Many children across Berlin will be experiencing their very first day of school (for those starting the 1st grade) on the 5th September. It is an exciting and nerve-wracking experience for both child and parents alike and in Germany it is a big deal. When I was a child, I remember having the typical 'first school uniform photograph' taken and then, off to school I went. It is done quite differently here however and so I thought I would write a post to give you an idea of what to expect for those of you who haven't experienced it first hand...
My oldest is making the first leap in to his school 'career' this year and we're all feeling a mixture of excitement and anxiety about this major change from Kita-child to School-child. We are helping build the excitement about it though and for our boy, the most exciting aspect of school to date has been getting his school bag.
If your child is due to start school (1st year / grade) then they will be expected to attend an school enrolment checkup (Einschulungsuntersuchung). In this post, I will explain what the 'Einschulungsuntersuchung' is, how you get your appointment and what you can expect at the appointment.
Whether your child is starting in the first year of Elementary / Primary school (Grundschule) or joining the school at a later year / grade, here is a guide to what you should expect to pack in your child's school bag to prepare them for the Grundschule. Each school is different, so it is good to discuss specifics with them directly, however this should give you a good overview...
Starting first school (Grundschule) can be as equally daunting for the parent as it is for the child and working out what you need to do to prepare can be a nightmare. A number of wonderful Berlin parents are helping me come to grips with the whole system (which is new to me too) and so I am collating and passing on the knowledge for other parents whose children are starting school in Berlin.
A number of Berlin's bilingual schools are hosting Open Days / Open House to give parents the opportunity to check out the school grounds, classrooms, meet teachers etc and generally build an overview of each school. Here is a list of upcoming Open Days at Berlin's bilingual schools this Autumn/Fall 2015...
If your child is already in a Berlin school or, if your child will be starting school this year like my boy, then here is a useful list of the official school holiday / vacation days (Schulferien) in Berlin for 2015.
For those of you considering bilingual school for your child(ren) in Berlin, here is a list of Berlin's English/German bilingual schools both public and private.
Before I moved to Berlin, I had never heard of a Forest Nursery/daycare (Waldkita) but, over the years, I have had many a conversation about them and their concepts.
Whilst a majority of the forest kitas are based on the edges of the city, there are also a few that are based more inner-city that also follow the concept by either transporting the children to a forest or using a nearby park.
For those of you who have never heard of Waldkitas and are unsure of how they work, there's a good English article on one that recently opened in London, that explains the idea behind them. You can check that out here.
The details of Berlin's forest kitas can be found below, along with contact details and more info about the amount of children and ages of children that they take...