Realschule in the Heidelberg area

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Unfortunately our daughter is struggling in Gymnasium - just isn't motivated. We think that it's time to look at Realschule.

 

We went to see the HPC school and were also thinking about the Regor-Mendel-Realschule. I wondered if anyone had any children at a Realschule in Heidelberg and wondered what they thought.

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Who is making the judgement about the struggling?

 

If she is unhappy herself, that is a compelling argument for moving her.

If the school is dishing out low marks and telling you she isn't up for it, then would knowing she has to move be enough of a motivating factor?

If you as parents feel she isn't doing well enough, you might just be misunderstanding the marking system here, which is not equivalent to the UK. A '1' is not an 'A', it's an A*** in that you can only lose a mark or so, whereas in the UK, an A can require just 70%. Working your way down, a 3 is absolutely OK and a 4 is do-able.

 

If it really is crap, please ignore everything I have said. It's just after having 4 kids going through this system and watching other Brits do the same (parents being mostly English trained teachers) , we see a general pattern of floundering a bit in terms of expectations and outcomes, amongst other things.

 

It is a giant step. Having said that, if you and your daughter all feel it's the best plan, then good luck and I hope it works out - parents insisting their child stays at gymnasium against all common sense and advice are doing no-one any favours. I know two who have done it recently and really flowered as a result. 

 

Not knowing Heidelberg at all, I would generally look for a school which has good links to employers and a career-finding mindset as that is a big motivator for a lot of kids. Also I will ping @kato for you who knows all things Heidelberg-schooly and hope that he has more specific and useful recommendations :)

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You know your daughter best and you can tell why she is unmotivated. But you also need to consider what kind of school we've had this year: Just a tiny bit better than last year. At least more teachers have learned how to teach online.

 

I have talked to several  students and just one girl said she had liked the online school better thanthe real one. She is a very organized girl with lots of self-discipline. In contrast many more  students said they  had hated being taught online.  Several said they had lost all motivation, the teachers didn't really care, they missed the interaction with their classmates etc.

This is not a proper survey. I work for a Nachhilfe school and it was there where I talked to the students.

 

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Thanks for the responses. 

 

@kiplette @PandaMunich We get the marking system and have no specfic expections for our kids. As long as they do their best then we are fine. And as my wife says "vier gewinnt'. What we had always aimed for was to get their Abi so as least they could go to Uni at a later date if they decide that that is what they want. Unfortunately my daughter's marks are generally poor, particularly maths. The position we are in now is based more on the feedback from the teaching staff that she just isn't engaged and is going to struggle to catch up.

@christine.j Exactly. It's been very tough and my kids have really missed their friends. My daughter has very low self discipline, self organisation and is shy so she doesn't really suit remote learning. It's also very easy for her to hid in a matrix of 20-odd kids on a small screen.

 

We had hoped that going to Realschule would make things easier and she'd gain her confidence. But so far her primary concern is staying with her friends. We've also spoken to someone about getting help for her (and us) to support her. They confirmed that this year has been really hard and that most of the kids have slipped. To make things even more confusing they have also said that it is probable that even dropping down to Realschule won't help if she isn't motivated, especially if she has to go through the upheaval of joining a new school. 

 

Given that everything is last minute we are heading in the direction of maybe allowing her to go into the 8th (G9) and giving her another chance but tightly monitoring. In the mean time we also look at Realschules in the area and start getting her used to the idea of moving, maybe swapping after Christmas.

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3 minutes ago, nsuffield said:

as my wife says "vier gewinnt'.

 

Ha! That's a good one.

 

Difficult situation - Nachhilfe - as you say, someone to help out.

 

It's what everyone does apart from me - I feel as though it shouldn't be necessary, but I am just wrong - it is how things are here, and there's no point fighting it. Finding a Nachhilfe tutor/organisation she is happy to go with is the thing. It's a good time to start, though - one-on-one is so efficient and the amount they can catch up is amazing, and she is young enough to hopefully go with it, and if she knows it's the only way to stay with her friends, engage with it. By the time I was persuaded we needed it, the youngster concerned was way past wanting to have yet another hassle in her life. Still, she did get her Abi, no thanks to the failed (or barely passed, can't remember) Maths course ;)

 

Good luck :)

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I absolutely agree with everything that has already been suggested.  It’s also a difficult age. When my daughter was at gymnasium, then G8, around the 8th and 9fh class, a number of pupils went back a year that helped them tremendously. Absolutely normal in Germany and no shame whatsoever especially after such a difficult year.

