Grundschule to Gymnasium ! the first jump

14 posts in this topic

Creating a new one to get feedback local to BW and also most of the threads are old.

 

The kids are in 3rd and would go to 4th. We want to send them to Gymnasium but the problem is their current grades are not that good.

Their grade average in math is 3 & in Deutsch and Sachun. is 4. As a parent I can tell they are improving and they work a lot. They also want to go to Gymnasium. Though I have concerns with the teachers and their questionable teaching methods, I am not looking into them now. 

 

It would be helpful for us to get first hand feedback, on how admission to Gymnasium works in BW?. Do the schools really look at the grades and can they deny admission?

 

Thanks!

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1 hour ago, Letme said:

Creating a new one to get feedback local to BW and also most of the threads are old.

 

Use the search function. There are many threads on this topic and @kato has provided detailed info on the various schools in the area.

 

You might want to also read these articles:

 

https://www.welt.de/print/welt_kompakt/print_politik/article173497103/Grundschulempfehlung-kommt-zurueck.html

 

https://www.stuttgarter-zeitung.de/inhalt.weiterfuehrende-schulen-in-baden-wuerttemberg-jedes-neunte-kind-wechselt-ohne-empfehlung-aufs-gymnasium.faf45c8a-6c80-4b24-a17f-1042788a46be.html

 

Quote

The kids are in 3rd and would go to 4th. We want to send them to Gymnasium but the problem is their current grades are not that good.

Their grade average in math is 3 & in Deutsch and Sachun. is 4.

 

When did your kids arrive in Germany? 

 

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I suggest that you contact the gymnasium of interest and ask them directly what their entrance criteria is. Their website might provide the information. Some have entrance exams, some require a minimum Zeugnis average. With a year to go until school change, you might like to consider Nachhilfe to improve grades. In our experience, very beneficial.

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1 hour ago, Letme said:

Do the schools really look at the grades and can they deny admission?

 

Public schools will not look at grades as part of their admission process. You will get the Grundschulempfehlung from the elementary school and apply with only that (plus birth certificate and the school's application form) to the secondary school.

 

The Grundschulempfehlung is a recommendation from the elementary school on which secondary school they think would be recommendable for your kid based on their performance and competence, previous development and future development potential. Once you get it you can request a personal interview - including testing - from the elementary school, in which they'll mostly explain why and how they've come to their recommendation.

 

If the Grundschulempfehlung does not match the type of secondary school the secondary school may offer an additional interview, mostly to explore and suggest other options - although this process does not directly impact whether they'll take the kid, that's mostly on a first-come-first-serve basis.

 

Private schools have different requirements and will usually demand seeing grades. Most private Gymnasien around here will not take someone who has any less than a 2 in both German and Math, although it's entirely up to them.

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55 minutes ago, emkay said:

you might like to consider Nachhilfe to improve grades

 

If you and the kids are agreed that Gymnasium is the way to go, then this suggestion is the most likely to get what you want. Just be aware that you may need to continue it after they start at Gymnasium, depending on how they keep up, and depending on what extra help the Gymnasium offers.

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3 hours ago, Letme said:

 

Their grade average in math is 3 & in Deutsch and Sachun. is 4. As a parent I can tell they are improving and they work a lot.

A lot depends on how long your children have been in German schools already - if they've gone from no German whatsoever to earning a passing grade in just a couple of months, one might imagine that if they continue learning at that pace they may well be ready to succeed in Gymnasium in 18 months' time. If they've been in German schools since September or longer and are only just getting a 4 in German, you may consider having them repeat year 3 in hopes of getting better marks. 

3 hours ago, Letme said:

It would be helpful for us to get first hand feedback, on how admission to Gymnasium works in BW?. Do the schools really look at the grades and can they deny admission?

 

The key here is your children's teacher. S/He is the one you have to convince that your children will be able to hit the ground running in Gymnasium. For a teacher to give a Grundschulempfehlung for Gymnasium in Baden-Württemberg, the child has to have average marks in German and Maths of 2.5 or better in the report card issued in the middle of year 4. Right now your children wouldn't even earn Grundschulempfehlung for Realschule, which requires average marks of 3.0 or better in German and Maths, so it might be wise to have admission to Realschule as your/their initial (more immediately attainable) goal and put your kids into a school where they can swap into the Gymnasium stream later on (e.g. by year 7) if their performance warrants it. The Internationale Gesamtschule Heidelberg would be one such option.  

