Landesportal Schleswig-Holstein

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Flüchtlinge in Schleswig-Holstein

© Hans Kohrt


School System in Germany

Many different sections and levels come together to form the whole school system in Germany. The individual institutions and establishments which must or can be attended by your children or – depending on age – by you yourselves may be found in the following interactive overview. Along the top of this diagram of the German educational system, you will see a line containing different ages and below this a further line with class years/grades. Use the mouse to click on the appropriate place in the list and you will proceed to the corresponding types of school available. The arrows which appear when you click on a particular type of school show you which higher-level institution your child can attend after achieving a specific leaving certificate/qualification.

Grafik zum Bildungssystem

Vocational training/professional education or a successful course of study is frequently necessary in order to take up employment in Germany. In order to train as an apprentice, you generally need to have a school leaving certificate. It is possible for you to obtain this in Germany.

If you do not have a vocational training/professional education certificate, you will be subject to the legal obligation to attend vocational training school until the end of the school half-year in which you reach the age of eighteen. You will attend so-called first-year vocational classes and will complete a ‟pre-training year”. As a rule, you will also be given socio-educational counselling and German as a Second Language classes at a different language level. If you have a place as an apprentice at a later date, you will be subject to the legal obligation to attend vocational school and will be given vocational training.

Refugee children are to learn German

Learning German in Centres for German as a Second Language (DaZ- Centres)

DaZ centres are affiliated to an existing school institution and are responsible for organizing German language classes in an especially defined catchment area, regardless of the type of school with which they are linked. That is to say, children of school-age and young persons with no or extremely little knowledge of German are all taught together at a central location – by teachers especially trained and qualified for this purpose.

The aim is to enable children and young persons to follow normal school classes successfully and to obtain a school-leaving certificate appropriate to their own individual performance level. This is the case, irrespective of their mother tongue or their country of origin.

Multi-stage model

Children and young persons generally begin to learn German at the basic level: in many administrative districts and administratively independent towns/cities, they are given an average of 25 hours’ teaching per week. However, it is also possible for them to be given German language teaching for at least two class-hours per day and for them to attend "normal" classes during the rest of the morning. Class teachers are responsible for deciding how long pupils attend classes at basic level.

They will then proceed to the intermediate level. That is to say, pupils leave German as a Second Language classes at the basic level and attend regular classes; some of them will move on to a different school. In addition to normal classes, children attend classes in German for four to six hours per week taught by teachers at DaZ centres. At the final-stage level, pupils attend all subjects taught in regular classes. However, they will continue to be given special language support classes on a regular basis by their teachers.

Regional Professional/Vocational Training Centres (RBZ) and Vocational Schools (BBS) Berufsschule

Pupils obliged to attend vocational schools requiring further assistance in German as a Second Language are cared for and given language support within the process of learning German and the different stages of their integration courses at Regional Professional/Vocational Training Centres (RBZ) and Vocational Schools (BBS).

Pupils are first enabled to acquire German-language competence at level A2 through a course entitled Professional Integration Classes in German as a Second Language (BiK-DaZ); this is then accompanied by further language acquisition classes during their subsequent Schleswig-Holstein Vocational Training Preparation year, making it possible for them to be given preparatory training in professional/vocational education and to obtain their initial school leaving certificate in general education (ESA). The aim is that they should be able to transfer to dual apprenticeship training or to an additional full-time school-based course of education.

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zu den Inhalten in deutscher Sprache