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Can children join Grundschule mid school year?

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I am sorry if this has been asked before and it might sound like a silly question, but as the moving stress has started my list of questions keeps on expanding :) we will be moving to Munich in March 2019 and i was wondering if children are permitted to join public Grundschule/Kindergarten mid school year? We currently live in a country where children who miss the september school start have to be home schooled till next years intake!!! Also, how do schools determine the class year for new foreign students (is it based on age, previous school reports, etc). Our son is 9 years old and currently year 4 in a British curriculum school and we want him to join a German public school as we believe this is the best way for him to learn the language. 

Many thanks in advance. 

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No homeschooling here - attendance at (primary) school is compulsory, so they have to find school places for new children whenever they arrive. It may not necessarily be at the school of your choice (i.e. the primary school nearest your residence). Kindergarten attendance is not compulsory, and education/care below year 1 (age 6) of Grundschule is usually not provided by the education system at all; instead it's private, or else public social (non-educational) services and/or church-based charitable offerings. In many parts of the country is often very difficult to find a Kindergarten place (see the many threads on this - there may be Munich-specific ones, too). Although the law requires municipalities to guarantee the provision of a place to every child who comes forward for one, in fact the guarantee is largely toothless. Municipalities rely on a mix of public/private/social/charitable provision to make up their numbers and the "guarantee" allows them to offer you a place clear on the opposite side of the city if there's nothing available near your home. You don't say how old your Kindergarten child will be, but s/he might have priority for any spaces opening up mid-year if s/he doesn't speak German (as linguistic integration is a key goal of current early education policy). 

 

There are quite a few threads here on Toytown about how to place new non-German-speaking students.  The tripartite Germany secondary school system means that much hinges on a child's results in year 3 of primary school - especially in Germn and Maths.  The children currently in year 4 across Germany - your son's cohort, basically - are just getting (or have already received) their teachers' recommendations as to what kind of secondary school they should attend and, thus, what kind of career path is foreseen for them. Applications for secondary school then take place in winter/spring (depending on where you live).  In some parts of the country the teacher's recommendation is binding, in other places it can be overridden by parents (albeit with much wringing of hands on the part of the child's teacher and the head of the next-level school to which the child is admitted).   

 

Your choice of what year/cohort your son should be placed in will depend on a number of factors, including the school's experience and recommendations (Are teachers willing and able to work with your son as a learner of German as a second language?), your family's ability to support rapid German learning (Do any of you adults speak German well enough to help with homework? Can you afford tutoring or other extracurricular language training?), your priorities for your child's further educational path (Remaining in Germany for the long haul or here only temporarily? Do you want your child to attend university or not? In Germany or elsewhere?), and what kind of learner your child is (Does he pick up the language swiftly? Is he detail-oriented enough to quickly master the written form, including grammar and German orthography?).  

 

Good luck!

 

 

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The Vierte Klasse, at least in Bavaria, is a very serious time.  All the kids are being taught everything they'll need if they go to Gymnasium.  To crowd all this knowledge into your little boy's head at the same time he's trying to learn the German language isn't likely to lead to success.  Letting him go into a 3rd grade class where he can learn German without too much pressure is a good idea.  He's likely to be with children very close to his own age, so don't worry about him being in with 7-year-olds.   

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Y4 - he has just turned 9? He would most likely be in Klasse 3 here - so you have time to sort it out - aim low not high - some German heads look at the Year 4 number only, and make a direct equivalent into the German system (KL 4), and it completely is not. When German school kicks off, it is fast and furious compared to the UK system, and the kids catch up quickly (because they are ready to learn when they start school :)). Kids here generally start once they are 6, so they will turn 7 during KL1, 8 during Kl.2 and so on. There are plenty of exceptions because there is flexibility.

 

I would think going in to Klasse 3 should work out just fine in March, it shouldn't be over demanding hopefully, and so he should get a chance to catch up with the German. If it is difficult, staying in that class another year would not be the disaster we might think.

 

In my area, we had a British school which closed, and of the kids who switched system, those who went into the correct class for their age group, or even the one below, did much better after 2 years than those who were pushed by parents or heads into the class of the matching number (Y4...KL.4) . They worry the kids will be bored, but a different system and a new language is enough for anyone.

 

Hope it works out well.

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In the Vierte Klass, a lot of important grammar is pounded into the kiddies' heads.  It's necessary that your son be ready to integrate that knowledge successfully.

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11 hours ago, liebling said:

No homeschooling here - attendance at (primary) school is compulsory, so they have to find school places for new children whenever they arrive. It may not necessarily be at the school of your choice (i.e. the primary school nearest your residence). Kindergarten attendance is not compulsory, and education/care below year 1 (age 6) of Grundschule is usually not provided by the education system at all; instead it's private, or else public social (non-educational) services and/or church-based charitable offerings. In many parts of the country is often very difficult to find a Kindergarten place (see the many threads on this - there may be Munich-specific ones, too). Although the law requires municipalities to guarantee the provision of a place to every child who comes forward for one, in fact the guarantee is largely toothless. Municipalities rely on a mix of public/private/social/charitable provision to make up their numbers and the "guarantee" allows them to offer you a place clear on the opposite side of the city if there's nothing available near your home. You don't say how old your Kindergarten child will be, but s/he might have priority for any spaces opening up mid-year if s/he doesn't speak German (as linguistic integration is a key goal of current early education policy). 