 

You might consider asking the children's year 3 teacher whether it would pay to have them repeat year 3 in hopes of improving their marks and thus their likelihood of gaining entrance to Gymnasium.  AFAIK, year 3 can be repeated, but year 4 cannot.  It's relatively common for children to repeat a year of primary school in order to increase their chances of admission to Gymnasium (or Realschule, as the case may be).  It would be good to express your concerns and hopes to the teacher now and see what kind of feedback (beyond the marks) s/he can offer.  Which reminds me - what descriptive comments do your children get in their report cards? Those comments about personal characteristics and individual and social behavior are also part of the recommendation, and if your kids are really ambitious and hard-working, having comments to that effect might help, especially if your children seem to be borderline cases, mark-wise.

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Repeating a grade in Germany is common enough that as a consideration, it's inconsequential. If your kids are making progress, the big hurdle is the fourth grade, where all the children are crammed with the basic knowledge they'll need for gymi, just in case. Ask the teacher for an honest prediction and be prepared - if you don't already - to actively participate in your children's homework. In Germany it's expected that parents will be part of the teaching team, and that means helping with homework. If you don't feel up to that, be prepared to pay for nachhilfe, not just for language but for sachkunde and maybe even math. After completing fifth grade in the US, it took my daughter another year in Volksschule (in the fifth grade) before she was ready to enter gymnasium in - you guessed it! - the fifth grade. She made her abitur nine years later. just before she turned 21.

We didn't use nachhilfe. My daughter was very motivated and is lucky enough to learn languages easily. 

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20 hours ago, liebling said:

For a teacher to give a Grundschulempfehlung for Gymnasium in Baden-Württemberg, the child has to have average marks in German and Maths of 2.5 or better in the report card issued in the middle of year 4.

 

Since 2012 there is no longer a direct derivation from grades for the Grundschulempfehlung, even if many teachers still use it as a guideline and it's generally a good landmark to aim for.

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On 3/10/2020, 3:33:34, kato said:

 

Public schools will not look at grades as part of their admission process. You will get the Grundschulempfehlung from the elementary school and apply with only that (plus birth certificate and the school's application form) to the secondary school.

 

The Grundschulempfehlung is a recommendation from the elementary school on which secondary school they think would be recommendable for your kid based on their performance and competence, previous development and future development potential. Once you get it you can request a personal interview - including testing - from the elementary school, in which they'll mostly explain why and how they've come to their recommendation.

 

If the Grundschulempfehlung does not match the type of secondary school the secondary school may offer an additional interview, mostly to explore and suggest other options - although this process does not directly impact whether they'll take the kid, that's mostly on a first-come-first-serve basis.

 

Private schools have different requirements and will usually demand seeing grades. Most private Gymnasien around here will not take someone who has any less than a 2 in both German and Math, although it's entirely up to them.

 

Thanks this very helpful.

We are not looking at Privat schools at the moment as in the respective website, they have clearly mentioned the grade requirement.

 

 

On 3/10/2020, 3:33:34, kato said:

If the Grundschulempfehlung does not match the type of secondary school the secondary school may offer an additional interview, mostly to explore and suggest other options - although this process does not directly impact whether they'll take the kid, that's mostly on a first-come-first-serve basis.

 

Could you please elaborate on this: What is this interview? I didn't understand when you mentioned does not directly impact whether they'll take the kid.

 

 

On 3/10/2020, 2:34:10, engelchen said:

 

When did your kids arrive in Germany? 

 

We came in 2017 and went Kindergarten for 4 months. Then joined Grundschule from 1. Their grades were good in klasse 1 & 2. But this year it has dropped and that's when the Alarms were set off. 

 

We do help them with homework everyday and have also bought in a Nachhilfe for Deutsch.

 

On 3/10/2020, 5:41:40, liebling said:

 

The key here is your children's teacher. S/He is the one you have to convince that your children will be able to hit the ground running in Gymnasium. For a teacher to give a Grundschulempfehlung for Gymnasium in Baden-Württemberg, the child has to have average marks in German and Maths of 2.5 or better in the report card issued in the middle of year 4. Right now your children wouldn't even earn Grundschulempfehlung for Realschule, which requires average marks of 3.0 or better in German and Maths, so it might be wise to have admission to Realschule as your/their initial (more immediately attainable) goal and put your kids into a school where they can swap into the Gymnasium stream later on (e.g. by year 7) if their performance warrants it. The Internationale Gesamtschule Heidelberg would be one such option.  

 

You might consider asking the children's year 3 teacher whether it would pay to have them repeat year 3 in hopes of improving their marks and thus their likelihood of gaining entrance to Gymnasium.  AFAIK, year 3 can be repeated, but year 4 cannot.  It's relatively common for children to repeat a year of primary school in order to increase their chances of admission to Gymnasium (or Realschule, as the case may be).  It would be good to express your concerns and hopes to the teacher now and see what kind of feedback (beyond the marks) s/he can offer.  Which reminds me - what descriptive comments do your children get in their report cards? Those comments about personal characteristics and individual and social behavior are also part of the recommendation, and if your kids are really ambitious and hard-working, having comments to that effect might help, especially if your children seem to be borderline cases, mark-wise.

