Public school for 6 year old, doesn't know German

11 posts in this topic

Posted

Hi guys,

 

I would be travelling to Frankfurt on Monday with my wife and 6 year old daughter.

As per German Laws my kid has to go to school.

Since the private schools are pretty expensive, we are planning to put her in a state run school.

 

Since she doesn't know German she might face a lot of issues.

Could you please help me out if any of your kids are in a similar position and

are they able to cope up with this.

 

Regards,

Rohan

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Posted

I think I might be tempted to see if there is a Schulkindergarten option, where she could have a less stressed year learning German and some school preparation stuff before the full-on whack. When they start school, the pace is fast and furious and you have a proper lottery as to whether your teachers give a stuff about foreigners or not. Starting late is neither here nor there.

 

Just a thought, good luck.

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Posted

Thanks Kiplette for your suggestion.

This indeed looks a better plan, but the only doubt is whether German authorities would allow this.

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Posted

As Kiplette suggested, being put into a 1st year class which has already started (in mid August) without any German is likely to be very frustrating for your daughter. There are pre-classes (Vorklasse) for children who for different reasons are not yet ready for primary school at the age of 6. For more info, see website for Bad Vilbel, then click on "Leistungen A-Z" (lower left), then on "S" and "Schulen". Click on "Übersicht der Schulen" to see the list of schools; there are 4 primary schools. One of them, Saalburgschule, specifically mentions such a pre-class. Contact info for further enquiries about schools:

 

Anschrift

Stadtverwaltung Bad Vilbel

Fachdienst Allgemeine Verwaltung

Parkstraße 15

61118 Bad Vilbel

 

Kontakt

Elke.Baer@bad-vilbel.de

06101 602-208

06101 602-330

 

Besuchszeiten

Tag vormittags nachmittags

Mo 7:00 bis 15:30

Di 7:00 bis 15:30

Mi 7:00 bis 15:30

Do 7:00 bis 17:30

Fr 7:00 bis 12:00

sowie nach Vereinbarung

 

You might also consider hiring a private tutor, in addition to the German classes which the school hopefully offers. Good luck with settling in!

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Posted

Hi Rohan, have you spoken to the local education authority yet to find out how they handle this situation?

 

We're in Bensheim and here all the children fresh from abroad are put into a German intensive class where they are expected to stay for a year until they know enough German to get by in an ordinary classroom (obv. the benefits of this are rather debatable..). My son was in it for a few weeks after we moved and was the only child who knew any German. It was compulsory for him to be in this class rather than attend his local school.

 

I do agree that the Schulkindergarten option would be better. Primary school here is fast-paced and it'll be stressful enough for your daughter without academic pressure on top of everything.

 

If she ends up with a typically short German school day I would also recommend enrolling her in after-school clubs to help her pick up German faster.

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Posted

 

As per German Laws my kid has to go to school.

 

Hi Rohan,

 

was your daughter born on 30. June 2006 or earlier?

Because only then does the law say that she has to go to school starting from this school year, please see here.

 

And even if she was born then, you can get a special permission from the Schulamt for her to only start school next year.

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Posted

Don't worry about it, she won't need any special tutoring or anything, kids are sponges, she'll be quiet for the first year and by the second 100% fluent. I know this because we had some friends with kids (age 4 an 6) move to Spain, the younger went to Spanish the older to German. Now after less than a year the older is comfortable in English (English social group and they had several English girls staying with them over the summer. The younger is comfortable in Spanish.

 

The real problem is that you not the kids are going to struggle with the language things like homework and reports!

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Posted

I live just up the road in Friedberg. We had a kid pulled out of the 1st grade and put into the schulkindergarten--he was actually a kid I knew and I never would have described him as not being ready for 1st grade. The schulkindergarten was in a different school, but apparently it's pretty common. I have no idea what they base their decisions on, but I'm guessing that not speaking German at home is a big qualifier.

 

We also have a special group for immigrants, which meets after school for extra German grammar lessons.

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Posted

Hi,

 

As pointed out by Panda Munich you need to work out whether your daughter even has to go to school here. If she is born before June 30th 2006 then she does. If she turned six after June 30th then she does not.

 

If she has only just turned 6 then your problem is solved and you put her in kindergarten hopefully with a good Vorschule Programme. (The Germans are never going to let you early school a child who speaks no German.)

 

If she turned six before June 30th then you can decide whether you think that she would be better in Grade 1 or a kindergarten. A primary school is assigned based on your residence address. A kindergarten you can choose. Maybe go visit a few and see what kind of feeling you get and then make a decision. And see what the German Schulamt thinks about whichever option you think is good.

 

Either way it usually takes foreigners a little while to get use to the kindergarten system and the primary school system in Germany.

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Posted

Hi Rohan,

We have been through this. We moved back to germany last november. We live in Offenbach, just outside Frankfurt. My husband was here first so he went to the schulamt in the Rathaus and was told which Grundschule to register our kids in, every area is zoned so you don't get to pick the school yourself, it depends 100% on your address.

Our oldest 2 kids age 9 and 6 at the time went straight in to 3rd and 1st class.

Our daughter going in to 1st class had no problems at all, a lot of the teachers and the principal initially spoke a little english to both of them which helped. There was no problem with the fact that they both didn't speak a word of German. Fast forward 1 year and now they are both speaking German very well and our oldest now 10 is scoring 1's in his german tests. He had extra help last year DAZ (deutsch als zweitesprache) classes which were provided by the school, and he learned so much. The school they are in is 86% non german so they are not alone in not having German as mother tongue. I can honestly say it's all been positive for us and I realise we are lucky because not all schools are the same. I think you will be amazed at how quick your daughter will pick up the language. Our 4 year old just started Kindergarten and he is already chatting away in German, its not all correct but he is trying all the time.

I really hope everything works out for you.

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Posted

Reached Frankfurt yesterday, shifted to my bad vilbel apartment.

thanks a lot guys for your help.

i'm feeling a bit relaxed now,thanks to your help and support.

My daughter's birth date is in may 2006, so i would have to enroll her in a school.

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