In Germany, education is organized at Länder level. Thus both the designations for each type of school and the content of these terms differ from region to region.
However, the federal state plays a minor role, mainly in terms of funding and international cooperation, through the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Children go to kindergarten (Kindergarten) and primary school (Primarstufe) provided by the Grundschulen. The German child should grow in school and develop according to their personal skills and at their own pace. The child forges his own identity. He must flourish. The transmission of knowledge is not what is most important; the children must above all be able to live in a community.
The kindergarten / kindergarten (Kindergarten)
The kindergarten in Germany is called Kindergarten. It is not mandatory. It is a fee-paying school. It includes children from 3 to 6 years old who are not divided into classes by age but who are all mixed together. Students do not move up to the next class. Schedules and activities may differ from one group to another in the same establishment. School starts in August, the child is present 2 to 3 hours a day at the beginning because he needs time to integrate. There are no school holidays. The Kindergartens close if they wish during the Christmas period and in the summer. It is the parents or the staff who decide on the holidays for them and for the children. The children play a large part of the time, nothing is imposed on them. The goal is for the child to be able to express himself freely. The activities offered are varied: there are walks in the forest to discover the fauna and flora with a picnic, some will spend time with board games, with the creation of a vegetable garden, others do activities that they choose with the parents. Some Kindergartens have a disabled child in the group who is accompanied by a Zivis; he is a young person doing his civil service.
Kindergartens are not included in the school system. There are two types of Kindergarten: those run by the municipality and those run by the church but which have no religious purpose. The Kindergarten is based on the presence of a space for creativity that allows the child to discover his environment through games. There is no teacher to supervise them, they are educators who take care of them without imposing anything on them. It is not a body that prepares children for academic success but for the discovery of games, to learn to live in a community. Kindergarten registration requests are very numerous and some requests are not met for lack of Kindergarten. Every kindergarten is different. Educators choose the themes they want to highlight with the children.
Primary education in Germany is provided by the Grundschulen. Their attendance is compulsory for all children from the age of 6, and schooling lasts four years (six years in Berlin and Brandenburg, with two years of Orientierungsstufe (orientation level) allowing a first orientation) until 17 years old and half. One of the characteristics of the Grundschulen is not to put students under pressure: there are no grades in the first two years, only oral assessments. Afterwards, they are evaluated from 1 to 6 (1 is the best score); repetitions are very rare. Knowledge gaps must therefore be filled by pedagogical means other than repetition. The Grundschulen are one of the first places of socialization outside the family. They are also the seat of many pedagogical innovations: Grundschule teachers are trained more intensively in pedagogy than their colleagues teaching in higher cycles.
For some lessons, other teachers teach the lesson (art, music, sport). The Germans have six weeks of vacation in the summer. Before leaving the Kindergarten at the age of 6, the pupils do maturity tests, assessments on the understanding of the German language in order to be able to integrate the Grundschule. It is the maturity of the child that allows him to go to elementary school. Germany is made up of Länder which do not have holidays at the same time to allow Germans to travel. Students only have lessons in the morning. At the start of the school year, parents give their children a Schultüte: it is a cardboard box folded in the shape of a cone in which sweets and school supplies are placed. The children are photographed with their Schultüte. This photo is important for families because it marks the transition from early childhood to entering school. In the afternoon, students can get help