Madness to method: The German school system

0
92

Parents always want the Best for your child, a good education is no exception. But it is not so easy to find in Germany the right school, our American DW-reporter Louisa Schaefer.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    From toddlers to Teenagers

    Up to the sixth year of life the Little ones attend the Kindergarten. After that, the compulsory school – at least up to 15. Years old or, depending on the state, of the 9.or 10 class. Home schooling is possible only in exceptional cases, such as, for example, in the case of a serious illness.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    The Elementary School

    The first day of school, the parents to sweeten their children with a school bag full of Goodies, then the “seriousness of life” begins. The education system is designed in Germany, not by the Federal government, but of the individual Federal States. In most countries, children go to four years of primary school, before secondary school, in Berlin, however, are six.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    On the recommendation of the teacher

    Before pupils go to a secondary school, the teacher makes a recommendation to the school is suitable for the child best: the school, the total school or is it Real-or Hauptschule? However, especially in North Rhine-Westphalia, the least of the parents on the advice of the class teacher and send your child to the school of their choice.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    The Gymnasium

    The school for future academics prepares children to study at the University. Will complete high school after 12. or 13. Class with the higher education entrance qualification or high school. On the schedule is everything from mathematics and chemistry and other natural Sciences to languages, social studies, art and music, philosophy and sports.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    The High School

    Real students are learning in most of the länder, of the 5. up to 10. Class. The fabric is almost the same as in high school, but be taught fewer languages. The high school is to prepare students for the visit of a technician or business school. Students with good grades can also make the “Abitur”, then switch to the Gymnasium or in the school.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    The Secondary School

    At the secondary school of a similar fabric as in the secondary schools is taught, however, the pace of learning is slower. There is a lot of practice-oriented courses to the students on the vocational school or an apprenticeship to prepare. After graduation, students can still switch to the high school or on a comprehensive school or a Gymnasium for the Abitur qualify.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    The Overall School

    The total schools expanded in the 1970s as a school reform organic core of the SPD government, and as an Alternative to the three-divided school system. Gymnasium, Realschule and Hauptschule are all integrated in this type of school. Students can according to the 13. Class GPA. Or learn more oriented toward the practice and visit the 9. or 10. Class a vocational school.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    Run on the coveted places

    Almost half of all children today are going to high school. But also the whole school is in high demand. Especially since it must be set no one instantly whether he is going to take later on an academic career or a practical professional would like to exercise. In large cities, the demand for total school places is currently higher than the offer: So 1000 applicants had to be rejected in Cologne in 2018.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    The Orientation Phase

    If pupils of the 5. and 6. Class is during the orientation phase, in the Gymnasium of the fabric to be difficult, teachers often have to change to Realschule or the Hauptschule. Conversely, students can switch with good grades relatively easily on to the high school. A place at the comprehensive school, then, is to get in to, but hard to come by.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    Other countries, other models

    Not all States have a tripartite school system: In Saxony, the children attend to the basic – secondary school (a combination of Haupt – and Realschule) or grammar school. In some countries, the community school would then offer a kind of comprehensive school from the 1. up to 10. Class. And Bavaria has introduced in 2011 instead of the main middle school. Quite confusing.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    The Vocational School

    After the main – or secondary school diploma is taught at the vocational school. Here theory and practice go Hand-in-Hand, so that the trainees become a much sought-after specialists on the labour market. Vocational schools closely cooperate with factories and companies that offer internships in their companies, and so potential future employees can recruit.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    Learning Together

    Children with disabilities are more likely to attend remedial or special schools, where their special needs. Critics complain that the bounds of the children. Meanwhile, some are taught by them to mainstream schools. However, this “inclusion” is controversial: opponents see it, the children would not be promoted in the absence of trained teachers specific enough.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    Alternating Timetable

    Time the class ends at noon, then again around three or four o’clock in the afternoon. For working parents this is a very nice challenge. Yet, far too few schools offer all-day care where the children do after the lesson their homework or various activities.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    Private schools in the minimum number of

    Also in Germany, there are several private schools, including the Waldorf and the Montessori school, boarding schools, and denominational schools. But the majority of children attend state schools. And fear not: The level is high and do not need to hide behind the private offer.

