The MGG: A Nice Place of Learning

The Area

Horb-am-Neckar in winter
Horb-am-Neckar in winter
The Neckar River in Horb
The Neckar River in Horb

The town, where you can find our school, the Martin-Gerbert-Gymnasium, is called Horb am Neckar ("Horb-upon-Neckar"). Most of us like the city because its not so big and noisy. It is in the German state of Baden-Württenberg, about 60 km to the south of the state capital Stuttgart. Horb is situated between the Swabian Alb and the Black Forrest, so it’s in the middle of nature. That’s why you can do many things in your free time like cycling or skating, and every year there is a special day in our part of the Neckar Valley when no cars are allowed on the streets, only bicycles and skaters.

Every year in August, there is a rock festival called Mini Rock. It’s very cool and this year 7000 people visited it.

The School

Our school boasts more than 900 pupils and 65 teachers. Most of the teachers are really nice and do a good job. The pupils are also generally very friendly. They are 10-19 years old. Most of them live in the region around Horb in small villages. But it takes them no more than 30 minutes to school by bus.

A Labyrinth of a School

MGG labyrinth
MGG labyrinth

When you visit the Martin-Gerbert-Gymnasium for the first time you will surely be hopelessly lost. You'll lose your orientation because the different parts of the building were built in different periods of time. Well, if you want to take a closer look at the history and the origin of the MGG, you must travel back in time till the year 1282, when the school was mentioned for the first time as a Latin School. At that time it was just a typical small town school, but even so, it has been around for over 700 years. But only since the year 1956 have the pupils attending the school been able to pass the final examination called „Abitur".

For this reason, and the fact that more and more pupils were attending the school, there was the need of a new school building, which was built in 1957 at the bank of the Neckar River. This first part of the school compound is today called Altbau (Old Building) and was complemented by the first annex with several science rooms, music and art rooms in 1967. This building called „Fachtrakt" (Science Building) was not the last annex of the school and so it’s not surprising that a second annex with 12 classrooms was set up in the year 1971. But this part, called „Neckarbau", was connected with the other parts of the school by the „Zentralbau" (Central Building) with some science rooms in 1980, so that the pupils were able to walk from one part of the school to the other part without crossing the school yard. Because of a further need of more classrooms in 2002, the school was expanded for the third time, until the school changed into a full-time school in the year 2008 with a new-built cafeteria.

Today the school building has five parts with seven science rooms, two music rooms, three art rooms, one geography room and one history room as well as one huge library and two computer rooms. There are about 30 classrooms, two common rooms and two kitchens in the main building and the most of the rooms have the possibility of internet or one of eight multi media carts.

After learning so much about the history and the building in its current situation of the MGG you could probably say that it is no longer alien to you. But there are many more interesting facts about our school which deserve a closer look.

Who is Martin Gerbert?

Martin Gerbert
Martin Gerbert

The Martin-Gerbert-Gymnasium was named after Martin Gerbert, a German theologian, historian and music writer. He was born in Horb am Neckar on the 12th of August 1720.

In 1764 he was appointed abbot of St. Blasien, a monastery in the Southern Blackforest. In 1765 he founded a bank called "Waisenkasse Bonndorf", which developed into the savings bank "Bonndorf- Stühlingen", which is now one of the oldest German banks. The "Badische Staaatsbrauerei Rothaus", which is very famous for its beer in our region, was also founded by him.

On 4th July 1984 our school was named Martin-Gerbert-Gymnasium.

The School System

The MGG is called "Gymnasium" and is embedded in the public school system. So anyone can attend this school. However, it’s not just an ordinary school, it’s rather what is called "grammar school" in Britain. Only advanced students attend a Gymnasium like our MGG.

At the moment there are two parallel systems how to finish school, but it’s a pity that you aren’t allowed to choose your favorite system. The old system is called "G 9", in which you have to pass 13 years of school, with nine of them at the Gymnasium (G9), to finally finish school (usually at the age of 19). It’s the better system for pupils if you don’t want too much stress, especially if you don’t like learning too much every day (!).

But by the year 2012, this system will be totally renewed and you will only have spent 12 years at school (8 of them at the Gymnasium) until you pass your final exam. This system is called "G 8". But instead of studying less during your school career you'll have to learn more every form you go through. That means more lessons and longer timetables for the students in this system. You can argue that some aspects of the old G9 system had to change. You can also criticize the new system, but it’s not really worth thinking about because it’s going to stay with us for the next number of years.

Having learnt about our school system, you may also find it interesting to learn that in Germany pupils have their own classrooms and so they don’t have to change rooms for different subjects or teachers. Instead of them, the teachers have to change rooms. Only for special subjects like sciences, music, art or PE do the pupils have to move around.

School Democracy

To make important decisions at or about school there is the headmaster and the teachers but also a student council called SMV. So the students are able to take part in making important decisions about school and actually about themselves and their school career. This is quite a necessary and helpful invention for a well-working school without problems or troubles. The council consists of representatives of each class and special ones of each year and finally of the "Speaker of the School" him- or herself. Of course, all of them are pupils of the MGG.


A study trip to Italy
A study trip to Italy

There are also a lot of school activities, for example excursions like study trips to Rome, London, Paris or Prague in the final year. We can take part in many exchange programs, too. One exchange takes place in the grade eight with some students from France, and I have to say that it was great! Some of us are still in contact with our exchange partners. The other exchanges are with Israel and Spain.

The school has also got many clubs: for maths, for information technology, several sports clubs and more. But we don't have a football team, which is very unfortunate.

Our school also takes part in many competitions in science, sports and in maths (even on a national level!), in which our class reached the 3rd place (and we are very proud of that!). But we haven't got too many sports competitions, and I think that is very boring. We also have class competitions within our school but they are for the lower grades only.

Text: Dennis, Matthias, Sebastian, Tim, Yetian (Form 11-D, 2008/09)
Last update: 2nd October 2016

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