 

We met the class teacher. She clearly said that they need a 2.5 so that she can give a Grundschulempfehlung for Gymnasium. Their general feedback seems to be very generic. Their handwriting is good, they are organized etc, but they need more active participation in the class. When we ask the children, they say they do participate in the classes. 

 

Repeating year 3 is an option we though: but this would mean that they lose their friends circle, which has been really helpful for them. But does it really help and have you experienced cases where children who have repeated and went to gymnasium ? One of our neighbors tried the same approach. His child repeated grade 3. Since it was a Repetition, he actually performed well. But in 4 the grades went down again. (of course one has to consider the child's environment)

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi,

 

If you can read German..

https://schule-in-deutschland.de/die-grundschulempfehlung-in-baden-wuerttemberg-der-uebertritt/

 

I currently have a kid in the 4th grade in Bavaria.. So I know the stress about trying to find out this information.

 

B-W has Elternwille.. what this means is in the end the parent decides.

 

You will get a half year report card and the teacher recommendation. You need to show this when you register your kid at any of the schools...

 

If you want to put your kid in gymnasium. You can. 

However, if you want to put your kid in a school that they were not recommended to be in, the  head of the school will then ask to meet with you to find out why. (this is new system)

 

This is to help stop the overflow of kids being put into the gymnasium that shouldn't be there.

 

There is a big fight now to take away the elternwille in B-W since so many kids end up in the wrong school.

 

You can probably already look at the different schools available to see their programs. Registration in B-W is happening this week I believe. 

 

Just remember if you put your kid in the gymnasium.

It is very common here for the kids to move down to other schools cause they can not handle it.

in our friend´s class (5th grade), three kids have already moved down to real school. They switched in Feb cause their grades were so poor.

 

Your kids grades seem OK, not sure if the school would agree for you to redo a year, unless you haven't been here long enough.

 

Also, here in bavaria it is only the grades from the 4th grade that count. Not sure how B-W handles that.

 

Good Luck!

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Letme said:

but they need more active participation in the class. When we ask the children, they say they do participate in the classes. 

 

This is a big deal in Germany. They might just not be quite 'getting' how much input they need to generate. Ask them which kids get 1s and 2s, and how those kids behave in class - how many times they put their hand up, do they come up with their own ideas or just re-hash other people's, are they always right, do they sit at the front, do they chat with their mates etc etc and see if you can help them build up a picture of the behaviour they need to display in class to be 1-2 kids. Maybe the German Nachhilfe teacher can help.

 

We have this all the time. Kid#4 swears blind he is the ultimate class participator, but he actually miraculously got himself a 2 in the Latin test last half year, and only a 4 on his Zeugnis, which somewhat blows his cover as a closet snoozer, since his Mündliche Note must have been very poor for that to be the outcome. I doubt he opens his mouth in class more than once a week, which is not the thing here in Germany.

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The ability to verbally slap down objections (even if your defense makes even less sense than the objections) is vitally important in German daily life and I guess in academia too, where so much rides on the verbal defense of a thesis and oral exams.

 

makes sense that they put so much weight on it really early on.

 

maybe you can practice at home by having mock disputes on really nitpicking topics that never result in a new insight but leave you looking like you made a great victory.

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Why are you prepared to put your Kids through so much pressure ?

 

There is a saying in german:  Der Weg nach oben ist immer offen...

Meaning: You can always get higher qualifications if you want to.

 

I would send them to a Realschule. See how it goes. If the Realschule is too easy, then you can always send them to the grammar school. But please don't send them to the grammar school just because you want them to...

After getting the "mittlere Reife" they can go on to a grammar school or a Fachhochschule and get their Abitur enabling them to study...

 

Let them be kids...not having to study all afternoon is alot better for the peace and quiet at home. And pushing kids to learn is not a good thing ( I know - believe me ! )

 

 

 

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On 12/03/2020, 11:38:47, Letme said:

Could you please elaborate on this: What is this interview? I didn't understand when you mentioned does not directly impact whether they'll take the kid.

 

 

The school that you apply too, if this is a school not matching the recommendation, will offer an interview in which they will attempt to point out what other options there are for the kid. If you then persist in the application the kid will basically be ranked below all those applications with a Gymnasium recommendation in order of priority.

 

I should note here that the (conservative) current Minister of Education has a draft bill in the works that would make the grades part of the recommendation, with the full aim of making grades available to the secondary school for their decision on whether to take a kid. Might already be in force next year.

 

Currently 11.3% of kids entering to Gymnasium do not have a recommendation for it. Since making the recommendation non-binding in 2012 the annual drop-downs (from Gymnasium to Realschule) have increased by about 25% compared to before.

 

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