).
1b class is looking forward to writing their Mongolian pen friends, to learning about their personalities, culture and the Artificial Nest Project and its positive effects on the falcons’ stock figures.