 

I can only imagine that the upheaval of changing school and friends could be very difficult. Before such a move, I would definitely recommend one to one Nachhilfe in any subjects that your daughter struggles with.  My daughter had major problems with maths and had Nachhilfe right up to her Abitur.  Finding good Nachhilfe can be a bit difficult though worth making lots of effort!  Try local franchises like Schülerhilfe. Most will offer one to one tuition. Sometimes, their tutors also offer private tuition.  I rang our local Uni and spoke to the head of the Maths department for advice. I found a lovely student who helped fellow students.  Luckily, she lived close to us.  You can also place a free ad on eBay Kleinanzeigen. Of course, also ask the school for recommendations. Often older students offer private tuition.

 

Some schools also offer organisational training. This can include ‘’learn how to learn’. It helped many of the pupils in my daughter’s former class especially those that usually resisted parental hovering and nagging! Being better organised helped to lessen overall school stress.  Maybe there are courses like this online?  
 

Maybe the odd little bribe (ok, call it incentive!) might help too!

 

good luck

 

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What I enjoyed when I was of schoolgoingw age  (and also later at Uni) was forming working groups with my mates. We'd meet after school and do homework  (and catch-up work) together. Discussing the materials the teachers had handed out was productive and less boring than doing it alone. That was in grades 11-13 though, but maybe still worth a try, especially if she wants to be with her friends anyway ? Explaining things to each other helped a lot getting a grip on them.

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I changed schools aged 14, because just could not get on in an elite school. It really messed up my hair and then some. I was a newcomer, stranger, to an established group of thirty. That was in the UK, but I guess it would be the same over here.

 

Best to stay at the same school if possible.

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As a bit of an update, we have managed to find a student from the Uni to give one-on-one support for maths and German. We've only done one session but we are looking to see if we can make that 2 or 3 times a week over the holiday. We have also been to speak to the school who have understand that she won't want to move. They have suggested that she goes to the next class and then we review before Xmas. In the meantime we can look at other schools. We will also see if we can give her more support at home. They've also suggested that she could stay at least until she is 16 and then look decide if she wants to stay on, not do her Abi or maybe then find a Beruflisches Gymnasium. 

Feeling a bit more positive. At least we won't need to jump to a new school without looking, which is what we wanted to avoid. Still a way to go though with the desire to learn and self-confidence.

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On 7/30/2021, 12:05:57, kiplette said:

Still, she did get her Abi, no thanks to the failed (or barely passed, can't remember) Maths course ;)

Slightly off-topic, @kiplette@sarabyrd didn't jibe with math, so in the 10th or 11th klasse, when she did poorly in her exam, her teacher gave her a Freundschaft Vier conditional on her promise never to take another math class; she went on to get her Abi.

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Oh that is really funny.

 

Most pragmatic of the teacher.

 

Sadly I think the rules are tighter these days, but what a great solution :)

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On 4.8.2021, 13:07:06, nsuffield said:

They've also suggested that she could stay at least until she is 16 and then look decide if she wants to stay on, not do her Abi or maybe then find a Beruflisches Gymnasium.

 

This is the thing we have seen recently with 2 girls, both of whom have absolutely bloomed as a result, going to their new schools and becoming '1' or '2' students after struggling at the Gymnasium, but it didn't feel like failure leaving, just a life choice. Kid#4 has just lost a couple of kids out of his class for that reason, and it was treated very much as a positive move with real benefits for the leavers.

 

On 4.8.2021, 13:07:06, nsuffield said:

we have managed to find a student from the Uni to give one-on-one support for maths and German.

 

Brilliant. No matter what happens in the end, this will be a great boost.

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