German School London

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German School London
Deutsche Schule London (DSL)
Deutsche School London.png
Douglas House, The German School, Petersham.jpg
Douglas House
Petersham Road

, ,
TW10 7AH

Coordinates51°26′42″N 0°18′18″W / 51.44513389999999°N 0.30508069999996223°W / 51.44513389999999; -0.30508069999996223Coordinates: 51°26′42″N 0°18′18″W / 51.44513389999999°N 0.30508069999996223°W / 51.44513389999999; -0.30508069999996223
TypeInternational school
MottoBuilding Bridges
Established1971; 51 years ago (1971)
Department for Education URN102945 Tables
ChairPeter Kästle
Head teacherNone
Acting headteacherClaudia Wolff-Lieser
Age3 to 19
Enrolmentapprox. 850[1]
AccreditationsDeutsche Auslandsschule (Abitur programme)
IBO (IB Diploma Programme)
Annual tuition£9,140 for the full school year[2]

The German School London (German: Deutsche Schule London; DSL) is an independent school based in the grounds of Douglas House in Petersham[3] in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It is accredited by the German government's Central Agency for German Schools Abroad, as a "Deutsche Auslandsschule" ("German School Abroad").[4]

The school includes a kindergarten, pre-school, elementary school, middle school and upper school. The German School London is one of approximately 140 schools that the Federal Republic of Germany established internationally to promote the German culture and language in other countries.[5] The German School London has established a bilingual system so that students can, in addition to completing the Abitur, also choose to graduate with the International Baccalaureate.[6]


The Federal Republic of Germany bought Douglas House and grounds in 1969, and built a school around it,[7] with the house itself becoming the reception and administrative offices. The school opened in September 1971.[8][9] The school was founded to primarily serve children of diplomatic staff from the embassies of German-speaking countries (West Germany, Austria, and Switzerland), while some expatriate children were enrolled.[10]


Modern buildings at the German School

The school consists of four main buildings – a building for the upper and middle school, a newly established building for the elementary school, a building for pre-school and kindergarten, and a sports building including a gym, a swimming pool, and changing rooms.

Additional school buildings, designed by the German firm Kersten Mertinoff & Struhk, were erected in the grounds between 1972 and 1983.[11] The executive architects were W H Marmorek and Clifford Culpin & Partners.[11] Douglas House was placed on the Grade II* listed buildings list in 1983.[12] Further contemporary buildings have been constructed on the campus, including a building for computer studies in 2000[13] and a new sports hall in 2017.[14]


The school largely follows the curriculum of German state (Land) Baden-Württemberg. English is taught from the first year. The aim is for students to be fully bilingual when they graduate from the school, so as to be equally equipped to attend either German-speaking and English-speaking universities.[15]

Kindergarten and pre-school[edit]

The bilingual[nb 1] kindergarten and pre-school focus on preparing the children for elementary school, and helping them develop self-confidence and independence. Since July 2013 the school has been exempt from the British EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) learning and development requirements and is now guided by Baden-Württemberg's curriculum.[16]

Elementary school[edit]

The curriculum in the elementary school consists of German, English, mathematics, social studies & sciences, music, arts, religion and physical education.

Middle school and upper school[edit]

In middle and upper school students study 10 to 13 subjects – German, English, French or Latin, mathematics, physics, chemistry, music, arts, religion or ethics, history, geography and politics. Students can choose to study Spanish as an additional language. The school offers a broad and differentiated education with bilingual units for different talents, and prepares students for university.


Students in Years 11 and 12 can, if they wish, study for both the International Baccalaureate and the German Abitur. The school has offered the International Baccalaureate since 2010;[17] it is taught in English, although students who take German as an A1 language can graduate with a "bilingual Diploma".[17]

School life[edit]

The school provides networking opportunities for adults from the German community. Much of the community's social activities and sporting clubs for Germans are organised around the school, which "provides a forum for the expression of Germanness".[18]

Sport and the arts[edit]

Teams from the school have taken part in international sporting events in soccer, basketball,[19] volleyball,[20] badminton and tennis, often playing against teams from other international schools in the UK, and sometimes in tournaments against international schools across Europe. Students also take part in school concerts and in the Jugend musiziert competition, an international music competition in Germany between children and young people held at regional, federal and national level.

