Your child is starting primary school. You will probably have lots of questions.
We have put together links to these topics for you here:
- Primary school: How do I register my child? Which primary schools are there? School enrolment: When does my child have to start school? What does "flexible school start" mean? What is the school examination?
- The school system in Germany: How does it work? What does "Lernmittelfreiheit" mean? How can my child get to school safely?
When does my child have to start school? How do I register my child for school? This is all explained by the Schulämter Hessen (Hesse school boards) and the Kultusministerium Hessen (Hesse Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs). Here you will learn, for example:
- When your child has to go to school
- What a school district is
- What preschool classes are
- How to register your child at a school
- More about the examination by the school doctor before your child starts school
You cannot send your child to any primary school you want. Your child must go to the school for your residential area. This is the school district ("Schulbezirk" in German). If there is an important reason, your child may be able to go to another school. You can find more information on these two internet pages of the Schulämter Hessen:
You can see which school in Frankfurt belongs to which school district here.
You can find suitable primary schools in your district using the Schulwegweiser für Grundschulen (primary school guide):
The Kultusministerium Hessen (Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs of Hesse) explains here what is meant by a "flexible school start". This means: All children who are expected to go to school will also be accepted at the school. This includes children who, for example, don't know German very well yet. Teachers put first and second grade children into smaller groups. The group your child is placed in depends on his or her age and development. This website also informs you where your child can be looked after in the afternoons.
The school doctor will examine your child before he or she starts school. This medical examination is carried out to see whether school is now the right thing for your child: Can your child hear and see well? Can your child sit still? Will your child understand what the teacher is saying? Can your child concentrate on tasks? You can find out more about this examination on the website of the Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung (Federal Centre for Health Education). This website also explains how to get your child to school safely.
The Landesausländerbeirat (State Foreign Citizens' Council) has published a book on starting school called "Unser Kind kommt in die Schule". It has 20 pages and explains important steps for starting school. You can download the booklet as a PDF file here:
The school system in Germany
You might not yet have any experience with the school system in Germany. Or maybe you have had bad experiences. If so, the "Education Y" programme can be helpful. The programme organises meetings of parents whose children are starting school. The meetings are also attended by educators and teachers. They give tips on things like how to learn in everyday life with your child.
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