    Author: Louisa Schaefer (suc)


  • The ABCs of the German school system

    From toddlers to Teenagers

    Up to the sixth year of life the Little ones attend the Kindergarten. After that, the compulsory school – at least up to 15. Years old or, depending on the state, of the 9.or 10 class. Home schooling is possible only in exceptional cases, such as, for example, in the case of a serious illness.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    The Elementary School

    The first day of school, the parents to sweeten their children with a school bag full of Goodies, then the “seriousness of life” begins. The education system is designed in Germany, not by the Federal government, but of the individual Federal States. In most countries, children go to four years of primary school, before secondary school, in Berlin, however, are six.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    On the recommendation of the teacher

    Before pupils go to a secondary school, the teacher makes a recommendation to the school is suitable for the child best: the school, the total school or is it Real-or Hauptschule? However, especially in North Rhine-Westphalia, the least of the parents on the advice of the class teacher and send your child to the school of their choice.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    The Gymnasium

    The school for future academics prepares children to study at the University. Will complete high school after 12. or 13. Class with the higher education entrance qualification or high school. On the schedule is everything from mathematics and chemistry and other natural Sciences to languages, social studies, art and music, philosophy and sports.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    The High School

    Real students are learning in most of the länder, of the 5. up to 10. Class. The fabric is almost the same as in high school, but be taught fewer languages. The high school is to prepare students for the visit of a technician or business school. Students with good grades can also make the “Abitur”, then switch to the Gymnasium or in the school.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    The Secondary School

    At the secondary school of a similar fabric as in the secondary schools is taught, however, the pace of learning is slower. There is a lot of practice-oriented courses to the students on the vocational school or an apprenticeship to prepare. After graduation, students can still switch to the high school or on a comprehensive school or a Gymnasium for the Abitur qualify.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    The Overall School

    The total schools expanded in the 1970s as a school reform organic core of the SPD government, and as an Alternative to the three-divided school system. Gymnasium, Realschule and Hauptschule are all integrated in this type of school. Students can according to the 13. Class GPA. Or learn more oriented toward the practice and visit the 9. or 10. Class a vocational school.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    Run on the coveted places

    Almost half of all children today are going to high school. But also the whole school is in high demand. Especially since it must be set no one instantly whether he is going to take later on an academic career or a practical professional would like to exercise. In large cities, the demand for total school places is currently higher than the offer: So 1000 applicants had to be rejected in Cologne in 2018.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    The Orientation Phase

    If pupils of the 5. and 6. Class is during the orientation phase, in the Gymnasium of the fabric to be difficult, teachers often have to change to Realschule or the Hauptschule. Conversely, students can switch with good grades relatively easily on to the high school. A place at the comprehensive school, then, is to get in to, but hard to come by.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    Other countries, other models

    Not all States have a tripartite school system: In Saxony, the children attend to the basic – secondary school (a combination of Haupt – and Realschule) or grammar school. In some countries, the community school would then offer a kind of comprehensive school from the 1. up to 10. Class. And Bavaria has introduced in 2011 instead of the main middle school. Quite confusing.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    The Vocational School

    After the main – or secondary school diploma is taught at the vocational school. Here theory and practice go Hand-in-Hand, so that the trainees become a much sought-after specialists on the labour market. Vocational schools closely cooperate with factories and companies that offer internships in their companies, and so potential future employees can recruit.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    Learning Together

    Children with disabilities are more likely to attend remedial or special schools, where their special needs. Critics complain that the bounds of the children. Meanwhile, some are taught by them to mainstream schools. However, this “inclusion” is controversial: opponents see it, the children would not be promoted in the absence of trained teachers specific enough.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    Alternating Timetable

    Time the class ends at noon, then again around three or four o’clock in the afternoon. For working parents this is a very nice challenge. Yet, far too few schools offer all-day care where the children do after the lesson their homework or various activities.

  • The ABCs of the German school system

    Private schools in the minimum number of

    Also in Germany, there are several private schools, including the Waldorf and the Montessori school, boarding schools, and denominational schools. But the majority of children attend state schools. And fear not: The level is high and do not need to hide behind the private offer.

    Author: Louisa Schaefer (suc)


You should not think that it is hard to be a child at secondary school to register. You fill out a few forms, sign and submit to you. Not so in Germany. You make on an Odyssey in focus.

