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Secondary School also known as High School (Weiterführende Schule - Sekundarstufe I & II)

After they have finished primary school, all children will continue by attending secondary school, according to their capabilities. This might be a support centre, an interdenominational school or a gymnasium.

Listed below are the different types of school in Germany:

  • Modern schools (Hauptschulen) (until grades 9 or 10)
  • Middle schools (Realschulen) (until grade 10)
  • Schools with more than one course of education (here school-leaving-certificates from modern as well as middle schools can be earned)
  • Gymnasiums (until grades 12 or 13)
  • Interdenominational schools (Gesamtschulen) (with or without an upper gymnasial part all school leaving certificates can be achieved on this kind of school)

There are many possibilities in Germany to continue and to pursue your education. After having successfully finished one school, you have the possibility to go on with another one. You can go all the way, until you have achieved the last final exams and gotten your "general matriculation standard" (in Germany it is called „Abitur“). This is the highest form of graduation that is scholastically possible and enables you to begin a study at any university or higher education institution.
While going to school, changing from one kind of school to another sort is possible, if the performance of the child permits this. The educational system in Germany can be seen as being very flexible and opens up a huge range of career options. Do not miss out on them and make the most use of the opportunities that are offered to you, by continuing your education. When achieving the "general matriculation standard" (Allgemeine Hochschulreife), you get access to a range of most diverse professions. In addition you can take on a study and get an academic degree.

School trips, excursions, school parties, school events, swimming lessons etc. are a very important and vital part of the daily life at school. Be sure to let your child participate in them and get involved yourself as well. Your personal participation in school life is nurturing for all, but most of all: It strengthens and enhances the motivation of your children.

In case your child is going to kindergarten, it will be getting support hours every week, in order to learn the german language in a proper way and to prepare for the entry into school.

If you and your family have only recently come to Germany and your child has the age where it has the obligation to go to school, in this case your child will visit a so called DaZ class, before going to school. DaZ is an abbreviation and stands for: Deutsch als Zweitsprache (German as a second language). Specially trained teachers teach your child the german language. In a second step, your child may attend standard lessons in a regular school. At first, in certain subjects, after having acquired sufficient knowledge of the German language, the child will pass over to a regular standard class and only will be receiving a couple of remedial teaching lessons per week. You will receive the information from the school at your place of residency, which DaZ centre is the competent one for your child.

From the age of 16, youths visit the DaZ classes of the vocational education centres.

Parents often ask themselves in which language they should talk to their child/children. The Federal Institute of Early Education has put out a parental letter in multiple languages.