The German School System in Brief
By Vivien Aljic and Shqipdona (Käthe-Kollwitz-Schule, year 10)
Regardless of nationality or state (we have 16 of them in Germany), six-year-old children must attend school. The children have to go to school until the age of 18. The students study full-time for 10 years and after that (depending on their degree) they continue their studies or they do part-time studies at a college and at the same time they are trained for a job.
School begins after the summer break. When exactly school begins depends on the different states.
The summer break is 6-weeks long and the other holidays (Easter, Whitsun, autumn and Xmas) are 7 weeks altogether.
Education is free and most of the schoolbooks are free too. We have no school uniforms.
German Education is divided into 3 parts: The first one is primary school (Grundschule) from age 6 to 10 except Berlin and Brandenburg (age6 to 12). The second one is secondary school, which offers 4 different types of school: a) Hauptschule : basic and general education from fifth grade to tenth grade. b) Realschule : Students who go to a Realschule get a broader education than the students at a Hauptschule. c) Gymnasium (grammar school), which provides a higher level of secondary education for students from year 5 to year 12. At the end of the twelfth year students pass exams to pass their A-Levels. With your “Abitur” you can go to university.
The 4th type of secondary school comprises the other three ones: it’s called Gesamtschule and teaches the same subjects as the other schools from year 5 to 10. The Gesamtschule (or comprehensive school) integrates organizational and pedagogical contents of the three other secondary schools, but subjects like Maths or English, from the 7th grade, are divided into advanced or basic courses. If your marks are good enough and you had at least 3 advanced courses, you can do 3 more years and then try to pass your A-Levels . Our School is a Gesamtschule.
Our system is a little bit complicated because of the many different types of school and the many different states.