School exchanges[edit]

The school operates a programme of school exchange visits, where the students visit a different school for a day and participate in the classes, and family exchange visits where they meet their exchange partner on a Friday afternoon and spend time with them and their family until the Saturday. There are also programmes for students in Years 10, 11 and 12, where they visit the Russell School to teach the German language and culture to Year 5 students.[21]

School charity[edit]

The school has its own charity group, DSLaktiv – Schüler für Schüler, founded in 2010. Every year students in the group choose a different charity to support and organise activities and projects to fundraise for it.[22]

School events[edit]

As well as teaching the German curriculum the school promotes German culture. Every school year there are readings by prominent German authors and poets, and performances by musicians. The school has Osterbrunnen and Oktoberfest celebrations, as well as Weihnachtsmarkt, a Christmas fair. There are also regular Frühschoppen events.[18]

Faculty and staff[edit]

In 2000, about 36 of the teachers were locally hired, while the German government posted the other 14 there for two- to six-year terms.[23]


The School Association's Board, an unpaid group that operates the school, determines the school's financial, economic and legal business, as well as budgeting and personnel matters.[24]

See also[edit]

Other international schools in London[edit]

Other German "Auslandsschulen" in European capitals[edit]

(For more related schools, see categories below)


  1. ^ German and English are both used."Kindergarten & Preschool". Deutsche Schule London. Archived from the original on 27 June 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2013.


  1. ^ Nitschke, Christian (2016). "Welcome to the German School London". Deutsche Schule London. Archived from the original on 17 August 2016. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  2. ^ "Our Fees | the German School London | Top German School".
  3. ^ "School location". Deutsche Schule London. Archived from the original on 29 September 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  4. ^ "ZfA - Deutsche Auslandsschulen (DAS)". Retrieved 30 October 2021.
  5. ^ "German Schools Abroad". Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany London. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  6. ^ "Years 11-12: IB Diploma (Dual Qualification) - Deutsche Schule London". Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  7. ^ "Douglas House, Petersham". The Douglas Archives. 16 July 2014. Archived from the original on 26 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  8. ^ "URN 102945: The German School". Department for Education. Archived from the original on 16 February 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  9. ^ "The German School - GOV.UK". Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  10. ^ Moore, Google Books PT90 (actual page number unstated).
  11. ^ a b Cherry, Bridget and Pevsner, Nikolaus (1983). The Buildings of England – London 2: South. London: Penguin Books. p. 516. ISBN 0-14-071047-7.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ Historic England. "Douglas House (1285296)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  13. ^ "German School, London". Architizer. 12 December 2010. Retrieved 30 October 2021.
  14. ^ "Deutsche Schule – Sports Building | Rivington Street Studio". Retrieved 30 October 2021.
  15. ^ "DSL-Info Information Booklet 2015–16" (PDF). Deutsche Schule London. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 April 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  16. ^ "Curriculum for Kindergarten and Preschool at German School London". Deutsche Schule London. Archived from the original on 26 May 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  17. ^ a b "Deutsche Schule London". International Baccalaureate. Archived from the original on 27 January 2016. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  18. ^ a b Moore, Google Books PT92 (actual page number unstated).
  19. ^ Menhinnitt, Dan (30 March 2009). "German School mourns loss of 'larger than life' teacher". Richmond and Twickenham Times. Archived from the original on 21 August 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  20. ^ "German School pipped in semis". Richmond and Twickenham Times. 8 November 2007. Archived from the original on 7 August 2016. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  21. ^ "Exchanges". Deutsche Schule London. Archived from the original on 20 March 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  22. ^ "About Us". DSLaktiv – Schüler für Schüler. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  23. ^ Moore, Google Books PT91 (actual page number unstated).
  24. ^ "School Association". Deutsche Schule London. Archived from the original on 10 June 2017. Retrieved 24 June 2017.


  • Moore, Fiona (2012). "The German School in London, UK: Fostering the Next Generation of National Cosmopolitans?" (Chapter 4) in Coles, Anne and Fechter, Anne-Meike (editors). Gender and Family Among Transnational Professionals (Routledge International Studies of Women and Place). Routledge. ISBN 1134156200, 9781134156207.

External links[edit]