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Posts posted by pappnase

  1. Responsibility for German education system lies primarily with the Bundesländer (states) , so it really will depend on where you live, but if you live in Bremen then it probably won't be as formal as a 'test'.

    Nathan went to visit the school and had a long chat with the head-teacher. Then he joined a class for a lesson to see how it went. While he was in class my wife sat and talked to the head-teacher some more about his grades in his old school and about what we wanted for him, about how we would help etc.

    After they had all talked she made a decision that she was comfortable to admit him, it was that simple.

    We discussed options and had a choice. In the UK he was in 6th grade because we start at 5 there. However 6th grade in Germany is full of kids 1 year older than Nathan.

    We were given the choice to start in year 5 or in year 6 and to see how things went. The original plan was that he would try both classes during his first year and see how things went.

    In the end he got on well in the grade 6 class and asked if he could stay there. His class teachers supported him staying there and so he has. Now at the end of the school year we are all planning on having another meeting to discuss his grades and decide if he needs to drop a year.

    It's really been very informal and cooperative with a clear intent to make sure that Nathan fits in and gets the most out of things.


  2. I'm not sure how it works outside Bremen, but Bremen school district has a large immigrant population and so they offer specific three month German courses for foreign students which can be taken before joining your regular class.

    We moved from the UK at the end of last year and neither of our kids (6 and 11 ) spoke any German. Both understood a little as my wife is German.


    Emily (the six year old) took the course as a separate class and her German is now near fluent, by the time she starts school in August I think she will do fine.


    Nathan didn't take the course at the recommendation of his head-teacher and had a few problems with language in the first few months.

    Because he was finding it tough we asked about the course again and one of his class teachers who is trained in teaching German as a foreign language agreed to do some extra work with him. My wife also spends about 2 hours a day after school is done working through the lessons that he has had and the homework for the next day.

    He is now getting much better grades and by next year I think it will be fine and he will be getting much the same grades as he was in the UK.


    You know your daughter better than anyone else, if you think she will make friends and put in the effort to catch up then at least in my experience the Bremen school system will support you and work with you to make it work.


    One thing I would say though is go visit the schools you are considering and be flexible in your approach to it all.