School History

The Wilhelm-Ostwald-School of Leipzig was founded through the formation of two classes dedicated to the intense studies of science at the former Humboldt High School in 1985. In 1986/87 special curricula and schedules were introduced to the 13 high schools of the former German Democratic Republic, which had the status of advanced level schools regarding science, with their curricula putting an heavy emphasis on mathematic-scientific and technical education.

Our school before ...


Since the founding of our school, it has focused on helping students realize their full potential through competitions, especially in the field of science and technology. In order to maintain this very high level of education, the school started to develop ties with different universities, as well as introducing new facilities, like computer labs, which was still happening when it was a sub-unit of the Humboldt High School.

After this first phase was completed, the school became independent, which led to the appointment of a principal and the admittance of only 35 students, who were carefully selected to enjoy the then very special environment and privileges. In 1986, a building was found for the now growing school: At Leipzig-Lößnig, formerly occupied by an orphanage. With this sign of its new status as a fully established school, it started to admit 3 classes in every year with a maximum of 55 students per year. By then, the Wilhelm Ostwald School had seven classes spreading three different age groups. After using seven classrooms first, labs were subsequently installed.

Benefiting from its outstanding reputation, the school established partnerships with other schools emphasizing
the natural sciences. Among them was a school in Kiev, part of what then was the USSR. With exchange programs and other activities, the cooperation intensified and became a great success.

By the end of 1988 the building was thoroughly completed and the school was handed over with state-of-the-art facilities. It also admitted another three classes with 18 students each to study on its new premises.

... at the begin of...


After the Reunification of Germany there were new educational systems introduced to the federal states of the former GDR, which meant the schools, especially those with intensified educational background like ours, had to undergo various changes. This meant juniors and seniors had to choose between advanced and standard level classes now. In order to grant the special status and the intensified education a system of three rather than two advanced level courses was introduced. Furthermore, there was a Form 7 year added to the school’s responsibilities.

Despite all the difficulties in transferring to the new system it was Dr. Heink, principal of the school by then, who managed to keep the student-teacher ratio at a comparably low level and to maintain the school’s reputation through continuous success in national and international competitions. A lot of motivated teachers also did everything to keep up the high level of instruction.

The fall of the iron curtain did not at all impact the school’s success despite making it more independent in its decisions and supporting it to live up to its name, with Gretel Bauer, the granddaughter of the famous chemist Wilhelm Ostwald, unveiling a bust of her grandfather, which is now shown in the school’s entrance hall.

In 1994 the school’s status as a “school with emphasized mathematic-scientific education” was reconfirmed.

... and during reconstruction.

  • 2000: youth journalism price for the school magazine “Kopfsalat”
  • 2001: third price – Siemens Award for MINT-EC-Schools (STEM schools)
  • 2002: fourth price – Siemens Award for MINT-EC-Schools
  • 2007: first price – School of the year in the field of individual support (UNICUM)


In 2007 the two school buildings started being renovated, with the hand-over planned in summer 2011. During the reconstruction, grades 8 to 10 were taught in another building across the city due to capacity problems. This was caused by both buildings being renovated one after another, making always one house unavailable for a certain time. Consequently, students, parents and teachers (commuting between the buildings) had to face great challenges organizing school life and events, but those could be mastered together, as well as the concerned exams. Eventually, after autumn holidays in 2011, all classes were reunited in the freshly reconstructed school.

With the renewed buildings, a completely new assembly hall and facilities being in place as well as a new principal, Dr. Jost (who is also an advisor of Ostwald TSA), having been appointed, the school is confident to look forward into a bright future, devoted to personal dedication and personal excellence and our chapter will do its best to support that vision.

Our second building before and after
reconstruction.

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