I'm in 5th grade at my local school. This means that I am done with elementary school and now in a lower secondary school. In 7 years (12th grade) I want to have my Abitur (diploma) and start college. But that's a long way away and I have many classes to finish in school first. This year every few weeks I have some review courses in German and English in order to make sure that I am ready to begin learning my second foreign language next year.
Enlarge image (© German Information Center USA) Most German schools still have longer morning breaks where students can get snacks and then in the afternoon they go home for a hot lunch (Mittagessen), which is usually the biggest meal of the day. However my school is new and does something different. We have a lunch break at the same time every day in my grade, so I bring a lunch to school and eat it there with my friends. I think this is fun and it lets me have more time with my friends.
My school may look at lunch differently, but it's like many other German schools when it comes to sports and music. I have P.E. and music class, but all of my sports take place outside the school in the local club. I like this because then I get to meet kids from around my city.
Like American schools, I get a summer vacation. But it's usually only about 6 weeks long, so shorter than many American summer breaks. My family loves to travel to other countries during summer vacation. I also have about a 2 weeks in December and January, in addition to another 2 weeks around Easter. Finally, I usually also have a week off in the fall.
Now you know all about my school! You can see my school schedule for this year below. If you want to know more about other parts of the German school system, look below my class schedule!
|10:00- 10:45||Religion||German||Physical Education||Math||Science|
|10:50- 11:35||Physical Education||Art||Math||German||German|
|11:40- 12:25||Physical Education||Art||Geography||English||German|
|13:35- 14:20||German Review||Math||English||English Review||History|
|14:25- 15:10||German Review||Math||English||English Review||History|
The German School System
School in Germany is different from school in America. What Americans know as kindergarten is the same name Germans use for preschool. German school officially begins with first grade, usually at the age of 6. When German students start first grade, they get a large cone called a Schultüte filled with candy and school supplies from their parents. Grundschule (elementary school) goes from frst grade until fourth grade. Then, parents and teachers choose one of several types of school for children after elementary school.
Many German children go on to a Gymnasium (college preparatory high school) from fifth grade until twelfth or thirteenth grade. When students graduate from Gymnasium, they get a diploma called an Abitur and can go on to college.
Other children may go to Realschule (technical academic high school) until the tenth grade. Students who graduate from Realschule after tenth grade can continue to study at a Gymnasium or start to learn a trade.
Another choice is Hauptschule (secondary school), where students study general subjects. Students must attend Hauptschule for at least 5 years.