My foreign friends and I make sometimes about the infamous German bureaucracy is fun. “Why simply, if it’s a complicated one?” This definitely applies to the education system. Only the other day an Australian friend remarked: “You need a doctor to understand the state of Germany’s education system.”

Just do not make the wrong decision!

In Germany, the 16 länder and not the Federal government, the school system is responsible and that is why it is also far from being uniform. Okay, some things have been agreed. After the primary school children come in the 5. Class of a secondary school (except in Berlin and Brandenburg, since they change only two years later). For most of the parents of the large Brood starts to send, where your child is, but, if the offspring is still the 4. A class visit. From September to February, so the whole autumn and the holiday season passes into the new year decide to make just the wrong decision.

In most States, the primary school lasts four years

Almost every Saturday you attend any school that offers just a day of the Open door. With the child in tow, looking at the classrooms and talk with teachers and students, to find out whether the daughter or the son would be in good hands here. This is quite a time-racking. Not to mention the fact that you will feel in front of a loud-sounding Offers such as in supermarket, where you sauces of rows of different salad, quasi is beaten to death. What I just take? You want to actually make on the sales returns and run away.

In February, it will be serious: The kids get their intermediate certificates and the parents, a recommendation of the class teacher, which is the secondary school the young would be best repealed. You have to decide and can only hope to snag a place at the school of his desire.

A hierarchical System

Many Germans don’t hear this, but the school system is rather hierarchical and forces students very early on in a certain direction. I live in North Rhine-Westphalia, where there is a tripartite System of secondary schools. Since the Gymnasium for the is once awakened the children are mostly well-off parents to study the changes. In the Junior high school children, aiming to perhaps have a Desk job, maybe. And finally, there is the school that trains future artisans and workers. In addition, there are school-wide total and community schools.

If you are honest, have to admit most of the German parents that they are proud and relieved when their child gets from the teacher, a recommendation for the Gymnasium. I find, however, that it is much too early, the schooling of children in the fourth grade. My daughter has a recommendation for grammar school, but I still think that you are already in the 5. Class should go there.

What is the recommendation of the class teacher is for the next generation?

Too young for the exchange

Currently, she attends a primary school in a suburb of Cologne – and since it is almost like in a fairy tale. If I pick up you and your brother in there, pour just the petunias, or are somewhere in depth in the school yard full of old tree giant in the game. Sheep and chickens walk around the site and sometimes even into the building. During the breaks the children can run around here. However, they also learn what it means to empathy and willingness to help: in your class also disabled children, where they help as a matter of course. And all this in a state school on the outskirts of a city of millions.

I’m not sure that that is the rule. But who would leave his children at the tender age of ten years, does not like more here go? Why you should visit in the next year, the same school as 15 – and 16-year-old Teenager? I grew up in the United States, where only after the Middle School (class 6 to 8) or Junior High School (grades 7 and 8) High School (class 9 to 12) is visited.

In the primary school is not just about Learning but also about fun

Why can’t my children up to sixth grade in elementary school – so how is it in Berlin? And in many countries around the globe? “In the fourth grade, the children simply want to play and not have to think about which secondary school you will visit soon”, said to me, the class teacher of my daughter. Since you agree with your colleagues.

Also, the Frankfurt-based trade Union for education and science (GEW) is of this view. “It’s just too early, then the further education for nine-year-old set, commented on the WT compared to the daily newspaper “the world”.

“In Brandenburg and Berlin, we rely on six years of primary school, so the children can no longer stay together and learn together,” says Beate Stoffers, spokeswoman for education in Berlin.

The last word on the subject?

I have decided: My daughter (and a year later my son) I’m going to send to the school and so the three-class system. It seems to me to be fair and the American High School, which I visited, at next. My daughter can make in the total school high school diploma, if you want to; your other ways are open.

Children need time to develop their skills

I’m sure this is the best solution. Although the school is not just at the end of the road, but in a completely different district, approximately a 40 minutes bus ride. A long way for a ten year old. But I know that my intelligent, and charming little daughter will make their way to the secondary school. And maybe you will have some great teachers who help her.

And still: Why does it have to be so complicated to find the right school?