The vocational boarding school

General information about the ZDS boarding school

During their stay at the ZDS, the young people are accommodated in their own boarding school for the duration of the training blocks. Outside of school hours, they are supervised by social education workers. The ZDS maintains two boarding school buildings:

The “Berufsinternat 1”  and  the “Berufsinternat 2”, which are located directly next to each other on De-Leuw-Str. are located.

The two houses have a total of 142 places. All rooms are functional and clearly laid out so that residents can feel really comfortable during their training period.

The newly built Berufsinternat 2 has a total of 43 rooms on 3 floors, both single and double rooms with bathrooms.

Team description

A total of 10 teachers work in shifts to ensure that the young people are looked after around the clock. For the trainees of both houses, there are leisure activities of various kinds, be it yoga, dance, dream journeys, walks through the surrounding area or creative leisure activities such as handicrafts, role play, media education and music in our well-equipped rehearsal room.

An important supervisory task is to support the trainees in technical learning matters. This includes tutoring in the form of mentoring programs and assistance before exams to ensure a good learning atmosphere. Here, regulated structures make it possible to assume personal responsibility and concentrate on school education. The boarding school team works closely with the school and company in order to offer the trainees as much help and support as possible.

Many trainees are away from home for such a long time for the first time and are confronted with a large number of new contacts and a large group. As each year group spends 12 weeks a year in Solingen, a great deal of emphasis is also placed on social and emotional support. For this purpose, 3 dogs are also integrated into the daily work for animal-assisted pedagogy.

Another focus of the work is the learning and development of soft skills. Respectful and informal interaction with clear boundaries and rules not only enriches personal development, but also future interaction with colleagues, superiors and employees in the rest of your professional life.

The houses

The vocational boarding school 1 is located in the immediate vicinity of the school at De-Leuw-Straße 3 and, together with the canteen, forms a building complex that was newly constructed in 2006. The rooms are furnished in a contemporary style and have their own bathroom, which is shared by two trainees.

In addition to a billiard room, there are Internet PCs, a console room, table football, table tennis and two TV rooms. There is also a student kitchen and a laundry room with washing machine and dryer.

There is also a range of leisure and creative materials that can be borrowed or purchased at cost price. A W-Lan network is also available.

The vocational boarding school 2, which was completed in 2020, is located directly next to BI1 on De-Leuw-Str. 1. there are a total of 43 rooms on 3 floors, both single and double rooms with bathroom.

In addition to fixed leisure activities such as table football, billiards, table tennis, a fitness room, a lounge and leisure equipment, there are also regular supervised activities.

A W-Lan network is also available.

In boarding school 2, students also have access to a student kitchen, a washing machine and a tumble dryer.

Leisure activities

The socio-pedagogical team at ZDS always endeavors to offer a wide range of leisure activities to the young people who are accommodated at the boarding school during their block lessons.

In addition to billiards, table football, darts, table tennis and a variety of board games, DVDs and Internet access are also available to trainees in the two boarding school buildings. The fitness rooms and the in-house movie theater are also very popular. Music of all kinds can be played and produced in our own music rehearsal room.

In addition, the supervisors regularly offer leisure activities in a wide variety of areas.

In addition to sports activities such as swimming, ice skating and soccer, the trainees also have the opportunity to engage in creative activities (e.g. painting, cooking, making films) or take part in cultural or regionally oriented activities (e.g. excursions to nearby towns, museum visits).

Adventure-based educational activities such as climbing, off-road games or night hikes are also possible.

Success is no coincidence

Learning and living – these two components characterize the time young people spend at the ZDS during the respective block periods. And while everyday school life is clearly regulated by curricula and learning plans, free time represents the real educational challenge.

The socio-pedagogical team at ZDS always endeavors to offer a wide range of leisure activities to the young people who are accommodated in the vocational boarding schools during their block lessons.

At this point, we will only present the “outstanding” actions and their results. However, these activities only represent a small part of the daily activities in the vocational boarding schools.

“All kids are VIPs: Culcha Candela at the ZDS”

Integration needs fair educational opportunities: this is the motto of the Gütersloh-based Bertelsmann Foundation’s “All kids are VIPs” competition. In 2012, the ZDS vocational boarding school also took part in this competition – and won!

The song “Integration” was mixed at the ZDS and entered for the competition alongside a video that was also produced. The Bertelsmann jury liked the song so much that it was one of the eleven winners of 2012.

The live performance at the award ceremony on April 17 in Berlin was already a triumph for the two up-and-coming artists. The reward for the successful performance was the promise of the German band “Culcha Candela” to visit the students at the ZDS in Solingen.

The head of the boarding school then found the right partners for the project in the two trainees. The two young people already had “hip-hop” experience and obviously had a good knack for lyrics and music.

You can watch the finished music video by the students and Culcha Candela here

Generation Film Award

As part of the “German Generation Film Prize”, which this year had the motto “Man – Machine – Megabyte”, the entry from the ZDS Berufsinternat was awarded a prize.

Every year, the best competition entries are honored at the Bundes.Festival.Film. The best films of the German Youth Film Award will also be screened at this event. The Bundes.Festival.Film. is a meeting place for different generations united by one thing: a passion for filmmaking.

The film entitled “Everything used to be better/different” shows how technology changes and also determines our everyday lives – from the perspective of Margot E., 79, and the younger generation.

We congratulate the media group of the ZDS vocational boarding school and look forward to further film projects!

Heroes at boarding school

What connects the ZDS vocational boarding school director and the trainee Florian F.? The answer: the love of conquering long distances.

One is simply very good on foot and also conquers hiking routes of up to 60 kilometers, while the other is a marathon runner in his spare time and also seeks a challenge on longer routes.

On November 12, 2011, both had their big performance: The head of the boarding school started at 4:00 a.m. with the goal of breaking his personal record on the 60-km circuit of the Klingenpfad to under 12 hours, Florian F. followed him with the start at 10:00 a.m. to complete the course on foot.

The challenge of the Klingenpfad lies not only in the length of the route, but also in its profile, which includes ascents and descents of 1700 meters in altitude.

To the applause of over a hundred ZDS neighbors, who were taking part in a parallel event, both extreme athletes arrived at the ZDS on November 12 at around 4:00 pm. One with a new personal best on the course he had already run for the third time [11 hours, 28 minutes], the other with a time of 6 hours 16 minutes, which was a personal best anyway, because the marathon runner (best time 3:00:11) completed this course for the first time in his life.

In any case, a more than unusual performance from both protagonists – compliments!