 

There are quite a few threads here on Toytown about how to place new non-German-speaking students.  The tripartite Germany secondary school system means that much hinges on a child's results in year 3 of primary school - especially in Germn and Maths.  The children currently in year 4 across Germany - your son's cohort, basically - are just getting (or have already received) their teachers' recommendations as to what kind of secondary school they should attend and, thus, what kind of career path is foreseen for them. Applications for secondary school then take place in winter/spring (depending on where you live).  In some parts of the country the teacher's recommendation is binding, in other places it can be overridden by parents (albeit with much wringing of hands on the part of the child's teacher and the head of the next-level school to which the child is admitted).   

 

Your choice of what year/cohort your son should be placed in will depend on a number of factors, including the school's experience and recommendations (Are teachers willing and able to work with your son as a learner of German as a second language?), your family's ability to support rapid German learning (Do any of you adults speak German well enough to help with homework? Can you afford tutoring or other extracurricular language training?), your priorities for your child's further educational path (Remaining in Germany for the long haul or here only temporarily? Do you want your child to attend university or not? In Germany or elsewhere?), and what kind of learner your child is (Does he pick up the language swiftly? Is he detail-oriented enough to quickly master the written form, including grammar and German orthography?).  

 

Good luck!

 

 

Thank you all for the valuable inputs. To be precise, our older one is turning 9 in April and i was hoping he will be able to join KL3 in order to have 1.5 years to prepare for secondary school. At this point he does not have any German language knowledge but my husband is a German speaker and would be able to support him with homework. We were also looking into enrolling him in language courses maybe over the summer (our current country of residence has summer camps where children get support on a specific language/subject and I was hoping to find something similar in Munich). Our younger one will be turning 5 in January and our goal on a long run is to stay in Germany therefore do not want to consider international schools for them. Both of our kids speak English and our native language and we are hoping they will be able to pick up German quickly (I do see certain challenges ahead of us but hoping that it's easier to move and integrate while they are still young :) ).

 

With the support of an real estate agency, we are currently on a hunt for apartments. Do you think its worth reaching out to schools prior to signing a rental agreement in order to find out the schools/kindergarten available spots and overall willingness to accept non-German speaking kids? We are quite flexible on where we want to live but i do have concerns on the schools as the move will be a big change for the kids. 

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3 hours ago, expatbsde said:

With the support of an real estate agency, we are currently on a hunt for apartments. Do you think its worth reaching out to schools prior to signing a rental agreement in order to find out the schools/kindergarten available spots and overall willingness to accept non-German speaking kids? We are quite flexible on where we want to live but i do have concerns on the schools as the move will be a big change for the kids. 

 

The real estate agency would logically be able to tell you your best options if that's a top requirement about location.  (If they can't, you probably need a different one who has more specialism there).

 

While it's a good idea to put the child in a language summer camp, the established German as Second Language approach that we get exposed to here (whatever our age and definitely including schoolkids) is very different from doing it somewhere else as a foreign language.   As others posts say, the whole learning process is quite structured.

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4 hours ago, expatbsde said:

With the support of an real estate agency, we are currently on a hunt for apartments. Do you think its worth reaching out to schools prior to signing a rental agreement in order to find out the schools/kindergarten available spots and overall willingness to accept non-German speaking kids? We are quite flexible on where we want to live but i do have concerns on the schools as the move will be a big change for the kids. 

 

Can you afford to live in the areas with good schools? Based on the info in your other thread you might not have that much choice in where you end up living.

 

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Hi Engelchen, many thanks for the input. You are right, but we would be willing to increase our apartment budget in favour of a good school. Are there any areas/schools you would recommend to look into?

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26 minutes ago, expatbsde said:

You are right, but we would be willing to increase our apartment budget in favour of a good school.

 

From what I hear, you'll probably need to substantially increase your budget. On the other hand it is unlikely that you'll be able to rent an apartment costing much more than 1/3 of your net income from German sources.

 

26 minutes ago, expatbsde said:

Are there any areas/schools you would recommend to look into?

 

Sorry I live in Berlin and can't help you with specifics on Munich. Perhaps @Conquistador can offer some recommendations. AFAIK he has school age children and takes an active interest in their education.

 

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Some links which may be helpful;

Informationen zum Mietspiegel für München© 2017 < Legally recognized rental survey which includes comprehensive info on all infrastructure resources for every district in greater Munich - Full info in large PDF from which it pays to follow links to specific stats.

Germany Education System |Grundschule - Universitat  < good general overview

Alle Schulen in Bayern suchen und finden | School locator for Bavaria < state search tool

Schuleingangsuntersuchung; Durchführung - Bavarian Authorities Guide < state education and health ministries re statutory pre-entry tests

Morgen Schuleingangsuntersuchung (Bayern) - was erwartet uns? Und: evtl. Rückstellung - Forenarchiv - urbia.de < net forum guide - what to expect of above tests and how to deal with the results

Ist Ihr Kind reif für die Einschulung? Machen Sie den Test - Elternwissen.com < DIY sample tests - net portal aimed at parents

 

2B

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OP- your 9 year old child can (and has to) join a school as soon as you show up. However, without any knowledge of German, there is no way your child will be able to handle the 3rd grade curriculum, let alone the 4th (I know this because I've supervised my oldest's homework). My guess is that he will be put in some sort of transition class with other kids that do not speak German, but you would need to talk to someone in the local school system to confirm that. 

 

Finding a place to live in Munich is very difficult, so you can't  always match that up with a desired school. 

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